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How to Get a Boyfriend, According to a Former Therapist

In this article we are going to talk in detail about how to get a boyfriend and build a healthy relationship.

Obtaining a boyfriend is a big decision. If you get one, you have to know how to take care of him. It’s not something you go into lightly.

After all, returning one simply because you were ill-prepared for the daily work of it isn’t in your best interest — or his. Sounds a bit like pet adoption, doesn’t it?

This isn’t the part where I compare men to dogs — especially as a lifelong dog lover. But this is the part where I remind you that in your search to find a plus-one, it’s best to keep a sense of humor.

There will be days when you want to give up.

There will be other days when you remember why it’s fabulous being single. All those days matter, and if you keep a sense of humor alive and well, you will navigate these challenges and even emerge with a few amusing stories to tell over dinner. And maybe a boyfriend, too.

How and Where to Find a Potential Boyfriend: 7 Ways to Meet New People

guy kissing his beautiful girlfriend with curly hair
Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

Unfortunately, you can’t just run down to your local singles shelter and pick out your ideal boyfriend. It doesn’t work that way.

In fact, you might be looking around you and wondering how and where you’re expected to find a boyfriend, assuming you want one. 

There are some places that are ideal to meet a partner. None of these are a guarantee that you’ll emerge with your relationship status updated.

It’s best to choose locations and activities that you enjoy — or places where you’ll be already. It will help mitigate disappointment when you don’t make the “find a boyfriend” mission primary. 

Go to Meetups

Going to meetups is a fun way to meet other people. You can join groups that center around an interest you have. You could make new friends, enjoy the company of like-minded people, and maybe even meet some other single people.

Keep in mind that the person you meet might not be in the group. It might be a connection of someone you meet through the group. Expanding your social network is only going to improve your chances. 

Again, don’t look at this as a dating event or you’ll likely be terribly disappointed. Look at it as a chance to make new friends and share your hobby with others. You’ll have more fun, and it can help take the pressure off.

Plus, if you’re single and feeling lonely, spending time with friends can help you feel less isolated. 

Attend Work Events

Attending work events is one of those things you likely have to do anyway. You might as well look at it as an opportunity to meet new people.

Going to a conference or networking event might not be the first thing you want to do in your free time, but it could help further your career, and you might even meet someone single.

With conferences and training events, you’ll likely emerge with new skills or information even if you don’t come out of them with a boyfriend. 

Try Paid Dating Apps

If I’m honest, I believe paid dating apps are a bit of a scam, particuarly with the heavy advertising they’re using already. I remember when the apps were free, and the features were all included.

Now, they’re all inundated with ads — and bots. 

You might wonder why I would include paid dating apps here when I clearly have a negative opinion of them. The truth is that modern dating is mostly conducted online — at least in the early stages.

Dating apps give you a chance to connect with people you wouldn’t otherwise. Because most of the dating app features are locked for subscribers only, your best bet is to try it for a month and see if you meet anyone. 

The positive aspect of dating apps is that you know the people on there are looking to connect. You don’t have to be shy about the fact that you want a boyfriend.

You can come right out and say it, and you’ll find that other people looking for relationships will appreciate your honesty. People looking for a fling will know you’re not it. 

Take a Class

Another great way to potentially find a boyfriend is to take a class. Find something you’re passionate about or have always wanted to learn and sign up for a class.

You’ll meet that goal of yours, and you just might meet some singles along the way. Again, it’s not about using the class to find a boyfriend.

It’s about creating opportunities in your life that open you up to meeting new people. Plus, you’ll learn that thing you’ve always wanted to know.

Think outside the box. Go online and check out what’s offered in your area. You might find that there’s an activity that you’re interested in that you never even thought of before. Be open to trying something new. 

Ask Friends

It never hurts to be honest with your friends and let them know you’re looking. They might know someone who would be perfect for you.

As a single person, it can be challenging to let people know that you’re lonely and want companionship, but being honest opens the door to being connected to other singles.

Your friends might not want to presume by suggesting their single friends as options, but if you speak up, it might be their golden opportunity to let you know about them.


Signing up to volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about is a great way to meet other people. You can participate in voting drives, help out at an animal shelter, offer to help out at your public library, or even participate in community activism on issues you care about.

You might make some new friends while helping out a cause that means a lot to you. It’s also possible you’ll meet other singles who could turn out to be boyfriend material. 

Get Active

While you can absolutely work out for free at home, getting active is another way to meet a potential boyfriend. Joining a gym could help you meet new people, especially if you sign up for classes while you’re there.

If you’re not the gym type or simply have no interest in meeting someone that way, you can join walking groups or group hikes.

Check with local parks and gardens in your area for planned group events. This will provide a sense of safety while allowing you to meet other people who are active.

Exercise and fitness shouldn’t fill you with a sense of dread. If they do, you’ve chosen the wrong activity. There are near-limitless opportunities for fun fitness.

You can take a yoga or Zumba class; you can go to a rock climbing, cross fit, or axe throwing gym. You can meet up with friends at an indoor trampoline park; you can go roller skating or ice skating.

Or you can join an adult recreation league for a sport you like. Find something that’s fun for you.

It’ll contribute to your health and happiness while giving you the chance to meet new people. 

7 Tips to Get to Know a Guy

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Once you meet a single man, you might not be sure how to cultivate that relationship. Finding him was hard enough. Now you’re supposed to make a relationship happen??? Where does it end?

There’s no guarantee that meeting a single man will result in finding a boyfriend. People are complicated. But let’s say there is chemistry and attraction.

You have shared values and interests. Here’s what you need to do to get to know him. 

Be Curious

The best way to get to know someone new is to be curious about them. Ask them questions. You don’t have to think up silly ice breakers.

Come up with something naturally — unless that stresses you out, and then, by all means, prepare some topics of conversation. Think about what you want to know and ask.

Be curious about more than his relationship status and past history of relationships. Go beyond what he does for work and find out what he does for fun.

Or even better, ask him what he does on a lazy day. What does that look like for him? This could let you know more about how he decompresses on the hard days. It could be revealing. 

Remove Assumptions

You’ll need to remove your assumptions. When looking for a boyfriend, it’s easy to project the traits you hope for onto the person you’re interested in dating. Don’t. It’ll hurt you in the end. Instead, remove your assumptions and just get to know him. 

You might think he’ll make an amazing boyfriend, but you don’t really know him yet. You’re just beginning to do that. You’ll want to remove all the preconceived notions you have of him so you can find out if he’s a good fit as a partner or better off as your friend. 

Listen More

Listen more than you talk. That’s a good general rule of thumb. There’s nothing wrong with having a lot to say, but make sure you aren’t monopolizing the conversation.

The best conversations have an easy flow back and forth. You might be nervous but try to listen to what he’s saying rather than preparing your response while he’s saying it. 

Be Aware of Red Flags

You’ll want to watch out for red flags. Maybe you overlooked some things in the past. Hopefully, you’ve learned from that experience.

Don’t go into the search for a boyfriend with the intention of snagging absolutely any single man. You don’t have to lower your standards. In fact, you’re far better off raising them.

It might take longer to find someone, but you’ll have a better chance of finding the right someone. 

Pay attention to your gut feeling. If something feels off, trust it — even if you don’t understand it. Your intuition is good. Even if your past history seems to contradict that fact, it’s the truth. You’re just used to ignoring it. 

Pay Attention to Green Flags

You’ll want to look for green flags, too. Green flags are the positive signs of a relationship. Kindness is a green flag. Being a good listener is one, too.

Being able to respectfully manage conflict is a truly fantastic green flag. These are all the signs that the person has strong relationship qualities. 

You can spend so much time looking for something wrong with him that you fail to see what’s right.

Don’t let the good things completely cancel out the challenges, but don’t discount them entirely either. Be on the lookout for all the positive traits, too. 

Exchange Contact Details

When you see substantial green flags, you can suggest exchanging contact details. This can include social media and not just phone numbers.

Basically, if you like him and see him as a potential partner, you need to find a way to keep in contact with him. This will allow more of an opportunity to get to know him.

If he declines exchanging contact details, he’s probably not interested, and it’s better to know that now than figure it out after you’ve invested more time and energy into the idea. 

Ask Him Out

Don’t forget that gender roles are a social construct. You can ask him out. You don’t have to wait for him to ask you. If you want a boyfriend, you might need to be the one to take the initiative.

He might be too shy or uncertain of how you feel. He might be hesitant because he doesn’t want to offend you if you’re not interested.

So, ask him out for a drink. If you’re asking, you’re buying — but that’s okay. It will give you a chance to get to know him better and also show him that you’re comfortable asking for what you want. 

When to Bring Up Exclusivity

Once you’ve gotten to know him and have started dating, you might wonder how and when to bring up exclusivity. The good news is that there’s no hard and fast rule to this.

Just don’t rush it.

Take your time getting to know each other before you update the relationship status. 

Once you’re sure you want to be exclusive, you can bring this up in conversation. You can let him know that you don’t want to date anyone else and would like to be exclusive. It’s possible that he’s not yet ready for that.

If he wants to continue dating other people, are you comfortable with that? If you’re good with taking your time to be exclusive, that’s fine.

And if you’re uncomfortable with him continuing to date, you need to be honest with yourself about that, too. 

However, if he’s saying things like “I’m not ready for a relationship” or “I don’t believe in labels”, note that this is a glaring red flag.

He is likely emotionally unavailable, looking for casual relationships only, or otherwise disengaged from you. 

When you’re ready to have that conversation, just be honest. It’s okay to say that you want an exclusive relationship with him. He might be thinking the same thing. 

9 Tips to Start a Healthy Relationship

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People always say start as you mean to go on.

It means that you should set expectations of how you want to be treated from the beginning.

In other words, don’t allow shady behavior in your partner at the start unless you’re prepared to deal with it throughout the relationship. Keep your standards up high where they belong.

Here are some tips that can help you begin a healthy relationship.

Work on Yourself

If you want the best chance to have a healthy relationship, you need to work on yourself. Face your shadows. Unpack your baggage. See a therapist.

Your relationships will improve as you take responsibility for your issues. 

You have them. Everyone does. If you refuse to work on your issues, you can expect to have problems in your relationship.

It isn’t a partner’s job to come on the scene and magically make everything better. A boyfriend isn’t going to instantly make you happy.

It’s your job to deal with your issues, and you don’t need to put that responsibility on anyone else. 

“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet service to see who they really are.” ~Will Ferrell

Communicate Clearly

If you want a healthy relationship from the start, communicate clearly. Don’t be passive aggressive. Don’t hint at what you want or need.

And don’t expect other people to read your mind. Instead, speak up. Use your voice to talk about who you are and what you want. 

Great communicators are kind, respectful, and capable of listening to others. If something bothers you, ask rather than assuming what was meant.

If you appreciate him, let him know. Your ability to communicate clearly will serve you well throughout the relationship.

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ~Marilyn Monroe

Be Authentic Always

From the start, it helps when you’re authentic. Don’t try to present a version of you that doesn’t actually exist. Don’t play up your strengths and hide your weaknesses. Learn to be authentic even if it’s scary and makes you feel vulnerable.

The right person will appreciate your authenticity. They’ll know that you aren’t perfect — but they aren’t looking for perfect anyway. Show up as your truest self, not your best self on your brightest days. I’m not saying show up for a first date in pajamas with bed head, but do allow them to see the real you. 

“A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself — to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia

Confront Conflict

People who never argue or disagree are not in healthy relationships. In healthy relationships, you confront conflict head-on. You respectfully discuss your feelings. You tell your partner when something they’re doing is bothering you.

People who never fight are likely hiding resentments and stewing in bitterness — or settling for so much less than what they need.

Learn to fight fair and confront conflict in a way that focuses on solutions rather than seeing your partner as the problem.

Learn to collaborate to resolve issues. Create a safe space in the relationship for both people’s feelings to be a priority. If you can navigate conflict well, your chances of longevity in the relationship improve. 

“Love is an endless act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is me giving up the right to hurt you for hurting me.“ ~Beyoncé

Make Space

It’s also important that any relationship have space — particularly romantic ones. Make sure that you both have time to yourself.

Spending every minute together might be cute at first, but it’ll get old fast if one or both of you feel like there’s no breathing room. Make time together, but also create some time apart within the relationship. 

You should be able to have some time on your own or hanging out with your friends. It’s healthy to have a little breathing room in the relationship.

You might genuinely want to spend more time together, but it’s also important to have time to yourself, too. 

“It is only when we no longer compulsively need someone that we can have a real relationship with them.” ~Anthony Storr

Keep Individual Identities

It’s equally important to keep your individual identity when entering into a relationship. Don’t begin by giving up your interests for theirs. Make sure that you create space for yourself within the relationship. 

You might not realize that you do this, but if you’re a chronic people-pleaser, it’s possible that you slowly give up more of what you want to accommodate other people.

Over time, you lose yourself. Or, at least, you used to. You don’t do that anymore because you’ve learned from it. You know that it’s more important to lose a partner than to lose yourself. 

“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” ~Ernest Hemingway

Create Couple Goals

As important as it is to have individual identities, you need to have couple goals as well. Talk about the future. Talk about what you both want. Create goals that you both share. Relationships that avoid ever talking about the future likely don’t have one. 

Discuss what you want for your future. Do you support cohabitation? Also, do you want to get married at some point? Do you want to have children together? Do you want to have pets?

What’s your lifestyle like? Do you envision living in the city or country?

Talk about these things from the start. You might find that you don’t want the same things, or you might begin shaping a future that you both want by planning for it.

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” ~Bruce Lee

Appreciate Each Other

Just as important as it is to resolve conflicts in the relationship during those early days, it’s essential to show appreciation. Never take each other for granted.

Something as simple as consistently saying “thank you” can make a difference. You might assume he knows you appreciate him, but you have to do more than show it.

Sometimes, you need to say it, too.

Everyone wants to feel valued in relationships. Letting someone know that you feel lucky to have them in your life is important.

Be sure to show appreciation for each other throughout the relationship, and you’ll watch it grow into something strong and beautiful.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” ~Nora Ephron

Take the Temperature

Every now and then, it’s good to take the temperature of the relationship. Check in and make sure your partner is getting his needs met.

Let them know if there are adjustments in the relationship you need. These checkins can help you figure out little problems before they become big ones. It can help your relationship thrive, not just survive.

“In the end there doesn’t have to be anyone who understands you. There just has to be someone who wants to.” ~Robert Brault

Getting a Boyfriend: In Conclusion

You might want a boyfriend and despair of ever finding one. Well, cut that out! You’re certainly not going to find one moping around and feeling sorry for yourself.

The best thing you can do is focus on what you want your life to look like — not just your relationship.

Make a list. In fact, make two lists. Make a list of everything you want in a boyfriend. Because this is a manifestation practice, avoid writing what you don’t want. Just write what qualities you do want.

Try to keep it focused on characteristics more than looks. Be as specific as possible.

For your second list, write down what you want your life to look like. How often do you spend time with friends? Do you have pets?

What kind of things would you like to do for fun? Create a whole day in your ideal life.

It’s completely normal to want someone to share your life. Just don’t center that to the exclusion of everything else. Nurture your friendships. Learn new things.

You want a boyfriend. I get it. They can be nice to have — if you find the right one. But don’t get so focused on the future that you forget to enjoy your single life today. 

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