I know the secret location of 1000′s of lesbians. No I’m not kidding, I do. There’s a special “place” that I love to hang out and I can tell you that in the last five years, I’ve met hundreds if not a thousand lesbians here. It’s fun. It’s not online dating but dating does happen. And its local! Maybe you’ve heard of it… meetup.com.
About 5 years ago I made my first connection to meetup.com through a friend who told me that about a new online lesbian group that was planning local events. I was on it like a bee on a loaded rose bush because my experience of trying to meet lesbians for romance and just as friends was proving to be difficult. Like you I was wondering if there was some secret location where the gay girls hung out and I hadn’t been invited. We all hate that feeling.
Have you checked it out? There are over 1100 groups around the globe and there might even be one where you are locally. If you’re in a large city, I guarantee that there is more than one lesbian meetup group in your city.
If you’re in a more rural place, you might be surprised to find a group that is close to you or one that holds events in the larger cities in your state. Yes, that might mean you end up traveling to meet and greet other lesbians, but it’s very much worth it.
One group that I help organize holds a Third Friday Happiness Hour every month. This past Friday I spoke to women who drove from around the state and from out of state to attend. Yes, we know its hard to meet lesbians and it takes commitment and action to do it. They came because this event has a great attendance and that’s because it’s a regular event. We have women who aren’t on meetup who come. They find out from friends where we are holding Happiness Hour and they show up. I rotate the location to keep it interesting.
So check to see if there’s one near you and then come back here. Look in the top left corner where it says FIND. Did you find a group? If you don’t find a lesbian meetup group – then start one. See where it says START right next to FIND.
When I moved to Austin, TX in 2009, I was sure I’d find many lesbian focused meet-up groups. To my surprise, there was only one at the time. A book club that only met once a month. That wasn’t exactly what I was looking for as I’d already had the experience of the Portland Lesbian Coffee House in Portland, Maine (which has over 800 members.)
So I started my own and called it the Austin Lesbian Coffee House (which now has over 1200 members.) The focus was and still is on friendship, community and socializing for fun. I also included the idea that this group was not a dating group even though we know dating happens, but a place to find friends. And its worked for over a thousand women in Austin. If you can’t find a lover, you’d better have some great friends to hang with for fun and community.
There have been a number of spin-off groups from the Austin Lesbian Coffee House for women with a particular special interest such as non-alcoholic events exclusively. We’ve even had a couple of singles dating groups spin off from the Austin Lesbian Coffee House.
Let’s all admit that sometimes its hard to find lesbian friends because everyone is looking for a girlfriend or is afraid that a friend will ruin a relationship or finally our partner is our best friend so we don’t need anyone else. Well that is great until we break up and discover we have no friends! Sound familiar?
There are large, small and in-between sized groups. Some are very active like the Austin Lesbian Coffee House which has anywhere from 5 to 15 events a week, with 24 event planners and happenings of all kinds from coffee to happy hour to dog hikes and everything in between. The Portland Lesbian Coffee House in Maine has only a few events each month. The membership is spread across the whole state and there is a strong local presence in the largest city of the state – Portland.
A meetup group gains members and cohesiveness by having consistent events that its members can count on. A group creates more energy by having a variety of events that attract different interests and different women.
Look for groups that have a lot going on and have upcoming events. Usually this information can be seen whether you are a member or not. If there are no events planned it could be a disappointment to join the group and have nothing going on. (And yes, there are some groups that seem to do nothing.
No groups in your area? Start one – I told you this already remember? Really. It’s not that hard. Steal some ideas from other meetup groups to get you started. Look at my groups and steal our “purpose” statement or come up with your own. A friend from Austin moved to Kentucky and started the Lexington Lesbian Coffee House which has over 300 members! Woot woot!
Come up with a name, a statement about why you exist (your purpose) and step up as the organizer and schedule a few events. Then tell anyone and everyone about it.
In Austin, women seemed to magically appear. That’s a really cool concept isn’t it. I never advertised or put it in the paper but women heard about the group and started to come.
Here’s an important connection – you must have events scheduled that women can attend! That’s how the group grows. If you pick just a couple of things to do consistently every month, you’ll find your group will grow. I held a Friday happy hour and a Saturday morning coffee. After a while I started to invite other women who were really enthusiastic about the group to host one event and then another. That took the pressure off of me to do it all and spread the joy of hosting to others.
A big secret is that hosting is actually a lot of fun. You get to feel extra special, you get an excuse to talk to every single woman in the room and you get to make a big difference by making each of them feel special. It’s all so special!
It takes a few dollars to launch your group but you can ask for dues from members if you need it. It’s another simple process.
Maybe you are saying to yourself that you aren’t an outgoing person so you can’t do this. Um, perhaps you’re tired enough of not having places to meet lesbians that you want to step out of that limiting belief for a couple of hours every couple of weeks. What do you think?
You now the quote – Insanity is doing the same things you’ve always done but expecting different results. So if what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s time to find a different strategy to meet that amazing gay girl who’s looking for you.
Di you find a lesbian or lgbt meetup group in your area but you are afraid to join? Please take a deep breath and press the “join” button. Give yourself the chance to meet someone special and to create some wonderful new friendships that can change your life.
People see me as a very outgoing person. I see myself has having developed the necessary skills to overcome my shyness. I have learned how to make women feel comfortable at events and learned to be a great listener. Yes, I actually never have to say much to anyone because I ask a question and let everyone else do the talking.
You can too. Show up. Smile. Introduce yourself. Ask someone else her name. Ask her how she found the group and what she likes about it, or what she likes to do for fun if you plan events. You’ll be amazed at how easy it can be.
I recommend that you join more than one group in your area if possible. Join a group that is lesbian or lgbt focused. Then join a group or two that does things specifically around your passions and interests, such as mediation or pugs or running or whatever it is. Now you’ll have multiple opportunities to meet lesbians and also people that love the same thing you do. And there is a good chance you could meet your new girlfriend in either of these groups.
And you will be out meeting lesbians where lesbians hang out! Yes, the secret is out of the bag. Lesbians have found meetup and so should you! This amazing secret location is becoming know far and wide and it’s about time we broke through the secret and made it a wide open venue for lesbian fun, connection and dating!!
Did you already know about meetup? Or is this news to you? Please Please Please let me know. Leave me a comment at the bottom of this page and tell me about your meetup experiences. Thank you so much!!
Warm hugs to all of you,
Mary Gorham Malia
Dating coach extraordinaire! Helping lesbians find lasting love, have more fun and live the life of their dreams. I’m an adventurer, passion seeker, mompreneur, friend and all around gay girl. I love connecting lesbians to their dreams and helping them develop the skills they need to live an extraordinary life and have an amazing relationship.