30. Austin Sports and Social Club

In the interest of expanding my social circle, I willingly signed up for summer kickball when my friend, Juliana, was putting a team together.  For 8 weeks, I’ve committed to playing the game with my co-ed team against a new team every week.  It’s fun, light-hearted competition that makes socializing with different people every week inevitable.  We chose to play kickball because basically everyone who went to an American elementary school knows how to play the game, meaning anyone can play.  It gives us all a reason to get out after work, enjoy the outdoors and laugh – get a bunch of your friends together over a playground game like kickball and you’ll laugh a lot!  What I discovered is that meeting men in this setting is so easy.  The games are fun and the atmosphere is playful.  Best of all introductions are expected so the pressure is off.

Austin Sports and Social Club offers a variety of sports at varying skill levels from which you may choose.  If meeting great guys is your objective, start a team with a handful of your girlfriends and have them recruit male friends for your team from their social circles.  Instantly, there’s a new group of guys for you to get to know in a place where it’s easy to do so.  Eight weeks means 8 games and 8 scheduled opportunities to meet someone new.  Go out and play!

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29. 24 Diner – North Lamar & 6th Street (The Counter)

I don’t mean to write about so many restaurants, but when I find a great Hot Spot I’ll share it.  Think about it, though.  When you’re single and you’ve got a lot going on, you eat out a lot because you don’t have time to cook – at least that’s how it goes for me.  My haunch that single guys eat out more than they eat in.

24 Diner is yet another eatery.  The best part of this place is not the food, it’s the counter.  When I was waiting with friends for a table, we were standing near the counter waiting for a few minutes.  During that short period of time, my friend Kelley and I struck up a conversation with 3 different single men eating breakfast for dinner at the counter, two of which were complete strangers and totally handsome.  Had I not been with 4 other friends, I would have joined them.  Oh, well!  Next time I’m hungry, I’ll definitely belly up to the counter at 24 Diner and go it alone.  By the way, Kelley met one of those guys for a bicycle ride.  We’ll see. . .

28. The Gym?

Forgive me for stating the obvious but, yes, the gym.  Ever since I was in high school, I had a membership to my local gym.  To be completely straight about it, I was so intentionally aloof that I wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone while I was there.  Any man who dared to strike a conversation with me was met with my own version of the Heisman.  In fact, to many of them I was outright rude.  Yep.  I was that girl.  Nice, huh?  My goal was to work out and then get out.

My goal now is still the same, but my attitude is much different.  When I went to Pure Austin with my friend, Jane, I was far more aware of my surroundings than I have ever been.  As I was looking around, I noticed a lot of guys there working out too (I know, I know.  Big surprise!).  It made me ask myself, why wouldn’t this be a great place to meet a nice guy?  Then, I remembered all of the men who had tried to talk with me and I didn’t give them the time of day.  The reality is the gym is a great place to meet a nice guy!

So, this ends up being a Hot Spot and Relationship Tip rolled into one.  The Hot Spot is:  ladies, join your local gym and go work out there.  Although I love the place and know a ton of great guys who work out there (hint, hint), it doesn’t have to be Pure Austin.  If you don’t already have a gym membership, pick one that’s convenient to either your home or office (except a place like Curves that’s for women only).  Then, go.

The Relationship Tip is:  be approachable.  Actually, I already wrote about this (see Relationship Tip #6).  I’m taking my own advice, by the way, but that’s a post for another day.

27. Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q on 620 (Lunchtime)

Whenever I go to Rudy’s I get their jalapeño sausage (They call it a “hottie!”  How appropriate!).  So far, it’s the best I’ve ever had.  I never thought of it as a Hot Spot.  Yet, there for a business lunch with a bunch of guys, I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised to find that I was really outnumbered by the men at the Rudy’s on 620.  Every table in this place is a long, family-style, picnic table with lots of chairs or picnic benches if you sit outside.  What that means is that you’ll likely sit beside someone you don’t know.  That’s okay though because the atmosphere is really homey, comfortable and social.  You can’t help but notice the noise level when you eat here for lunch.  It’s easy to take a seat at any table and make friends with the people around you.  In fact, there were plenty of folks walking around introducing themselves to people at other tables and saying, “Hi!” to friends they knew.  Keep in mind, if you’ve never been to a Rudy’s before there’s a beverage and condiment hub, of sorts, that makes conversation inevitable.  I’ll tell you, make this your next stop for lunch if you happen to be in the neighborhood during the week.  This is a terrific lunchtime Hot Men Hot Spot.

Relationship Tip #13 – Date With Intention

In the midst of breaking up with you, have you ever heard a guy say, “I don’t know what I want”?  On the other hand, have you ever been the one delivering that statement to the guy with whom you were breaking up?  If the truth were to really be told, you actually did know what you wanted and that’s to not be in that particular relationship.  For one reason or another, you were just afraid to say so.  My question would be why did you get involved in the relationship in the first place?

Over breakfast not too long ago, I was sitting with a girlfriend who was dating a guy she really liked.

“Do you want to get married some day?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said.

Okay.  What would it be like if someone asked The President, “What are your goals while you’re in office?” and he responded, “I don’t know.”  Huh?  At that point, the purpose and drive of his cabinet would vaporize.  Confusion would ensue.  Believe it or not, this is what many singles do in relationship.

Having an intention is important.  People respond to purpose.  This principle applies in the realm of dating and relationship too.  Intention requires for you to be clear about what you want.  When you know what you want, you can say “Yes!” to the things that fit and “No” to what doesn’t.  It means that you’re clear with the person you’re dating.  If you’re like me, being with someone who doesn’t know what he wants is royally annoying because the indecision shows up as him being wishy-washy — in a sense, weak.  We owe it to the men we date to be clear about what we want.  That leaves them the opportunity to proceed saying, “Yeah!  That’s what I want too!”  or, “No.  That’s not what I’m looking for.  I need to move on.”  Well, okay!  At least we know.

Without intention, a relationship goes nowhere.  You can only go nowhere for so long.  At some point, someone asks the uncomfortable question, “Where are we going with this?”  Until then there’s no way of knowing why you’re spending time with the guy you date other than you just want the company.  What then happens over time is you become attached to him and he says, “Well, I don’t want to be in a relationship.  You know I’m not the relationship type.”  Ummm, no.  I didn’t know that because you never told me.  Had I known that, I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my time.

This has happened to so many people I know, both men and women, even me.  Now that I look back I can take responsibility for the situation and honestly say that I was not clear with my intentions with my “boyfriend” and barely expressed them to him, if at all.  I wanted a relationship.  To him, we were just hanging out.

Why did I do this?

  1. Like most people, I thought I could avoid disappointment.  Without any intention, I set no expectation on the relationship.  That’s what we’re encouraged to do, right?  What a farce!  What I was really doing was prolonging the disappointment.  When you want nothing you expect nothing and you get nothing.  Getting nothing out of a relationship is disappointing.
  2. I didn’t want to hear the word, “No.”  Whenever I heard that word, it meant “rejection” to me.  Just like so many others, I would rather have been in a wishy-washy, lukewarm relationship than be rejected.
  3. I didn’t think enough of myself to actually say what I wanted in relationship.
  4. I didn’t think enough of my boyfriend to believe that he wanted to provide for me what I wanted in relationship.

Now, I have but one intention for dating:  to determine who my husband will be.  With my intention set, here’s what it does for me in relationship:

  1. I respect the man I’m dating with honesty.  He deserves to know me.  He also deserves the opportunity to respond to what I want with a choice to either say, “yes” or “no.”
  2. I can look for qualities in the man that are aligned with my intention.  If he doesn’t have qualities that would make a good husband for me, I can quickly make my exit.  If he does, I can invest more time with him.
  3. I avoid being discouraged.  Listen, quantity does not equal quality when it comes to dating.  What I mean by that is going out on a lot of dates could actually work against you if you’re looking for a lasting relationship.  The more frequently these dates don’t work out, the more likely you are to become jaded thinking, “There are no good men out there”  (my readers know how much I detest that completely false statement).  I’m selective.  I seldom date, but when I do I date guys I really like.
  4. It saves me time.  I don’t want to be in another long-term relationship that goes nowhere.  When I’m in a relationship with a man it’s because we’ve talked about what we want, we are in agreement and we’re interested in pursuing it together.
  5. I hear “No” and I say, “Next!”  The word “no” simply expresses a difference in preference.  It has nothing to do with me.  In fact, there is infinitely more comfort in the word “no” than the word, “maybe.”  I can act on “no.”  “Maybe” leaves me in limbo.
Be honest with yourself.  Know what you want.  What is your intention for dating?  While my intention is ultimately marriage, yours could be different. You might just want someone to take you out every now and then; you may want a companion; you may be seeking someone with similar business interests.  Whatever it is, it’s up to you to be straight about it.  If you don’t know, don’t date.  It ends up being a complete waste of your and his time.  When you do know what you want, say it clearly so that your date can respond with either a “yes” or a “no.”

Special Invite From YMBL To My Readers

It’s finally starting to get warm enough here in Austin to wear pretty dresses and strappy sandals when we hit the town.  YMBL (Young Men’s Business League) is the #22 Austin Hot Men Hot Spot and they’ve invited us to their annual Spring Fling on Thursday, April 21st.  This is your ideal opportunity to get dressed up for an awesome social event hosted by some really cool, ambitious, fun, handsome men.  Buy your ticket early; they’re giving us a $10 discount when we use this code:  SF@YMBL. Round up some of your girlfriends and head on out.  See you there!

26. Oak Hill Golf Range – Highway 71, west of MoPac

Finding this Hot Spot was a stroke of luck – pun intended.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by during the day and there was nobody there.  Sunday evening, just before the sun went down turned out to be key.  Oddly enough, I just put my golf clubs back in storage last weekend.  After all, the winter’s over and I no longer need the coat rack.

When I showed up at Oak Hill Golf Range, the place was packed.  Nearly every slot on the range was occupied and the only other woman there was sitting in a chair beside her husband’s space watching him whack at the little yellow balls.  Once I was in the office, I spoke with one of the instructors, Jimmy, who wholeheartedly agreed that this is a Hot Spot.  “I met my wife here,” he said with a smile.  One can’t argue with results like that.

Jimmy explained that times to go here are in the mornings and the evenings after work, especially as the summer draws closer and the days get hotter.  I suggest Sunday evenings, for obvious reasons.  There are lights so, daylight or not, you can practice your swing.  Incidentally, they hold a Ladies clinic on Thursdays at 7pm.  For $20, you get professional instruction and a bucket of balls.  You don’t even need to have your own clubs because they have some you can use on site.  I suggest you hit the head before you come out here though; if you need to pee, you’ll have to use the port-o-let.