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Everyone loves a good meet-cute. Going by the movies, the best places to find love are often just chanced upon.

A boy randomly tumbles into a girl while walking his dog in the park and that’s it. Cupid strikes his mighty bow and it’s the start of an epic love story.

In real life though, things aren’t as serendipitous. When you’re single and fed up with the unreliable world of dating apps (at least for now), you might be wondering how (and where!) to meet someone organically. This holds especially true for people living in bustling metro cities; where meeting someone outside a screen can be a downright challenge.

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According to an article in Psychology Today, the most common way to meet a potential love match is in a space that’s conducive to shared interests. This could be at a Salsa dance class, an open-mic night in your favourite pub or even (yikes) in a hiking group.

The best kind of places to find love, according to science

1. In the great outdoors
Contrary to what they show on television, you’re not likely to meet your soulmate in a dimly lit bar or restaurant. According to behavioural analyst, author and career trial attorney Wendy L. Patrick, “love at first sight requires the ability to see”. Venture out into the great outdoors instead: sign up for a hike, visit a big cultural event in your city (for instance a flea bazaar), or maybe even attend a sports match. Who knows? Maybe you’ll lock eyes with someone as you’re both booing the opposing team.

2. Shared interest spaces
Several studies have credited shared common goals as a marker of a healthy relationship. This, in turn, relies heavily on the list of similar traits exhibited by both parties. To this end, the best places to find love are those that are feeding grounds for shared interests. This could be in a bookstore, film screening, travel expedition, heritage walk around the city or anything that you’re passionate about. If you meet someone in one of these events, chances are they’re passionate about it too.

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3. Venues with values
Here’s an example. Say you’re someone who is extremely vocal about the effects of climate change and are determined to do your bit in fighting it. This could be something as simple as waking up early on a Sunday to join the cleaning drive at your local beach. The others present there have also sacrificed their Sunday sleep to be there for a common cause. It’s a great way to hit it off with someone who shares the same values. Sometimes, the best places to find love can also be the most unlikely ones.

4. Smaller spaces
Note: This does not translate to every kind of cramped space that you’re forced to share with someone. And it certainly doesn’t extend to people who you feel are invading your space. But according to Patrick, a chance encounter in an elevator or a shared ride in a cab can be the perfect setting for striking up a conversation.

Source: GQ India