As children, we were told to study and practice as hard as we could to accomplish our goals. This is great advice to advance in school and work, but when it comes to love, it’s often serendipity instead of hard work that leads people to their significant others. People always say that they wouldn’t have met their husbands or wives if they hadn’t walked into that elevator, sat next to him or her on that bus, train or plane, or attended that party, conference, or fill-in-the-blank.
When I was a single, career-focused 20-something in San Francisco, I often wondered how I could increase my chances of meeting “the one” during my daily routine. I worked long hours and often only went out on the weekends, limiting the number of new people I encountered each week. Today, single men and women in San Francisco and other major cities can significantly increase their chance of meeting someone by simply sharing their commute with others using services like Uber Pool, Lyft Line and Chariot. My husband and I lived and worked only two blocks from each other, so we may have met one another earlier if we shared our daily commute to the office. Now that these services are available, why wait to meet your better half?
Forget speed dating – step into an Uber Pool, Lyft Line or Chariot, and take a chance on love! Here’s how to maximize your chances of meeting your next date on your next ride:
Uber Pool – Make sure that you have been paired with a member of the opposite sex. If not, cancel the ride and request a new one. Sit next to the person in the back seat instead of in the front seat next to the driver, and strike up a conversation! I rarely encounter someone who doesn’t want to chat, and everyone I have met is nice and interesting. I recently met a good-looking, accomplished British guy in an Uber Pool and set him up with a colleague of mine who I thought would be a perfect match for him, and they hit it off immediately! Even if the guy or girl next to you isn’t a match for you, consider setting them up with a friend.
Lyft Line – Lyft Line is great for meeting people since you actually see their picture before getting in the car, so if the picture doesn’t appeal to you, cancel and request a new one! Lyft Line also often picks up 3 people, which allows you to meet more people at once. Sit in the seat behind the driver so you have a good view of both of the other riders, and check their hands for wedding and engagement rings before asking them out. In general, Lyft Lines are more social and less expensive than Uber Pools, so pick the service that best suits your personality and budget. One Lyft Line passenger let me know that he asked a beautiful rider to be his date for a wedding the next day, and she agreed!
Chariot – Chariot now has 7 different routes to take you to and from work. You can meet new people and save money on your commute in their 15-passenger vans, and you will likely run into people more than once since you’re both commuting to and from the same stops. Put your cell phones and tablets away when waiting for your pickup and look around – are any handsome strangers also waiting for the same bus? When the bus arrives, quickly scan it for the best looking passenger, grab a seat next to them, and ask them a question. An easy option is to ask if the bus stops at your destination, gauge their interest based on their response, and take it from there! A woman I know landed her dream job after sitting next to her current boss on a Chariot ride, and she met her boyfriend during new hire orientation.
The next time you need to go somewhere, close your dating apps and fire up your Uber, Lyft or Chariot apps instead. While riding, smile, maintain a positive attitude, and don’t be shy. Numerous drivers let me know that riders exchange contact information all the time. On your next ride, you may meet your next date, business contact or friend!
Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco. She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga