I've had several requests to comment on the dating scene in Austin, or interview someone more knowledgeable than I. I've held out writing about it because none of my single friends show any interest in being interviewed on this topic, and only wish to tell me dating horror stories. But along the way I've asked questions, so I'm going to try and report on what I've gathered over the past couple years.
- No one seems to think that there's a good bar in town to meet people at. My husband and I were going over all the couples we know over dinner tonight and couldn't think of any that met at a bar.*
- Most of the couples we know met either in school or at work. Assuming you are done with school, perhaps you could look for jobs at places with an active social atmosphere.
- I've known quite a few couples who met online. Some of my coworkers swear by OKCupid, an online dating service that seems to attract more liberals and/or non-religious clientele. My coworkers also clued me in to the awesomeness that is OKtrends, OkCupid's blog that offers dating research. Go there for help with picking out your best profile pic.
- I think that trying to find friends in a new town has got to be at least slightly similar to dating in a new town. I had some luck going to my professional organization's meetups, and joining social groups that I found online, like at meetup.com. My alumni group is extremely active in town, and if I didn't think that most USC alumni were Greek douche-bags I would probably go to one of the events.
- I worked briefly at a church in town (as a closet agnostic) and was impressed / slightly shocked at the level of match-making going on. If you are into that scene, I would get in with the church administration ladies who will make it their mission in life to connect you with someone.
- There's a lot of music festivals that you could volunteer at, like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.
* I should say that this isn't quite true -- we do know of one couple, "Kim" and "Jay," who met at a bar. They dated for three years, and a month before the wedding Kim found out that Jay wasn't in med school, nor was he using his real name with her. He had never finished college and was a waiter at Bennigans. Needless to say they did not end up getting married.