I once had a friend who, when we went to bars, refused to drink sitting down. “I want to meet someone so we have to stand,” she’d say on nights when she was hoping for a hookup. Her logic: If you’re standing, you’re approachable. People can walk up and talk to you. Seated parties are complete and closed to outsiders. Standing parties are there to make friends.
(I mostly use this information to justify leaving places that lack seats. Sometimes you really aren’t there to make friends.)
This principle comes up in psychologist Ty Tashiro’s Awkward: the Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome, a book that studies awkwardness and makes the case in favor of it — but is still kind enough to offer tips on avoiding awkward moments. On this week’s Sex Lives podcast, Tashiro explains that location is sort of everything when it comes to meeting people. You need to physically be their paths. Also up for discussion: the unique awkwardness of nudity, why awkward people undermine their love lives, and the chicken-or-egg question of whether dating sucks because you’re awkward, or you’re awkward because it’s a date.
Location is everything when you’re trying to meet people.