Most of my besties have all bailed on me. And on Utah. And on a fabulous life of social co-dependency that I was enjoying so much.

Tobi and AJ moved to Arizona. Brian and Iggy moved to California. Jeff is out of here to New Mexico for law school. All within a few months.

Our group of six almost overnight is suddenly just me, eating sushi alone and getting sucked into my old go-to alone-time thing: Barbara Streisand movies.

It’s sadder than discovering the Oreos are all gone after you’ve already poured your milk. But it’s also an opportunity to start venturing out to make new close friends that I can hang out with here.

I could have just gone straight to dating every free chance I had. There’s no doubt that it’s easy to fill my social calendar with dates. But, I didn’t want to rely on that. Sure, I’ve had many good friends spring up from first dates that didn’t go anywhere, but there’s something amazing about good friends who were never attached to the dating scene at all.

I decided to go start hanging out at my favorite places alone, in between the dates. It seems like a great way to meet people who enjoy the same things I do. Karaoke. Sushi bars. Poker tournaments. My gym.

Karaoke is so loud it’s hard to talk. That didn’t work.

Sushi bars so far have been a no go. The three times I’ve gone, they’ve sat me between two sets of couples who weren’t too interested in chatting it up, and only sat at the bar so they could get seated quicker.

Poker tournaments. So far I’ve just sat next to chain smokers and douchebags who get all huffy and jerkish when they lose a big hand to my big bluff. I admittedly like showing my bluffs because I enjoy seeing their tantrums.

My gym. Yeah, right. It took one day of going there again to remember why I stopped going there and built a gym in my basement instead. I’ve never felt so much like a weed-whacker was chipping away at my self-esteem the way I do when I go to that gym. So many perfect, altered, and lean mean people. Me and high testosterone or I’m-too-good-for-you attitudes do not mix.

I could go hiking alone, I suppose, and hope that I bump into another lone hiker. I see them out there sometimes. But, no. That won’t work. I’ll end up stuck next to some weirdo who wants me to try his cricket-leg granola.

My weekly poker night is super fun, and I’m making decent friends with a couple of the guys there. I’ve never done anything outside of poker with them, though.

The coffee shop. Yes, the coffee shop. I realized, I’ve never done the coffee shop scene. Why not?! People go to coffee shops to mingle and meet and chit and chat, right? Wrong. Not at the one by my house, anyway. They were all dudes who work at the nearby offices, buried in their phones and iPads, and often yelling into their Bluetooth headsets about things that had made them rich or would make them rich. No thank you.

I feel like a kid on his first day at a new school all the sudden.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!