Tag Archives: Manchester

Want to meet new people in Manchester? I did and my life changed for the better.

 

Social Circle celebrated 10 years of introducing friends in 2017.

Over 10 years ago, I found myself alone in Manchester after my life and marriage fell apart. I took the first job I could.  I was a divorced 30-something father-of-two in a strange city with no friends locally. I missed company on a weekend. I realised that had to change and I needed to get out there and meet new people. 

My days of picking up strangers in a club were long behind me. I wanted something meaningful.  Something real that happened naturally. Even today, the large majority of people find their significant others through friends. I decided my social life needed a boost.

I told myself that whatever was meant for me, whether it be love or friendship, would not pass me by.

I set up dating profiles on every website going.   I even downloaded those apps and got swiping. But what could I bring to the table?  All work and no play made for awkward and dull conversations and my profile was like every other out there.  I got tired quickly of it all. I am a romantic at heart and believe that a good relationship starts naturally, without pressure, between friends sharing mutual interests.  

So I joined existing social groups. But  they were lacking in so many ways.  I could not find a group that suited my needs as a thirty-something.  It was either boozy nights out for students, gentle health walks for silver-haired retirees or clubs for semi-pro runners.  Come Friday, after a busy week at work, I just wanted fun on my doorstep with people who had similar interests to me. I did not want to be stuck to doing one thing on one night. I wanted my social calendar to work around me.

There had to be more people like me? Right?  Surely other singles were looking to meet new people?

Fortunately my hunch was correct.  Before long I had found other funny, genuine and smart men and women who had also experienced a major life change and wanted to meet new people – but didn’t know where to start.

 A pint at the Slug and Lettuce  turned into hiking adventures, meals out at restaurants and evenings at local comedy clubs.  I found there was always a new friend willing to join me at the cinema or share a laugh at the Frog and Bucket. As my social circle grew, so did my confidence. I found I wanted to try more events as my new friends introduced me to their friends.

It turned out I was doing everyone a favour by starting Social Circle.

 We all want to try something new, but we are often time-poor or exhausted from work (or both!) to organise anything ourselves.  Word soon got around that you could just book an event and turn up. I went from Billy-no-mates to always being the centre of attention at parties. I always had offers of dates.   After all, I seemed like a fun and interesting guy who found it easy to meet new friends!

Soon I had built an action packed calendar with events taking place at top Manchester Venues every night of the week and lots of new people joining us.  People, just like me and you. Soon I had to recruit a team of  hosts to make sure each event ran smoothly and that everyone got a warm welcome.  Of course, all our hosts are also members so know exactly what it is like to be a nervous newbie.

Yet, I am proud to say that after all this time, I am still close friends with the people who took a chance on having a drink with a stranger on a Friday night.

In fact it was one of my Social Circle friends,  who suggested that I organise a weekend away for Social Circle to Barcelona.   It just so happened that a new member Louise, decided that she would book the trip.  It was love at first sight and 2012 she became my wife.

Steve and Louise on their Wedding Day. A Social Circle Success Story!

Who knew that within years after turning up to my first event, that I would have a thriving business,  great friends and have met the love of my life?

So take a chance and step out there.  You never know where it may lead.

5 Ways to Exercise for the Gym-Phobic.

Rather hide under the duvet, than head to the gym?

It’s that time of year again.  That dreaded time where we stand naked in a cold bathroom and stare at the scales in utter disbelief.    We all know the importance of keeping fit and healthy.  If your doctor has not recommended you lose a few pounds, then the endless stream of media telling you that weight loss will make you irresistible/an internet celebrity/immortal* will probably have burned itself to the inside of your eyelids.   

Admit it. You hate the gym. You would rather gnaw off your own arms off than lift weights, and you cannot see the appeal of pounding the hours away alone on a treadmill.

Fortunately, there are numerous gym-free ways of exercising in Manchester that are so fun you may actually enjoy yourself.

 

Get some Action on a Night Out.

 

Not that kind of action! We are talking about bringing a bit of sporting fun to your weekly social with friends.  You can burn 68 calories** playing a crazy golf for half an hour at places like Junkyard Golf.  Hit the bowling alley to lose 100 cals over a few rounds, and tone up those bingo wings at the same time. Just swap the usual beers and nachos for healthier alternatives m’kay.

Strictly Come Dancing.  

If you enjoy Strictly then you may secretly harbour ambitions to get on the dance floor yourself.  We do.  There are lots of dance classes popping up around Manchester where friendly teachers will show you a few smooth moves and let you work up a sweat and meet new people on the dance floor.(197 cals per half hour to be precise)  The good news is you can bring a friend and grab a (low calorie) drink at the same time.  Those of you who love salsa  should join us for a free class. 

Appeal to your Adventurous Side.

If you have always wanted to try more adventurous sports, there are some great places in Manchester to learn the basics.  You can try Kayaking (186 cals)  or Wakeboarding (223 cals) at the Helly Henson Watersports Centre in Salford.  There are indoor rock climbing facilities that can literally show you the ropes whilst you burn off 298 cals.  In Trafford Parks Chill Factore you can learn the basics of Skiing and Snowboarding (up to 298 cals) and go shopping (130 cals!) for your new clothes afterwards.  

Walk the Weight Off.

Walking is free, and you can already do it!  Even better is that it is recommended by medical professionals due its extensive benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes to improving mental health. Make time in your diary for a 20-30 minute brisk walk (83 cals for 30 mins) even if it is just around the block at lunch time.  If you fancy more of a challenge, and want take in some great scenery, why not join us on a hike?  You can burn a whopping 225 cals every 30 minutes which means you can enjoy Sunday lunch with new friends knowing you haven’t ruined your diet.

Pay-As-You Go Fitness

Ok. We admit it. This is slightly gym-like but group exercise can be a great way to work out and meet like-minded people. In Manchester, you can find everything from Ashtanga Yoga (176 cals)  to Zumba (350 cals) available on your doorstep where you can join in with zero commitment, so you could try something different each week until you find a class that suits you.

Psst, on a budget?  Did you know if you cut out a latte and a shop-bought sandwich per week you could not only save a whopping 500 cals per week, you would have enough spare change to go to a class.  If you want to try over 150 leisure activities including gym-free fitness for less than a fiver per week. Click here.

*Slight exaggeration, but it feels that way.

**Cals based on 150lb person for 30 minutes of exercise.  You may burn more or less than this, but it’s all good.