If you’re like most single, straight men, the weekends probably have you headed to the bar or club, hoping it is a place to meet women. Yet time and again, things don’t quite work out, and you don’t know why.

Don’t bother checking your grooming or your pickup lines. It’s not you, it’s them. Women don’t like meeting men in bars – unless they’re just going for the hookup. Generally speaking, women don’t want the story of how you met to be in a boozy bar. So where do you meet women? Any place but the bar.

Hardware stores are a great place to meet women. It seems silly, but the next time you’re checking out tools, check out the aisles for a woman that looks lost or uncertain. Help her out, and you just might have the start of something special.

Another excellent spot where to meet women is at the gym or park, or even a stadium. Fitness freaks can bond over a winning goal, or console someone on the losing team. Offer to spot her – without being creepy – and you may find a date for the weekend.

If you’re more of the intellectual sort, you probably want to head somewhere brainy to meet women. A bookstore, library, or lecture could be a place to meet women who enjoy quieter pursuits.

Get in line. Any line, whether at the grocery store, bank, DMV, or amusement park, is good for meeting women. Strike up a conversation and make what is usually an annoying and tedious task a little more fun. If things go well, ask for her digits, and maybe you’ll be standing in line together before long.

Volunteer and join the club. Women find altruism sexy. Find a group to volunteer with and you’ll likely also meet women who are not only giving, but also willing to give you a chance.

Go across town to shop. If you’re going to all your usual haunts and not meeting women, then shake up your usual routine and the world becomes your personal where to meet women hunting ground. Find a new dry cleaner; buy a record at a record store, instead of online. Try a new deli and meet a new girl. Shop where there’s a chance to interact – head to Ikea and help her with a box in the warehouse section. Visit the Apple store and help her out, or ask her for help, depending on how tech-savvy you are.

Join the community. Many cities and towns have community events, from movies in the park to fun fairs. Offer to share your blanket or beer, and you’ll meet women that love your generous nature.

Basically, you can meet women any place, but most likely it will be outside the bar. Meeting women without the backdrop of alcohol and cigarette smoke can show off your unique personality and attributes and add something surprising and spontaneous to the encounter. So when you’re ready to make a connection, rather than a collection of (possibly fake) phone numbers, get out and go and you’ll likely meet women on your wanderings, near and far.