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Meet The Perfect Guy Within Your Social Circle

The man of your dreams could be closer than you think. Here's how you can use your network of friends to find him.

What if we told you there's a 70 percent chance that someone in your social circle already knows your future husband? You'd no doubt start scanning the crowd at your buds' b-day bashes more carefully. Well, keep your eyes peeled, because a study of married couples showed exactly that: seven out of 10 reported having met through mutual acquaintances.

"Because we tend to associate with people who are similar to us, we end up having things in common with even friends of friends of friends," says James Fowler, PhD, who cites the study in his book Connected: The Surprising Power Of Our Social Networks And How They Shape Our Lives. That's why sparks are so likely to fly when you're chatting with a cute guy to whom you are socially linked. But, of course, knowing that the love of your life is just a few introductions away won't help you actually meet him. You have to get out there and mingle. Here's how.

Describe Mr. Right.

When it comes to your love life, being a little pushy can be a good thing. "You have to let your friends know that you're looking and also what kind of guy you're looking for," says psychologist and dating coach Barbara Cox, PhD, who points out a bonus: "Verbalizing your desires actually helps you form a firmer idea of what you want."

But no matter how detailed you are in describing, your friends still won't have perfect Mr. Right radars for you. So if a pal insists there's no way you could possibly be interested in any of the dozens of single guys she plays frisbee with after work, don't take her word for it, says Evan Marc Katz, co-author of Why You're Still Single. Offer to be her team's biggest fan, and check them out for yourself. "Don't be shy about putting yourself in a position to meet friends of friends, even if it seems awkward at first," Katz advises.

Stick to groups.

Big group outings are the best way to literally bump into guys at the edge of your social circle. "If you don't get along with a guy, there's no pressure to keep talking to him," Cox says. And if you're out doing something you enjoy (bowling, quiz night, a dinner party), you're more likely to be relaxed, charming, and at your best.

Another great idea: Throw a party, and ask every friend to bring a single person of the opposite sex. At worst, you'll end up with a few more friends...and you know what that means: "The more new friends you make, the more eligible guys you meet," says professional matchmaker Janis Spindel, author of How To Date Men.

Get online.

"Facebook gives you easy access to that pool of people in which so many singles find a partner," Fowler says. Shamelessly browse for hot guys in friends' photos. If you find one, ask that friend if he's cool and if it's okay to contact him. Yes on both counts? Tell the hottie your mutual pal thought you should get to know each other ASAP.

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