People bemoaning the lack of a partner are often told that they will find someone when they aren’t looking for love. This doesn’t seem very helpful, but the truth is that it points to the likelihood of finding love in unexpected places.

People think of bars, dating services, work, school and mutual friends as typical ways to find partners, but people meet and fall in love in a variety of circumstances. Below are four unusual places to find partner connections.

Heart in a deck of cards.

Looking for love.
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For those who like to read, bookstores can be a great place to find love. Two people who meet in a bookstore already know they have one thing in common: they both like to read. If they can bond over authors or types of books they enjoy, they’re well on their way to partnered bliss.

Dog Walking
Walking the dog is another terrific way to find love. Dog walkers enjoy chatting with one another about their pets, and so conversation starts naturally. It’s also a good excuse to keep turning back up at the same spot every day to continue talking. This is an easy, natural way to connect with someone.

Volunteer Work
People don’t normally think of volunteer activities as places to find a partner, either, but they can be excellent opportunities to connect with someone who has shared values. Whether it’s helping the homeless, working with children, volunteering at an animal shelter or something else, two people can meet through work they feel passionate about while doing good in the world.

Fitness and Outdoor Activities
For people who value fitness, outdoor activities can be an especially good way to meet someone. Running clubs, cycling groups or organized sports leagues are all possibilities. This is yet another one of the places to find partner compatibility. It ensures that the couple already has something in common.

Finding love isn’t easy, but people can put themselves in places and situations where they are more likely to meet people who share their interests, values and inclinations. As it turns out, these so-called unexpected places to find love might just be more fruitful than what we think of as the more usual spots for singles.