Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #36 . . . Thirteen Places/Ways To Meet People . . .

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine and her husband went their separate ways after 17 years of marriage. Recently, my friend went out with a guy she met through an online dating service. On last report, all went well. While I admire my friend's sense of adventure and willingness to try something new, were I in the same situation, I'm not sure I could go the online route.

Ever since hearing about my friend's choice, I've been wondering about the alternatives and options. If you're single and not particularly into the whole club scene, how do you go about meeting other single people? More to the point, were I to suddenly find myself single again, what type of places might I visit, activities might I engage in or routes might I explore in my quest for companionship?

I doubt if online dating is something I'd ever consider. On the surface, it just doesn't appeal to me, even though I've joined groups and met a number of decent folks offline via my online contacts and connections. But to be clear, I wasn't looking to date or get romantically involved with any of those folks.

As odd as it may sound, I'd probably also automatically rule out grocery stores and religious institutions. First of all, I just don't see a lot of young, single-looking guys (I'm willing to admit, 'single-looking" is an assumption) in the grocery store. I know they've gotta eat sometime, but I'm guessing after a quick run to the beer, chip and possibly the frozen food aisles, most of them are in the store and out. Now, if one is in the market for somebody else's husband, the grocery store is probably just the place to find him. He'll be the one with the lost look on his face and the honey-do list in his hand.

The religious "rule-out" is a bit more complicated and admittedly a bit more biased. Even though I've been a member of and regularly attended many a fine religious insitution in my lifetime, to be frank, "church men" just don't appeal to me. Back in the day, when I was single, I had more than my share of unsavory experiences with men, who though they quoted scripture and went to church on a regular basis, were certified nut-cases and/or straight-up buck wild hypocrites and super freaks. LOL.

And I know that works both ways. I knew this guy who joined a church and a Sunday School class for the sole purpose of hooking up with and getting over on some humble, unsuspecting church girl, only to end up getting a whole lot more than he bargained for . . . I'm talking crabs, people . . . yeah, the little crawly, itchy, all up in the pu&!c hair kind? Can the church say, "Glory! Have mercy! That sho'll is nasty!" LOL

Of course, you can luck-up (or out) and find a creep anywhere. But the following list includes some of the places I'd consider frequenting and activities I'd consider getting involved, were I single and looking to meet somebody

1) A Friend's Family Gathering--My own extended family celebrates a lot of the holidays together and there are always plenty of single men present. Were I single, I'd definitely try to snag an invite to someone's Fourth of July or Memorial Day backyard barbecue. Unfortunately, in my case, I don't think introducing any of my single friends to any of my single relatives would be such a great idea (LOL).

2) Art Exhibits--I happen to have a genuine interest in art, so this would be a natural choice for me.

3) Book Stores--Again, I'm a booklover and I've noticed a lot of folks do hangout in book stores these days, particularly on the weekends. Striking up a conversation with a fellow booklover wouldn't be that hard.

4) College Courses/Adult Education Courses-- Why not look for love or companionship in an environment where others are striving to stimulate their minds, pick up a new skill set and/or better themselves?

5) Coffee Shops--Just about every city or suburb is full of these and they're open at all hours of the day and night. Were I single, I just might choose a different one to vist every weekend. Why settle for sitting at home alone with a book and/or your laptop when you could do both at a coffee shop and possibly meet someone interesting in the process?

6) Dog Parks--Guys who own dogs, generally walk them. If I owned a dog, I would think this might be a good place to meet someone who at least shared my interest in healthy, well-adjusted canine.

7) Group/Association/Club--This seems like a no-brainer. Join something, a professional organization, a neighborhood association, a writing group, Weight-Watchers (smile), the possibilites are endless.

8) Gym/YMCA--Who doesn't need to exercise more? Were I single and looking to mingle, I'd stay away from the areobics class and hang out with the fellas using the machines and the weights or walking/jogging along the track.

9) Library-- I used to work in a library, so I know single guys do frequent and work in such places. Of course, the guy who hangs out in the library everyday in order to sleep, gawk at online porn or actively research the number of Martians and Leprechauns living among us, is probably not the guy with whom you want to strike up a conversation.

10) Outdoor Music and/or Art Festivals-- In addition to people, typically, there's plenty of food and fresh air at events like these. So even if you don't meet anyone, you're bound to have a good time.

11) Restaurant Bar--When eating out, why not try sitting at the bar sometimes rather than a table? I would think a single guy is more apt to approach a woman who's seated at the bar as apposed to the chick who's getting her grub on alone at some table.

12) Sporting Events-- The great thing about sports is that typically the fans out number the participants. If you can't afford to go to an actual game, there's always the sports bar.

13) Volunteer Activities-- Were I single, this would probably be the first place I'd start looking in hopes of finding someone with a generous spirit and who values helping others.

What about you? Care to share any ideas or suggest a few things you've actually done or perhaps, you've avoided doing? (smile)

Interested in

Other Thursday Thirteen Participants?


Adelle said...

My last relationship lasted over six years. I met him online. Now that I'm single mom again at this stage in my life. I think I'll just stay away. i think you have some great ideas, but to be quite honest it just makes me tired thinking about it. LOL I'm sure this too shall pass... Happy T13!

Janet said...

Why the smile at Weight Watchers? I went to a new meeting last week and there were some guys there...ones that actually looked interesting!

Karen said...

Great idea for a list. I too would wonder where to find a man if I were looking and would not like the idea of the internet. It is difficult being single these days I think.

Kristen said...

Fun list, though if I were to be put in the position of being single again, I think I'd stay single.

Betty said...

This would be a great idea, but probably not here in Malaysia. The people you meet in some of these places would definitely not be ideal boyfriend material. =)

We don't really have art exhibits or dog parks, and the men you meet at the gyms here are mostly gay, the libraries here are always out of date and nobody goes there except students...

Maybe if I was single, I'd move to another country and find a man! LOL!

Alice Audrey said...

A good and thoughtful list. Back in the day before I found my dh I found the clubs to be the worst places to meet men. Sure, it was easy to work up an introduction, but after that all they wanted was one thing. The places on your list at least allow for friendship.

pjazzypar said...

Lori, to quote the Joker in the latest Batman movie "I am like a dog chasing cars, if I caught one I wouldn't know what to do with it". I am perfectly happy to work (I do that a lot) and hang out with myself, doing things that I like to do. The places you mention are great places to meet people, especially # 10 & 11.

Anonymous said...

Haha! You are just too much fun, grrrllly! I'd watch out for the art exhibit guys, in my younger days I met an awful lot of smooth talkers in museums and at exhibits all over the world. Those places are full of smart men who at least make for an interesting booty call... LOL
And I'm not sure I'd want to hook up with someone in a sports bar unless I planned on spending a lot of time there for the remainder of the relationship. Hehe. Good thoughts, though. Good list and good luck!
I'm up at both Thornesworld
and with my very first TT at my new blog, Eclectic Witch!
I hope you'll stop by!

Kim said...

I was in an 8 year relationshp that ended and I'm not sure I'm down with on-line dating either. I't seems sort a desperate thing, just in my mind. I hear folks say, I met my husband at the gas station or the grocery store and I'm like --I frequent those places quite often what gives? But It's been almost 2 years since the break up and I really have no urge to even seek and everyone says well a man is not just going to knock on your door and i just say well Ill tell that to the pizza delivery guy...I haven't seen a cute one yet...LOL

On a limb with Claudia said...

These are great suggestions! I know so many men and women who just look at the bars. I always say look at where you are fishing!

My expressions LIVE said...

Great list!

Brenda ND said...

These sound like good places to look. I'm going to make a copy for my fiction writing. I'm always trying to figure where to set another cute meet. Thanks.

The Bumbles said...

I think your point about going somewhere you are naturally interested in is a good point - right away you know you share a common interest and would have an instant conversation topic!

All Rileyed Up said...

I vote for family and friend gatherings and the dog park. Coffee shops too. My sister in law met someone at an amusement park. I'm not single though, so what do I know...

Keith said...

I have these conversations daily at my job. Many of the ladies are single and they have trouble with dating. Few of them do the online thing. I think the quality of dates you can get online is limited, though the quantity is pretty substantial. That said, in NYC it is not unheard of to find love on the street. Um, not that kind of love, real love. At the bus stop, on the subway platform, in the grocery store. Simply places where people are.

Jen said...

Being a dog lover, I am all about the dog park!! Being married with kids, dogs and a bird, I have no idea if that is a good place or not but I vote dog park!! Dog owners are very cool and laid back people!!! : )