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)