I’m a divorced 53 year old woman. I’m not comfortable dating online. Where should I go to meet single men in person? – Linda
The world’s your oyster when you’re looking for places to meet single men. First, let me address online dating. According to statistics, it is currently the most effective and popular forum to meet great men (and even your soulmate!). Being uncomfortable with online dating is natural, of course, and you can do a little research and get support from a dating coach on how to approach it more confidently.
That being said, there are plenty of places to meet single men in person!
Before getting out there, it may be helpful to do some introspection and journaling so that you feel prepared and open. Ask yourself…
What are my values? What are my interests? What activities energize or drain me? How ready am I to meet and get to know men, with the mindset of just being open to possibilities and without expectation of how things will turn out? How open am I to flirt and connect with men. Would I be open to speaking to a man who approaches me, even if I’m somewhat afraid or guarded? How can I compassionately handle my fear of rejection? Am I open to meeting a variety of men and to opening my mindset?
Depending on your values and interests, there are many opportunities to meet single men. Here are some ideas:
- At a Bar, Nightclub, or a Restaurant with a Happening Bar: Single men can be found in abundance in social settings. Remember, men who are single want to meet great women like you, and a bar is as good a place as any. You can practice flirting by going up to a man and saying something funny or flirty, and when a man approaches you, be open to chatting casually. The great thing at a bar is, if you’re bored (or you don’t want to linger for too long), you can always end politely and make an exit to the bathroom, or find your girlfriend. Go with friends who are also single, and are just as open as you to meet men and start conversations.
- Meetup: Meetup.com is a forum for people to form groups based on shared interests. Depending where you live in, the options may be quite vast or limited. For instance, there may be groups that meet for hiking, tennis, culinary experiences, spirituality, books – you name it! Go through the list and see if any appeal to you, even remotely. If a particular interest doesn’t show up and you’re inspired to create a group – why not?
- A Service or Community Event: If you’re interested in meeting kind, generous men, then look no further! Joining a soup kitchen, a faith-based group, or local community events supporting a cause, are a great ways to meet other people (and men) who are into giving. Plus, they are healthy environments to get to know someone in a way that’s fun and authentic, with a lot of heart.
- Personal Growth or Educational Seminars: Many men and women who are single are introspective and looking for ways to grow and transform their lives. You may be too! Look around at community forums and billboards for activities, or courses, where you can have fun learning. There’s always opportunities to meet men in these places.
- Singles Events: What’s the best place to know whether a man’s single? You got it! From speed dating to after-work mixers, or trips for singles, you can get to meet a myriad of interesting men. Nearly every city has them in multitude. If you live in, or near one, you just have to do the research. If you go to an event and are disappointed, don’t worry! Just keep attending different ones. You never know. Plus, working on your flirting and dating skills at this stage is important and such events are helpful.
- Through Friends: Let your friends know that you are looking to date. Be open to friends they may set you up with. Be grateful and kind when they set you up with men, even if you think the guy isn’t the right fit for you. Remember, your friends are doing their best and have your interest at heart. They want you to be happy in a relationship.
As a coach, I always encourage women to try to get to at least one event or activity per week. Dating is a marathon, not a sprint. A good dose of humor, play and openness will go a long way in making the experience enjoyable. If you ever feel disheartened, remember that this is a vulnerable experience for both you and the men you meet, and requires courage and compassion. Celebrate and practice self love each time you do go to an event. You’re already ahead of the curve by getting out there!
Lastly, it’s important to practice safety while you’re out meeting men. Always meet in public places, don’t give your personal information unless you know a man well, and don’t feel obliged to do anything you’re not ready to.