Are you long on free time and short on romance this summer? While at a dinner party the other night we had a rousing conversation about dating in 2014. One of our friends said: “Maud, why not write a column on the subject”? So Jerry, this one’s for you!
How does one meet a potential – and terrific – romantic partner? My office is a repository of never-ending information on the topic. Based on many intimate chats, one reality comes to the fore: If you stay holed-up in your abode watching old movies, Mr. or Ms. Wonderful is unlikely to show up on your doorstep. If, on the other hand, you’re willing to put some elbow grease into finding romance there are many possibilities.
Janis came to see me after her divorce was finalized. She and her “ex” have two teenagers and Janis has a demanding career. She’s rather shy and avoids the dating conundrum by hiding behind her many commitments. That said she’s lonely and would love to meet a terrific man.
To complicate matters Janis didn’t grow up with a smartphone in her hand and doesn’t feel comfortable with online dating. Sheepishly, she admitted having tried some of the dating websites with little success. When she found a guy in whom she was interested he seemed to “disappear” before a first date ever materialized. When she did venture on a date, Janis often discovered that Mr. Alluring had embellished his accomplishments, feigned his interests, or posted a picture taken 50 pounds ago.
As we discussed “off-line” possibilities, the positive shift in Janis’ mood was palpable. Although each person’s needs and circumstances are different, here are some of the ideas that put a spring back in Janis’ step:
• Don’t beg friends and acquaintances to introduce you to a potential partner. Instead (even if you have to fake it) become that person they want to “fix up”. Use this in-between time to spruce up your attitude as well as your wardrobe. No one wants to hear your tales of woe. Instead, allow them to see you in a new light as you share upbeat stories about your single-hood.
• Take a class of interest to you. A great cook I know decided to take a baking class. He turned out to be the only guy on the roster, loved the class, and met some terrific ladies in the process!
• Look for single activities in unexpected places. Recent economic conditions have caused business owners to think outside the box. Many museums and art galleries are trying to increase their revenues by holding singles events. We have friends who’ve opened a brewery and have made singles get-togethers a routine. And although bars may not be your scene, many restaurants offers happy hours for singles.
• Why not host a series of dinners for singles? All you need are a few unattached friends and acquaintances, who preferably don’t already know one another. Ask each to invite two or three of their own single friends. Have each bring food or a beverage, pick a fun venue, and you’ve got a dinner party!
• Volunteer with an agenda. Helping others is great medicine. And if you decide to do so in a place where you’re likely to meet singles, all the better. A fellow I know who loves animals realized that he’d be likely to meet some single moms and their kids if he volunteered at a nature center.
• There’s an old tradition that’s back in vogue: matchmaking. Folks who don’t like the usual dating scene are turning to matchmakers to help them find potential partners. Although it can be pricey it’s a time-honored tradition in many cultures.
Finally, if you’re willing to venture into the world of dating technology there are now dating web-sites for just about every demographic. There are even smartphone dating apps available, and when Forbes Magazine does a feature article about them you know they’re up and coming. Put on your creativity cap; I’d love to hear your ideas.
The Brave New World of Dating
by Maud Purcell