Dear Neil: I am 52 and am open to date quality men, and most of the men around here are married. Any thoughts or ideas about where I can meet men? I do not want to post myself online.
Alone in Cleveland
Dear Neil: I’m in my early 60’s. It is difficult for a male, especially my age, to meet women. Not impossible, but very challenging, and I have not been successful. My ex-wife met someone so very easily. Can you help?
Looking in Denver
Dear Alone and Looking: Let’s examine the process of meeting a potential spouse, lover or significant other—beyond the bar scene and beyond internet matchmaking services.
First things first. You’re going to have to go outside your comfort zone and your normal routine in order to meet someone new. If your current hangouts and lifestyle choices don’t put you in contact with interesting available people, you’re going to have to add some new places and activities.
So make as long a list as you can about activities available to adults that you would be interested in experiencing or trying. This could include physical activities (dance classes, biking clubs, hiking groups), educational activities (adult education classes, seminars, book clubs), religious networks (churches tend to have all kinds of social gatherings), political groups, environmental action networks and volunteer activities, to name a few. (Volunteer organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and environmental cleanup/rebuilding networks will introduce you to tons of new people who are passionate about what they are doing.)
If you don’t know where to find these activities or groups, you might try Googling event listings where you live, or hiking clubs, or book clubs, and so on. Then go out and engage in those activities, groups, organizations or classes. You are very likely to meet people who are regulars, along with a steady stream of new people entering the group from time to time, which gives you the opportunity to get to know someone over time—and gives you things to talk about or do together—which makes the getting-to-know-you process easier.
Other possible meeting places might include wine/beer tasting events, joining a sports team, joining a sport club where people are paired off to play each other, such as a tennis club. You might try a ski club, joining a runners group, going to art receptions or museum social events, or you could try hanging out at a coffee shop. Of course, you’re going to have to challenge yourself to be outgoing—your odds of finding someone decrease if you’re not.
Joining one of the many internet meet-up matchmaking groups will increase your chances for meeting someone, but you can definitely meet new people without it. But a note of caution. Many people are taken, or have given up on having a close relationship, and not everyone will be attracted to you, so you’ve got to have a tolerance for failure or rejection without giving up. Perseverance will be the most likely path to you succeeding.