Dear Neil: I am a an attractive, intelligent, vibrant single woman, 45 years old. But there seems to be a lack of available men that also fit this description, so me and a number of my female friends seek our soul mates in vain.
Please encourage available men to come out of their nooks and crannies and make an appearance. Tell them that personal hygiene is important. Tell them to get their teeth fixed. An unattractive smile and bad breath puts women off. Tell them to throw away those 10-year-old shirts and trousers that no longer meet in the middle. Suggest that they ask a sister or a neighbor for some help in choosing new clothes. Should they follow this advise, they are bound to turn a head or two if they go to the right places.
Tell them to join a dancing class (if needed they could take a few private lessons until they gained some confidence). I started with private lessons myself because I used to be very shy. I’m just one of many women that turn up to dancing class week after week where women outnumber men. Do you have any other suggestions to offer women who are hoping to find available men? Do you think a man would react negatively if a woman were to ask him out on a date?
Dear Frustrated: Thank you for your suggestions. If you are looking for more places to meet available men, pay close attention to where men hang out, and see if you can’t figure out a way to include yourself. Some places where I suspect men will normally outnumber women include chess clubs, pool halls, co-ed participatory sports, woodworking classes, sporting events and (frequently) professional conventions and gatherings. Also, you could try something completely different such as a photography class, a bike riding club, a creative writing seminar and swimming class, to name a few.
I think most men would welcome an invitation from a woman, and would not be put off by it at all. But some may be taken off guard, and may therefore be awkward or clumsy with a response. As is true with every invitation, some will accept and some will not. Don’t allow yourself to be too hurt if you get rejected—it is part of the risk you take if you invite someone else out. Good luck.
Dear Neil: I seem to attract (and get very attracted to) men who turn out to be married or otherwise taken. How can I tell if a man is taken?
Dear Puzzled: Well, you could always ask him. Develop some questions that you ask on the first date, such as: “Are you in a relationship with another woman? When did your last relationship end? How healed are you from that relationship? Are you divorced? How long have you been divorced? What are your goals in dating: what are you looking to achieve? Are you dating several women right now? Have you had trouble with monogamy or infidelity in your relationships with women in the past?”
Don’t worry about scaring off a man with these questions. If he doesn’t want to answer questions such at these, he’s probably not a wise choice for you, given your history. Be willing to answer these questions yourself as well. This does not guarantee that someone will answer you honestly, but it’s a healthy start. Then bring out your BS detector and pay very close attention to whether the man strikes you as honest and believable.