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Where to Meet Great Singles

Boomers have plenty of fabulous people to choose from — but you have to know where to look

I hear this all the time: "There are no good men out there"; or this: "There are no good women." Usually the speaker illustrates one of the assertions with a sad or funny dating story that ends either with resignation to single status or with anger at the depressing situation he or she "has to" endure.  I listen sympathetically but don't share the conclusions.

See also: 8 ways to find love online.

Mature singles have plenty of great people to choose from; but of course, you have to know where to look.You already know that bars are a bad place if you want to find someone who is serious about finding a life partner (anyway, they're usually full of twenty-somethings who'd consider you an antique). You might have exhausted your local religious establishment or community singles organization.

Still, don't fret. Here are my favorite locations and some tactics to help you do well once you get there.

Meet Online

For sheer numbers of eligible, motivated people, you can't beat online dating websites. I know some of you have had bad experiences, but the good experiences outweigh those, from what your fellow singletons tell me.

To increase your chances for success, learn how online dating works. Pay attention to the person's writing — serious people tend to write quite a bit about who they are and who they are looking for. Be honest about who you are, about how you will be perceived, and about the kind of person who would appreciate you. You also need to stay open, warm, and flexible. Don't use a long, involved list of requirements that will narrow your choices down to four people on the entire planet. Instead select only your core, must-have traits.  
You can go to boutique online dating sites that select for people who want relationships and are so motivated that they will pay premium prices to find them. You probably know some of the more popular ones, but there are smaller, targeted sites you might not have known to try.

Some specialty sites include the following:

If a shared political philosophy is essential, there are dating hubs that satisfies to your political views. Gays and lesbians are welcome at most of the bigger sites but also have niche sites, such as Whatever your passion, or whatever your requirements, there is a site that caters to your preferences.

Meet at Small, Special Events

Everywhere, people hold events that draw older singles. These give you opportunities to meet people who share your interests.

I recently attended a few Read Dating meetings that my local library system sponsored with, a site where I serve as a relationship adviser. One of the meetings was poorly attended, but at the other, more than 100 people showed. That one seemed to go extremely well. People sat at tables organized by favorite book or genre. Many of the people there looked interesting to me.

Try going to a small blues or jazz night at a local restaurant. I recently did and saw quite a few singles age 50+. Enjoying the ambiance—great crowd, food, drinks, and music—several singles paired up and danced.

If the weather is amenable, join an outdoor sporting club. Sailing clubs usually have more male than female members, and after races, they often hold informal dinners where people mix and swap stories. If sailing isn't your thing, think about golf, hiking, mountaineering, skiing, or softball. In some cities, clubs for singles do a variety of outings—ranging from a night at the opera to sports competitions. I spoke at one of these clubs last year, and most of the people who attended were 40+.

Meet Women at Spas

Men, if you are looking for a woman, go to a spa. I speak at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, several times a year. The place is chock full of wonderful women, mostly over 40. Let me tell you, the few men who attend have amazing choices. I don't understand why more mature men do not take advantage of spas; they're fabulous opportunities for singles.

When you hang out informally with women and get to know them in classes and over group dinners, you have a great chance to become friendly without too much pressure. From that experience, you would make an easier transition to dating.

Meet at a Volunteer Gig

If you're looking for someone with a big heart, go to a place where big-hearted people go: Volunteer at a children's hospital, an environmental cleanup, a Habitat for Humanity build, or a political campaign. Not everyone will be single, of course, but usually, many singles also attend specially announced events.

If you don't meet anyone on the first couple times you volunteer, pick a new outlet for your energies and see that one works better. You're doing good works; it's fine if you do them in a few new places to meet a few new faces.

Meet on Organized Trips

Many college or university alumni trips that happen when families can't come—after the school year starts, during winter and spring (but not the summer)—are popular with older singles. Chances are, you could meet someone on one of these vacations, especially if they are educational tours or trips with a volunteer component.

Of course there is always the chance you could meet The One in a supermarket or library. That, however, takes a lot more guts. In those circumstances, too, it's hard to know whether the person you meet is actually single.

Do I believe you can find your one and only? Absolutely. Do I believe this can be an amazing person, truly worthy of your hopes and dreams? I do. Do I think it will be easy? Actually, no. But like anything, if you work hard at it, you will succeed.

You May Also Like: Single and Mingle online community group.

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