Where Do I Meet Single Men If I’m In My 40s?

I am 44 years old and entering the dating scene again for the first time in 25 years. Where do you go to meet someone at my age? I am not doing the online singles sites…that is just scary to me. I don’t go to church. I am new in town, with a few happily married friends.I have four grown who are trying to set me up (I love them, but what a nightmare!!). What do single people do at 40 and over? So much of my time was taken up with caring for someone else that now I just don’t know how to fill that time. Any suggestions?

Loriann

Thanks for highlighting an important principle for women over 40 seeking love:

You will not find it unless you do something differently.

You said it yourself. You’re new in town. Your friends are married. You don’t go to church. You won’t date online because it’s scary.

It’s about attracting men, understanding men, and making them want to stick around forever and ever. That’s what I do for my clients every single day.

What do you expect me to tell you? No, really. What?

Every day I get emails from women who want one-on-one dating coaching but don’t want to try online dating. I tell each one the same exact thing:

“If you’re dating a few men right now and can guarantee me that you’ll have at least one date a week for the duration of our time together, we can start coaching. If not, what exactly are we going to talk about for 12 weeks?”

They usually come back with a “Well, I thought, as a dating coach, you’d have some ideas on meeting men. Isn’t that what dating coaching is all about?”

No, that’s what articles in Marie Claire are all about:

“The Ten Top Spots to Meet Hot Guys!”

Here, I spared you the trouble of Googling it: The 14 Best Places to Meet Eligible Men

Without giving anything away, Loriann, here are the actual places that have been recommended by a site called AllWomensTalk: the bar, the market, online, church, the water cooler, newspapers, college, friends, the gym, restaurants, work, vacation, parks, airplanes.

Where does this leave you? Apparently, it means standing around a lot, hoping that a cute, age appropriate, interested single guy happens upon you at the bar, the market, college, the gym, restaurants, parks, and airplanes.

So if it’s not already abundantly clear, dating advice is not about WHERE to meet men. It’s about attracting men, understanding men, and making them want to stick around forever and ever. That’s what I do for my clients every single day.

As to where you meet men, yes, there’s one place that’s more effective in making introductions than 100 visits to Whole Foods and Art History class combined.

It’s called Match.com, it’s open 24 hours a day, and it costs a lot less than getting on a plane and hoping to sit next to a 45-year-old eligible bachelor.

…if you won’t go outside your comfort zone, I can pretty much assure you that nothing’s going to change.

I highly suggest you get over your fear of online dating, not because it’s perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but because it’s ubiquitous and effective in creating opportunity. Rather than dip your toe in the water and give up because you’re intimidated, I highly encourage you to check out Finding the One Online, in which I hold your hand through the entire online dating process, from getting over your fears, to choosing a website, to writing a profile, to flirting with men and so on.

You don’t have to be single if you don’t want to be, Loriann. But if you won’t go outside your comfort zone, I can pretty much assure you that nothing’s going to change.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Katarina Phang

    But I need to add: I met my husband on match.com.  And I didn’t even expect I would like him!  It’s all serendipity.  It happens when you least expect it.

  2. 62
    Singlesonline

    I can understand the fear of meeting new people or dating at a later age in life its hard for some people because they don’t know where to start.  There are so many ways to meet new people but you have to ask yourself the question are you ready to start dating.

    Join a fitness program, go to the library or join a club and interact with people make  new friends and get to know them.   There are so many good dating sites online  they do work and help people find a harmonious relationship. I can understand it can be overwhelming at first but they work. Alot of the dating sites are secured and protect the user. Most dating sites have compatibility matching to your profile, your interests and narrows it down. You have the choice of screening who you want to date or get to know its that simple. The good thing about the dating sites is you chatting descrete and can take the time in getting to know someone better  and decide if this is the person you would like to go on a date.

    If you want to meet someone you have to put yourself out there and get noticed, its not going to happen sitting at home and not  socializing with others.

  3. 63
    GG

    Maybe someone can help. I am divorced 5 years now after a 23 year marriage.  I am 50.  I have tried every online dating site in the book, and have had three dates (no second dates) in 5 years.  I have had friends review my profile, my photos, etc, and everything seems fine.
    I read about the perception by men that women get so many messages that they are overwhelmed and pick anyone.  This has not been my experience.
    I have taken classes, gone out for coffee, dinner, volunteered, business conventions, etc. – no bites, not even a nibble.  Though my experience has been that the classes are usually crowded with other single women, and my business contacts are all married.
    You will wonder what I look like.  I am a bit overweight – not obese.  I am 5’6″ and wear a size 14/16.  I am well educated, well spoken, have many interests, and have a great sense of humor.  A therapist told me that our society just doesn’t value women over 40.  It is hard to keep from being pessimistic about ever finding someone.

    1. 63.1
      Cat

      @GG, #63 “I have had friends review my profile, my photos, etc, and everything seems fine.”

      Friends may not be the best people to ask, because they either tell you what you want to hear or they simply may not understand what it takes to have a successful profile. I would use Evan’s advice and get professional photos taken as well as check out his comprehensive online dating manual or, if you’re not getting second dates, try his new e-book, Why He Disappeared. (I have both, actually.) And switch to a personal trainer to lose the weight if the group training isn’t working. And what is Evan? Your personal trainer for love. If he can help a 72 year old woman get a boyfriend, imagine what he can do for you!

      Also, Evan doesn’t tell you to ask men out, unless they’re very, very shy men. He tells you to flirt and give them opportunities until they ask YOU out. I’m sure you do feel you’re being proactive, but it may be more like Joe’s comment that it comes across as desperation.

  4. 64
    Karl R

    GG said: (#63)
    “A therapist told me that our society just doesn’t value women over 40.”

    That therapist exaggerated. I’m active in the local social dance community, and I can think of many women over the age of 50 who have multiple men interested in them, including a white-haired 61 year old. Our society values youth (in both men and women), but it’s not the major obstacle you imply it to be.

    GG said: (#63)
    “I am a bit overweight [...] I am 5’6″ and wear a size 14/16.”

    Your weight may be a bigger obstacle. I only know one woman who is your size who is pursued by multiple men, but she has an extraordinarily well-proportioned figure for her size, so she is somewhat of an anomoly. You might consider weight-loss and exercise. The biggest benefit will be your personal health, but it should also improve your dating options.

    GG said: (#63)
    “I have tried every online dating site in the book, and have had three dates (no second dates) in 5 years.”

    It sounds like you’re having difficulty getting your foot in the door with men. That generally boils down to appearance. That’s not restricted to age and size; it includes a pretty face, the way someone moves, attitude and self confidence. Some of those factors are not under your control, but others you can alter.

    Once you get your foot in the door, your less obvious qualities (educated, well spoken, sense of humor) can work to your advantage.

    GG said: (#63)
    “I have taken classes, gone out for coffee, dinner, volunteered, business conventions, etc. – no bites, not even a nibble.”

    If you continue to pursue the same strategies, you can reasonably expect to have the same level of success. Therefore, I see change as your only reasonable option. In addition, Evan offers some advice about how to be proactive in initiating contact with men.

  5. 65
    Ruby

    CG #63
     
    “A therapist told me that our society just doesn’t value women over 40.”

    What kind of therapist makes a blanket generalization like that which is only going to make you feel worse about yourself? It doesn’t help to hear that from a supposedly trained professional. Dating isn’t easy for women over 40, but it’s far from impossible.

    And I’d have to agree with Karl R that being overweight is probably more of an issue.

  6. 66
    GG

    I know weight is an issue, but I’m not gross looking, just not slender.  I never had a weight issue until I got pregnant 20 years ago, then I just couldn’t lose it.
    I joined a small group training program 6 months ago.  I do 30 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3x per week.  I have lost a grand total of 4 pounds and my body fat % has not budged, which I just can’t understand since I am working out more than almost anytime in my life – except for high school when I was on the swim team and weighed 114 lbs.
    BTW, don’t even mention that I may have a thyroid problem.  Its been tested at least a dozen times and always measures normal.
    Hearing that my weight is probably the issue, sure doesn’t help me feel better either, and I have the proverbial “great personality” that I’ll never get to demonstrate if all the men out there are looking for “10s”.
    Almost all the men online (regardless of how THEY look) are looking for athletic, slender women.  Then they complain that they can’t find anyone, and that online dating doesn’t work.  Ah, “hello”
    In my profile, I mention that I exercise, go kayaking, go dancing, and live an active, healthy lifestyle.  Isn’t that the point?
    I guess this is why they write books about learning to love being a single woman, because unless you’re an “anomaly” you can just forget about finding love out there if you’re as “fat” as I am.

  7. 67
    GG

    to Karl R
    What changes, other than losing weight do you suggest?  I am getting out there, in many different venues.  Also Evan suggests that online dating is one of the best options, since you could attend classes for decades before you would have contact with as many potential dates as you would meet online.
    Proactive?  I write emails first, wink first, ask guys to dance, ask guys out for coffee, start up conversations at bars, in line at the grocery store, at the hardware store, I’m not sure how much further out there I could put myself – unless I start hooking or something.

  8. 68
    Sayanta

    GG-

    There’s this amazing book called “The Truth about Beauty” by Kat James- I HIGHLY recommend reading it cover to cover if you want to lose weight.

    I weighed 145 pounds last year, and I’m 5’6- that’s not fat, but it’s about 20 pounds over what a woman of my height and age should be. Now I weigh 121 pounds after reading that book. Really- read it.

  9. 69
    Joe

    You probably can’t answer this question objectively yourself, but do you perhaps exude an air of desperation?

  10. 70
    Karl R

    GG said: (#66)
    “Hearing that my weight is probably the issue, sure doesn’t help me feel better either,”

    When you asked for help, did you want advice that would help you get dates, or did you want comforting words that would help you feel better about what you were already doing?

    I was offering the former, not the latter.

    I didn’t suggest you lose weight because it was easy. If it was easy, you wouldn’t be size 14/16. I said it was an obstacle.

    GG said: (#66)
    “Almost all the men online (regardless of how THEY look) are looking for athletic, slender women.”

    You’re right. Dating isn’t fair. And complaining about it is a completely useless strategy.

    A lot of the men my age are balding, and the majority have pot bellies. Women don’t want that. I had a significant advantage over my peers because I look better than them. You want to be the person with the advantage, so dating is unfair in your favor.

    GG said: (#66)
    “In my profile, I mention that I exercise, go kayaking, go dancing, and live an active, healthy lifestyle.  Isn’t that the point?”

    No, it’s not the point.

    First, people are searching for someone they find attractive. Looks count purely for their own sake.

    Second, 95% of the 50 year old women lead the same kind of active, healthy lifestyle that you do (if their profiles are to be believed). You’re not even standing out from the crowd that way.

    GG said: (#67)
    “Evan suggests that online dating is one of the best options, since you could attend classes for decades before you would have contact with as many potential dates as you would meet online.”
    GG said: (#63)
    “I have tried every online dating site in the book, and have had three dates (no second dates) in 5 years.”

    Evan (correctly) states that you have the opportunity to be in contact with many people online whom you would never meet in your daily life.

    You’re clearly not meeting that many men online or offline.

    GG asked: (#67)
    “What changes, other than losing weight do you suggest?  I am getting out there, in many different venues.”
    GG said: (#63)
    “my experience has been that the classes are usually crowded with other single women,”

    Find the places that are crowded with single men, not single women. I sought activities where single women my age outnumbered single men my age in order to give myself the advantage. The places I went to were the opposite of the ones you should be seeking (and apparently the opposite of the ones you’re currently attending).

  11. 71
    GG

    Sayanta,
    A constructive suggestion!  Thank you, I will definitely find it and read it.  I would do anything to loose weight.

  12. 72
    GG

    Just an FYI –
    Average Clothing Size Is WHAT?
    Despite what the fashion industry (and Karl R) thinks, the average clothing size in the United States is not a svelte 8 for women and a 40 regular for men. The average women’s size is 14. And the average size for men is 44.
    We’re bigger not only in weight and height, but also just about every measurement in between, according to the new SizeUSA survey, a first-of-its-kind look at our measurements that has been taken since World War II, reports The New York Times, which published the results.

  13. 73
    GG

    Signed up for a grape harvesting opportunity following by a tasting and lunch.   Figuring manual labor may limit the number of women.

  14. 74
    Karl R

    GG quoted: (#73)
    “The average women’s size is 14.”

    I found an article that supports that statement. The same article also says:
    “Government statistics show that 64 percent of American women are overweight (the average woman weighs 164.7 pounds). More than one-third are obese.”

    Similarly, 74% of men are overweight and obese men slightly outnumber obese women. Therefore, the 26% of men who aren’t overweight can hold out for the 36% of women who aren’t overweight (and generally do).

    GG said: (#66)
    “Almost all the men online (regardless of how THEY look) are looking for athletic, slender women.”

    So regardless of whether you’re willing to date a man who is overweight, or whether you want one who isn’t, your chances improve if you lose weight.

    Food for thought:
    The 55 year old man who is 5’9″, 185 lbs. with a 38″ waist … he’s average too. What’s your opinion of his build?

    1. 74.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      For what it’s worth, your friendly neighborhood dating coach is 5’9″, 180lb. 32″ waist. I think a man of average height would have to be over 200lbs for you to notice that he’s heavy.

  15. 75
    Goldie

    It depends on the location, too. I was just in LA on vacation last month, and the difference between the average crowd you see on a LA street and at my midwestern town’s mall/ball game is pretty shocking. On average, we seem to be about twice the size of LA women :) I’m considered way thin for my height and age here, but I’d probably be overweight there. I think, if you’ve started talking numbers, this has to be factored in, too.
     
    With that in mind, any numbers showing average weight/size “in the United States” makes pretty little sense to me. You’ve got to consider your location, IMO.

  16. 76
    Karl R

    Evan, (#76)
    Thanks for helping illustrate my point.

    The average man is about your height, your weight, and has a 38″ waist (average according to the article cited by GG in #73). Therefore, he has less muscle mass, more body fat, and a blatantly obvious pot belly.

    He doesn’t look heavy. He just looks out of shape.

    I’m curious as to what GG thinks of men who look like this. Does she find them attractive? Or not so much?

  17. 77
    Joe

    You should also note that actual dress sizes have changed over time.

  18. 78
    Sayanta

    Joe-

    Really? That’s weird- I didn’t know that! And I’m a chick. LOL

  19. 79
    GG

    I think we’ve established that the closer you are to the “ideal”, the better off you are in the dating market, probably more so if you’re a woman.
    But, I take offense at the suggestion that a 50 yo woman who is slightly above average in height and wears the average size for women in the US, is undesirable by any man worth dating.
    Human beings in general have gotten larger over the generations – visit any house built in the 1600’s and you’ll find yourself ducking through doorways and amazed at the toylike furniture.
    Speaking only for myself, I am more flexible regarding appearance than with character and personality traits. A little pot belly is easier to tolerate if the man is honest, loving, is reasonably healthy for his age, and is committed to the relationship.  I personally have dated “10s” and most are so self absorbed there’s no room in the relationship for anyone else.
     
    It would be great to get back to the original subject, and Karl R, maybe this is where you can help, since you seem so versed in the ways of dating… WHERE CAN A WOMAN OVER 40 MEET MEN (besides the internet)?
    We talked about classes, but what classes would men generally take?  When you’re not trying to score a date, what classes and activities do you enjoy?  When you go out with the guys – where do you go?

  20. 80
    Karl R

    GG said: (#81)
    “WHERE CAN A WOMAN OVER 40 MEET MEN (besides the internet)?”

    This may be a regional thing, but social dancing (where you have a partner) is one of the better ways around here.

    In low-level dance classes, women generally outnumber the men. By the time you get to higher-level dance classes, the men outnumber the women. Different styles attract different age ranges. The median for the serious country/western dancers is in the 50s. The median for the serious ballroom dancers is older. The median for the serious latin dancers is young (and Hispanic).

    It’s a time commitment. You improve at dancing by going out and practicing. That means you need to find out when and where people go out and practice. You’ll need some people familiar with the local scene who can help you out, because the same bar that is filled with a twenty-something party crowd on one night might be filled with a forty and fifty-something crowd on another night.

    Outside the studio, the women outnumber the men in the social dance scene, however, a significant portion of the women are married (to husbands who don’t dance). As best as I can tell, the number of available men is slightly greater than the number of available women.

    The social dance community tends to be slightly cliquish, so it takes time to work your way into it. Skill at dancing helps. As you become better, more men will ask you to dance. Essentially, you get your foot in the door with a number of men.

  21. 81
    JB

    Very few men over 40 go to “classes”. And IF they do they’re not doing it to meet women.You’ve probably got a better chance of getting struck by lightning on a sunny day.Just my opinion and I’m in my 40’s.

  22. 82
    Josie

    I know GG doesn’t want any more advice on her weight issues, BUT–30 min/aerobics plus 30 min/weight machines 3x a week??  that’s for maintenance.  You’ll need to increase something there; maybe add an extra day or two, or just increase the time on aerobics here and there and just mix it up.  Hey, why not join an athletic single’s site while you’re at it?!
    Even if the human population has grown taller and heavier, obesity isn’t healthy–we all know that…but one shouldn’t feel like it’s normal to be overweight just because the “average” weight has increased in America.
    As for the subject on hand, meeting available men? they’re everywhere… I have my own issues (which I’ve dealt with on my own) *lol–yes, I have to laugh*  I’ve met attractive, desirable men online (and off) but based on earlier life experiences, I HAVE *f’d* up my chances by either pushing them away or scaring them off… but, they do try to come back.

  23. 83
    Malena

    Hi GG;
    Back in September I weighted 159lbs, I’m 5″5′.
    I followed the GennieCraig method of losing weight but counting your daily calorie intake, basically I didn’t consumed more than 1,100 calories a day, I was working everyday, took vitamin Bcomplex whichtransforms energy into calories and low dosage of coenzyme Q10  (which is good for many things) as well as vitE for absorption , cause of my job I couldn’t make it to the gym, by December  I was 129 pound wearing size 5-6 (I was wearing size 10-12). I’m sooooo happy. I just turned 40yrs old. 
    I joined a salsa class and it is so much fun and at the same time a little bit of cardio.
    It is true that at the beginning there were more women but at advanced level there were more men and way fewer women!!
    Also, men appreciate a woman that is nice to them when they make mistakes while learning, so this is when they get to know you ;-)
    It is great that you feel good about yourself , try theGennie Craig method, it works !!!!!
    I got asked out for dinner twice by handsome men, I refused both cause I was too busy, one of them came back to ask again, due to his perseverance I told him to come back next month.  Now, there is another guy coming by my work getting ready to introduce himself.. These guys are in their 40’s.
    GG have fun! Looks are important so the men notice you and it is your personality that will make them come back for more or make them stick around for good, that will be up to you ;-)))
    Good luck and many kisses 

  24. 84
    RoyP

    I’d say about 98% of men prefer younger women, IF they can get them. That of course is the big question. You’ve all probably heard the saying “Men are loyal within their options.” How true this is overall. The vast majority of older guys just don’t have the game, money, looks, whatever to get what their aging heart still desires. So they settle, compromise, “grow up”, become “wiser”, etc. and begrudgingly date their age. What a bunch of crap! Older men, let’s at least be HONEST about what we want. Sure, many may not get it, but let’s not be in denial. Confronting these feelings and not burying them is the path to the best relationships.

    If you take sex out of the equation, then age is hardly an issue. But everyone wants to have sex with younger, younger, younger. Really shows how nearly worthless “romantic” love actually is, just an illusion. Nobody really cares, just want to meet their own selfish needs, everyone lying about their age, take my flesh, take my aging flesh! Disgusting this whole game is. We are primitive ego obsessed beasts, and “romantic” love is the lowest on the totem pole.

  25. 85
    Vicki

    I don’t know if it’s because they import profiles from other sites or not, but OurTime.com seems to have a much larger base of 40-something men than Match.com, at least in my local area.

  26. 86
    Vicki

    @JB #83 – so what if the men in your class aren’t in their 40s. Over 40 men in real life situations are usually already married anyway, or divorced with six kids and all sorts of emotional baggage. Maybe you’ll meet a 30 something guy with less baggage.  A lot of people are returning to school in this economy to retrain for new careers. Try taking an MBA level accounting class, or some computer information systems classes. Lots of men in those.

  27. 87
    Melissa

    Most of the men I’ve met on online dating sites have so many issues and so much drama. I see so many men say in their profiles “no drama” but most of the men I meet are all about drama….. Dating sites are useless in my opinion. I can’t get a lemon every time.

    1. 88.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sue, your post is ridiculous. You found one story about a man in the UK who raped a woman on Match.com. There are thousands of stories about men who raped women that they DIDN’T meet on Match.com. Therefore, I think we can conclude that it’s highly dangerous to meet men offline.

  28. 89
    Fiona

    Evan, in the UK this is not an isolated incident in the UK at all. Sexual predators are using the internet here to get easy access to victims (whether they are rapists or pedophiles) and we are having multiple cases of rape and a few of murder which I could post so Sue’s point is not ridiculous in the least. This is also the country where the police advise women not to accept drinks from strangers because there have been many cases of women being raped by strangers after their drinks have been spiked. The fact that people also get raped by people they don’t meet offline doesn’t change the fact that people need to take sensible precautions when meeting people they do not know.

  29. 90
    Sooz

    I’d like to know who are these women who are getting 75-100 offers of a drink after their first day on Match!
    I have been on there since the beginning of the year.  I’m reasonably attractive, 49 and have had my profile vetted and edited several  times by friends who are experienced and have been successful with online dating and I still can’t dates.  I’ve been proactive in contacting men myself, don’t have a ridiculously long set of criteria and yet have entered into correspondence with only a handful who have either bottled when it came to actually meeting up (amazing the number of men who suddenly get colds) or have just stopped contacting me, never followed through with a phone call etc.  I’ve met four men in five months and right now I’m not in contact with anyone.  How I could get to go on at least one date a week puzzles me.

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