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

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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. 21
    sayanta

    Cathy, #16-
    Ok- what you're talking about- groups of singles hanging out, is different from what I thought you were saying. I totally agree with that. I thought you meant bringing girlfriends along on dates with guys- as in, like a 'chaperone' from Jane Austen novels.

    1. 21.1
      Vincent

      I every thing about about this page is interesting

  2. 22
    JuJu

    I've been doing online dating on and off for almost a decade now, and never once have I felt that I was in danger, nor, I might add, have I ever taken the precautions some here describe.
     
    It's so baffling to hear these fears about the safety or the stigma or anything else somehow associated with online dating, especially now after so many years it's been popular that it has become the prevalent way of meeting people.
     
    Demanding personal info from complete strangers, Googling them for verification, bringing a friend (!), I have to wonder – where do you choose to meet with your dates? In abandoned warehouses in secluded areas? Why all the paranoia?

    1. 22.1
      olga

      So you been doing online dating on and off for a bout a decade? You haven’t found any good guys or serious relationships have you? There’s a reason they go on there, they’re either creeps looking for they’re next prey or complete losers who can find a real woman.You’ll never know what the person is about or if you can completely TRUST them from online dating.Who knows what they were doing on there while talking to you or if they even stopped after dating in person.And forget about if if your are christian looking for a christian man.Impossible!

      1. 22.1.1
        sargon

        I tend to think of online dating as the most efficient. I met my wife online (our social circles would never have crossed otherwise). Her two oldest daughters met their husbands online.   Her youngest daughter met her boyfriend (probably husband next year) online. I am constantly running into people who met their spouse/S.O. online. You can’t ignore personal safety concerns, but there is too much opportunity online to let yourself be paralyzed by them.

  3. 23
    Victoria

    I appreciate the real life experiences & the ffedback of the postings here.
    Evan – I have  been reading your blog, and purchased both "What friends would tell you" & most recently "why he diassapeared". You  have  good insights to peolpe, so I'm surprised @ how harsh your response to my concern about personal safety was. Ask Allison Armstrong about the prevelancy of women who know they are alone, that no one is looking out   for their wellbeing but themselves, and their instinctual concerns about their safety.

  4. 24
    Evan Marc Katz

    I appreciate your comment – and recognize that my answer was glib. Intentionally so, to make a point.

    A majority of my clients are women over 40 and probably 1/3 of them are over 50. So, believe me, I really do understand the plight of single women better than any of your other fiftysomething married women friends.

    And while I could clearly have shown more sensitivity to you, my feelings remain the same. Yes, you’re alone. Yes, no one’s looking out for you. Yes, you are going to have a greater concern for your safety than men.

    Yet you should be far more concerned about being seduced by a Nigerian scammer who wants money than you should be worried about some 60-year-old lonely man turning violent. I have heard many incidents of financial fraud against women over 50, and NO incidents regarding physical safety. As such, your fear is more in your mind than in reality.

  5. 25
    Ruby

    If someone hasn't dated  in 25 years, perhaps they still view online dating the way it might have been seen 25 years ago. Personal ads were just starting up and there was still some stigma attached  to finding dates this way. I'd say online dating is the norm now, even for much younger people who typically have access to many more singles in their age range.

  6. 26
    starthrower68

    @ Evan #24,
    I spent a lot of time lately shutting down Nigerian scammers; the good news is, they give themselves away.  You can pretty much flush them out immediately and get rid of them.
    I guess there is still sort of a stigma with online dating, but so many people do it these days that it's kinda silly.  After all, there was a day and time when we used to have mail order brides.  I don't know if I will meet "the one" online; I don't even know if I will meet him "offline".  It's just an option for increasing opportunities.

  7. 27
    Selena

    As someone who has yet to try online dating, what I find unappealing about it is that it is essentially going on rounds of "blind dates". I've been on blind dates, either as set up by friends, or in two cases, men I met through an internet venue and find I much prefer to meet people in casual settings. There is an *expectation* factor in blind dating that isn't there when you meet someone before you agree to a date with them.
     
    That said, unless you have a huge social circle, or a convenient "gray bar", it can be difficult to meet new people in middle age. I smirk when I read about meeting men in grocery stores – how often does that actually happen? Anyone? I've been grocery shopping literally thousands of times and I don't think I've ever had so much as a casual conversation with a man in the produce aisle. Or any other aisle.
     
    So, I think if a person really wants to meet someone for a relationship, internet dating sites are certainly an option worth exploring.

  8. 28
    hunter

    Women, don't forget to make yourself presentable/doll up, once a week, every two weeks, etc. when you are free to do so..I know many of you hold jobs…and go to coffeehouses, family restaurants, etc. mostly, during morning hours….. 

    1. 28.1
      Ree

      I thought it was just me, where is everybody? I would love to meet a single man in person but no one talks to each other anymore. I get whistled at, stared at and comments made toward me but that is it. I am going to try going to a new place twice a week and see if environment changes anything. I’ve tried online dating and was so disappointed- alot of dead end conversations and some right out weird.

  9. 29
    Jody

    @24: ALL women have concerns about their physical safety that men don’t. If you don’t consider your physical safety in situations that involve strange men, you are not being smart and are more likely to be victimized than your more cautious sister. Until you know a guy, you don’t know whether he is predatory or not. And yes, older women are a big target group for predatory men. Not necessarily for the serial killer kind of predator, but for the financial scammers.

  10. 31
    JuJu

    Jody #29

     
    I live in NYC – it's difficult to get away from people here even if you want to. One would really have to go out of their way to create an unsafe date environment for themselves.
     
    And btw, I have never once felt uncomfortable at the end of the date in the sense Sylvia describes (#8). The absolute majority of my dates end with me not being attracted to the guy – that's the extent of the discomfort.
     
    Sylvia also mentioned letting two friends know before going on a date, along with telling them the man's name and whatever other information she has on him. I would do this, but not in a going on a date situation (and I would think, my friends have better things to do (as do I)). I would do that if I decided to go visit a long-distance prospect I had a virtual relationship with.

  11. 32
    Joe

    @ Jody 29:
    It's just like until you know a woman, you don't know if she's crazy or not.

  12. 33
    Suzanne

    @mic 32:  Uhm, I'm sure your goal wasn't to offend, but you might want to do a little fact-checking before making assumptions about what you probably consider "older" singles.  As a woman over 50, I can tell you that my peers and I are not only sought after, but we're even sometimes considered "hot" to men in similar age groups OR YOUNGER — if you can get your mind around that.   And if you're implying that men over 45 are no "threat" because they've got no lust left in them…har! Nothing could be further from the truth.  I do think that men my age have usually (not always) matured to the point where they are more respectful of boundaries, but don't assume the over-50's crowd is sitting home with their support hose on hoping that they'll remember where they left their dentures.  We are out there, and we like sex.  Oh, the horror! 
    I'd like to weigh in as a seasoned OKCupid user and I'd say I've been happier with OKC than any other dating site I've used — which is quite a few.  It's free, there's a great deal of variety, and it doesn't take itself too seriously by trying to manipulate numbers or guaranteeing you a perfect match.  But like Evan has said so many times, finding love is work, and I think the most common mistake new-to-dating-women make about on-line dating is that they think if they finally get up the nerve to participate, it should only take them a month to find the perfect guy.  Sadly, that's nowhere near the truth.  It takes lots of time, effort, flexibility, and a sense of humor, regardless of your age, natural endowments, or financial bracket.  But I think it makes you stronger and more in touch with the outside world…and more empathetic with other singles. 

  13. 34
    Luxe

    Honestly, you have to be willing to just step out of your comfort zone and live life. Seriously, you never know what's going to happen!
    I am young (late 20s), I don't drink, I don't go to bars, I don't go to clubs, and can be painfully shy. I don't consider myself an avid dater. My point is, I didn't make a lot of opportunities to meet men. I pretty much wasn't going to meet any if I didn't step out of my comfort zone. And I'm still young and (at least decently) attractive here!
    I ended up getting convinced, rather reluctantly at first, into trying online dating with eHarmony just to see "what was out there." And I did it for 3 months. And my honest opinion, is that I could care less about that site. I didn't really think I was going to get anything out of it and I really didn't like it. That is my personal opinion, many people like it. But one day I got an email from a guy, went on some dates with him, and am still seeing him till this day. We haven't been seeing each other that long, but you know what? You just never know what's going to happen. I'm not saying that you'll meet someone within a couple of months of online dating, but you could. I did. It's possible. You might not meet someone online, but you'll get a social life out of it. And really, is that so bad? I'm glad I gave it a shot. Despite me not liking the site, I did end up getting a relationship out of it 😉 Could have easily gone the other way and I didn't meet anyone I liked out of it. But even so, it did give me a new appreciation for dating online. Had I not met my bf, I would have tried another site.
    The point of this long winded story is that I might not be in my 40's, but I have trouble dating/meeting men too. For different reasons sure, but we ended up putting up the same kind of barrier (for lack of a better word). If you want to improve any aspect of your life, you have to be willing to take a "why not" attitude. I'm glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I wasn't sure about meeting someone online and going on a "blind" date, but I did it. Just be smart about it. Stay out in public places and don't invite him in your place until you've established respect and trust between each other.
    All the options posters have given you are great! You need to decide how much you want change. Only you can bring it. Be open to possibilities. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn't mean being reckless. Do it wisely.

  14. 35
    mic

    It's not that there are no older women who are attractive to men their age or younger. But men who pursue too vigorously probably prefer younger women, all things being equal. Perhaps it's due to inferred personality traits such as innocence and vulnerability or the mental age of pursuers.

  15. 36
    Jody

    JuJu@31: I live in NYC, too, and I've been mugged at knifepoint at noon on Wall St., near my office, broad day, lots of people around. Harrassment on the train is also quite common. Last time it happened to me, where the guy just would not leave me alone, was two weeks ago. Doesn't happen all the time, but it happens. Has happened often enough that I would counsel any woman to be wary, at any age. I'm 49.
    mic@30: Sexual aggression/assault/harrassment is not about lust. You need better sources of information. While sexual assaults happen more often among young people, that is not because the woman are better looking, as you suggest. It's because younger women are more naive, more vulnerable,  and less likely to resist. In FBI interviews with rapists, the predators reveal that they are not looking for a sexual thrill. They are looking to dominate and force another person to their will. They look for very specific things in a target: opportunity (alone in a secluded location) and easy prey (the weak and unprotected).

  16. 37
    mic

    That's not accurate, as physical attractiveness is a factor in men targeting women for sexual assault. (More so in sexual harassment.) However, while that's a risk in online dating (when meeting offline), probably as big a risk is a warped, possibly love-lorn pursuer. That was what was meant by stalking, and that likely is highly linked to beauty. The notion of an ugly person becoming someone's romantic obsession sounds far-fetched, doesn't it?

  17. 38
    Jody

    mic@37: You are scarily mistaken. I’ve done the research. And my cousin is an FBI agent who specializes in this. Just because you would only assault or stalk an attractive woman does not mean that you can speak for all predators.

    I strongly urge you to do the research and then get some help for yourself.

  18. 39
    Ruby

    mic #37
    ""That's not accurate, as physical attractiveness is a factor in men targeting women for sexual assault.""
    Sorry, that's not accurate. The motive for rape is  aggression and power, not sex. From the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence website: "Victims range in age from a few months to 90 years of age and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Victims tend to be chosen for their vulnerability and availability, without regard for their physicalappearance. The attribution of sexual assault to the victim’s attractiveness is perpetuated by the myth that rape is a sexual act, and again, blame and responsibility are placed on the victim."

  19. 40
    Joe

    Why should mic get some help?

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