Are you single again? Have you been out of the dating pool since Reagan was president? Does the mere task of finding a suitable man have beads of sweat popping out on your upper lip? If you even had a twinge of confirmation to at least one of these questions, you may need a refresher course on meet men. It’s not difficult, but it can be time-consuming, so be prepared to invest at least several hours a week.
1. Determine what you are looking for in a man. Is it companionship or courtship that brings you to the scary precipice of the dating cliff? Is it sex or excitement? Do you want a long-term relationship and even marriage with Mr. Right, or is Mr. Right Now more your style? Jot down on a pad of paper your ideal man. Are most of your descriptors “hot,” “tall” and “athletic,” or do they lean more towards “family oriented,” “employed,” “smart” and “likes kids”? These adjectives will help you narrow the search, so keep your list handy.
2. Go online. There thousands of websites to help you narrow a search for your next man, and most will let you search for free. Many websites for singles are religion-oriented, others simply go by age, marital status and hobby likes and dislikes (see Resources below). Most of the online dating communities will eventually charge you a nominal fee to peruse and communicate with other singles. Charging for a dating service is normal and helps weed out the players–those who are just looking for sexual encounter and those who misrepresent themselves online.
3. Find local singles events. Almost every city and town has a community bulletin board posted online. Listed under “community” or sometimes “things to do” sections, you will find lists of events for singles. From dances to cookouts, paintball games and trail rides, there is an abundant availability of singles looking to do the same things you want to do.
4. Join a gym or health club. It’s healthy for you and a safe and somewhat public place to meet and get to know men without committing to an entire date. Both men and women like the casual camaraderie of the health club atmosphere, and you may even get the added benefit of toning your body at the same time.
5. Go to bookstores. Unless you have been in a cave for the last decade, you’ve witnessed the phenomenon of mega bookstores. They build entire living rooms and coffee shops to cater to the people who want to read in a crowd. A lot of single men hang out in bookstores not only to read, but to meet single women who actually like to read as well. The atmosphere is calm and conducive to that first line, “what are you reading?”
6. Go shopping in grocery stores. Yes, single men shop for food, too. Look for the man who has a few items in his cart, looks somewhat confused at the vegetable stand but has plenty of cheese doodles. This actually signals “well-rounded” for today’s single guy. If he has a nice bottle of red wine tucked away near the corn chips and summer sausage, he may be a keeper.
7. Check out the bar scene. If all else fails, men do still frequent bars and social clubs. This doesn’t have to be the bottom of the barrel in your search, but your mom will agree that you should try the aforementioned before dabbing the mentholated “icy hot” sports creme behind your ears, donning a football jersey and heading to the local sports bar. But if you do, order a beer and nachos so you don’t stick out like a gal on the hunt.