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Single, how to meet people (men?)

(42 Posts)
MissDD1971 Thu 15-Aug-13 10:54:01

I know this isn't a mummy question but it's a question I'm going to ask for me and few single ladies.

We're aged between 38 and 41 (about 4 of us), totally normal, with jobs, solvent, attractive (dare I say it?!), funny etc. But we either find it hard to meet nice men or to socialise with them.

Doesn't help that one of my friends isn't much into bars but prefers salsa dancing etc but then discounts any men there. This friend is also a church going Christian (she's used a Christian dating website but it was affiliated to other ones and not really Christian).

We've tried dating websites - I met my last boyfriend through there - and though they're good I prefer to meet people in public.

We go to the gym/cinema/occasional meet up groups/dining out etc and also go to the occasional local festival (music/food etc).

I think personally we need to strike up conversations more and get to know men not just as partners but as friends/acquaintances etc (we did this recently with some guys, I got asked out twice same evening in space of 5 minutes! This happened in the communal gardens of my friend's private flat, we then got asked into a nice guy's flat where he had some friends who we had a drink with). But for me it was more we'd actually spoke/hung out with normal guys, not seeing them as partners?

Are we being really picky? Any tips?

Llareggub Thu 15-Aug-13 10:57:33

Are you really the same age as me? I have never referred to myself as a lady.

MissDD1971 Thu 15-Aug-13 11:02:51

Ha yes I am. I refer myself to as a girl really or woman but lady sometimes too.

Viking1 Thu 15-Aug-13 11:28:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissDD1971 Thu 15-Aug-13 12:11:42

we usually go out in a group (4 of us) but I think we're not good at approaching people even when we're by ourselves. Shyness maybe?

Yes, good ideas re by ourselves. I can see we'd be intimidating in a large group!

Val007 Thu 15-Aug-13 12:43:09

Are you aiming for marriage with children? Or just companionship? Are you really too picky?

MissDD1971 Thu 15-Aug-13 13:52:17

I would like marriage not necessarily children. Companionship yes. And no I'm not too picky but one of my friends (the Christian one) does have a few standards I think.

I'm quite open minded and have had more dates overall but I'm more open to getting myself out there and networking and dating.

ladybranston Thu 15-Aug-13 15:00:14

i love talking about dating! here are some ideas (i'm a british expat in nyc so some may not apply in the UK)
dog parks
whisky tastings
cigar bars (if you can stand the smell)
DIY classes at B&Q
Commuting (take public transport and just smile at people/universe)
sporting events (local footie club)
join a coed sports league
trade shows/work conferences
boat shows
car shows
church/syngagogue/temple etc
local festivals (esp retro ones with fun activities such as swordfighting and archery

i'll come up with more, but most importantly, i think the key is not to hang about in a pack. separate yourself and keep circulating, to the toilet, to the bar, around and around. men are very intimidated by women in groups and you have to give him a space (literally!) to approach. hope this helps, let's keep each other posted!

Undertone Thu 15-Aug-13 15:10:02

But... but... ladybranston I have ZERO interest in any of those things (whisky? Cigars? Cars? Football? Why not just say "hang out in a strip joint"?)

I bomb around on my own all the time to things that interest me. I don't look like a dog but I have been approached 0 times. I am grimly considering having to drag friends out for evenings in bars again (which I hate). I don't think there are any fast rules.

Llareggub Thu 15-Aug-13 15:49:28

Well, as a single woman myself I'm not sure any of the advice from ladybranston applies to my situation. I do online dating with little success. Most people I know meet their partners in pubs or through online dating. I guess the answer is not to look too hard!

EBearhug Fri 16-Aug-13 00:33:33

I'm single and 41 - and I've had no luck at ad ed classes (learnt lots though, which was the main aim), and not at the swimming pool, and not travelling around, and not anywhere, really.

Which is of no help, but it's not an unusual problem.

Bant Fri 16-Aug-13 04:56:13

I agree, if you're in a pack, men generally wouldn't approach you. Two or maximum 3 are approachable but that's pushing it.
You'll have to make sure none of you are just on a girls night out if some of you are looking to meet a bloke too - in fact last year I was in a bar with a male friend and at the next table was a group of 6 women.

One of them smiled at me and seemed interested when I looked over, and before I got the chance to think up something to say one of the group told me and my friend loudly to stop hassling them, they were just out for a drink with the girls. The one who'd seemed interested then mouthed 'sorry' at me. Apparently they weren't all on the same page (and we hadn't exactly been leching, we'd been mostly focused on discussing web page design, boring buggers that we are)

Being in a large group makes you off limits pretty much. Pubs, parties, pub quizzes, shops, bowling, sports clubs. All of those are more likely.

And as far as comparing a football game to a strip club, that's kind of a ridiculous comparison.

MissDD1971 Fri 16-Aug-13 13:19:08

I'm approached sometimes in the street (if there are eg events on, there was a street party last year not in my street but approached there), Notting Hill Carnival etc. and also sometimes local pub during the day/night.

Sometimes I say hello, start conversation sometimes not but I am call me Miss Fussy sometimes freaked out by a man who doesn't know me starting a conversation. Maybe I've watched too many Crimewatch programmes!

Never tried that many pub quizzes but I do know 2 people who met at one. Shops - never ever been approached. I was also advised by someone say to go to Waitrose - amble by spices or something high to reach and sports clubs I'd have no idea which ones to join.

Silverfoxballs Fri 16-Aug-13 13:42:49

I met boyfriends at

Work conference
Through a friend, again in a work environment
Work, engineering environment so ratio was hugely in a woman's favour.

I have never gone looking, I would actually say I have been really awkward at times.

My ex who also asked me to marry him but I said no told me that was what he really liked about me, that he had to make the effort and women on the prowl or kind of pick me vibes was the biggest turn off ever.

MadeMan Fri 16-Aug-13 15:44:32

OP, as others have said, if you're going out in a pack with your friends then no man is going to approach any of you because he will assume you are all on a "Here come the girls!" night/day out sponsored by Boots the Chemist. You might get a few wolf whistles from groups of lads out on the lash, so you'll have to go for the groups of men rather than the individuals; although they'll probably only be out for a laugh/one nighter rather than looking for potential wives.

I'm currently a single man in my late 30's and I also don't do any of the things that ladybranston has so far suggested (apart from very occasional sporting events); maybe she will update us with some more tips. wink

All I know is that evening classes and adult education haven't turned up any suitable women yet; they're full of attached mums or retired men. Coffee shops and cafes are no good; there's only so long you can sit in one before you either look like you've been stood up, or have no home to go to. This bollocks movie idea that there will be a nice available woman quietly reading a paperback in a café waiting to be chatted up is quite frankly... bollocks; it never happens (why would anyone go to a busy cafe to read a book anyway???).

I'll maybe add some more of my non-starter tips as I remember them.

MissDD1971 Fri 16-Aug-13 22:08:27

MadeMan your comments are really interesting.

So where do you go or would you go to meet girls/members of opposite sex?!

Also if you approach a female in street/train station (happen end to me on platform today!) is that coming on too strong or am I being too harsh on these poor males brave enough to approach me without alcohol?

Doozle06 Fri 16-Aug-13 22:18:14

I have the same problem. I am the only single woman I know (in my age group, anyway), but at 41 I might as well be invisible! Internet dating has been a festival of freaks, and I cannot remember the last time I even encountered a single man while out, let alone magically struck up a conversation with one.

I've met my ex's through groups of friends mingling, problem is that was when we we're in our twenties/early thirties. Now at 47 all my old friends are settled down and having come out of a ten year relationship over a year ago I don't have that opportunity (can't remember the last house party I went to).

I've looked at online dating but I can't "feel" anything towards words and pictures so don't feel able to message any of the women I think I might like.

I starting to wonder if the internet is a barrier to people having to interact in RL as they invest everything online.

MadeMan Sat 17-Aug-13 01:02:30

"...(can't remember the last house party I went to)."

Maybe you don't flummoxed, but I'll bet it went something like this: wink

@ MissDD1971 Aside from the cafes and adult education routes that I've mentioned trying, I'm not sure where to actually look to be honest. My last two girlfriends I met through work and previous to them it would have been the pubs and clubs way. Don't fancy the clubs thing these days, especially those over 30's ones; I always imagine them to be full of old shaggers of both sexes, rather than people out seeking long terms.

I am thinking of perhaps joining a walking group like the Ramblers or similar because I like the fresh air and the countryside, but I'm slightly concerned that they might be full of eco-warriors and vegetarians. Not that either are necessarily bad, I'd just be worried that they may find my carnivorous carbon polluting ways a bit too much and run off and leave me stranded in the woods.

As for approaching women on the street, I think unless it's someone that you see regularly like at the bus stop, or on the train ride into work, then you will only be met with suspicion; I can't see it ever working out well like in those old Impulse deodorant commercials of the 1980's. smile

One other thing I'll also mention is that for anyone using social media such as Facebook to do the whole 'self promotion' thing, you may want to think about not making yourself look too unavailable if you want to start a relationship (could also apply to online dating). If potential suitors only see photos of you confidently travelling the world, or always out with the girls they might just think you're busy enjoying your single life and not interested in finding a partner right now.

MissDD1971 Sat 17-Aug-13 12:18:47

MadeMan - I wasn't referring to me approaching men in street more what were your or other MNers views on it. I wouldn't approach anyone IRL most I do is chat to barista at coffee shop and he's gay Lol.

Walking and rambling groups can turn up a few single females who are normal eg not overly Eco warrior types but do tend to be a few couples and in groups too.

Meet up groups very good for other activities.

Kiwiinkits Sat 17-Aug-13 13:19:09

A man approached me on the street and started chatting to me once. He's now my husband. wink

Kiwiinkits Sat 17-Aug-13 13:20:23

Join a weekend cycling group. Loads of men. And in Lycra!

RockinD Sat 17-Aug-13 13:52:00

Surveys show that most people meet their partners through work, shared interests or through mutual friends.

DD1 met her DH at work, DD2 met her DP because he went to school with her flatmate. I met my DH because we were both co-opted onto the same community campaign, but then it turned out that we had mutual friends.

I appreciate that it depends where you work, but my employer has social activities, a book club, a gardening club and other things to get involved in. If I were single I would go to more of those things.

I still think the secret is to go out and do stuff, whether you go to the theatre or to gigs, do a physical activity, community work, whatever.

Oh, and never turn down an invitation. The tedious neighbour who invites you in for drinks might turn out to have a drop dead gorgeous BIL!

Finally, don't discount social networking. By following people and activities I am interested in on FB I have got to know so many people and then met them in RL and yes, quite a few of them are presentable single men.

Bant Sat 17-Aug-13 14:05:06

I agree, Facebook is a curse to society in many ways, people just virtually chat and don't see their friends in person, but there are events in your hometown you could join in, everyone wants to meet new people at those things.

Confidence is important though, going to some event surrounded by friends may be an experience but you won't meet new people. Find something happening near you and go by yourself or with a friend, walk up to someone and start talking about something relevant. It doesn't even have to be someone you fancy, you'll have made a new node in your social network and that will be fun to explore- as rockinD says. You never know who you'll meet

widowerbutok Sat 17-Aug-13 14:05:55

A number of my friends have met their ladies at dancing classes. Controlled situation, change partners regally and holding on to each other in a dance. Just a thought.

MadeMan Sat 17-Aug-13 15:43:28

"I wouldn't approach anyone IRL most I do is chat to barista at coffee shop and he's gay Lol."

MissDD1971 If you really, really wanted to chat up attractive men on the street then I suppose you could try opening a conversation by asking them for the time (make sure your Flavor Flav clock necklace is tucked away though).

Or you could walk up and point to something on their shirt and when they look down, flick them on the chin. smile

EBearhug Sun 18-Aug-13 22:43:53

People have recommended that I join a walking group. I have joined, but due to work and various other things going on at weekends, I've not actually managed to join a walk yet...

MissDD1971 Mon 19-Aug-13 13:02:55

MadeMan - I would NEVER approach someone in the street! : Shocked

I wouldn't bat a man away either but I certainly treat them with caution if they do approach me. It takes a lot of front/confidence to approach member of opposite sex unless just asking them the time (and JUST the time etc).

MadeMan Mon 19-Aug-13 16:22:39

"...but I certainly treat them with caution if they do approach me."

Yeah it's probably best to be a bit cautious.

"I would NEVER approach someone in the street!"

Again, probably best really. Most people on the street in everyday life are just getting on with their lives and will not be expecting to get chatted up in a million years; so they will have their defences up if you start talking to them. Complete opposite to the pubs and clubs environment where the majority of people have their defences down because they expect that they might be chatted up.

missbopeep Mon 19-Aug-13 16:33:47

I think the real answer to this is- there is no answer.

I married later than most ( albeit it many years ago) and met men all over the place.

Sports clubs- tennis, squash, etc etc- join some and play in matches etc.
Friends who know other men- brothers, colleagues, friends of friends partners, etc.
Neighbours! yes, really- house next door had 2 single men- one asked me out.
Nightclubs/ dancing.
Work- one long term was a close colleague.

My DH was friends and colleagues with the guy my close friend was dating. We met when she organised a drink with her guy and several of his friends ......

You just have to get out there.
Be friendly.
look open.
Look as good as you can most of the time.

men I know say they look for women on public transport- trains etc- and even over the ready meals at the supermarket.

If you appear open - your body language-and are receptive to eye to eye contact from strangers, it makes it easier for men to talk to you.

ladybranston Mon 19-Aug-13 18:07:18

I'm only trying to help! I've been chatted up at the bar in a steakhouse (maybe a bit too new york for the uk), on the subway, in line for starbucks, whole foods in manhattan, in the elevator at the doctors. Here we have "meetup" groups that are interest-based and while yield a lot of nerds, every now and again there is someone interesting. i do agree that workplaces are good - there's some statistic that 20% of relationships were through meeting at work - i'll try to find the link. i am definitely interested in hearing from single men where they might go or want to go to meet women. every little piece of information is useful, after all.

Xenadog Mon 19-Aug-13 19:31:07

Aren't there singles nights anymore? That might be an alternative to internet dating and bars/clubs if you have an aversion to them.

I met my DP when we were both 38 on eHarmony and found it to be the best of the internet dating sites - it seemed to sort out the wheat from the chaff IYKWIM.

I would suggest volunteering as well; it's a way of being sociable as well as focused on something but not as focused as being at a class if that makes sense? Volunteers tend to be nice people as well (IME) and if nothing else it will widen your social circle which could in turn lead to Mr Right.

OP, you need to lose the pack too - maybe do something in a pair but a group of 4 is too many. I think most men will be intimidated by going up to a whole pack of women

MadeMan Mon 19-Aug-13 19:49:37

I think also we have to be realistic about what we're prepared to do in order to meet members of the opposite sex. To be honest, I'm not really going to start doing things that I'm not particularly into, just on the off-chance of meeting some 30-something females. I know in theory taking up a new hobby seems good on paper, but surely you have to have some kind of interest in what you're doing. For example, I have no interest in Zumba or salsa lessons, so if I only go along to chat up women I'll probably end up looking like a pervert.

I sometimes think of Hugh Grant's character in the film About A Boy when he turns up at the Single Parents Alone Together meetings to try and pull the single mums. smile

Kiwiinkits Tue 20-Aug-13 02:24:28

MadeMan had it not occurred to you that you're at the online equivalent of Single Parents Alone Together. You're at the Relationships board of Mumsnet. People here hold hands in a circle and bitch about their terrible relationship histories IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. (Nice work trying to pick up chicks!)

Kiwiinkits Tue 20-Aug-13 02:25:10

brew for MadeMan.

MadeMan Tue 20-Aug-13 15:03:57

"MadeMan had it not occurred to you that you're at the online equivalent of Single Parents Alone Together."

Haha, no it hadn't actually, but you're absolutely right, thanks for pointing it out. blush Oh dear, I now have even more in common with Hugh's character than I thought, which is a bit worrying. I'm not as blank/empty as him because I go to work and have some social life, plus I don't have a swanky west london pad or drive an Audi, but there are a number of similarities.

Here's hoping I don't end up singing at the local school talent night.

tomgonzalez Wed 23-Oct-13 15:20:38

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Themanfrommanc Wed 23-Oct-13 17:15:28

I guess the level of male availability is low in certain age groups. They are either married,have a GF,are gay,divorced and dont want to do it again or confirmed bachelors.

That doesnt leave a lot left save for people moonlighting as single just for excitement or sexual advanture.

Speaking for myself,im not actively hunting for a woman. I couldnt really care less if i never met another one. That said, i have no issues with socialising with someone who i find good company as long as there are no hidden agendas. If things develop a little well thats fine.

redundantandbitter Wed 23-Oct-13 17:20:56

Vegetarians can be fun you know. .., honest!

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 23-Oct-13 18:32:55

Tomgonzalez I've reported you resurrecting this thread to push your own website.

UnexpectedFrightInShaggingArea Wed 23-Oct-13 18:49:02

Sport - cycling, walking, running.

tomgonzalez Thu 24-Oct-13 15:35:47

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