By Tom Blake
A question I often hear from senior single women is, “Where can I meet a man?”
For example, Marci, 70, emailed, “I live in Orange County. I am retired and would love to meet an available, honest, adventurous man. Where is he?
“I am fun, smart, spiritual, good-looking and healthy. I love my family, friends, animals and enjoy my life. I am so ready to meet him.”
My response to Marci: “You sound terrific—retired, healthy, attractive, loving, enthusiastic, confident and positive. Wow, great credentials; you’d be a wonderful partner!”
I wish I had an easy answer to her question. Finding a quality mate is difficult for senior women. At age 70, the ratio of single women to single men is approximately 3.5-to-1. And yet, meeting a mate at her age is possible.
My normal advice would be: “Get off the couch and out of the house and involved in activities you enjoy.”
However, for nearly two years, seniors have been handcuffed by COVID-19. Socializing and meeting new people has been challenging. Earlier this year, the situation appeared to be improving, but restrictions are reappearing.
Here are eight suggestions I have on how to meet a mate:
- To facilitate exchanging contact information with new people, hand out preprinted name cards that reveal only your first name and email address. Don’t reveal your last name or phone number (not yet at least). Handwritten cards prepared by you are fine. Carry them with you. Have them ready so that a pen isn’t needed.
- Seize every opportunity to meet new people without endangering your health. Attend events and gatherings where people are vaccinated and located outdoors in open air. For example, attend Tai chi and/or yoga classes in a park. Introduce yourself to strangers, hand out your name cards, while keeping your distance.
- Don’t focus solely on meeting men. Include women as well, single or married. Make meeting new friends a top priority. Social interaction is one of the most important activities seniors can pursue.
- Be sure you are getting physical and mental exercise. It helps your health and makes you a more interesting person. Adopt a project; write a blog; write a book; volunteer (safely).
- Internet date, which will improve your chances of meeting a mate. You need access to a computer. If you don’t have this capability, ask a friend for help. The internet is an important senior dating tool, enabling people to search for a mate beyond one’s neighborhood, city limits, and state lines. There are thousands of potential mates out there. However, beware. I estimate that 25% of the people on senior dating sites are scammers, trying to steal seniors’ identity and money. The scammers are experts of deceit, preying on vulnerable seniors, especially widows. Don’t venture online on your own. Have friends help you. Write me for advice. Trust your instincts. Never send money to a stranger. Don’t be naïve or gullible because you are lonely. Be careful when meeting a stranger in person.
- Meetup.com—again, you will need a computer, but only to locate groups within your area that provide endless activities. Meetup.com is an online site where you can join groups to learn—for example—to dance, speak a new language, exercise, cook Italian (or any country’s) food. Learn how to write; publish a book.
- Volunteer. There are a multitude of opportunities in your community. Pick a place to help that makes you feel good and do it. Just keep in mind the COVID precautions.
- Sign up for my weekly free email newsletter by visiting the home page of my findingloveafter50.com website or email me. You will learn what others are doing to meet mates.
Cast your net far and wide. Anything can happen. Never give up hope. Continue to enjoy life, with or without a man.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.