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After 16 months of blogging…

After 123 posts published…

After 92,155 words written… (That’s one-and-a-half Harry Potter books, folks!)

I — along with the help of every reader in this community —  have come to one solid conclusion: Dating. Isn’t. Easy.

And guess what? Not only is dating not easy, but getting to the point where we can say “dating is not easy” . . . is not easy! Confused yet? Let me explain.

Basically, you’ve gotta go on a date to know it’s tough. But getting a date? Not so simple. It requires quite a bit:

    • Having enough self confidence to believe you’re dateable
    • Getting out of your comfort zone
    • Positioning yourself in places where you might meet new people
    • Building up the courage to actually say hello to a stranger
    • Deciphering whether said stranger is even single, let alone good dating material
    • Figuring out how to make the awkward transition from a meet-up to a first date

Phew! I’m tired just thinking about it.

You see, before we can even deal with all the hardships and struggles of dating, we have to actually meet someone and start dating them. And for a singleton like me, this can sometimes seem like the most difficult part of the equation. I call it clearing the hello hurdle.

My brother recently forwarded me an article titled “10 places to meet more dates” (courtesy of Yahoo! News and Match.com). It’s a mish-mash of advice from ten people sharing their discoveries of great places to meet other singles.

Let’s get one out of the way right away: CHURCH. Holly suggests meeting someone at your local place of worship is the best way to go. She claims, “You already know they’re good, which you can’t learn at a bar!” As an avid churchgoer and a growing Christian, I can guarantee there is so much wrong with this. Yes, meeting singles at church is great in theory. But just because a single attends church doesn’t make him or her a saint. (Often far from it!) And actually making a connection with someone in church is still tough! I mean, how do you make sharing a hymnal sexy? (Please don’t answer this.)

Moving on, Sasha says, “Hands down, the greatest place for people to meet each other has to be a book-signing event.” Who am I trying to meet? John Grisham? A crazed fan? Don’t know how practical this is, especially since the average person doesn’t actually attend that many book signings in a lifetime. But as a writer, I do think this idea is romantic in a geeky kind of way.

David says singles should “bet on finding love at a poker tournament.” This one in particular is the reason my brother forwarded me the article, because my siblings and I have been known to enjoy a poker tourney or two. The odds of finding love are usually in my favor, as the tables draw about 20 guys to every one girl. But then you start talking and realize that most of these “men” really do play poker for a living… like online… like 16 hours a day… like in their parents’ basement…. and suddenly the lure of finding love at the World Series of Poker becomes a little less romantic.

Peter sees love as a race. “Join a local co-ed triathlon training group or sign up for a 10k race with some others.” This I can see working. The shared interest thing is a big draw and can help form an immediate connection. For this particular interest, however, I’d suggest being an actual runner first. If you run like me (which is more of an old-lady-elbows-out-speed-walk), you might not want to embarrass yourself in front of sexy marathoners.

Ron likes to meet others while giving back to the community. He claims it “automatically puts you in a feel-good setting with like-minded, educated, concerned people who care about more than clubs and bars and partying.” This might be my favorite one on the list. I love charity activities and I participate in them for a reason. Finding someone that feels the same warms my heart. Plus, a man that plays soccer with kids at an orphanage or builds a house for a family in need is just plain sexy. Sigh.

The advice in the article goes on…

Olivia says “the cosmetics counter of a chic department store is great place to meet women.” Yeah, that moment when I’m trying on different shades of concealer to cover up my zits is exactly when I want to meet a hot hunk.

Belisa offers some completely sound advice: “Yoga is a great place for men to meet women. . . And you really see what everyone looks like. There aren’t a lot of clothes.” This sounds like my worst nightmare. Okay, it’s a tie between this and that nightmare I have about eating a spider in my sleep.

From Nicole: “I think a great place to meet guys is a cooking class.” Amen and amen! I have yet to try this, but I’ve always claimed in faith that I will marry a man who is an amazing chef. The kitchen is my favorite place to find treats to eat such as Wheat Thins and chocolate covered pretzels. And it’s a room of the house I love to clean! But the cooking part? Not so much. I’m going to sign up for a cooking class in the near future. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Simon claims singles should find shopping buddies to connect with. He says, “The best place to meet future spouses in New York is the Barneys Warehouse sale.” Fundamental problem with this approach: Most men that want to be my “shopping buddy” aren’t necessarily interested in women, if you know what I men.

Andrea says, “Believe it or not, shooting ranges are a hot hook-up spot.” No comment.

So there you have it: Ten places to meet other singles.

      1. Church
      2. Book-signing event
      3. Poker tournament
      4. Marathon
      5. Charity activity
      6. Cosmetics counter
      7. Yoga class
      8. Cooking class
      9. Shopping
      10. Shooting range

Have any of you tried any of these? How did it go?

Do you have any other ideas to add to the list?

~Ruth