What About REAL Dating?

Is internet dating cheating?  Do we really want to know everything about someone before we have a face-to-face?  What happened to good old-fashioned getting out there and meeting people?

Before I got married internet dating was not all that popular yet.  My girlfriends and I had to find other ways other ways to meet eligible men.  We had to do more than simply logon.  And we learned a few lessons along the way.

Lesson 1:  Do NOT hang out in trendy dance clubs with a group of girlfriends. The only people who go there are bachelorette parties and gay men. Hang out at a good Irish bar or better yet a sports bar. I had a favorite place on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. It’s gone now (sniff, sniff), but it was a great sports bar. It was one of the few places in New York City where the straight men outnumbered the women and anytime my friends and I went, we never paid for a single drink.

Lesson 2:  Do NOT go out with an entire troupe of girlfriends–one or two is much less intimidating to men.

Lesson 3:  Learn at least one sport well enough to talk a good game–and not ice skating or gymnastics…a man’s sport–football, hockey, baseball.

Lesson 4:  Attend above sporting events.  If not for anything else, it will be the only time in your life you will see men waiting on line for the bathrooms and you can cruise right into the ladies room.

Lesson 5:  Hang out at the bar of a golf club.  I learned this one accidentally. When my husband and I were seriously dating I met him at the club where he was golfing with his friends. His game ran late, so I sat at the bar and proceeded to be hit on by several attractive, successful men… until my husband realized his error and had me ride in the cart with him while he finished his game. Better yet, learn to play golf. I personally hate the game, but it is a great way to meet men. 

Lesson 6:  Join some sort of group where the majority of members are women in their 50s and 60s. Sounds crazy? No one is a better matchmaker than some single 30-something gentleman’s mother. They are all dying to fix up their sons. Think Sex and the City when Charlotte was at the synagogue with all the nice Jewish mothers who kept fixing her up with their sons.   It’s true of all mothers in general, not just Jewish ones.

Lesson 7:  Join a political organization and don’t base it on your political beliefs (my husband and I did not agree on one political issue, but we had a great marriage). Base it on what you are looking for. Seriously, if you are looking for successful businessmen, join a Republican organization; if you are looking for hemp-wearing, social activists, join a Libertarian organization. If you are looking for a civil rights attorney, join a Democratic organization. These are generalizations, but you get the point.

Lesson 8: Volunteer. I believe strongly in volunteer work anyway. But there are rules if you are trying to meet men this way. Don’t volunteer to fund raise for an art museum. Volunteer to build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Lesson 9:  Let everyone and anyone you are in contact with know that you are available and open to being fixed up. My cousin is a stockbroker and she used to fix me up with her single clients all the time.

Lesson 10:  And the final lesson–lower your expectations. I don’t mean to start writing to men in prison, but George Clooney riding a white stallion with a dozen red roses is not showing up at your door. Movies, TV, and soap operas are pure escapism. Men are not instinctively romantic. They are sloppy, smelly, love toilet humor, don’t want to be bothered when “they’re team” is playing, and love to eat big hunks of red meat and drink beer.

Sandi Duffy

Sandi Duffy works as a freelance writer and educator.  She hosts a blog entitled A Widow for One Year where she shares her journey as a recently widowed single mother of two young children and is working on a memoir entitled Young Widow…One Woman’s Journey Through the First Year and Beyond.  Ms. Duffy is also involved in raising funds for pancreatic cancer research through the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. 

Sandi’s next article for SingleMindedWomen.com will be published on May 8th. 

And, if you’ve ever thought about dipping your toe into the world of online dating, check out Melissa Chapman’s article on Internet Dating for Single Moms