A single dad emailed me earlier today and had the age old question about how to meet single women when they seem so scarce and unavailable. I answered him to the best of my abilities, but I am hoping that YOU, the reader, will have some suggestions on how to meet singles in the area.
One topic of interest to me is the exodus of 30 something families and singles from the North Bay area. The real time dating scene up here, including the internet scene Match.com, eHarmony, Yahoo Personals, etc, have yielded me a couple of long term and short term relationships. The fact though, is there are slim, slim pickings for me to find someone that is interested in a late 30 something single dad of a now 7 year old. I’m not looking for perfection in a relationship, but I do value finding someone who has some basic compatibility in the career, faith, etc. scene.
I’ve more or less been on a dating break for the past year, resigning myself to the reality that this location (supported I’ve found by recent national surveys showing the Bay Area has a higher concentration of single men (65K more!) than single women compared to back east NY and MA with 200K more single women than single men) is just not conducive for me to find Ms. Right. So Cal is no better with 95K more single men then single women!
I tried to attend my old church (about 350 people), not for the purposes of finding a life partner, but eventually realized I was investing so much time there and may have been preventing myself from finding Ms. Right as there were only 3 non senior single women between the age of 21 and 45 (those that were 30 and older had their own boyfriends or were radically not might type!). Unmarried 30 something females, I deduced, really can’t be found in our local churches in any number great enough to have odds for finding someone with compatibility.
I’m not doing the bar scene but every now and again a friend will drag me to a pub or bar. Again… it’s mostly all guys, couples, and women in there 60s! I am not an ageist. I’ve dated women in their forties and late 50s! Still, age is a factor for me as a parent that potentially would like more children. There are relatively good numbers of young 20 something SSU women around the county. While I don’t see myself as being too old to date a women more than 10 years younger than me, I’m not looking for a fling but for deep friendship that could lead to a lasting relationship, aka marriage, with an immediate co-parenting situation.
I guess my question to you is, where are the single **unattached** moms in Santa Rosa? As a good female friend and I talked about recently, there are so many more guys than single women here that women get swept up almost as quickly as they become single from their former relationships. I asked my friend “So that means I’m either faced with stealing a woman from her boyfriend or I am her rebound.” My friend answered “yes.”
This, to me, does not present itself as the best of options!
While I would hardly call myself an expert on this topic, I will say that I’ve been there. Right after my divorce, I entered the dating scene quickly – mostly due to the fact that my ex had already decided to move on and my pride was wounded, and also because I was lonely and afraid of being alone. Those two reasons alone are not reason to begin dating. But being that you seem to have been doing the single parenting thing for awhile, I can see that you are more than ready to find something more lasting. Time is always important when it comes to entering the dating scene again because there are so many ghosts from our past marriage or long-term relationship that will continue to be haunting if not dealt with properly.
I would say that you seem to have found a good start to finding that person to share your life with, even if there haven’t been any promising results yet. I found online dating so imperative because it allowed me to discover what exactly I was looking for in a man plain as day thanks to online profiles that read like a menu. Sounds crass, but it helped to open that door to Real Life Dating, warming myself up to the idea of putting myself out there and meeting new people in Real Time. I made a list of the qualities I wanted to have in someone I would like to spend my life with, qualities from the most simple to the most ridiculous. Must like to cook, must love animals and children, must have a sense of humor, and must sing in the shower. Must be kind and respectful to his parents, must be comfortable in social situations….you get the point. Several things on the list weren’t exactly MUSTS, but they were charming attributes I hoped for. But some listed qualities were attributes that I would not bend on. As I dated, if someone did not meet my MUST qualities, it would send up red flags. This helped me to not choose men like the ones that I had been steering towards in my younger life. I was not interested in going through another divorce! Now, I know being choosy is not exactly conducive to settling down quickly with someone. In all truth, it weeds people out a lot faster. But it also helps so that you are not wasting your time, or hers, when both of you could be finding the right person to share your life, and your daughter’s life, with.
I heard recently that if you were looking for an alcoholic, look for your mate in a bar. Bars are great for flirtations, gathering numbers, and one night stands. But if you really want to find someone that shares your life, she will be doing the same things you enjoy. Join a hiking or biking group, a book club, a dance class….. Chances are, even if she isn’t there, someone in the group might know of someone perfect for you. I’ve found that the best way to find someone is by word of mouth. Spread the word amongst your friends, church members, and co-workers that you are single and ready to settle down. Accept your friends’ proposals to set you up on a blind date, and take them up on suggestions for someone they think might be who you are looking for. Sometimes our friends know us better than we know ourselves……
As for being a late 30’s man with a child, this hardly makes you undesirable. Actually, that’s hardly the case. A woman is swept away by a man who cares for his child. But I’ll tell you, the best chance of finding that woman is by looking at single moms. They are in the same boat as you are, and understand that your time is limited and that your child comes first. I tried dating men without children and more often than not came away thoroughly disappointed and heartbroken. The best men I dated were all single fathers. If a man cared for his child in a way I used to think only moms were capable of, it made them that much more appealing. So don’t throw in the towel yet.
P.S. I disagree with your friend. Don’t break up someone else’s relationship. If that girl is willing to cheat on her mate with you, what happens when you’ve got her and her roving eye finds someone else? That’s hardly the woman you want to end up with.
Readers, how do you meet singles here in Sonoma County?