Alternatives to Online Dating Sites

campingEver since I mentioned that I signed up for an online dating site, people have been suggesting alternative ways to meet people. Apparently, despite all the wonderful stories we hear about two people meeting on one of those sites and living happily ever after (well, at least happily ever after up until now), a lot of women have terrible experiences, such as the woman who agreed to go out with a guy who looked good online and communicated well in messages but showed up for the date in pajamas. Yikes.

To make sure I don’t lose this list, I thought I’d post it here. Feel free to use any of the suggestions or add tips of your own.

1. Hikes with the Sierra Club. When I heard that the local Sierra Club did a group walk three nights a week, I knew that was for me! I’ve met a lot of wonderful people on the walk — all that adrenaline and endorphins make this an easy way of getting to know people. I’ve even made some good friends.

2. Bird walks with the local Audubon. A friend suggested this, and she said that for some reason the bird watchers (in more than one locality) have been the friendliest and funniest of all groups.

3. Trips with a local astronomy club to look at the stars.

4. Follow your interests. Join clubs or do volunteer work in fields that interest you, such as Habitat for Humanity, museums, garden clubs, book clubs.

5. Join a local dance club.

6. Use to activities and groups in your vicinity. There are discussion groups of all kinds, dance groups, special interest groups, and just for fun groups.

7. Participate in church and church activities

8. Take classes at community colleges — art, music, acting.

9. Join a local theater groups.

10. Join a gym.

11. Do yoga or Tai Chi.

12. Take a pottery class.

13. Go to a donut shop every morning and talk to five people.

14. High tea. I’ve never heard of other towns doing this, but where I’m staying they have coffee, tea and cookies once a month at the town hall. (Cookies and tea is not exactly a high tea, but I suppose anything in the high desert can be considered “high.”) I have it on my calendar to attend this month.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

8 Responses to “Alternatives to Online Dating Sites”

  1. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    Some of these sound all right. Me? I’d give Church activities a miss. Nothing like beating yourself up about being alone and the Church will provide a fairly decent club for you to hit yourself with. Well, that’s been my experience.

    Hiking sounds like good fun. I have been thinking about getting back with a local theatre group.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    All these situations suggest group activities where everyone has a common interest or goal or reason for coming. I think that says a lot about a host of online personalities who believe in the dating game in order to find love. Interesting.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You live in a world of 45,000 people about your own age, the vast majority of whom are not married. Everywhere you go, you see people your own age, talk to people your own age, connect with people your own age, bump into people your own age, make friends with people your own age, meet potential mates your own age. You’ve followed my blog long enough to know how assiduously I’ve tried to meet people, going to the grief support group, joining the walking group, taking yoga and exercise classes. How many people approximately my age do you think I’ve met during the past four years? 4. That’s it. 4. If you forget the chronological age and just go by relative fitness age — people who can walk, move without a lot of pain, have relatively few physical limitations — that is also 4, just a different 4.

      Most people my age are married, and married people generally do things as a couple and are friends with other couples. How many people do you think I know who I can call up on the spur of the moment and ask them to meet me for lunch or . . . whatever? 0. Even those who aren’t married are in committed relationships or are taking care of an aged parent or young grandchildren. Many have jobs, as would I if I weren’t here to look after my father.

      I’m not interested in dating for the purposes of mating. Nor am I playing the dating game to find love. But for cripes sake, I have no intention of being a hermit the rest of my life. Where do you expect me to meet people if not in groups with a common interest? Stop people on the street — male and female — and ask if they will be my friend? I’m extremely personable, able to talk to or listen to anyone in just about any circumstances, and yet the way the world is set up, unless I go out and actively search for people, I am doomed to a life of aloneness.

      What is wrong with that?

  3. Juliet Waldron Says:

    Here you go! –I think these are grand ideas–and intend to forward them to granddaughter as well, who seems to be stuck in a rut.

  4. Syzygy Says:

    What a lovely article, thank you!

    And, though I’ve not read any of rami ungar’s other posts, and may be taking this out of context, I’m intrigued by the line “that says a lot about a host of online personalities who believe in the dating game in order to find love”… I’m not really interested in the typical dating to find a partner, I’d much prefer your ideas of pursuing mutual interests, and yet I’ve recently found myself on a dating site thinking that it’s the best option to find other singles – I’ve signed into a world where the entire concept is that the dating game is the best way to find love! Thank you both for putting this into perspective. Time to give my head a shake 🙂

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