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 http://www.MeetUp.com 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.

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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.