7 Unexpected places to meet great men over 40
By Lisa Daily
It breaks my heart whenever I hear women say that there aren't any good men left, because it's just not true. Sure, it feels true when you're sitting across the table from your blind date--a guy who wears black socks with sandals and whines about how his seventh divorce really was all his wife's fault, because frankly, in his opinion, all women are inherently evil gold diggers or both.
But there are a lot of decent men and women who are single and looking for someone to love: maybe they made a few mistakes in their first marriage; maybe they've never been married; maybe the spouse they loved has passed away. I know this because I've met so many of you--men and women who are a little older, a little (or a lot) wiser, and still hoping to find someone to share your life with.
Yes, it's true there are lots of men who are damaged, depressed, and generally irritated about their past relationships. (And ladies, let's be fair here--the guys aren't the only ones hanging on to anger and hurt and disappointment.) But there are also a lot of men and women out there who have learned from their mistakes, who want to find love and do better this time. Not to mention the folks who had it pretty good the first time around and are looking for someone to love again.
So where do you go to meet these wonderful, enlightened, please-let-them-be- attractive, minimally damaged men and women? We all know that once you hit your fortieth (er, thirtieth) birthday, you're not going to have much luck spending every weekend hanging out in a bar, gripping a bottle of light beer, and listening to the same old jokes, meeting the same people in different clothes. When we belly up to the bar, we're much more likely to meet that smarmy loser whose exposed silver chest hairs seem perilously likely to fall in our drinks than the man of our dreams.
That said, there are lots of great places to meet someone fabulous, and many of them have little or no competition. Where are they? Well, ladies, let me fill you in.
1) Somebody else's company picnic
Pair up with another single pal and survey his or her company's assets. These events are social, and as an added bonus, you know everybody there is employed. Your insider buddy can act as your tour guide to help you avoid the guy who sticks paperclips up his nose or the weirdo with fifty-nine cats.
2) Go clubbing
Want to meet an endless supply of fit, financially comfortable, educated men? Take up golfing. Trust me, men go crazy for a woman who can swing a crooked stick.
And once you start, you might just find you're as addicted to golfing as the guys are. If you don't already golf, there are lots of reasonably priced lessons at your local public course. (And of course, plenty of overpriced ones at the private clubs.)
Once you've mastered the basics, you have two options to maximize your man-meeting potential: You can pull together a foursome with a collection of like-minded women, or you can head out to the course on Saturday morning as a single and complete someone else's foursome.
If you bring your own foursome, most of your socializing will probably take place in the clubhouse after your round. And a group of four women in a clubhouse overpopulated by men is bound to stand out like a basket of daisies. If you're golfing as a single, you'll be meeting three new people (most likely men) and odds are in your favor that at least one of them is single.
You'll have him all to yourself for eighteen holes, and if you like him, you can let him buy you a Bloody Mary when you finish your round. Now, you might be thinking you'd rather golf with your married friends Barbara and Frank, who are fun to hang with and who will certainly not roll their eyes when you hit your ball into the middle of the lake, like a bunch of strange men might.
However, if you're golfing out for the purpose of meeting other people, you'll be far less likely to socialize with strangers if you go with a couple you already know. That is, unless Barb and Frank are shameless matchmakers who are willing to lure charming bachelors to your table. Or your cart.
The best news about dating a man who likes to golf: he has his own friends and his own interests (okay, interest)--which means he won't be spending all his time hanging around your house in his bathrobe, hoping you'll entertain him. Finally, don't worry about whether or not you're any good--nobody is.
3) Join a motorcycle gang
Over-forty men are drawn to Harley-Davidsons like flies to sugar cookies. Whether you join a local motorcycle "gang" (check your dealership for a group of enthusiasts in your area--some even host single-rider groups) or go it alone, motorcycle riding is another man-friendly pastime and a great way to get you out on the town. Just make sure you wear a helmet.
4) Marianne Williamson, Meet Wayne Dyer
If you're looking to meet someone as interested in self-growth as you are, attending lectures, conferences, and seminars by spiritual and self-development leaders can be a great place to start. Most of us get tear-our-hair-out frustrated by the frequent negativity of the male mind--and hanging out with a bunch of men who're actively seeking to live a more positive, meaningful, inspired life is a good place to start.
Weekend conferences are best if you're hoping to meet other people, because they offer more chances to socialize than day-long seminars provide. If the conference feels too pricey, contact the organization or speaker and see if there's a way you can work at the event in exchange for free admission. Yes, the crowd will be 70 percent women, but the men will be good ones.
5) Romance and power tools
Most cities have some type of philanthropic singles organizations, and whether a group attracts young singles or mature singles depends on the city and the group. The best part of meeting people through volunteer work? You help make the world a better place and meet a lot of like-minded eligibles. (Besides, helping others gives you good dating karma.)
If there are no volunteer groups in your area catering specifically to singles, check out Habitat for Humanity, www.habitat.org. It's a great way to meet people of all ages, and you get to spend the day in the sunshine using power tools. What could be better?
6) Charity benefits
Charity dinners do attract a moneyed crowd, but the best way to meet people will actually get you in for free. (Hey, there's no reason to put your nest egg in jeopardy just to have a fancy night out on the town. And be careful when you get there--one wild night with an auction paddle could have you eating cat food in your eighties.)
The secret to attending all the biggest charity benefits in your city? Volunteer! Volunteers generally eat for free, and you can go out on the town for as many nights as your closet will allow. Charities are always looking for warm bodies to help with auction items, ticket-taking, setup, and other odd jobs on the day of the event.
The best job? Checking people in at the door--you'll get to meet every person who attends and better yet, you'll know if that sharp-dressed charmer has tickets for two. Plus, it won't be blatantly obvious that you're flirting up a storm, because it's your job to be charming and nice.
7) Parties once-removed: six degrees of barbeque
You know how you always invite the same seventeen people to all of your parties? Bring some new blood to the old gang. With Parties Once-Removed, everybody you invite brings someone that nobody else in the group knows. Think of it as six degrees of separation, only backwards. Voila! You'll have a party full of brand-new people who already get along great with your closest friends.
Excerpted from Lisa Daily's brand new dating book, HOW TO DATE LIKE A GROWN-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Get Out There, Get Lucky, or Even Get Married in Your 40s, 50s and Beyond. You can WIN one of 25 signed copies of HOW TO DATE LIKE A GROWN-UP all month. To register, or get more of Lisa's free dating articles, tips and advice visit