Alternatives to Online Dating for Mature Singles and Established Professionals
Where do mature singles and established professionals go to meet new people? Are there alternatives to online dating and the apps? How do I get back out there?
If you are newly single in your 40s or 50s, it can be pretty daunting thinking about dating again.
The first thing you’ll notice of course is that dating has gone completely digital. While there is no question that online dating is a great way to meet other singles, it can be time consuming, public, and at times, frustrating.
As a dating coach and matchmaker, I get this question a lot from mature singles. How do you meet people organically? Do I have to go online?
The answer is not necessarily. There are alternatives. But like anything truly worthwhile, it may involve getting out of your comfort zone just a little bit.
Here are three ideas to meet new people in real life.
Tap into your personal network
One of the things I notice when talking to singles at mid life, is the reluctance they have in being open and embracing their single status. Of course it can take time to get over a divorce or major breakup, to rebuild, to heal, and to feel comfortable with the new normal.
But once you’ve done that work, embracing being single and owning it is important. It is part of who you are now. And if you are ready to date again and really want to meet someone special, the existing network of people you have in your life is a great resource. Let them know you are single and ready to date again. There is no stigma. Bring it up! A colleague at work, or a neighbour might know someone, or a friend of a friend.
If you are on social media and you generally share about your life, be open and honest about being single. Talk about it like you would any other aspect of your day to day. You just never know who might slide into your DMs. Maybe an old acquaintance, or an old crush will reach out!
Be social, and join new groups
This is an obvious one. To meet new people you have to be out and about meeting new people. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. We tend to want to stay in our comfortable social bubbles, especially as we get older. We’re busy with work and family obligations, and meeting new friends is not usually the priority when in your 40s and 50s. But if single, try to change that, and make expanding your social circle a goal. And not just because you want to meet a romantic partner, it’s also just really healthy to seek out new connections.
And, being single as an amazing opportunity for a new start and a new set of interests and opportunities to learn. Always wanted to run a 1/2 marathon? Join a running group instead of training on your own. Love movies and film, get involved in volunteering at a film festival. There are endless ways to meet new people and expand your social circle while also doing the things you love.
And while you are out and about, keep the porch light on! Look up from your phone and be present. Make eye contact, smile at a stranger, strike up a conversation. This can be a little out of the comfort zone, especially if you are more introverted, but a meet-cute in real life is a real possibility!
Work with your own dating consultant
Asking for support while navigating dating at this stage can also really help. Let’s face it, it’s not easy putting yourself out there, and at times it can feel pretty isolating. Working with a dating coach can help you get clear on what you are looking for, help you with a personalized dating strategy, and most importantly help keep you motivated and positive. A Matchmaker is also a great offline alternative to online dating for busy professionals. They can conduct a private, and personalized search on your behalf if you aren’t meeting enough people in your daily life. Whether you hire a dating service, try online dating, or focus on meeting people more organically, the idea is that you need to be proactive in some way. Put a plan in place and reach out for support if needed!