Few Charlottesville singles over 35 are immune to the challenges of meeting people to date. I’m reminded by a letter from a male reader: “I have come to the conclusion that single women do not exist in Charlottesville.” Done with the bar scene, all the women he meets are too young, married or taken. Dear writer, take heart. I know for a fact that there are single, high quality women over 35 in this town and I’ll tell you where to meet them.
Get involved. Women like to build a sense of community. When we want to meet new people, we take a class or join a group where we’ll see the same faces over and over. We learn a language at Speak Language Center or UVA Continuing Ed. We volunteer, take art classes at McGuffey or PVCC, and fill the yoga and mind-body classes. We’re at church or meditation and book groups. “Safety in numbers” has been drilled into our heads so we hike and do outdoor activities with groups. The Outdoor Adventure Social Club is not a singles organization but they draw a good number of single women.
Women think this should be a good way to meet men. Our fantasy is that we’ll see you on a weekly basis, make small talk before and after class, exchange introductions, and eventually we’ll get an invite to coffee. But there’s a problem. Very few men are in our classes or groups. This is where you need to focus your efforts.
A word of caution: you can’t just go to a yoga class with the sole purpose of meeting women. Get involved with activities that are really in alignment with your interests and that you’d pursue for six to eight sessions regardless. That way, you’re not just a guy in a yoga class checking out the ladies. Once there, there’s no need for pick-up lines. Just be friendly and approachable, make small talk, smile, introduce yourself. Build some rapport a few times before asking for coffee.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t address your belief that dating in this town is futile. If you think there are no women here, you’ll find evidence that you’re right. You’ll miss out on opportunities, stop trying, or write women off too soon. Believe me, I get it. You’ve been dating for 20 years and you’re tired. But an intimate connection with the right partner can be one of the greatest sources of joy in this lifetime. Take a break and get back out there again. The single women of this town will be glad that you did.