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Single Parent Dating: 8 Convenient Places to Meet People
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When you feel like time and energy are scarce, it’s important to remember that places that you already visit as part of your regular routine can be great spots to meet someone. The gym is a perfect example. As dating and relationships expert Dr. Tina Tessina explains, “If you go at a regular time when there are a lot of people, you can see the same person repeatedly, until you feel you know each other.” Which makes it easier to strike up a conversation—so try going to a particular class on a regular basis. Plus, as Dr. Tessina points out, the gym is basically a win-win: “It's getting something done while looking, so it's multitasking and not wasted time.” (Not to mention the obvious benefit of getting into better shape!)
A Free Outdoor Concert
Wherever you live, you’ll likely find that there are free outdoor music events happening throughout the warmer months. They’re a good option for single parents to meet people because they’re (usually) kid-friendly and offer a laidback environment where people are prepared to hang out for at least an hour, if not more—which gives you plenty of time to make your move. Before you know it, you’ll be sharing snacks and sunscreen with the single mom or dad on the picnic blanket beside yours.
Parks and playgrounds are kind of a no-brainer, since there will be plenty of kids and parents around. Hopefully you’ll find yourself pushing your child on the swings next to another single parent, but even if not, keep in mind that married people have single friends and they’re usually dying to hook those friends up.
Online dating is maybe the quickest and easiest way to meet like-minded, single people. Even if you’re not ready to take the leap and joining a dating site, taking advantage of your social networks is a good way to find single friends of friends when you don’t have the time to socialize as much as you’d like to.
The Grocery Store
It may be a little clichéd, but the grocery store still is a great place to meet people—and you can tell a lot about a person from what’s in his cart, according to Dr. Tessina. For example, “If you're a vegetarian, don't waste your time on someone with a cart full of meat. If they're buying large quantities, they’re either in a relationship or planning a party—the type of purchases will tell you which.”
The farmers’ market is a consistent event (usually every weekend during the spring and summer, depending on where you live), so, like the gym, you’re bound to run into some of the same people from week to week. Maybe even a cute, entrepreneurial farmer who knows 28 ways to prepare rhubarb, if that’s your thing. Plus it’s kid-friendly, and you’ll get a week’s worth of fresh fruit and veggies out of the deal. Another win-win.
We know it may sound silly / awkward / mortifying, but there are a couple of reasons that speed dating is a great option for single parents. The first, and most obvious, is that it’s, er, speedy. You can meet a lot of single people in your age range in a short period of time, which makes childcare a little easier. The other reason to try speed dating is simply for the practice. Half of what stops many of us from meeting someone is just being out of the habit of flirting with strangers; we stop giving signals that we’re available. So whether you end up actually meeting anyone at a speed dating event or not, a little practice never hurt.