I have received a number of letters asking for advice on how to meet someone when you're a little older and less in touch with the dating scene. The following are tried and true tips that have worked for many who are now in healthy and happy relationships.
1. Finding a mate is like finding a job. It is something you have to work at everyday until you're successful.
2. Ask everyone you know. On average we all know about 250 other people, one or two of them are going to know someone else who is single and looking. Just ask you may be very pleasantly surprised.
3. Have your morning coffee at Starbucks. If you're out and about your chances of meeting someone are about 100% better than you'd have sitting at home in your fuzzy slippers.
4. Use the internet. According to AARP, 41% of today's internet users are 55 and older. You don't have to use a dating site (though I know many people who have been successful at it). You can meet like-minded individuals in one of the millions of chat rooms that are available in cyber space. If you do use a dating site - do it wisely. Some people don't tell the truth about themselves.
5. Take a class. Imagine getting your degree and finding a mate at the same time. It's a great way to meet people who are striving to improve themselves and who you already share an interest with.
6. Join local organizations. Rotary, The Sierra Club, and religious groups are just some of the places where you can meet other singles. Even if Mr. or Ms. Right isn't in the group you go to remember that someone may know the perfect person.
7. Go to reunions. I have know quite a few people who met and fell in love with old high school and college pals decades later. It's amazing how strong those old school ties can be.
8. Try singles events. Invest your time and money in a singles cruise or weekend getaway. If nothing else you'll get a vacation out of the deal and probably make a friend.
9. Go to business activities. Conferences, parties and meetings are places where you can meet appropriate singles that you already have something in common with.
10. Go shopping. Loads of singles are at the market between 5:00 and 6:30 shopping for dinner. If you see a nice looking person picking out a lonely pork chop, ask them a question or give them a recipe suggestion. It could lead to dinner for two.
I know that dating in your 40's and beyond is a challenge, but the good news is that you are at a time in your life when you and your prospective mates know what you want. Remember that the only way you'll meet someone is by putting yourself out there. So get off the couch and drive over to the book store to see who's reading the latest novels, they could be your next big romance.