If you are single and over 50, you could gripe and complain, or you could try these successful dating techniques.
Look for Other Singles Right Under Your Nose
Men and women go to the same places. If you are female, visit your regular haunts at different times to find out when most men drop by. I learned from "casing the neighborhood" in this way that on weekday mornings, my local coffee shop is full of men eating hearty breakfasts. On Saturday mornings, my supermarket is a virtual cornucopia of men.
If you are male, go to places where women participate in the things that you are passionate about. For example, join a sculpting class (after you have confirmed that it includes women in your age group). If you don't meet anyone special, nothing is lost because the activity was rewarding enough.
Note: Men at the supermarket or women in a class don't always have their antennae up. You can't hit them over the head with a two by four, but you can talk to them.
Talk to Strangers
Our parents warned us about talking to strangers. Trust me -- by age 50, you can tell the difference between the good guys and the weird guys.
Try complimenting a certain someone's taste (but make it genuine): "That is a great shirt! Where did you manage to find it?" Or be politely curious: "Your accent is charming. Do you miss your homeland?" Avoid questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Smile.
Have a "Name Card" Ready Keeping the conversation going shows your interest. We are drawn to people who show that they like us. Taking the initiative in this way is especially useful for men who are "out of practice." Be prepared with a "name card," a tasteful business-type card with only your name and telephone number or e-mail address printed on it. After a few minutes of conversation, get your card into his or her hand. For example, you might say, "If you want that list I mentioned (local gardeners, thrift shops, galleries, etc.), give me call." Or try wrapping up the conversation with, "Perhaps we should continue our conversation on another day. Here's my card." If you run into the same gentleman or lady a number of times and have a series of friendly conversations, be bold. Ask him or her to be your guest (the term "guest" prevents uncomfortable moments when the check arrives) at an event. The one who initiates an encounter throws a "life preserver" to a shy or "out of practice" single. Now go for it! Dr. Zukerman has conducted hundreds of workshops for singles, teaching them how to navigate the difficulties of romance and dating in the second half of life. She is the author of Young at Heart: The Mature Woman's Guide to Finding and Keeping Romance (NTC, 2001). You can contact Dr. Zukerman on her Young at Heart Web site. - - - - - Where can you meet someone new? Better question, where can't you? Here's a roundup of intriguing ideas.