Step Away from the Dating Site. Walk Out of the Bar.

San Francisco Conservatory, photo by mernie buchanan

This morning I had every good intention to keep going on my novel, even though I should really get down to my art studio because that is where real income happens. But I surfed Medium for amusement instead. Clicked an interesting headline. I Work In Porn. I Know Why So Many Men Are Single — A look into the frustrating world of dating as a man.

The author made many great points, but didn’t go quite far enough when she suggested working on oneself… something we all need to do probably every day. She also missed the most obvious solution to the dating conundrum.

This is not fresh new advice, I’m only reiterating what should be repeated yet again… and I have seen it work miraculously time and time again.

Improve yourself. Make yourself more dateable in a win win arena of possibility where the women you want to meet hang out. And if that special someone isn’t there, you will still come out enhanced and with new friends… while paying a whole lot less for bar tabs, or inching closer to your credit limit with dating sites. You’ve had all your shots. You’re willing to wear a mask. It’s easy.

Join a group.

The hardest part is to figure out what you want or need. This could be anything from working on a chronic bad habit to gaining a new skill to frivolous entertainment. Any one of these suggestions will land you in a place where women who share your interests will be hanging out in ones or twos or droves. And it will hardly cost you anything. Here’s my (incomplete) list from frivolity to more serious self care:

On the community message board at your local library you will find Board Game Night. No? Try the Mystery Book Club or any book club. Join a writers group. Volunteer with the Friends and sort donations. Your library is where the free possibilities are. Also, check your local community center. Helping to clean up hiking trails gets you around outdoorsy gals. Helping in kitchens that feed the less fortunate gets you around giving gals. With Habitat for Humanity you can meet the women who use tools and fix stuff. They might humble you. We can all use some of that.

Costs a little, but not much: Shy? Check out your nearest Toastmasters International club. I’ve met many bright, single women in Toastmasters who are striving to be more self confident. These are the women who don’t have same-old digital profiles or hang out in pubs. Most every one is worthy of friendship or more. Bonus? A few months with this group guarantees you will be more articulate.

Are the arts more your thing? For a little more you can join your local arts organization. Help with art intake or step up with a hammer and hang some exhibits. Creative women are ready to engage. Even better? Take craft classes. The ratio of women to men in a knitting circle is staggering. Even if that special someone isn’t there when you are, you’ll still come out of it with a warm, wooly scarf. Beats hell out of a hangover, regrets about how much that hangover cost you and a scribbled phone number on a crumbled bar napkin that is probably not in service. Which takes us to…

Has something you once enjoyed lost its charm or become a detriment? Gambling? Spending money on too much stuff? Over-giving? Substance consumption? Look no further than a 12-step group that probably meets within a mile from you. There is where you’ll find all the people who are becoming better versions of themselves. A little willingness to work on you can bring undreamed of riches. These are not places to troll for dates. This is where you go for the important conversations — all of which have the potential to catapult you to a brighter landscape of far-reaching possibility.

You will be a better person, which means those are the people you will attract. Step away from the device and go find those people. Look for your Venus in better places. You do realize Venus is a myth, right?

How am I qualified to offer this advice? I’m not. A permanent true love mate wasn’t in the cards for me. I did, however try many of these groups and came out with oodles of good friends. I like me a lot more now, too. Win!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mernie Buchanan

Mernie Buchanan

Mernie paints and writes in Woodstock NY. A signed copy of her memoir The Incompetent Psychic available via