Almost every divorced man or woman I know has made a comment at one time or another about how difficult it is to meet single people in the suburbs. After all, it’s easy to picture suburbia as a multitude of residential neighborhoods with tree lined street after tree lined street of picture perfect homes where married couples live happily with their kids.
However, if the well-known statistic that 50% of marriages fail, wouldn’t that theoretically indicate that every house with a Mr. and Mrs. would alternate with the home of single parent?
Not the case. Most divorced people who live on the North Shore tell me they are the only divorced person on their block. They also say that dating websites are exhausting, and that only losers hang out in bars.
So, if you’re fed up with eHarmony and you’re tired of sitting home every other Saturday night when your kids are with your ex, I think I might be able to help you find your fish in the small suburban fish tank where we live.
I compiled a list of 8 places where either I or someone I know has met someone single, and none serve alcohol except for one!
Before you read the list, check out my video on the subject!
1. The electronics department at Target
Where there are gadgets, games and things that need chargers, there are men. Especially men with young kids. Stop by Target on a weekend day and peruse the newest video games, iPads, phones, digital cameras and laptops. What you see might be a lot more exciting than the newest, hottest headphones.
2. In the stands at your son’s hockey game
True story. A friend of mine was sitting in the bleachers watching her son play hockey when around the third period she noticed a nice looking man smiling at her. The following week, the man was there again and again he smiled at her. The third week, the man came over and asked her if he could sit with her. They were the only two single parents on the team, and ended up dating for six months. It didn’t work out, but at least when it ended, the season was over!
3. The prepared foods section at Whole Foods any weeknight
Freshly made sushi, salads with grilled chicken, tuna roll ups and homemade chicken soup attract single people who might not have their kids on a particular night, and therefore might be grabbing a quick bite to take home after work. With a craft beer and wine section 25 feet away, hitting it off with a fellow food shopper might work out perfectly.
4. The car wash (the kind where you have to get out of the car)
If you want to increase your chances of meeting someone, forget drive thru car washes and go to a place where you have to get out of your car! Not only will you get a better car wash, but every guy I know makes a clean car his priority. You do the math!
5. The Apple store any day or night
You can’t tell me that the Apple store isn’t packed every hour of every day. After you check in with one of the people in the blue shirts, there’s LOTS of waiting time, which is perfect for a friendly conversation. And, there is certainly no shortage of topics to talk about: your Apple products.
6. In the stands at a Bulls, Bears or Cubs game
Have you ever actually looked around at a Chicago sporting event and noticed the guy to girl ratio? I’ve been to a lot of basketball, football and baseball games, and if I had to guess I’d estimate 30 men to one woman. Plus, for some reason, men are very friendly and outgoing at sporting events. Might be the adrenaline, but most likely it’s the beer.
7. The McDonald’s play area (seriously, anytime)
When desperate for something to do, it’s a well-known fact that single dads take their young kids to the McDonald’s play area. Spend some time there! With your Happy Meal, you might end up with a McBoyfriend.
8. The gym on a Saturday and/or Sunday morning
Packed, packed, packed with men. They start as early as 7 a.m., but mindful of the time. By 1 p.m., most are gone, most likely spending the day on the sofa watching sports.
I could probably think of quite a few more spots to meet single men and women, but honestly, half the battle is in your head. If you are open-minded and receptive to smiling and having light conversations with strangers, I think you have a lot better of a chance to meet someone. My last tip: As often as possible, make sure you look nice when leaving the house. I realize that time constraints prevent makeup, heels and blown dry hair every day, but the better you look on the outside, the more confident you will feel to strike up conversations! In other words, a little lipstick could lead you to meeting a man you truly love!