You’re single. So naturally you think everyone else is attached.
Think again. All the good ones aren’t taken.
According to the dating network It’s Just Lunch, there are 110 million single adults nationwide. That’s a lot of people looking for love. And there is an active singles scene on the Main Line beyond the college watering holes—that is, if you know where to look.
So read on and get moving. Your social calendar just started to look a lot more promising.
2006’s top eligibles.
Jim Hausman, 39, Merion Station
Real Estate Broker
Prefers meeting women… randomly. I don’t use the Internet, though I am on a few dating sites.
Dating would be much easier if … women were responsive and helped with the conversation. The guy has to ask for a phone number, call at the right time, pay for dinner and carry the conversation. So a little help is most appreciated.
To make a great first impression… smile, laugh at my jokes.
Katy Korby, 26, Wayne
Prefers meeting men… through friends. I need some kind of filter. I’m not into the whole Internet dating process.
The most frustrating thing about being single is… either having the guts to approach a guy or being patient enough to be approached.
Dating would be much easier if… it wasn’t so serious. If everyone were more relaxed, it would be less intimidating.
Lisa DiFilippo, 32, Media
Trim Coordinator, QVC
Prefers meeting men… out socially, because it’s your choice.
To make a great first impression… just be yourself. Be relaxed and comfortable.
We’re all afraid of… rejection. You have to realize that it doesn’t always work out. You have to just keep trying.
Gus Wojcik, 32, West Chester
Executive Chef, Sodexho
A great first date is… someone who shares a common interest. I enjoy outdoor activities, so the summer is a wonderful time of year for just about anything outside.
Dating would be much easier if … people approached it with an open mind. Realistically, most first impressions are inaccurate.
Guaranteed turn-offs on a date are… smoking or getting drunk—unless you both smoke or are both getting drunk.
Yane Rosenbaum, 46, Ardmore
The best places to meet men are… Borders, Starbucks, the supermarket.
The hardest thing about being single is… finding time to go on a date. I have to work my social calendar around my children’s busy social lives.
If you really want to turn me off… talk about how much money you have. And I don’t want to hear about what a bitch your ex is. I’m not her.
Michael Vadasz, 30, West Chester
Auto Sales Manager
My favorite ways to meet someone are… being set up by friends and meeting people randomly while out. I try to avoid setups through business contacts.
The hardest thing about being single is… having a hectic work schedule. It really makes it difficult to meet people.
Dating would be easier if… I don’t think there is anything you can do to make it easier.
Five Things That Can Make or Break a First Date
1. Location, location, location. Is it loud, romantic, sophisticated? Is it you?
2. Night of the week. Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays are so-so. But if a first date agrees to anything Wednesday to Saturday, they’re passing up potential plans to be with you. Good sign.
3. Cell phone etiquette. Unless a surgeon is involved, checking or accepting calls on a date is just plain rude.
4. Eye contact. Focus on the person sitting across from you. Future dates hang in the balance.
5. Who pays. Granted, it’s 2006. But on a first date, the guy pays the bill—though ladies should at least make an attempt, which allows the man to kindly refuse the offer.
Two Dating Myths Dispelled
Fiction: Men want women who are much younger.
Fact: Most want to date within three years of their age.
Fiction: Mothers think men have less interest in them.
Fact: The majority of men don’t see children as a deterrent to dating a woman. Many single fathers actually prefer dating women who already have children.
Better Late Than Never
Death or divorce doesn’t have to mean you’re done.
Dating is tricky enough. Add kids, and it can be downright daunting. Local writer Ellie Fisher spent countless hours interviewing divorced and widowed women for Mom, There’s a Man in the Kitchen and He’s Wearing Your Robe: The Single Woman’s Guide to Dating Well without Parenting Poorly (Da Capo Press, 196 pages). The new book addresses everything from how to explain to your kids that you’re dating to what to do when your new guy pal likes your kids more than he likes you. “Kids will always be your first priority, but you have to make time for yourself, too,” says Fisher, who offers her insights from the field:
Tips for women: Men don’t like to be alone, so they’re apt to rush into a serious relationship with the first woman they meet, regretting it later. Don’t be the first one to show up at a guy’s door when you find out he’s single. » Relax those standards a bit. If you’re only looking for a millionaire, you might miss out on a hunky fireman. And for those who insist on height requirements, remind yourself what a cutie Michael J. Fox is. » Don’t talk about what a louse your ex-husband was—or even what a hero your deceased husband was. Your current love interest won’t know where he fits into the equation. » After years of being with the same man, many women are so afraid of being seen naked by a new man that it keeps them from dating. Get rid of those unfounded fears. » Give Internet dating a chance. More than 60 percent of online singles are men.
Tips for men: Take the time to allow a relationship to develop. Enjoy great sex, but don’t mistake it for true love. » Remain open to new dating venues. Try traditional women’s activities like cooking classes or yoga. You’ll be in the minority, and women will dote on you. » Treat her like a lady. Pick up the check; hold the door; open her car door. » If kids are involved, don’t rush into marriage. Try living together first—and keep the kids’ inheritance separate from joint finances.
Six Hotspots for Suburban Singles
1. Teca, West Chester. The wine bar atmosphere draws a sophisticated crowd.
2. 333 Belrose, Radnor. At happy hour, corporate types arrive in droves from nearby office complexes.
3. Glenmorgan, Radnor. Down the street from 333 Belrose, the Radnor Hotel’s bar offers a great mix of regulars from mid-30s on up.
4. Great American Pub, locations in Wayne, Conshohocken and Bryn Mawr. The vibe is relaxed and the bar area well populated with singles.
5. Spence Café, West Chester. Live music Tuesday through Saturday night brings out a casual and varied crowd, from students to white-collar types.
6. Nectar, Berwyn. Should be hailed “
in the Suburbs that Makes You Feel Like You’re in the City.” Get there early to snag a seat at the bar, and let the flirting begin.
Log on for Love
Online dating for newbies.
You’re at a crowded party. You have the sense that someone is watching you. You look up and lock eyes with a gorgeous stranger across the room. It’s love at first sight and a wild romance begins. You marry and live happily ever after with your soulmate. Well, it could happen—but sometimes fate needs a slight push in the right direction. Maybe that’s why online dating is now a $500 million industry, its stigma as the last resort for the socially inept long since worn off.
Narberth attorney Gail Barsky encourages Internet dating among her clientele. Barsky found her calling as a “legal dating expert” when she began helping friends navigate the singles scene. Now she acts as a relationship coach, exploring all avenues, from matchmakers and lunch/dinner clubs to speed dating and singles events. She finds a lot to recommend about online dating. “The Internet offers the most variety and selection,” she says. “And it’s the most cost effective.” Barsky offer these tips to make your Internet dating experience a positive one:
1. Be truthful in your profile. You’re doing a disservice to yourself by not being honest. Why start out with a lie? Have a friend look over your profile and offer feedback.
2. Always include a photo with your profile. And make sure it’s recent. Post at least five pictures (two headshots and three body shots)—and don’t post photos of you with an ex.
3. Give it time. Some people get frustrated and pull their profile too soon. Post it for at least five months.
4. If someone shows interest, quickly arrange a meeting. Don’t become e-mail buddies with someone and drag out meeting them. Set up a first meeting to see if you have chemistry. If not, move on.
5. Have fun. Be ready to date and be positive. Dating is a growing experience.
Seven Things Not to Say to a Single Woman Over 30
1. “Why aren’t you married?”
2. “Don’t you want kids?”
3. “You’re too picky.”
4. “It’s fun being single now, but you’ll be lonely in 15 years.”
5. “If you’re a single woman over 32, men look at you differently.”
6. “If I were single, I’d date you.”
7. “If you stop looking, you’ll find him.”