Where are all the ready-to-settle-down men in London?
September 21, 2013 12:25 AM   Subscribe

You are male, single, employed, 20/30-ish, looking to settle down and start a family with a similar lady within the next three years or so. Where in London do you go to find potential dates? (Asking for a friend.)
posted by fix to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Guardian Soulmates
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:49 AM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

To be honest given the nature of London your friend is liable to have her work cut out. The dating scene for this sort of thing is going to be brutal!

As a part time Londoner in this bracket In find that most of my contemporaries in this age bracket are in London for two reasons; their jobs or their social lives.

So are either chained to their desks, living for their art, or playing the field, or using London as a useful place to "do their own thing" and avoid becoming like their parents!

Finding those motivated to "jump in" in a relationship and likely to the great husband and excellent dad material from scratch with your average Londoner on a relatively short timeline is also going to whittle the field dramatically.

There's also the economic issues of having a baby one of the most expensive cites in the world is going to limit your choices is liable to be a bit of a headache.

Given this situation its not surprising that a lot of m otherwise delightful family orientated friends struggle to sift through the workaholics and weirdos and often come up with little.

What was a usful strategy (for my partner at least!) was looking outside london where established, settled men are slightly more plentiful, and marriage / family orientated women are more highly valued, and the barrier to family life lower.

I wish her luck!
posted by Middlemarch at 1:45 AM on September 21, 2013

Best answer: From my experience, mostly among friends from school, uni or work, and friends of those friends.

Londoners don't really seem to date outside their social networks, or at least not willingly or without considerable awkwardness. How this island keeps itself peopled is something of a mystery to me.

I found my fellow at an event for a musical activity we are both passionate about, so there's that. I've taken a blizzard of courses for fun and education over the past two years and while most of them have been puzzlingly overstocked with women, I've met a lot of single fellas in acting-for-fun and improv classes.

I wish your friend good luck. It only takes one!
posted by stuck on an island at 2:17 AM on September 21, 2013 [4 favorites]

Stuck on an island is exactly right. I am in the same age-group as your friend, OP. More of my friend circle have found their partners through their friends of friends than any other way. A useful thing your friend could do is network more and get more invitations to parties, group outings, etc. A lot of people I know are on OKCupid, it's becoming increasingly popular in our age group for people who are looking for exactly the same thing.
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:09 AM on September 21, 2013

Response by poster: Ok so this came out a bit wonky...I meant to say "looking to settle down in the next three years or so, and eventually start a family". She isn't in a massive hurry, but for some people "next five years" means "I'm not ready for that yet" or possibly even "never, but I don't want to scare you off".

The answers are great, keep them coming!
posted by fix at 3:09 AM on September 21, 2013

People I know have used OkCupid and Guardian Soulmates, but you need to do a lot of weeding.
posted by plonkee at 4:05 AM on September 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

meetup.com: the groups seem to attract a large number of people looking to make friends or meet new people. I'm aware of a number of couples who've met through meetup. And this doesn't just mean the singles / dating / socializing groups but all sorts of activities and interests.
posted by outlier at 5:28 AM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Should have qualified, I'm not in London (not too far away though), but nearly 6 years ago I was in your target demographic and I met the lady (a former Londoner) who is now my wife & the mother of my child on Soulmates. She was the 2nd person I went on a date with via the website, I was her 8th.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:40 AM on September 21, 2013

Based on the experiences of those I know, OKCupid is fine if you're poly/queer/after more casual sex, but not something to use if you want a serious relationship. There are a lot more creepers and weirdos on it this side of the Atlantic - a friend of mine has had a series of disastrous encounters there, including the sweet young guy who turned out to have a pregnant girlfriend. I know one guy - sadly not in London - who's in his thirties and really does want a partner and family, and he would be more likely to use a site like Soulmates or MySingleFriend.

Most people I know in relationships here either met their partners through work/uni, or have used more 'serious' sites like Match.com to meet people. Another important thing if family is a plan: several people I know have had to choose between buying a house and the cost of a wedding. Given that the rental market in London is a terrible racket, I think many are putting getting a house deposit together before starting a family as well, so people are having children later than average compared with the rest of the country.
posted by mippy at 7:50 AM on September 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

People I know have used match, plentyoffish, and guardian soulmates for this. Also, friends of your couple friends. They know single people and can help you by weeding out the men who are not looking for the same thing as you. I would never suggest men to a single friend of my own accord, that would seem rude, but I'm happy to help if asked.
posted by Dorothia at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2013

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