Single parent dating: I want to start meeting nice men again
December 31, 2014 11:16 AM   Subscribe

A long time has passed since I posted here, and a lot has happened in that long time. Quick update is that now I am legally divorced. I also got laid off last year and thankfully was able to find another great job quickly. Moved to NYC, which is a fantastic city and I went to school here so have a lot more friends here than when I was in Boston. Anyway, so I want to date. I don’t know if I want to get into a serious relationship just yet, but I just want to share my life with someone and do fun things on weekends. Where do I meet responsible, loving, educated men who would want to date me? I haven’t seen anyone in two years (since separation/divorce)… I think I should change that…

I do feel financially drained (divorce was very expensive), emotionally fraught (kinda hate my ex-husband as he pulled some really nasty moves – like paying my nanny behind my back etc.). I didn't receive the support I was hoping for from my parents. But I don't want to think about the issues (not that I want to forget the lessons learned). I do have a fantastic set of friends who supported me and I am very thankful for their love and kindness.

In spite of all above, I have a feeling 2015 will be a good year for me. Not sure where I am getting this confidence from, but I just know 2015 will be a good year.

So, where do I meet nice men to date? Go online? Tinder? Some of these sites are filled with such random people who are not a good fit for me (or anybody for that matter). Pay a matchmaker?
posted by Spice_and_Ice to Human Relations (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
OKCupid. I'm 48, male, and in DC, and it's how I've done most of my dating after getting divorced 2 years ago. Some highs, some lows, but overall, a positive experience.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:20 AM on December 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

How do you know if online sites are full of people who are not right for you if you haven't tried it?

Yes, there are weirdos but also nice guys, boring guys, hot guys, Mefites, and in my case a ton of people I know on the real world (including the guy in dating now!)
posted by vespabelle at 11:25 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

My dad started dating his second wife via Parents Without Partners events.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:27 AM on December 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

Get an OkCupid account and answer a whole bunch of their multiple-choice questions. They have endless questions. I've answered a couple of hundred so far, and, as a result, most of the people who'd be completely wrong for me don't show up as matches. It's not perfect, but it's a step in the right direction.

And if you get tired of people who are too similar to you, OkCupid also allows you to sort your matches the opposite way, by "Enemy %".
posted by clawsoon at 11:32 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nthing OKCupid.

I am your age, though without children, and do almost all my dating on OKCupid. I have yet to meet my super-longterm partner, but I have met many wonderful, intelligent, interesting people (including some single parents) with whom I was pretty compatible. My current...lover, for lack of a better word (we are not compatible for lifelong partnership or babymaking, but he is a fantastic person nonetheless), is someone I hope to be lifelong friends with, even once our relationship changes to platonic and we are both happily partnered up. I met him, and multiple other people who have ended up as good friends, on OKC. It seems to be the dating medium of choice for our demographic in my (West Coast) city. Make a profile, answer an absurd number of questions, and then just meet as many people as you have time for. Don't waste time on long correspondences; in-person chemistry is key.

Good luck out there!
posted by JuliaIglesias at 11:56 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Be careful if you go to Parents Without Partners; I have seen at least one skeevy situation resulting from a guy who went there specifically to use it as a way to find emotionally vulnerable, recently divorced women. I'm sure it's not always like that but just be careful. Good luck!
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:58 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

okcupid is my fav of all the options, but i still get messages like, "nice beard, hi!" from women who are 99% enemy with me--and i'm not some super hottie by any stretch of the imagination--and for women it is always worse. My female friends on OKC and that i've made through OKC get tons of cut and paste messages from people who play the law of averages instead of reading profiles, etc, and who are every single bad stereotype of men. I've met a couple of really interesting people that turned into friends, and had nice things in common, and actually read each other profiles before reaching out. no romance yet from okc, pof, tinder, or zoosk, but okcupid has the best and easiest interaction.

and if you find the magic solution...please share with the rest of us. :-)
posted by th3ph17 at 12:17 PM on December 31, 2014

I am a 33 year-old female in NYC, and I have had horrendous luck with OKCupid here in a way that I haven't in other cities, even after dramatically overhauling my profile per the advice I got in an AskMe question. I have had better luck with Tinder, but the far best luck with meeting people in person. I know not everyone agreed with this point when I mentioned it in my question, but after another six months on it, I still believe the OKC scene here is far more meat market-y than elsewhere. Everyone has super slick profiles with professional grade pictures. I'm not saying don't try it, particularly if you are up for the challenge, but I would diversity, and also start getting involved in new groups and activities or even the matchmaker type things.
posted by unannihilated at 12:18 PM on December 31, 2014 [5 favorites]

I agree that getting to know people in person is a good plan, and it's much easier in NYC than it is elsewhere. Meetups are good; anything where you go see a group of people regularly will allow you to get to know people pretty well and from there you'll see people you might want to date.

OKCupid is good for people who look good on paper--as a single parent, a lot of people won't even bother. A lot of these people would actually consider dating you if they got to know you in real life but OKCupid makes it really easy to filter.

I actually am not currently up on the NYC specific ways to meet people, apologies, but I do think in-person socializing is probably the primary way for you to go.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:12 PM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also make sure that your friends know that you're looking.
posted by k8t at 2:35 PM on December 31, 2014

When I worked at the local museum there was this interesting social dynamic that developed in the area for kids 8 and younger. Single (or solo at least) parents would buy a membership and come every week or so, bringing their kids to this area to play. There they would start to meet other parents who were bringing their kids to play. Immediately they had something in common and lots of conversations would happen. I can't say if this turned into anything but the staff saw enough of it that the odds are good.

I think the young kids area worked particularly well because it was enclosed and had benches. YMMV.

I have no idea how old your kids are or if this would work for you. But maybe you will meet someone AND your kids get to have fun at the museum!
posted by keeo at 6:29 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Co-ed Volleyball. Seriously. I know four couples who met that way and married. I don't know what it is about volleyball, but I think maybe any physical activity where you can interact without having to focus on "getting to know you" probably helps get over the initial awkwardness.
posted by pippin at 6:43 PM on December 31, 2014

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