alternatives to online datingSingle again?  Wondering about taking the plunge and internet dating?  Or – are you on an internet dating site, but haven’t had the success you expected?

The burgeoning, multi-million dollar business of internet dating (make no mistake – this is not social work but BIG BUSINESS) has unparalleled reach, precision and potential to identify and connect you with like-minded singles, so it is strategic and efficient to incorporate it into your campaign for greater intimacy.     (note:  keyword here is “incorporate”)

Unfortunately, many single-again midlife women, intimidated by the prospect of being on the market and swept away by the internet tide, sign up for a Match account and put all their eggs in that basket.  Yes – women meet men through internet dating – but it’s not the only show in town.  Thinking a little more broadly, using your own power and resources, might introduce you to just the kind of men you’d like to meet AND enrich your life along the way!

Consider these 5 Methodologies for Mating…

Methodology 1:  Old School

Meeting “in the Wild”:  Yes, people do still meet over melons at the market/while standing in line at the Post Office.  You never know whose eyes you will meet “across a crowded room”.  The question is:  how do you currently look/act while you are at the market/P.O.?  Relating to your iphone while looking like you just cleaned your closet?  If so, it’s unlikely there will be sparks flying.  If you want to optimize the random possibilities of the universe, focus on the 4 F’s:  Friendly, Feminine, Fit and Fun.  The more F’s you hit, the greater the likelihood that a GAM (Great Available Man) in your vicinity will notice you favorably.  Who knows where that can lead?

Methodology 2:  Strategic Visibility

Put yourself in the Path of GAMen:  Once you have a clear picture of the kind of men you’d like to meet, consider… where do they hang out?  What are their values, habits, pastimes, public pursuits?  If you would love to meet someone who kayaks – where might your world overlap with such a man?  If being a health foodie is a big part of your life – what’s going on at your local Whole Foods?  If you’d like to meet someone who’s trying to “give back” – check out the volunteer activities at  Maybe even attend that high school reunion.  The point of this is not to do these things JUST to connect with someone.  Choose a place/event/activity that you would enjoy doing REGARDLESS of meeting someone – and make the most of it, all the while optimizing the 4 F’s from Methodology 1!

Methodology 3:  Networking

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon:  If you wanted to buy a used car or identify a great electrician, chances are you’d tell people in your social network – on the chance that they might have some recommendations/suggestions.  Why don’t we do that when we want to meet a really good guy?  Because we’re embarrassed?  Ashamed?  Because it’s unseemly for a woman of our age?  We don’t want to seem desperate?  Any of those feelings/thoughts are understandable – but do you want them to keep you from meeting a GAM?  Historically, one of the primary ways people meet mates is to be introduced by a friend.  Unfortunately, this is not on the top of your friends’ radar.  They just don’t think of it.  And – if they do,  they don’t want to be caught in the middle.  Make it easy for them to introduce and extricate.  Mention to friends you’re ready for a great relationship and therefore, are looking to meet good single guys. Ask them if they have any ideas.  You may have to listen to some lame suggestions, but you never know what will come of it.  If they know of someone, ask how they’d feel comfortable introducing you to each other.  Minimize their involvement/responsibility for the connection.

Methodology 4:  Social Director

Throw You Own Party:  If we singles wait for the rest of the world to have parties to introduce us to other singles, we’re going to be waiting a LONG time.  So, why not DIY?  Set up a time and place (could be your home – a bar down the street – an upcoming event – whatever…) invite the singles you know – to invite singles they know.  It’s not so hard: it just takes a little initiative and coordination.  If you set it up right, the worst that happens is you have a fun evening with those who show up!

Methodology 5:  Internet Dating*

If you can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em:  Referring back to Methodology 2 of Strategic Visibility, a prodigious number of available men are hanging out – where?  On the Internet!   Although demographically speaking, after 50 there are more single women than men, the odds flip when it comes to internet dating as MORE men are looking for love on the internet than women.  Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the strategic, digitally savvy woman to take advantage of the odds that technology affords!  With that said, the wise woman will take the time to “learn the ropes” of the medium, so as to optimize its benefits and avoid its inherent landmines.  Choosing the right site, profile, pix, text, attitude and search filters will go a long way toward lasertagging the optimal fit GAMen for you while protecting your heart, time and anonymity .

Utilizing as many of these methodologies as possible, from old-as-the-hills to the “hot new thing”, will greatly increase the probability of you intersecting with GAMen – while improving your over-all quality of life.  Stay tuned for more intel on how to prepare for and rock each methodology!

* I left Internet Dating for last, to cause you to think beyond the obvious – to reach back into your memory banks for what you already know is true.

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