Looking for Love in All the Right Places

Lots of people meet in bars. Right? Right. But sometimes the club scene just isn’t where we want to be. Especially not when we’re hoping to find that special someone.  The bar scene gets tiresome. Maybe we’ve been meeting the same sort of man over and over, and maybe those relationships haven’t worked out. Or maybe we’re just fed up with loud music and bad drinks.

What’s a girl to do when she wants to meet a good man?

Fortunately, there are lots of places to look other than bars and nightclubs, and when you begin looking for love in different places, you’re more apt to find a romantic prospect who shares your interests, who has more in common with you, and who can bring new excitement and enthusiasm into your life by challenging you to live your dreams.

Sound good? The key to meeting the right partner lies in doing things you love, so start by making a list of activities you enjoy — and ones you’d like to try. The simple truth is, the more activities on your list, the wider your social circles will be. The more people you know, the more opportunities you’ll have for meeting romantic prospects who share your values and who will enhance your own life experiences.


Book lover? Your library might be the start of a true life love story.

Here are a few ideas for places to visit where you might meet like-minded souls:

Art Galleries, Museums, Libraries, Bookstores, Book Clubs

Intelligence is considered a great aphrodisiac, and if you’re a bit on the brainy side — maybe even a real nerd — you deserve someone whose intelligence matches your own, someone who enjoys your conversations about the historical significance of the Battle of Bladensburg, the contributions of Francis Poulenc to French music, or the question as to whether or not Mark Rothko should be classified as an abstract expressionist.  As you explore your interests in art, history, and culture, strike up conversations with people around you. Ask questions, or share your own knowledge with others.  Smart women always stand out from the crowd, so surround yourself with people who will appreciate what you have to offer.

Animal Shelters, Pet Stores, Dog Shows, Trail-Rides, Humane Associations, and Rescue Groups

Animal lover? The right partner for you probably has a few critters, too.  More than one story has been told of couples who were brought together through their playful pets. Go dog-walking on Saturday mornings or saddle up for an afternoon on horseback. Become an advocate for animal rights, help out at a local shelter or animal rescue operation, and share your love with lots of furry, finned, and feathered friends. While you’re waiting for love of the human variety, you’ll have lots of tail-wagging puppies and purring kitties showing you how much they care.

Sports Clubs, Fitness Centers, Gyms, Sporting Events, Running, Swimming, and Track Meets, Tennis Courts

If you’re the athletic sort, the perfect partner for you is one who can keep up. You need somebody who shares your appreciation for healthy habits, proper diet, and regular exercise. Training can be time-consuming, but it can be enjoyable, too, when you’ve got somebody special sweating alongside you. Best of all, you and your partner can cheer one another on during competitions, celebrate victories together, and console each other when inevitable losses occur. You can’t win ’em all, you know, but finding a sports-minded partner will make you a winner in the romance arena.

Foreign Language Classes, Cooking Classes, Photography Classes, Self-Improvement Seminars, Educational Venues, Community Learning Programs, Lectures

Some folks love to learn. Anything. Everything. Maybe today it’s Chinese cooking, and next week you’re ready to plunge into Swahili. Does your city offer community education programs, such as a “Communiversity”? Check out what lectures and workshops are happening around your area.  And always ask questions. Make yourself visible by participating fully in any classroom activities or groups taking place. Classrooms offer great opportunities to “link up” with new friends, too. Get together for discussions or become “study-buddies”. Offer to share notes or provide a little after-class tutoring.  When you pursue knowledge and new skills, you might find a few A+ romantic prospects, too.

Church and Religious Activities, Scripture Studies, Spiritual Retreats, Healing Workshops, Yoga Classes, Shamanic Workshops

It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs or affiliations may be. From devout Christian to practicing Wiccan, there are others who share your beliefs, your values, and your spiritual activities.  Religious harmony is one of the key elements in a good relationship. Even if you’re able to remain open-minded and tolerant of others’ beliefs, inter-faith relationships can present tremendous challenges. Relationships are naturally stronger when both individuals involved share the same spiritual beliefs and practices.

Acting Classes, Public Speaking Clubs, Choirs, Orchestras, Film Groups, Playhouses, Theatres, and Improvisation Clubs, Concerts

A bit outgoing? Love to be center-stage? Enjoy dramatic scenes? Oh, what fun you can have if and when you find the right romantic partner. What was that memorable play about people who acted out scenes from other shows? Imagine the love scenes you could rehearse together! And think of the fun you’ll have laughing, singing, and dancing with someone you love. If you’re an extrovert, don’t hold back. Speak up and tell the world what you want. You’ll probably get it.

Food Pantries, Volunteer Organizations, Civic Associations

If serving others is a high priority in your life, then put your skills to work by volunteering to help out wherever needed — and you’ll find lots of places where help will be welcomed and appreciated. Food pantries and soup kitchens can always use another pair of hands. Meals on Wheels and programs which deliver food or other items are always looking for caring individuals who are willing to give of their time. Check out the organizations in your community and the activities they sponsor. Get out your hammer and help build a house, or work with educational programs to defeat illiteracy. Opportunities for community service abound and can bring huge rewards. You get back what you give in life, remember, so share your love with those who need it most.

Flea Markets, Bargain Barns, Thrift Stores, Second-Hand Shops, Craft Fairs, Antique Malls

Looking for something different? Something old? Something hand-made? Or just looking for something cheap? Browsing flea markets, craft fairs, and antique malls can bring hours of pleasure.  You never know what you’ll find, and that handsome hunk who’s hunting for some obscure treasure might prove to be the bargain of the day.

Coffee Shops, Political Rallies, Campaign Events, Political Clubs and Cause-Related Organizations

Like to work hard? Have strong opinions on political issues? Want to make a real difference in the world? Join forces with folks who share your views and let your voices be heard. Meet with others to discuss current events and important issues. Take part in rallies. Work to get voters registered. Hand out pamphlets or literature in support of causes in which you believe.  When you find someone who shares your deepest convictions, the passion between the two of you might truly change the world.


What about the Workplace?

When all is said and done, the surprising fact is that the workplace is regarded as the best place for meeting prospective romantic partners. While it may be true that the workplace environment offers great opportunities for getting to know someone, it also offers a lot of problems. Most companies have strict policies about inter-office relationships, and in many instances, if the relationship gets serious, somebody’s going to be required to change jobs. Maybe it’s worth it. On the other hand, there’s nothing worse than an office romance that fizzles. Imagine seeing that fellow  you despise…every day… 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Imagine listening to him make snarky remarks about you to colleagues, or constantly whining and begging you to take him back.  With all the things that can go wrong in a relationship, getting involved with the guy in the next cubicle may be an invitation to disaster. He’d better REALLY be worth it.


What about Online Dating?

Sure enough. More and more people are signing up at online dating sites.  And yes, we all know people who’ve met online and made it work. But even if you do meet someone online, a relationship still requires getting to know each other, not just through photographs, computer chats, and emails, but face to face, as well…which means spending time together, sharing activities, and discovering each other’s interests.

Why not start with the interests first? Follow your heart, engage in activities you enjoy, join groups where you’ll find people who share your beliefs, your loves, your excitements, your passions.

This is where you’re most likely to find that special someone who can ignite all the sparks and make all your dreams come true.





Dates from Hell

Met any of these frogs lately?


It’s been said that before a woman finds Prince Charming, she’ll have to kiss a lot of frogs. Here’s a list of a few ugly toads lurking in the rivers and ponds of the dating world.

How many have you met?


#10 Mr. Nice Guy

It’s true. Nice guys really do finish last, and by that, I mean “last place” on the list of men we like to spend time with. Mr. Nice Guy probably scores high on your mother’s list, but she’s not the one dating him, so ignore her when she sings this fellow’s praises. What Mama doesn’t understand is that a little niceness goes a long way, and Mr. Nice Guy is way, way, way too nice. He never complains about anything, never has any opinions (thereby never coming into conflict with anyone), and goes out of his way to be helpful and considerate. He’ll rush ahead of you to open every door, sweep every crumb from the table top, and brush the seat of your chair before you sit down. If you like something, he’ll give it to you. If you express the slightest discomfort, he’ll do everything within his power to fix whatever’s wrong and make it right for you. He might sound like a dream come true — at first. Trust me. After a few dates with Mr. Nice Guy, you’ll be tearing out your hair. His world may be a nice place to visit, but you sure as hell don’t want to live there! Get out…fast.

#9 It’s All About Me, Baby

This fellow has a lot to offer — at first glance. He’s good-looking, has all the right moves on the dance floor, and is a generous spender at the bar and at dinner. He’ll wine you and dine you, and there will be moments when you almost begin to enjoy yourself, but then he’ll open his mouth again and you’ll realize exactly why you’re having such a miserable time. He talks. A lot. All about himself. There’s no conversation taking place, just a dreadful, dreary monologue. He’s been there, he’s done that, and he’s not the least bit interested in anything you have to say. He doesn’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve done, and even if you share a few common interests with the fellow, he won’t shut up and stop talking about himself long enough to acknowledge the fact. Unless you want to spend the foreseeable future being bored to tears, steer clear of this fellow as soon as you see the warning signs. If he ignores what you say and launches into another tirade about himself, excuse yourself — and run!

 #8 The Whiner

Whatever happened to this poor guy must have been calamitous because whatever it was, it sucked all the life out of him. There’s nothing pleasant in his world. His truck breaks down every time he drives it, the food is horrible at every restaurant he eats at, and he’s never seen a movie he’s actually enjoyed. The band at the bar is too loud, the singer is off-key, and he doesn’t like that sort of music anyway. The room is too smoky, too crowded, or both, and the cover charge is  too high. To make matters worse, he’s had a miserable, rotten day. No kidding! Well, take my word for it, if you hang around with The Whiner, your days are going to be miserable too. Give him something else to whine about. Walk out on him.

#7 Buddy…and his Buddies

Friends are great, but not when they tag along on every date. Buddy can’t seem to shake free of his cohorts long enough to spend any quality time with you, so if you want to spend time with him, you’d better get used to being “one of the guys”. It might not be so bad, except that they’ve got all their “guy jokes” that don’t include you, and they talk about “guy things” that don’t interest you.  A date with Buddy…and his Buddies usually involves auto shows, motorcycle rallies, gun stores, and sporting events. Even if you do like those things, you’d better get used to liking them on your own because Buddy…and his Buddies will be busy doing their own thing. Hey, who asked you to come along anyway?

 #6 Oops! I’ll Pay You Back

Yeah, we all slip-up once in a while, and it’s really embarrassing to get caught short of cash. It happens. But with this jerk, it happens on a regular basis. He stops for gas and suddenly realizes he left his wallet at home. At dinner, the waitress brings the check and he suddenly remembers that the restaurant doesn’t accept credit cards. Darn the luck, but he forgot to pay the light bill, spent the money on something else, and could you please help him out, just this time. He’ll pay you back, and yeah, maybe he really will. But even if he does, do you really want to play banker for this irresponsible little boy?

#5 What? Me, worry?

His name might not be Alfred E. Neuman and he might never have read Mad Magazine, but his unconcerned attitude borders on insanity. Things will always work out right for him. He’s sure of it, so why get upset about it? Now, bear in mind, we’re not talking about little, inconsequential things. We’re talking about major issues. He’s got no job, but he’s not worried. He’s not looking, either. And with no job, he’s got no car, but he’s not worried about that either. He’ll just borrow yours, right? No job, no car, and he’s being evicted next week, but he’s sure not going to get upset over it. He can stay at your place, can’t he? He’s so convinced that you — or the next girl — will take care of him, he doesn’t have to worry about anything. Nope, he hasn’t got a worry in the world. He’s given them all to you. Throw them back…and throw him back, too.

 #4 The Fast-Talker

He makes dates, breaks dates, and somehow talks so smooth and so fast that it takes a while for you to realize that what he’s saying doesn’t add up. In other words, he’s lying to you, lady, but he’s glib enough and charming enough to make you want to believe every word coming out of his crooked little mouth. He stands you up on Friday night, calls Saturday to apologize and explains that his aunt suddenly passed away, and he even garners a bit of sympathy from you…until he screws up and uses the same excuse a couple weeks later. Oh, it was a different aunt! Yeah, right. Believe that at your own risk.

#3 Mr. Business

Every gal wants a successful, ambitious man, doesn’t she? He’s got it all. Good job. Nice office. Big check. He’s suave, sophisticated, intelligent, and well-mannered. Nice dresser, too. Expensive ties, designer shirts, tailored suits. And that car of his! Don’t you just love being seen on this man’s arm? Sure, but you don’t love the constant interruptions. Every five minutes his cell phone is ringing, he’s getting text messages from around the country, and as often as not he’s got to cut a date short because he’s got a catastrophe to deal with back at the office. He’s not kidding. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get through dinner before he’s called away. And what about those plans you had for the weekend? Sorry, he’s got to fly out to the home office on Friday. Maybe you can find a friend and use those concert tickets anyway.

 #2 Macho Man

Yep, we all know him. He apparently doesn’t remember your name, though. You’re either “woman”, “babe”,  or “sugar”, and you’d better come running when he calls. With a beer in one hand, food in the other, and a smile upon your face. Macho Man has a limited vocabulary, consisting mostly of short phrases such as “gimme another beer”, and “fix me a pizza.” To his credit, he works hard, and he thinks you’re really cute…as long as you do what he says and remember the rules: Him Tarzan. You Jane.  Yeah, it really is a jungle out there.

 #1 The Smotherer

This man is one sick puppy, but like all puppies, he’s so soft, so sweet, and so cuddly, and he looks at you with those adoring eyes, so how can you resist him?   Yeah, he wags his tail, too, and he probably even licks your … uh, hand. He follows you around wherever you go. You call, he comes running. Of course, he’s never more than a few feet away — if you manage to get that much distance between you. Usually he’s only inches away, always touching, always wanting to get closer. Hey, he loves you! He wants to hug you, and kiss you, and be sure to text him as soon as you get to work each morning, and call him when you go to lunch, OK? If you don’t check in with him every hour — at least — he goes into panic mode.  He watches you, too. A lot. He likes to watch you eat. He likes to watch you sleep. He watches you put on your make-up. He watches you even when you don’t know he’s watching you. He’ll drive by your house and your office. Just checking to make sure you got where you were going. He’ll show up at the laundromat while you’re washing your clothes, at the movies when you catch a matinee with your gal pals, and whenever you go out for drinks with the gang from work. Count on it. He’s everywhere. Worst of all, he’ll never go away. Not ever.

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Have a date from hell you’d like to add to the list?

Email Christina at KCChristinacole@yahoo.com

Subject: Dates from Hell