I recently was asked where a single woman over 40 can meet men in NY. As a married woman and primarily a psychologist, this “where to go in Manhattan” is not my forte. I am a dating expert but I specialize in helping singles meet their mate by working on their dating psychology. My piece of this puzzle is to help them raise their self-esteem, look at destructive patterns in the people that they choose, help them to date more consciously and to get clear about the mate that they do want now and to help them realize where they may sabotage themselves while they are dating someone. Having just described my job description, over the years I have learned more about the realistic action part: where do I go? What do I do? Frankly, anyone with a computer can google a ton of singles events and venues in the city and I also have a large appendix of dating sites and ideas in the back of my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out.’
But rather than saying this, I considered the question further. The answer to this question can be answered generally for all age groups but women over 40 have expressed specific frustration because often understandably they want to be part of a singles crowd of their peers and are looking for a different type of environment. Past students and clients over 40 (men and women) have asked me to start a dating support group for that age range (which I still intend to do at some point but have not yet had the time). So far now, I thought I could be most helpful by trying to research the question a bit. Once I started surfing the net, I understood how many singles event sites were vague about their age ranges. So, a 45-year-old woman might end up at a singles dinner or a singles bar and be surrounded by 25-year-olds (no age prejudice here and hooray for cougars but not every woman wants to date this age range!) This situation could prove very uncomfortable and sometimes interests and preferences are different as well. I suggest that singles venues, dances etc begin to list nights for these mid age ranges to address this concern.
Furthermore, singles in their 40’s-50’s are like that middle child in that they do not feel they clearly belong anywhere. They aren’t the baby or the eldest and similarly, these singles do not love the 20 something bars nor do they want to surf the AARP classifieds or attend senior trips, events and centers yet.
So, I will answer this dating question both in a general sense and I will also try to list a few specific places that seem to focus on this middle age range to start you out on your search for love in NYC.
- Online dating– Many people rule this one out because they feel a profile with their age will disqualify them and that it is better to meet someone in person. While that may be true in some cases, there are times that it won’t. Online dating is an inexpensive, easy way to cast a wide net and to target your age range without much effort. It is definitely worth a try and should be an integral part of your search. My book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ has a section of specialty dating sites and teaches you to set up a profile and get started with online dating. There are even sites that focus on singles over 40 or divorced singles etc.
- Fix-Ups/Blind dates– This is a great one because you can specify your age range and interests beforehand. Tell everyone you know that you are looking and ask them to introduce you to someone.
- Parties- NYC (as well as other places) have singles parties where you can meet other singles in a casual, fun environment. Many of them do not specify their age group. Here were two that seemed geared towards this middle-aged crowd. There may be others: www.boomerparties.com & http://www.docsparties.com/
- Fundraisers– Hospital fundraisers and the like often attract an established, older crowd because the tickets and topic are an investment of time and money. This may be a great venue to do good and mingle.
- Volunteering- Volunteering is a great way to meet caring people while investing your time in something worthwhile. Here are a few sites of single’s volunteering (most do not specify an age group so call them): http://www.newyorkcares.org/volunteer/ & http://volunteering.meetup.com/cities/us/ny/brooklyn/
- Meetup Groups– Today there are groups devised around every topic and age group. If you go ontowww.meetup.com you can enter singles, your age group and an interest of yours and there will be many groups to join inexpensively. This is a great way to meet new people and you can go as often or as little as you want—just GO! You can even create your own to specifically meet your needs!
- Singles dances– Just like in your parents dating years, singles dances are a good way to meet a man. Pick an event specified towards your age group. Boomerparties has some dances.
- Singles Events– Singles events are great places to go because everyone is looking for a date. There are even events geared specifically towards singles 40 and up. Here was one I found online http://www.powerssingles.com/index.shtml (singles who are 40’s-60’s) & the 92nd St Y: www.92y.org/shop/category.asp?category=Programs+%2D+Singles+Events888Singles+Special+Events888 (some events 40+) & the rock & roll dance party for folk over 40: http://singles.meetup.com/2352/ Please share others.
- Classes– Classes are a fun, non-pressured way to meet new people. To find people in your age range, you can try and pick something more geared to your age group like opera, taking care of aging parents, etc. For example, when you go to the 92nd St. Y website, you can search for classes under the category of ‘baby boomers’ and they have workshops geared towards that age group.
- Singles sports leagues– This is a fun way to get moving and meet other people. At worst you’ll get some exercise and meet nice folks. Certain bike groups and meetups will specify age ranges, otherwise you just need to go and see. Here are some places to start: http://www.nycsocialsportsclub.com/ & www.meetup.com/North-jersey-over-40-Soccer/
- Singles dining groups– What’s better than meeting new singles over a great meal? There are now a number of dining groups for singles and some take into account matching you within your age range. Here are a few to get you started: www.tastydiningnetworks.com/ (they purport to consider age when matching) or http://www.chancedinners.com/about (28-42 yrs old) & wine tasting for folks over 40: www.meetup.com/40-Upscale-Fun-Professional-Did-I-Say-Fun-Wine-Tasters/
- Weekend day trips– Get away from your regular surroundings and soak in some culture. The 92nd St. Y has trips to restaurants, museums and interesting sites: www.92y.org/shop/category.asp?category=adults888Adults+%2D+Events888Y+Outings888 I am sure there are many others.
- Book groups– Discussing literature is a great way to know something deeper about a person. You can start your own and ask girlfriends to invite a guy they were not interested in. Or, you can research book groups in your area.
- Steakhouses/restaurants– Often an older crowd flocks to steakhouses. Start by checking out these few: Peter Lugar Steakhouse, The Strip House & Sparks Steakhouse.
- Self-development workshops– These are a good way to learn something about yourself and the others that you are with. Good places to check out are Omega, The Open Center and workshops and related conferences in your area.
- Matchmaker– Getting a reputable matchmaker can help you gain introductions to people in your age range who have similar interests. This is often more expensive than online dating, so I would start there.
- Church or synagogue singles group– Often your local church and synagogue is a great place to meet like-minded singles. Some of these groups even specify an age range, or you can start one. Perhaps if there is another church in your area that has one, you can join without becoming a member. You can inquire.
- Alumni events– College or graduate school alumni events can be a great place to meet people with whom you’ve had a common experience. Also, there will be people from later years there so there will be new people you did not know. Even if they are married, they may know someone for you.
- Bookstore talks– Check out your local Borders or Barnes & Noble for their book signing and book discussion calendar. You can listen to the people in the crowd and start a conversation. Here is an example of a link: http://www.meetup.com/bookclub-810/
- Professional Groups: Another good way to meet experienced professionals is to network at something like the chamber of commerce where you can give out your card and talk to people in a non-pressured way. It’s always great to exchange ideas and expand your network. Check out their site:http://www.manhattancc.org/common/events/default.cfm?clientID=11001
- Create a Classified Ad: If you want the freedom to very specifically describe yourself and the person you are looking for, why not create an ad? The man you are looking for may read the newspaper and he may not be looking for love online.
- Museums & Theater: I knew a middle-aged woman who met her husband by accidentally sitting next to him at the opera. Okay, so that’s a long shot but you can meet people anywhere if you are friendly and plenty of singles do go to the museum and theater alone and would be happy to meet someone great there.
- Cruises & Vacations: The next time you take a vacation, why not look for a target rich environment? There are now singles cruises and vacations for the over 40 set. Check out a few examples: www.singlestravelservice.com/40sOverBabyBoomerSinglesCruise.htm & http://www.rsvp.com.au/singles+travel/trips+holidays.jsp
- Clubs of that Age Group: People over 40 doing fun things together: www.meetup.com/Still-Cool-Over-40/
- Speed dating: With speeddating, you can meet 7-10 dates at once and practice your dating skills in a short period of time. Here are a few sites to start with: http://www.nyeasydates.com/ (have age groupings), http://www.weekenddating.com/ (have older age groupings)
- Forums: This is a good way to meet single peers: www.socialcircles.com/detail_about_sc.asp (mostly 30’s & 40’s)
- Lock & Key parties: This is an original way to meet singles in your age range at scheduled events:http://www.lockandkeyevents.com/index.php/home/regiondisplay/NYC/ (28-50 age range)
- Social Networking Sites– Yes, we have all known people who have met and hooked up on Facebook and Twitter but I am talking about specialty social networking sites for 40 somethings so you can get ideas and meet people in the same boat.
- Throw a singles party– ask all your singles friends to bring three single men they know (but you don’t) and whom they like, but only platonically. This will automatically create a new dating pool.
- Bars/Happy hours– I am not a great fan of meeting dates in a bar but this tends to be the most popular approach, probably because slight inebriation helps the nerves and you can pop in and stay as long as you want. So, here are some target rich locations:
30 NYC Bars to check out for some middle-aged singles:
- Knickerbocker Bar & Grill
- Oak Room
- The Brandy Library
- The Old Lenox Room
- Whiskey Blue
- Blue Water Grill
- Nobu 57
- Capital Grille
- Bruno Jamais
- Mandarin Oriental Lobby Bar
- Monkey Bar
- Prey Bar & lounge
- Randolph’s Bar & Lounge
- Park Bar
- P.J. Clarkes
- Chelsea Place
- Miss Elle’s Homesick Bar
- The Four Seasons
- The Carlyl
- Candle Bar
- Dublin House
- Stone Rose
- St. Regis
- Bin 71
- 230 Fifth
- The World Bar
Again, I am not personally that into the bar scene myself so those of you who are, please share your own suggestions here too.
My Best in Love,
Other related event lists: