The number one complaint we hear from single parents looking for a partner? No time. Between work, errands, soccer games, school pickups, cooking dinner, and so on, the idea of finding an evening to go out on a date is daunting enough, let alone the time and energy it takes to get a date. Here are 8 great places to meet people that won’t take up too much of your time or take you too far out of your daily routine.

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1. The Gym

When you feel like time and energy are scarce, it’s important to remember that the places that you already go as part of your routine can be great spots to meet someone. The gym is a perfect example. As dating and relationships expert Dr. Tina Tessina explains, “If you go at a regular time when there are a lot of people, you can see the same person repeatedly, until you feel you know each other.” Which makes it easier to strike up a conversation – so try going to a particular class on a regular basis. Plus, as Dr. Tessina points out, the gym is basically a win-win: “It’s getting something done while looking, so it’s multitasking and not wasted time.” (Not to mention the obvious benefit of getting into better shape!)

Related: 6 Pick Up Strategies For The Gym That Actually Work

2. A Free Outdoor Concert

Wherever you live, you’ll likely find that there are free outdoor music events happening
all summer. They’re typically geared toward grown-ups but are (usually) kid friendly; it’s a laid-back environment where people are prepared to kick back for at least an hour, if not more, which gives you plenty of time to make your move. Before you know it, you’ll be sharing snacks and sunscreen with the single mom/dad on the picnic blanket beside yours.

Related: What Your Taste In Music Says About You On A Date

3. The Park

Parks and playgrounds are kind of a no-brainer, since there will be plenty of kids and
parents around. Hopefully you’ll find yourself pushing your child on the swings next to
another single parent, but even if not, keep in mind that married people have single
friends and they’re usually dying to hook those friends up.

Related: How To Set Your Friends Up (With As Little Awkwardness or Embarrassment As Possible)

4. Online

Online dating is maybe the quickest and easiest way to meet like-minded, single people. (If we may: Check out Single Parent Dating on Parenting.com, powered by HowHookup.) Or, even if you’re not ready to take the leap and joining a dating site, taking advantage of your social networks is a good way to find single friends of friends when you don’t have the time to socialize as much as you’d like to.

Related: Online Dating 101

5. The Grocery Store

It may be a little cliche, but the grocery store still is a great place to meet people and you can tell a lot about a person from what’s in their cart, according to Dr. Tessina. For
example, “if you’re a vegetarian, don’t waste your time on someone with a cart full of
meat. If they’re buying large quantities, they’re either in a relationship or planning a party — the type of purchases will tell you which.”

6. The Bike Path

Making small changes in your routine that expose you to more people will increase the
likelihood that you’ll meet someone. Depending on what your commute is like, try
walking or biking to work at least a few days a week when your childcare situation
allows for it. (Side benefits: Saving money on gas, saving the environment, and trimming your waistline.)

7. Farmer’s Market

The farmer’s market is a consistent event (usually every weekend during the spring and summer, depending on where you live), so like the gym, you’re bound to run into some of the same people from week to week. Maybe even some cute, entrepreneurial farmer who knows 28 ways to prepare rhubarb! (If that’s your thing.) Plus it’s kid-friendly and you’ll get a week’s worth of fresh vegetables out of the deal. Another win-win.

8. Speed Dating

We know it may sound silly/awkward/mortifying, but there are a couple of reasons that
speed dating is a great option for single parents. The first, and most obvious, is that it’s, you know, speedy. You can meet a lot of single people in your age range in a short period of time, which makes childcare a little easier. The other reason to try speed dating is for the practice. Half of the thing that stops many of us from meeting someone is just being out of the habit of flirting with strangers; we stop giving signals that we’re available. So whether you end up actually meeting anyone at a speed dating event or not, a little practice never hurt.

 

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