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Single And Wanting To Be Social

It can seem like a big effort to organise a social life when you’re single.  Even if you have a lot of single friends, the chances are that they'll all have different ideas of how they want to spend their free time.  Some, perhaps if they've just come out of a relationship, will be happily enjoying being single, while some will be ready to meet a new partner and others may be keen to enjoy many different experiences.

It can be an easy option to spend time having drinks, dinner or coffee with other single friends or couples, and this can be a good and enjoyable thing to do.  But if that's all you do it's unlikely that there'll be many new people to meet.

So, what else can you do?

Well, to state the obvious, while it might take some determination on your part, especially when you really don't feel like it, it is an investment, and one which nobody else is going to make for you.

But, how do you start?

Well, let's assume that the aim is to meet some new people but without feeling under too much pressure.  For most of us it's easier to meet somebody when the ice is already broken by the context and circumstances of meeting.

We often notice, through working with clients, that what's needed is somewhere to go as a single person at times that suit you, and to somewhere that you feel comfortable being, with opportunities to socialise around and talk about a common interest.

When we make various suggestions to some clients we are often greeted with bemused looks, but these ideas can and do work!  Not every avenue will be right for you.  You might try several ideas and nothing seems to gel, but persistence can be rewarding.

The easiest thing to try is some kind of club.  If you can find something you’re naturally interested in or feel you would like to know more about then that can often be the best place to start.

During one of our recent workshops a woman was describing the social life she'd enjoyed when she was single and had taken up scuba diving.  And on the last workshop someone suggested joining a tennis club.  The reasons given were that such clubs attract both men and women, so there are lots of opportunities to widen one's social circle, develop an interest or learn something new.  The important point is that, if you can find a club-based activity then there's always somewhere you can drop into and something to talk about with others once you're there; you instantly have access to a group of people with something in common.

Some other suggestions might be sailing, cycling, jogging, golf, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, volleyball, beach volleyball, dancing, or walking.  These all have the potential to provide regular meetings and opportunities to widen your social circle, in addition to a feeling of camaraderie and shared experiences.

Ok, so far these are all physical activities.  So what's out there for those of us who might prefer something more sedentary?  Well, how about trying chess or bridge or poker or perhaps wine tasting.

The website www.meetup.com is worth looking at.  It has the tag line 'Do Something, Learn Something, Share Something, Change Something'.  You can search by postcode for just about anything: Nordic Walking, Meditation, Business Networking Groups, etc.  It certainly gives food for thought.

Weekend volunteering is a great opportunity to give some time and energy where it's really appreciated and make some new friends.  In our local area, for example, Suffolk National Trust are looking for weekend volunteers for outdoor work such as coppicing or property-based work, which could mean working at somewhere such as Melford Hall where you could work in the garden, tearoom or as an events organiser.  There are many opportunities with The National Trust to explore.

For something more long term perhaps consider a career break or a voluntary placement overseas.  Career breaks can be for as little as one week to a couple of years.

If you long to sing but haven't yet got beyond the bathroom, have a look at these - neither requires an audition but both involve singing and performing as a choir.

For classical try The Really Big Chorus which does one day performances from scratch, for example 'Handel from Scratch' at The Royal Albert Hall.

And for rock, have a look at Rock Choir.  The involvement is for 10 weeks for rehearsal each term with performances throughout the year and a main event in the summer.

Organised events have had a poor reputation over the years.  Perhaps try Events Together or The Dinner Club which organises dining events, balls and single holidays.

Holidays can be a difficult time, but there are companies providing good holiday options for single people and even focus on a specific interest.  For instance:

  • Friendship Travel independent and group holidays that cater mostly to the 30 to 55 age group.

  • Solo's Holidays provide escorted trips to destinations worldwide, including activity holidays, cruising and golf.  While most trips take a mix of people, some departure dates are aimed at specific age ranges, for example, 25-45, 30-59 and over 45.

  • Go To Learn and Fusion Escapes provide activity holidays for single people including cookery, photography, flamenco guitar, dancing, wine tasting and yoga, there are many options on their sites.

The point is to do something that you find interesting or at least worth exploring, with a group of people who may or may not be single.

So, why bother making all this effort?  Well, you'll be having, at worst, a new experience and, at best, an opportunity to participate in something worthwhile and, in some cases, access to a centre or club which you can drop into when it suits you where you'll have something in common with others there, plus the opportunity to meet a new group of individuals.  And who knows where that might lead, if you want it to that is?

You may have to try a few different things, please do let us know of other ideas that haven't been mentioned here and we can add them to our website.

List of Links:

Bridge www.ebu.co.uk
Chess www.chesscorner.com
Clay Pigeon Shooting www.cpsa.co.uk
Cycling www.britishcycling.org.uk
Dance www.danceweb.co.uk
Golf www.englishgolfunion.org
Holidays www.fusionescapes.com
Horse Riding www.horsesridinglesson.co.uk
Jogging www.joggingbuddy.com
Poker www.theweeklypokerclub.com
Sailing www.firstclasssailing.com
Scuba Diving www.bsac.com
Singing www.trbc.co.uk
Social Events www.eventstogether.co.uk
Tennis www.tennisfoundation.org.uk
Volleyball www.gospike.net
Volunteering and Career Breaks www.do-it.org.uk
Walking www.ramblers.org.uk
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