Expanding Your Search Beyond the Church

Tom is a single male in his mid thirties who is finding it difficult to meet women. Not an unusual predicament, but for Tom the reason is the decreasing pool of observant Christian women, especially in the small town where he lives. While he makes sure to attend church on Sundays and has met some wonderful women through services and volunteer events, the commitment-ready bachelor says he "always feels it is a little forced" and he is looking to lessen some of the pressure he feels when attending.

Regardless of your denomination, individuals should be encouraged to expand their search beyond the church to find a suitable mate. Many people freeze up when they meet someone they are interested in dating, and often don't realize that they might be giving off the "I am not interested" or "let's just be friends" vibe, especially when it's a holy environment and there are other community members there watching.

So the best bet is to shift your energies for a while and explore other avenues. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Try reaching out to friends, colleagues (and if you are really bold, family) and let them know you are interested in being fixed up. Don't be shy about telling people you are actively searching for set-ups--- meeting friends of friends is a tried and often true matchmaking technique because the matchmakers know you and have your best interests at heart.

  2. If time and budget permit, plan to take a group trip for the holidays or invest in a winter time-share with other singles. There are plenty of travel companies and cruises that cater to the single segment, including GAP Adventures, Club Med and Singles Travel International to name a few. To make sure you are paired with other singles before embarking on your journey, call the travel provider and find out who else has signed up for the getaway you are interested in booking.

  3. Try to attend a "house party" - they are more intimate, which makes introductions and conversations less forced. With the holidays just around the corner, you don't have to wait to be invited to one, just invite some friends over and encourage everyone to bring someone who is single along to the party.

  4. Consider dining out or attending the movies alone on a regular basis. You never know who will be sitting in the row in front of you or at the bar stool beside you, and there is no need to be shy about trying to strike up conversations in those situations.

  5. If you meet someone cute in the elevator at work or at the gym, just smile and say hi. You'd be surprised how far a friendly "hello" can take you today.

  6. Don't be afraid to take your efforts online. There are plenty of niche sites like that cater to special interest groups that can help cross borders and boundaries to find someone who is just right.

By Helen Howard of for


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