Several weeks ago, I was catching up with a close friend of mine that I will call Alexis. Alexis had recently found herself single again and we were discussing the intricacies of her newfound situation, struggles, and relationship with God.
While not a major topic of our conversation, Alexis mentioned the difficulty of meeting people in person today, not only members of the opposite sex but just other live people. To find a group that was assembling in person, not virtually, and coincided with her schedule as a working single person was quite difficult.
After our phone call, I pondered her words for several days. I wondered if some of the folks who read my blog felt the same way. I also thought, where would I go to meet others if I found myself single again?
Things have sure changed since I was single and especially since the pandemic hit. However, I still believed it was possible to find community and meet others outside of the internet. As such, I did some research. Below are some of the options I would pursue if I was single in the year 2021 and recommend for those wanting to make new friends and put themselves out there. Remember, God can work in so many ways!
- Toastmasters: This is a nonprofit educational organization that has local chapters all around the world. The focus is to teach public speaking and leadership skills. One can attend a meeting as a guest to check out how it operates, meeting the officers and members of the chapter. Upon joining, dues are payable and there are benefits of membership. For those interested in learning more, I recommend checking out the Toastmasters International website.
- Sports and Recreation: Another very close friend of mine met her husband via a running club. Now I do not run, but I really like to walk. So, I investigated the Road Runners Club of America to see if there was one in my area and there is. They encourage people who walk and jog to join as well. As such, I believe this could be an option for me. Also, this category is not limited to running and walking. There are other options available for those of you interested in other types of sports and recreation. A search can be performed on Zogsports for specific cities. I also recommend checking out your local YMCA, YWCA, and rec center. There may be various leagues and sports opportunities available through these community powerhouses.
- Book Clubs: I love to read. I love to talk about the books I am reading. A book club is the perfect place for someone like me. Your local library may have a book club or hold book discussions, as such I encourage you to check with them. Two additional sources for finding a local book club are the Reader’s Circle and an article by Book Riot.
- Catholic/Christian Singles Groups/Events: These are still worth looking into and checking out as one never knows how God may chose to work in your life. A call to your Diocese to inquire about any groups available may be worth it’s weight in gold. I did this as a single person and discovered that there was a group open to both married and single people. It was a combination prayer and fellowship group. It was very hard for me to go the first time, but I did. I made new friends, went on trips, and out to group dinners. A very close friend today is from that diocesan group. Other places to search are Meetup, Catholic Alumni Clubs International, and to utilize a search engine for catholic single groups in your vicinity.
- Theology on Tap/New Beginnings: This category covers two different groups. Theology on Tap is for young adults, which is defined as single or married, ages 21-39. This ministry meets at a local pub where folks can order food and spirits, then listen to an engaging speaker on an issue of faith and life. Beginning Experience is for those adults experiencing loss of a spouse from separation, divorce, or death. There is a weekend retreat and ongoing support options. A phone call to your Diocese or a search engine look should be able to assist you in locating one of these options near you.
- Volunteer: This is a great way to meet new people, give back to your community, and help your fellow human being at the same time. It is a win-win. Some areas to consider volunteering in are: Human Rights/Pro-Life; Children & Youth; Animal Welfare; Arts & Culture; Education & Literacy; Crisis Support & Disaster Relief; the Environment; your church; visiting the elderly. At VolunteerMatch, you can locate various volunteer opportunities near you as well.
- Wine Clubs: This is different than the type of club that has wine shipped every month or so many months. It is a group of wine enthusiasts that meet to sample and drink wine, possibly purchasing cases together to obtain a discount. Of course, Meetup is a great place to look. However, asking the folks at your local wine shops and wineries if they know of any wine clubs in your area is a good way to go, too.
- Take a Class: Learning a new skill, craft, or subject is always fun and personally rewarding. I did this several times when I was single, and as a married person. There are different search options available to locate a class that interests you. For example, your local library or rec center may have classes that interest you and are free or reasonably priced. Local mom and pop shops may offer courses (and even some big chain stores, too). The diocese that I live in offers a Diocesan Institute for Catechetical and Pastoral Formation. As part of this institute, there are many interesting courses available along with the opportunity to earn a Catechetical Certificate. Perhaps your diocese has something similar? Also, finding a Bible Study is another option. If your home parish or church does not have one, call the diocese and ask what is available in the churches near you or throughout your diocese.
- Events: This can be a one-time happening, but it is still worth looking into and attending. You may make friends or meet someone that turns into your suitable spouse. In addition, having an event to look forward to always brings anticipation and joy. I recommend searching Eventbrite for happenings that interest you. Another site that showcases events in major cities is Fever. I also encourage you to check out the National Catholic Singles Conference. There is an annual gathering and some online events as well. I recommend utilizing a search engine with “Catholic Single Events Near Me” and “Catholic Single Events Your Town/City.” I did this and additional events popped up, like Catholic speed dating and various conferences, etc. I think it is interesting what you can find out there.
I know that it hard to go to these places when you are single. At least it was for me. I just wanted God to end my singleness already. However, we never know when he will end our prolonged singleness by introducing us to our suitable spouse.
We do not stop living our lives when we are single. These nine ideas are resources to meet new people, have fun, and put yourself out there. I am going to share these resources with my friend, Alexis, as I am hopeful that she may find at least one that suits her needs. I know I discovered new information as well.
Julieanne M. Bartlett All Rights Reserved Copyright 2021