Dear Barb – Meeting someone special

Dear Barb;

I love your column Barb. I would love, though, to be able to ask for relationship advice but that would require a relationship. How does one go about meeting the opposite sex when you are so busy with school and work and there isn’t much time for play?

Nameless in Seattle

Good question, Nameless. I don’t think you are alone in your dilemma. In today’s hectic world, it’s hard to find time for socializing. However it is important that you try to put aside a certain amount of time to go out with friends, or do other activities that you enjoy.

The Internet has revolutionized most aspects of our lives, including how we meet each other. Online chat rooms have become a popular way for individuals to meet and they are particularly effective for individuals who are too shy to approach others. Equally popular for those without Internet access are phone chat lines. Both these venues offer the opportunity to learn about another person rather quickly. Local newspapers frequently provide phone numbers as well as web addresses for these services. Most charge a fee to join.

Speed dating is another avenue for meeting the opposite sex. In speed dating an equal number of men and woman get together for a relaxed dinner, or other activity. Each person pays a registration fee to attend. Individuals interact with each other until a bell rings, then they move on to the next person. This provides the opportunity to talk to a lot of different people within a short period of time. At the end of the evening each person fills out a card, which is presented to the host. Through the information collected the host arranges for parties who have indicated a mutual interest to meet each other. This is great for people who are too busy for the traditional ways of meeting new people.

However you may feel more comfortable meeting people through a more conservative route. Involving yourself in activities you enjoy will inevitably cause you to meet others with similar interests. For example if you enjoy baseball join a co-ed baseball team. If your interests are reading, spend time at your local library or bookstore. It’s easy to begin a conversation with someone with whom you share a mutual interest.

Also if you have children, this will be a major consideration when meeting someone. Take your children to parks, children’s museums, libraries, or the zoo, where you will meet other single parents. Likewise, if religion is an important part of your life, find out about groups, or social activities provided by your local church. Also by volunteering for your favorite charity, you will not only meet people, but also be doing something to help your community.

You need to take every possible opportunity to get out with members of the opposite sex. If your friends invite you out, even if you don’t feel like going, make yourself go. You never know who you will meet. Also be sociable with your coworkers. Even if you are not interested in anyone you work with, you never know who you will meet through them. Moreover, keep up to date on what’s happening in the world, so you’ll have something interesting to talk about when an opportunity presents itself.

The best advice I can give you is get out there and make time for play, as studies have shown that people who have an active social life, live longer and are healthier.

E-mail your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.