Where to meet men without baggage

Often, the previous week's newsletter elicits questions and comments similar to Patty's email, which is shared with you today.

She wrote, "I'm 58, happily single (divorced 30 years), financially stable, independent and compassionate, and have no baggage including leftovers from past relationships. Where would you suggest meeting a 60-year-old gentleman sans luggage?"

Then she explained why she asked the question: "I'm scared - really scared - with all the losers out there. I don't want to get stuck with one of them and that is why I back off from dating.

"Am I asking too much for someone who doesn't smoke, doesn't drink (excessively - no member of AA), do drugs, have dangerous hobbies and has minimal baggage? The supposed nice ones I meet are oozing in addiction, child support, and alimony."

"Patty, Patty, Patty," I responded.

"Perhaps last week's column about the con man who stole a woman's checkbook and cashed three checks was misleading. There are lots of good men available. Don't be so darned scared.

If the ones you meet are oozing in addiction, child support, and alimony, you're meeting them in "all the wrong places" as Johnnie Lee sang in Lookin' For Love in the 1980 John Travolta/Deborah Winger movie Urban Cowboy www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAyDmJvjxbg . Where you meet men is what needs to be changed.

Are you asking too much to avoid men with nasty habits? Of course not. Why would any woman tolerate such behavior? You have a near-perfect life, why screw it up?

Before searching for a male hangout, make a written list of the qualities you bring to the table. You already described them in your first paragraph above. Just expand on them.

Then, on the right-hand side of the same piece of paper, jot down a list of the qualities you want in a mate. In my book, Finding Love After 50. How to Begin. Where to Go. What to Do, a few pages are devoted to this exercise. Core qualities can't be compromised; others of lesser importance can. Tape the list to your mirror.

Finally, where to meet 60-year-old dudes sans baggage?

If I knew of a place where available, desirable, age 60, single men, hangout, for the purpose of meeting single women your age, I'd sell the answer and become a rich man. There simply is no place in the USA where that exists.

So, where to meet them? Anywhere and everywhere. You simply have to get out and meet new people.

And don't go out for the purpose of meeting a mate. Go out to enrich your life and to make yourself a more interesting person.

For activities ideas: Try www.MeetUp.com , which spans the entire country. Not all of the activities will be right for you, many are for younger people, and some--a quilting club, for example--won't put you around men. Other activities: volunteering going back to school, a two-week trip to Italy, or Internet dating, it's up to you. Speaking of volunteering, there are close to 700 volunteers helping travelers at the DFW Airport in Dallas. All activities take time, effort and dedication.

My latest book, How 50 Couples Found Love After 50, reveals 58 ways single women into their 80s met their men. It's chocked full of ideas and tips.

Meeting someone is a numbers game. It might be on your first encounter, or your 101st encounter. Patience, determination, and a vitamin-C attitude are necessary.

Don't compromise. Sounds like your life is pretty darned good. Why mess it up over a broken-down cowboy at Gilley's in Pasadena, Texas?

You can't expect to meet someone when you've backed away back from dating. So, proceed confidently out there knowing you've got much to offer and keep a keen eye out for a suitable partner.

One of our members makes the cover story of Reno Magazine

Lauren, a widow and member of our group, lives in Reno. She was tired of being alone in the Silver State. She went online and met Steve on Match.com, who lived 50 miles south in Carson City. They started dating, Steve moved to Reno, and now they are married. Their story is the lead story of the beautifully presented February/March 2010 issue of Reno Magazine.

Lauren said, "This has been a wonderful experience. We are very settled and very happy. It truly has been the best thing ever.

"Thanks so much for the wonderful experience of being part of your great book which obviously lead to the Reno Magazine. My life continues to get better and better and I am truly blessed!"

Below is the link to the cover page of Reno Magazine. Lauren's and Steve's story begins on page 28 and 29, and the main part of their story is on page 34. The pictures of the two of them are priceless. When you land on the cover page, you can go to the thumbnail section (you'll see it) and scroll to those three pages. It's worth checking out. Lauren looks radiant and Steve is a happy Nevadan!

© 2010, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and in Chicago. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His second book is Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do. His latest book is titled How 50 Couples Found Love after 50. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or E-Mail.

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