Voices: I’ve had it with dating apps – I’m determined to find love at Parkrun, instead

·3-min read
Turning 40 in lockdown, I have felt more now than ever before that I do want to meet someone, settle down and have children with  (Getty Images)
Turning 40 in lockdown, I have felt more now than ever before that I do want to meet someone, settle down and have children with (Getty Images)

I have been single for 13 years after going through a divorce. Since then I have never really met anyone that I connected with, and it’s been quite difficult. I turned 40 in lockdown and now more than ever, I want to meet someone to settle down and have children with.

Being single is great for having independence, but I also feel that having a companion to do fun things with would be nice. So I’m hoping 2022 is the year for me to find love.

As Covid restrictions slowly come to an end, we can finally start seeing people’s faces without masks in person again. For so long, it’s been a case of scrolling through several profiles on dating apps and feeling frustrated as they just don’t work for me.

But this is my year to delete dating apps and try new things by getting out and about. The first thing I have done is sign up for the weekly Parkrun. The plan is to go to a different one every Saturday. I’ve also signed up for ramblers’ walks, single holidays, as well as single cookery and pottery classes. I’ve looked into wine tasting – I don’t drink but I have a friend who does and is single. And I’ve even gone to the extent of finding a personal matchmaker.

After tweeting about it, I had such a huge response from people. Apparently, not many people would think of doing things like this to meet someone so I wanted to help others to think out of the box.

Other things I have signed up for include a book club. I’m not someone who reads much, but it’s something new to try where I’ll meet new people. I even came across a “Desi Ramblers” group on Facebook. It’s for Asians who want to go out for walks and meet other single people. I am not ruling anything out.

Joining golf and tennis clubs are other things I’m considering doing. My gym also organises triathlons and other sports challenges, which is another fun way to meet new people while competing. But the funniest thing I’ve done? I watched a show at the theatre recently and noticed lots of volunteers helping to usher people in, so I’m giving it a go too.

The best way to meet someone is to be out and about at events. We have been indoors and online for so long that I want to be able to have conversations in person, go for walks, get a coffee and get to know someone in real life.

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I don’t think I’ll be going back to dating apps even if they work for other people. The last time I went on one, a guy started calling me things that made me uncomfortable after we’d only spoken a few times. It just feels like it’s mostly all about one-night stands, and that’s not for me.

The way forward for dating is to get out there in the real world, meet people and find unique things to do. Even if you don’t meet a partner, you will make friends and they could introduce you to “the one” too.

I’m all about living each day to the fullest, having fun and thinking positively about dating. For all the singles out there looking for love, I have no doubt it’s just around the corner for us. Keep trying and you’ll soon find what you’re looking for.