By Laura Milligan
If going out to a smoke-filled bar night after night to meet singles doesn’t appeal to you, there are lots of other options out there for finding a date. Meeting up and hooking up doesn’t have to include sketchy rendezvous or even a night-owl lifestyle. This list will help healthy and active singles connect with each other at sporting events, during adventurous vacations and even online.
From the grocery store to the gym, here are several ways you can bump into your future honey at anytime during the day.
- At the gym: The gym is full of people interested in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as individuals looking to surround themselves with lots of other people. Those who make the time and feel confident enough to go to the gym and work out in front of other people are probably more receptive to making new friends too.
- The park: Camp out by the jogging trails at your city’s park to scope out all the hotties running by.
- The dentist: You don’t have to have a serious oral hygiene problem to go to the dentist. Make an appointment to get your teeth cleaned, and you’ll bump into lots of other health-minded individuals who value hygiene, fresh breath and preventative care.
- Religious settings: Join a group at a church or temple. Most religious centers sponsor groups just for singles, and you’ll meet people who care about their spiritual and mental health.
- Volunteer projects: Get involved with a charity that does a lot of physical work, like Habitat for Humanity’s house building program, or a group that educates the public on the dangers of drug abuse. If they’re involved in the fight against drugs or alcohol, then they’re probably clean too.
- Take lessons: Sign up for an adult dance class or swimming lessons. You’ll feel like you’re part of a group and will get the chance to socialize before and after class.
- Environmental groups: Those choosing to lead a “green” lifestyle generally take good care of themselves, as well as the planet. They’re also more in tune with nature and are more likely to be interested in outdoor activities.
- Whole Foods: Whole Foods is a favorite spot to shop for health nuts. You’ll probably also find singles sitting at tables drinking coffee, reading the paper and chomping on granola.
- Farmer’s markets: Local farmer’s markets attract a variety of singles, including environmentally-conscious people, healthy eaters, community advocates and those interested in nature and the outdoors.
- By the water: Bodies of water typically bring together socially-minded people who enjoy the outdoors. Join up with others by going swimming, renting a paddle boat or canoe, fishing, water skiing or even hosting a (healthy) bar-b-que.
- Intramural and club sports: Even if you haven’t played in years, join an intramural team or sign up to be their water boy (or girl) to meet lots of other healthy, active singles.
Hang out at special athletic events like city marathons to meet like-minded singles.
- Marathon or races: Whether it’s a race for charity or a city-wide marathon, these types of events attract large crowds of athletes at all levels.
- Sports events: While major league football and hockey games can be full of drunk, disorderly fans, tennis matches and other, more low-key sports events attract true lovers of the game.
- Competitions: Enter yourself into or just attend a city or county competition for lifeguards, firefighters, pet trainers or any other group. Often, these events have games, food and music.
- The Olympics: Getting a ticket might require a big investment, but you’ll be surrounded by athletes from all over the world, as well as hardcore fans and plenty of singles looking for a fun time while on vacation.
- Singles Yoga: This company welcomes individuals to learn and practice yoga with each other while building a “professional community for singles who are into health and wellness and meeting like minded people.” The group is located in Canada, but anyone can network with the students and teachers online on Facebook, MySpace or Meetup.
If you’re serious about joining a community that values health, diet and fitness as much as you do, consider moving to one of these cities, all considered to be extremely healthy.
- San Francisco: In 2007, San Francisco was named the city with the most healthy singles by Match.com.
- Los Angeles: In the same study conducted by Match.com, Los Angeles ranked number two on the list of cities “where you will find singles hitting the gym.” LA is also close to beautiful beaches, perfect sites for playing volleyball, surfing or rollerblading.
- Seattle: Seattle’s proximity to the mountains, ocean and rainforest give singles in the area lots of options for outdoor activities. The city also placed 3rd on Match.com’s “Top Cities for Vegetarian Lovers” list and fifth on the “Top Cities for the Non-Smoker” list.
- San Jose: San Jose, CA is ranked number one on Sperling’s “Top 10 Cities with Highest Healthiest Cities Scores.”
- Washington, D.C.: The U.S. capitol has the highest Mental Wellness score, as designated by Sperling’s list.
- Austin, TX: This Texan city is home to lots of outdoor enthusiasts and environmentally-conscious singles. Austin is also close to the beautiful Texas Hill Country and several lakes and rivers.
- Portland, OR: Portland was ranked in the number 2 spot on Cooking Light’s list of the cities where people eat right, exercise and “live well.” Portland also features 277 miles of bike paths, over 200 parks, and lots of hiking trails and other outdoor activities.
- Calgary: Calgary, Canada, was named “the world’s best city when it comes to healthy living” in 2004. The city offers many outdoor activities for visitors, including camping, bike riding and more.
Take a vacation to indulge your adventure-seeking side and to join up with fun, active singles you wouldn’t normally meet at home.
- Aspen, CO: This ski resort town is popular with people of all ages, but especially young singles. Visit this website for information on annual events, group rates and more.
- Dude Ranch: Head out to a dude ranch for old timey country fun. Other visitors will be up for
the adventure and fit enough to ride horses and go on hiking trails.
- Whitewater Rafting: Research whitewater rafting vacations, which will introduce you to extreme water sports and groups of energetic travelers.
- Vegetarian Vacation: There are lots of travel options out there for vegetarians who want to experience a true “veggie holiday.” While you’re out in nature bike riding, camping or taking a llama trekking tour, you’ll meet other active vegetarians.
- Health spas: Nurture your mental and spiritual health at a nature spa, where you can meet others during community events, outdoor activities and more.
- Culinary vacations: Learn about other cultures while you travel with a group to places like Provence, France, where you’ll learn new recipes and healthy lifestyle tips.
- Wine country bike tour: Take a wine tour through California’s Sonoma and Napa valleys. You’ll meet lots of fun singles and won’t feel too guilty about your indulgence if you travel by bike.
- Wild Women Expeditions: Wild Women Expeditions is a Canadian “outdoor adventure company for women” that features special lesbian-friendly vacations. Trips include hiking, paddling, fly fishing, cycling and more.
- Special singles vacations: Many travel companies like Singles Travel International offer or specialize in organizing vacations just for singles. Book an Alaskan cruise or a mountain climbing trip to Peru to meet other active singles.
- The Caribbean: The Caribbean isn’t just for honeymooners. Trips like this one to the British Virgin Islands are great for outdoor-minded individuals who want to sail, go snorkeling, water skiing and meet adventure-seeking singles in a tropical location.
- Hawaii: Another popular honeymoon spot, Hawaii is also a paradise for singles. Honolulu is considered one of the healthiest cities in the world, and visitors can take advantage of the many natural resources for healthy eating, surfing, hiking, camping, visiting health spas and much more.
These online networking sites will connect you to singles and people who like maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Join one to learn about social and athletic events in your area, meet up with singles during a trip or just socialize online.
- Meetup: This popular site allows members to find like-minded friends based on geography and interest, including sports, travel and health and wellness.
- Care2: Get advice on planning a green vacation from the members of Care2, a social networking site all about becoming an advocate for protecting the environment.
- OKCupid: This online dating site is free to use and lets users customize the way they search for potential dates.
- OUTeverywhere: OUTeverywhere is a gay social network with chat forums on topics like climate change, rugby, wine, fitness, economics, travel and more.
- passportstamp: Network with other travelers, and organize a meet up during your next vacation to introduce yourself in person.
- Sportsvite: Joing Sportsvite to learn about sports events and teams you can join in your city. You can also play games and manage teams online.
- TravBuddy: Stay connected when you travel by logging in to TravBuddy. You can meet other travelers when you’re abroad, post pictures of your vacation and get tips on hotel stays, plane tickets and more.
- WAYN: WAYN stands for Where Are You Now? Use the site to connect with other travelers and friends when you’re on vacation.
- Match.com: This popular online dating site lets you scope out member profiles before meeting them in person.
- eHarmony: eHarmony is another online portal for meeting singles. Screen potential dates to find out their hobbies, health habits and more.
- Fitness Singles: This site is the “fastest-growing online dating community for sports and fitness enthusiasts.” Post a free profile and connect with singles interested in racquetball, skydiving, sea kayaking, tennis, skiing, baseball, kickboxing, Pilates and other adventures.
- Active.com: This site publishes articles and blogs, sponsors discussions and chats and provides resources for active individuals, including singles. Search topics like cycling, football, softball, triathlon and more.
For the truly devoted, here are a few more bonus opportunities that will help you meet fun loving singles.
- Host a cooking class: Advertise a free cooking class for healthy eaters. Open up your own home or see if you can access a kitchen at the YMCA or other public center.
- Sponsor a weekend getaway: Organize a weekend camping trip or bike tour with your friends. Ask them to invite a person you don’t know to include more people and increase your chances of making a love connection.
- Join an OREC group: Colleges usually sponsor lots of OREC opportunities for students, but if you’re not eligible to join, start your own or look for community-wide clubs that go on day or weekend excursions.