Friday, February 08, 2002

Staying single-minded


Services bring new friends together for meals or more

By Shauna Scott Rhone
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Though we seem to live in a couple-oriented society, recent census numbers show fewer people let Cupid's arrow lead them to the altar.

        • Some of the 79.5 million single people prefer being single. The ratio of men to women suggests many singles will stay that way.

        • The number of 20-something men who were never married, or who were widowed or divorced, accounted for 115 eligible partners for every 100 women in a similar situation.

        • The numbers hold for unmarried adults ages 30-44 (109 men per 100 women), but wither to a wasteland for women 45-64 with a ratio of 69 unmarried men for every 100 women. For those 65 and older, the ratio drops to 33 men per 100 women.

        Instead of cowering in some loveless corner, America's unattached are finding options for fun and challenging ways of celebrating singlehood. Here are just three examples:

Friendship Dining

        Like to dine in Cincinnati's best restaurants but don't want a “table for one?” Introducing Friendshipdining.org, one of thousands of Web sites dedicated to no-strings gatherings for singles.

        Signing up is free and opens the door to member-arranged dinner reservations with other singles in the area.

        Don't like the restaurant selection? Make your own reservation at a favorite restaurant and invite other Friendship Dining members.

        Everyone's responsible for their own portion of the tab and tip, new friends are made and you're out of the house and out on the town.

Just Lunch

        It's Just Lunch (www.itsjustlunch.com) is a different way for busy professionals to meet in hopes of making a quick love connection.

        Called the “yuppie yenta” by Forbes magazine, this San Diego-based dating service offers packages ranging from $995 for six dates in six months to $1,395 for 16 dates in 12 months.

        It's Just Lunch specializes in first date couplings over lunch, brunch or just a quick drink after work. During an interview with one of the company's matchmakers, preferences and interests are discussed, and they handle the rest. Members are matched, meet and either agree to meet again or decide to meet other members.

        Recently marking its 10th year of uniting couples, It's Just Lunch boasts initiating more than 9,000 marriages nationwide. There are offices inCincinnati (929-4499) and a Dayton office will open this year.

Caring Singles

        One thing that stops a date cold is discovering you have nothing in common.

        CaringSingles.com dating service combines the search for someone with similar values with service to the community through volunteer efforts sponsored by volunteermatch.org.

        For $15 a month and after completing a detailed questionnaire, singles can find people who pursue the same community-minded causes. A three-week trial membership is also available.

        Working with the responses to the questionnaire, a computer compiles a list of people with similar interests. Singles can send e-mail messages to arrange to talk or meet at a community service event.

       



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