I am a single father looking for love, and my biggest problem is that a lot of women will not date me because I'm a dad. I am not a big drinker and partier, so the possibility of meeting women out in the social environment is nonexistent. I am active in many hobbies, but they are hobbies where I tend to be either by myself or with other men. I have tried the online dating thing, and it didn't work for me. I'm also pretty shy. So my question to you is: How can I meet a woman with my current situation being the way it is? - J.D., 34, San Antonio, TX
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I find it hard to believe that women are turned off because you're a dad. In my neck of the woods, a caring single dad is almost as appealing as a man in the park with a new puppy. So I'd say it's not your life circumstances that are holding you back; maybe you're just looking for love in all the wrong places (as the old song goes). You mentioned not being able to meet women "out in the social environment." But remember, that environment is bigger than the local tavern.
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So ask yourself: Where are the women who are likely to overlook - or, better yet, embrace - your single parenthood? Are you involved in your child's school? Wherever there are parents, there will be single moms. Be a classroom dad, offer to drive for the next field trip, coach a team. Or sign up to take a class yourself - any class will do. Do you like photography? Want to become a certified scuba diver? How are your pasta-making skills? (Opening a box of mac and cheese doesn't count!) If the thought of a class is too intimidating for you, sign up for a hiking trip or weekend of white-water rafting. Or you can volunteer at a local art or recreation center.
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The key is to find an activity that you might genuinely enjoy, show up, and have fun. The great advantage in any of these settings, especially for a shy guy such as yourself, is that there are regular arranged meetings, and there's always something to talk about. And the male-to-female ratio will almost certainly be in your favor. Aside from the years I spent in film school, where the guys regularly outnumbered the girls, every other class or organized trip I've ever arranged, taught, or participated in boasted many more women than men.
And hey, you might also consider getting that puppy!
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Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.
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