Divorced Girl Smiling: 8 places to meet someone in the suburbs that don’t include bars

Most divorced people who live on the North Shore tell me they are the only single person on their block, and that it’s almost impossible to meet other single people. Many say dating websites are exhausting, and that only losers hang out in bars.

So, where do you meet someone who could turn out to be the man or woman of your dreams? You have to get creative.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of eight places where you could potentially meet Mr. or Mrs. Right — and only one serves alcohol!


1. The electronics department at Target

Where there are gadgets, games and things that need chargers, there are men. Especially men with young kids. Stop by Target on a weekend day and peruse the newest Wii games, video games, iPads, phones, digital cameras and laptops. What you see might be a lot more exciting than the newest, hottest headphones.

2. In the stands at your son’s hockey game

True story. A friend of mine was sitting in the bleachers watching her son play hockey when she noticed a nice-looking man smiling at her around the third period. The following week, the man was there again, and again he smiled at her. The third week, the man came over and asked her if he could sit with her. They were the only two single parents on the team, and ended up dating for six months. It didn’t work out, but at least when it ended, the season was over!

3. The prepared foods section at Whole Foods any weeknight

Freshly made sushi, salads with grilled chicken, tuna roll ups and homemade chicken soup attract single people who might not have their kids on a particular night, and therefore might be grabbing a quick bite to take home after work. With a craft beer and wine section 25 feet away, hitting it off with a fellow food shopper could turn into something more.

4. The car wash (the kind where you have to get out of the car)

If you want to increase your chances of meeting someone, forget drive-thru car washes and go to a place where you have to get out of your car. Not only will you get a better car wash, but every guy I know makes a clean car his priority. You do the math!

5. The Apple store any day or night

You can’t tell me that the Apple store isn’t packed every hour of every day. After you check in with one of the people in the blue shirts, there’s LOTS of waiting time, which is perfect for a friendly conversation. And there’s certainly no shortage of topics to talk about — your Apple products.

6. In the stands at a Bulls, Bears or Cubs game

Have you ever actually looked around at a Chicago sporting event and noticed the guy-to-girl ratio? I’d estimate 30 men to one woman. Plus, for some reason, men are very friendly and outgoing at sporting events. Might be the adrenaline, but most likely it’s the beer.

7. The McDonald’s play area (seriously, anytime)

When desperate for something to do, it’s a well-known fact that single dads take their young kids to the McDonald’s play area. Spend some time there! With your Happy Meal, you might end up with a McBoyfriend.

8. The gym on a Saturday and/or Sunday morning

Packed, packed, packed with men. They start as early as 7 a.m., but be mindful of the time. By 1 p.m., the majority are gone, most likely spending the day on the sofa watching sports.


Next week: How to answer your kids’ hardest divorce questions. If you have a divorce story to tell, a question or a piece of advice that might help others, feel free to reach out to Jackie@divorcedgirlsmiling.com