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

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

Being single is great and having that independence, but I also feel that having a companion to do fun things with is nice to have and I feel this is my time to find that special someone. New Year, new start and hoping 2022 is the year for me to find love.

As we come out of Covid and no more mask-wearing, I finally feel I can start seeing people’s faces again. Because for so long it’s been a case of sitting behind the laptop and scrolling through several men on dating apps and feeling frustrated as they just don’t work for me.

This is the year to delete dating apps and try new and authentic things. This means getting out and about and meeting someone naturally. The first thing I have done is to sign up for the weekly Parkrun. The plan is to go to a different one every Saturday and I will also sign up to volunteer with them.

As well as the Parkrun, I have signed up for ramblers’ walks, single holidays, as well as single cookery and pottery classes. I have also looked into wine tasting – I don’t drink but I have a friend who does and is single.

I have even gone to the extent of finding a personal matchmaker who takes their time to meet people and find out about those single and then will make introductions.

After sharing this tweet I had such a huge response from people as it’s something quite quirky – not many would think of doing things like this to meet someone. I know many others are in my situation and I want to help others to think out of the box.

Other things I have signed up for are a book club. I am not someone who reads much, but it’s something new to try and also to 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 and I love outdoor activities.

I have even looked into golf and tennis clubs and all the kinds of sports that men like to do. I am a member of a gym, and they organise triathlons and other challenges and this is a great way to meet new people and interact and compete – it’s all fun stuff.

The funniest thing I have done is I watched a show at the theatre recently and I noticed lots of volunteers helping to usher people in, so I went and asked the box office how I can get involved and the good news is that I can … so this is something I will also be doing since theatres have lots of people coming through the doors.

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

There are even single daytime travel trips that I have come across and I love travelling and exploring so I’m going to give this a go too.

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I don’t think I’ll be going back to dating apps even if people say they work – I’m sure they do, but not for me. In fact, the last time I went on there, I spoke to a guy a few times and we hadn’t met, and he started calling me sexy, hot and all these other things which I felt so uncomfortable with. It just feels like there’s no respect and it’s all about one-night stands and that isn’t for me.

For me, the way forward for dating is to encourage yourself to get out there, meet people and find unique things to do, even if you don’t meet a partner, you will make friends and through them, you just don’t know who may know someone or you may end up at an event and meet “the one”.

I am all about living each day to the fullest, having fun, thinking positively and good things come your way. For all the singles out there looking for love, I feel it’s just around the corner for all of us. Keep going and you’ll soon find what you’re looking for.


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