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How to Meet People

What other singles recommend

copyright 1997 by Janet L. Jacobsen

At a recent singles dance we invited people to fill out short questionnaires on various singles issues. One questionnaire focused on attitudes and experiences about meeting people.

Nearly an equal portion (70% of the men and 63% of women) had placed a personal ad. Of those surveyed, including those who had not run an ad, only 5% of men and 15% of women said they would not recommend placing a personal. But while 52% of women and 50% of men said they would recommend running a personal, that still left a large group (45% of men and 33% of women) who were "undecided" about placing a personal.

On the question of whether one had answered a personal ad, 70% of men and 56% of women had experience answering ads. And 56% of women and 60% of men said they recommend answering personal ads. The number of all survey respondents who said they would not recommend answering ads was the same as for placing an ad—5% of men and 15% of women. That left fewer undecideds when it comes to answering ads—35% of men and 29% of women.

Meeting on the Internet was more of an unknown; only 35% of men and 29% of women had meet people through the Internet. Of all respondents, 35% of men and 22% of women would recommend meeting through the Internet, 10% of men and 19% of women said no, and 55% of men and 59% of women were undecided on whether they would recommend the method.

"Generally, how often in a month do you go out to meet new people?" On the average, men go out to meet people 6.5 times a month, compared to 4.4 times for women. Surprisingly, two women said they never go out to meet people, despite the fact that they answered the survey at a singles dance. But some singles, both men and women, go out as often as 20 times a month to meet new people.

"When going out to meet people, how often do you go out alone?" While 30% of the women say they never go out alone, only 5% of men never do. On the other end of the spectrum, only 15% of women say they "nearly always" go alone, compared to fully half the men who "nearly always" go out alone to meet people. Overall, 60% of women go alone less than half the time, and 75% of the men go out alone half the time or more, when looking to meet new people.

On the question of going alone, the survey asked, "Is it all right for a woman to go out alone to a nightclub?" Among the men 74% said yes, and only 5% said no. (21% were undecided.) But while nearly as many women agreed (70% said yes), a full 22% said no, and only 7% considered themselves undecided.

When doing our survey, we tried to gather information on singles groups as a way to meet people, but the data was somewhat skewed by our asking at the All Singles Dances, it seems.

Asked to name the "Best singles group," 50% of women and 39% of men said the All Singles Dance (though it’s technically not a "group" because you don’t have to join anything). For men the other recommendations were primarily spread across a variety of church-related groups. For women the other recommendations were mostly activity-related groups, and 25% mentioned the Desert Sailing Club.

(This may sound counter-intuitive, since church groups, stereotypically, are primarily women and activity groups are primarily men. But that in fact is part of what makes them "best" events for members of the other sex who are comfortable and enjoy the activities in those groups.)

Asked the "Best singles event" for meeting people, 91% of women said dances, half of those specifically naming the All Singles Dances. The remaining 9% recommended the annual Singles Showcase. Among men, 94% named dances as the best event, 64% naming the All Singles Dances specifically. The best event for the remaining 6% of men was parties.


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