The advice pretty much everyone gives me re: dating (those many happily settled friends of mine, that is) can be pretty much summed up as follows: "Forget online dating. Join a group." Hmm. I tend to bristle at this advice for several reasons:
1. The things I'm interested in doing in my spare time are inherently girly and do not tend to attract folks of the manly persuasion (baking, cycling my vintage pashley in a skirt, crochet, watercolours, zumba, reading, yoga). I know girls who have taken up rock-climbing/football/beer-tasting for the sole purpose of meeting a husband; but I just can't bring myself to do it. It just seems too much like... faking it.
2. Groups scare me.
Well that's it, which really isn't much of an argument now that it's laid out in print.
But the truth is, I have quietly been getting out there and meeting people through various online forums since I've been back. Just dipping a toe, in typical 'fraidy-cat fashion, into the waters of Socialising With Strangers. Just every so often when I've got nothing better to do on a quiet weekend. I've been to a couple of arthouse movie meetups, a group bike ride to a gallery, and I'm off to a (women only) book group this weekend. It's a little strange, and I'm still getting over the awkwardness factor, but it's also kind of interesting. People are generally interesting, don't you think? Everyone has some kind of story.
I've found I've met more interesting girls than guys - I'm in that age bracket now where there's a surplus of amazing, accomplished girls and a dearth of comparable guys, sadly - but you never know, I guess. And if I only meet great girls via this particular avenue, I'm fine with that.
I'm sort of treating my life like a giant science experiment at the moment; meddling with the ingredients, recoiling from spillage, agitating the mix, and trying not to set anything on fire.