Although I'm old and married, I get a lot of emails asking me where all the singles in Huntsville are. I did some research and decided to ask some of my single friends for tips and they asked some of their single friends...and so, here's what I found out. Please note that I'm not endorsing anyone or anything. Please use your discretion when meeting people. Have fun...but be safe!
If you know something about dating in Huntsville that I don't, please drop me a line at Jean Brandau and tell me about it.
I'll be updating this article periodically.
Thoughts on Dating in Huntsville From the Ladies:
- One lady shares this: "It is very easy to meet people here in Huntsville, as long as you are open to meeting people. Open, meaning not everyone is going to fit your ideal. The focus should be on making new friends, not just dating. So what if the guy doesn't make as much as you would like, or maybe he is younger/older than you would like...it doesn't hurt to meet for lunch, talk about common interests, and who knows? At the very least you have made a friend. When you have many friends, you tend to meet people from outside of your current social circle. Which means....more dating opportunities! I have found that being nice as well as honest gets you far. Gals, the guys are definitely out there. If you do not have dates, you just aren't making the effort. Best places to meet potential dates: Chophouse, Humphrey's, 801 Franklin, charity functions and of course parties!"
- Another woman shares advice: The first thought is sort of obvious.... you can't meet anyone if you are sitting at home! My second is that when you are out and about in Huntsville or anywhere for that matter you need to be approachable. In other words, your body language needs to be that of "I am very open to meeting and making a new friend". This advice is good for both guy or gal.... so many times I have "cute" friends who comment to me all of the time.... 'Hey, you seem to have people come up and just talk to you all of the time, why is that".... my response is "Well, I have learned that you have to be approachable" it is very risky for anyone to just approach you in a unfamiliar scene whether it be at a bar, a work related meeting or other type event. Make it that much easier on them (and yourself), good eye contact, a smiling face and a positive attitude will have even the shyest person talking to you!
- This lady has been widowed for six years: There is such a story in dating, especially at my age, 56 recently. I guess in the 6 years since my husband passed on, I have dated over 50 people, mostly just one time... Hoppers is sort of nice, probably about 300 people there on a good night, all looking for a pick-up I guess... There is a mixture of ages, but I found mostly those who hit on me were the young guys and I'm not interested in that... Maybe it is me, too picky, whatever, but I have a must list and he has to do or be certain things or I am not interested. One who is not a heavy drinker, non-smoker, non- curser, non-beer belly, non-real short, non-rude, non-liar, non-womanizer, and the list goes on and on.... I have been to singles groups, hospice groups, clubs, etc. and everyone at church is over 100 years old.... Where I live now, there are 736 residents, a lot of singles I am told. I go to the pool and to their parties, and the older men are after the young women and the young men are after the old women, just not for me. ... Yes, I would love to meet a precious man but it looks like he is not out there. I fixed my mom up with a 47-year old, she is 74, 5 years ago and they are still together and are soul mates. He is nice man. I think my trouble was I had such a great marriage, such a kind and loving man, no drinker or smoker or curser, always respectful of others and hard worker, my mate, so now it is hard because you do compare. This Friday we would have been married 38 years. .. I now call everyone I meet, users, abusers, losers and liars. One guy hit me...only once and he was history. Several have depended on me to pay for outings, one refused to work, and nearly all were liars and one stole from me, so I feel I just want to hide in my place. I was stupid a few times, and fell for the flattery a few times, but no more, learned hard lessons. (Note: some details omitted to protect the guilty.)
See Next Page for a Man's Thoughts on Dating
Internet Dating on Page 2
See Page 3 for Places in Huntsville to Meet Singles
Thoughts on Dating in Huntsville From a Man's Point of View:
- One brave male shared his dating experience with me: As for a man's point of view, I can give you what I've seen and heard out on the prowl, both in my own experience and that of my friends and associates. The crowd I hang around with likes to socialize in large groups when possible, usually clustering up at restaurants and certain clubs or venues (favorites are Vinyl, Flying Monkey Arts, and the underground events at Lowe Mill). We're mostly late-twenties, which makes me younger than the average, and tend to be a bit like the social group that used to be call Bohemians, in that we like art, music, and celebrating life in whatever way strikes us. Most of the guys are in technical or art-related fields, most of the women in retail or desk jobs, and we all seem to share a certain literary or cultural bent.
Women, though...It's gotten tougher out there, especially as more women are experimenting with bisexuality and other pursuits that give the guys even more competition than we used to have. I can count on one hand how many of them I speak to regularly (outside of work) that haven't at least played around with another woman at one point. That might surprise some people, especially here in the south, but it would seem that things are shifting along at their own pace. Another thing that's making it difficult is that a lot of women seem to be taking up, at least vocally, the 'women's lib' mantras without really doing anything with them. We still are expected to pay, be gentlemen, and generally do everything our forebears were supposed to, while also keeping a perilous balance of propriety and being the bad boy that it seems young women really want.
I don't believe for a moment that women really want nice guys, or at least not the ones from my generation. I see them going after the guys with motorcycles, fast cars, money, and drinking habits, not the responsible ones with day jobs and a 401k. Oddly enough, they come to me when things go wrong, because what they want nice guys for is a friend who actually understands them and is safe, when the danger isn't attractive anymore. Then, days or weeks later, it's back on the prowl
for another 'fixer' - a guy who gives them a lot to work on, even if they never manage to get him to change. Those guys are the ones you never see without someone hanging off of them, and I guess it might go back to the survival urges and some crooked take on their supposed ability to protect their young. Too bad it doesn't do anything on the nights they have to be bailed out for bar fighting again. Bitter? Me? Never!
Dating on the Internet
I did a story a few years ago about one Huntsville lady who used AOL's personals to find some dates. She shares some good advice about the pitfalls to look for when meeting a stranger. Please be careful when you choose to meet people this way! I know a lot of people in Huntsville who met their future spouse on the internet and are living happily ever after....but that's not always the case. Here's just a few places you might try online:
Comment from a user: For the younger crowd, the site at OK, Cupid seems to blend in a huge chunk of sardonic humor with their matching, which is done through a quest-matching database with the novel approach of building up based on questions submitted by users. They range from the banal (sports and such), to the geeky (things like computers, Monty Python), to the philosophical and political (is it okay for people to steal to feed themselves if starving?).
I like their presentation, their classification system, and the general feel of the place, but most of the people I've gotten much of a connection with are, sadly, far away. One bonus, though: it's free.
Internet Dating Continued on Next Page
See Next Page for Places in Huntsville to Meet Singles
Tickle Social Network
Comment from a user: My friends and I have found a lot of success with Tickle, a pay site for all but the simplest of things (browsing, but no "True Match" test compatibility, email, or other contact methods). It's probably got more of an older crowd, edging into the 30s, 40s, and even older in some cases. Like most other dating sites, it features picture-based, user-defined profiles, and a series of tests to try to match you to other people that would fit your wants and needs.
The site claims that they had psychiatrists design their main matching criteria - True Match - and hosts a large range of auxiliary tests that are supposed to give more information about you to potential mates. In order to make full use of the site, though, you need to pay the fee.
LiveJournal (a weblog or blog) Mostly for college & teens.
Comment from User: Here in Huntsville, I know that there's a significant LiveJournalpresence in at least a couple of interests. A few of them, like
http://www.livejournal.com/community/huntsville/, and http://www.livejournal.com/community/i_love_al/ are for the announcement of local events, shows, and other things that might be of interest to the youth trapped in this town (where there will almost certainly be single people). In another, related vein, the underground music scene of Alabama is explored at
http://www.livejournal.com/community/alunderground/. You might be surprised to even know that we have an underground scene.
Places in Huntsville to Meet Singles:
Humphrey's Bar & Grill
109 Washington Street, 704-5555
Comments: Live music every night of week at 9:15 p.m., never any cover.
The Furniture Factory
619 Meridian Street, 539-8001
Comments: Live entertainment Wednesday-Saturday... Wed., Thursday & Friday at 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Saturdays; Wednesday is considered "singles night," no cover.
One reader's comments: Although I'm happily married and not looking, the times we've had at the FF have reminded us of the old days at Crockmeirer's, where single women can feel safe and there are tons of people meeting each other in the baby-boomer age range and younger. Add in some great bands and a beautiful outdoor patio, and you can't beat it!
The Jazz Factory
109 North Side Square, 539-1919
Comments: Music Every night (classic jazz on weekends) in the Martini Room; two bands on the weekend--Friday/Saturday. Main dining room & Martini Room. Wednesday is Blues Night with Microwave Dave starts at 6:30 p.m. with free hors d'oeuvres. Voted "Most Romantic Place" to go and "Best Place for a First Date" in Huntsville many times.
103 Jefferson N.; 536-7993
Comments: Hours Mon-Friday 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sat & Sun. 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday & Saturday some type of music (between 10- 2) and Sunday evening open mic blues jam. (10:00 pm) Monday--open mic acoustic jam at 9:00 p.m., Sundays & Mondays are free; a lot of times Friday & Saturdays--mostly free; sometimes a $3-5 cover charge for special performances. Have great house-made pizzas; specialty coffee drinks from KaffeeKlatsch.
Very eclectic crowd.
Coffee Shop Review
801 Franklin St., 519-8019
Comments: Monday nights "5:01 p.m. at 801" weekly wine-tasting, $12 which includes wine & hors d'oeuvres, art gallery exhibits are free and change every 2-3 months. There is an artist reception that is a good place to meet people and admission is a donation to a specific charity. They also have a "wine dinner" once a month: a 4-course specially prepared meal with a wine vendor, guest speaker about wine & food, and a chance to meet wine makers. They have received their fourth "Award of Excellence" from the Wine Spectator,a national wine magazine.
2322 Memorial Parkway SW, 536-2121
Comments: Live entertainment Tuesday-Saturday; Closed Sunday & Monday nights. Thursday is Singles Night; Tuesday is College Night; Wednesday is Bike Night; Thursday cover charge $3 cover, women free; Friday-Saturday name bands $5 cover; 5-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday drink specials & free hors d'oeuvre; Cost starts after 9 pm.
music starts Tuesday -Thursday at 8 pm; Friday & Saturday at 9 pm.
2150 Leeman Ferry Dr., 880-6599.
Comments: Live Music on most Friday and Saturday nights. Bands have a cover charge--$3.00 to $7.00. Lots of teens, hours 8pm-12 midnight, no free food, dancing if room permits. Mostly teen singles come to the band functions.
Places to Meet People Continued on Next Page
Flying Monkey Arts
1230 Putman Drive (new address)
Comments: Flying Monkey Arts Center is a not for profit community arts collective that encourages, supports and promotes events, workshops and studios featuring but not limited to music, film, theater, dance, puppetry, visual and performance art with a focus on experimental works for mature audiences. They have a email list you can join to get announcements about what's going on each week.
It's Just Lunch! 44
109 Jefferson St. Suite 6; 519-3644.
It's Just Lunch is a dating service that specializes in busy professionals. Over 95 % of their clients have college degrees and almost 70% have advanced degrees. The premise is simple; a client meets with a director for a one on one interview where they discuss core values, parameters, lifestyle and interests. From this interview the director hand picks a match; no videos or computers are ever used in this process, it is extremely personalized. Then they do all the work; arranging a lunch date, drinks after work or weekend brunch at one of the great restaurants in Huntsville. It is a ton of fun and it is designed to be very easy. Once a client invests the one hour for the initial interview, they take it from there. There is a fee charged for services. They have been in business since 1991 and have 65 locations nationwide and two new international locations in Toronto and Singapore.
It's Just Lunch says: "It is quite simply the best way to meet quality educated people in a discreet, no pressure atmosphere."
Huntsville Young Professionals (HYP)
Huntsville Young Professionals was created to offer social events and networking opportunities for young professionals in the Huntsville region.
HYP was created to make a more diverse social scene in Huntsville starting with once-a-month mixers while also encouraging young professionals to stay and live in Huntsville. To get on the "Alive After Five" mailing list of events, email events@getHyp.net.
Don't forget the obvious places to meet people like the ice cream aisle of the grocery store on Sunday night or the men's department in stores. Let me know if you have some other thoughts or ideas about finding the nice, young, attractive people in Huntsville--there's lots of them out there in them there hills!