When most people think of a group
for singles, they think dating, matchmaking, and potential
romance. After all, isn't that what most single people
want? To become unsingle?
Some recent news stories offer a
glimpse of other types of singles' groups. The kind that
offer friendship, camaraderie, recreation, and socializing with
people sharing at least one other trait in common. They
Cruz Sentinel just ran a story about "Loners on Wheels."
This club is for RV-driving singles and has 48 chapters hosting
monthly social events across the United States.
Founded in 1969, LOW is has about
2,500 members who are unmarried, divorced or widowed
individuals. The group of mostly retired people is not
your typical singles club.
Instead of match making and
romance, LOW offers a sense of camaraderie and companionship
among its members, with campouts that include events such as
wine tasting and live music in addition to occasional potlucks.
According to the Sentinel
story, Al Atlansky, 66, joined a LOW chapter just six months
ago. His wife died about three years ago.
At his first encounter with the
group, Atlansky was immediately impressed by the warmth of the
other members. "These are strangers, people you don't even know,
and they treat you like you're family," he told the Sentinel.
"After the first event, I knew I was going to join."
His decision to join LOW was just
another proactive step in his decision to live a happy life.
Atlansky believes that others would find the club just as
"There's bound to be loads of
people out there who would want to be in a club that's about
traveling, getting together and having a good time," he told the
Then there is the story which was
just published in the Detroit Free Press about a social and
travel club in Michigan known as the Selective Singles Social
and Travel Club.
Referring to the group,
told the Free Press that "We are like an extended family. We have fun together."
Social & Travel Club provides an opportunity for its members to
meet other single people with some similar interests in a
nonthreatening environment. The club is open to anyone 35 and
older who is divorced, widowed or has never been married.
The story says
that by offering a large variety of activities, including day
trips, long-distance travel, picnics, card games, dinners and
breakfasts, the club helps its members find travel companions,
meet new friends and learn new things.
Other news stories or events
pages show that similar groups exist in other parts of the
Take, for example, the Single
Sailors Association in Alameda, California. The group
offers an opportunity for single people who love to sail to get
together to share their common interests.
And then there is the SAMI
group in New Jersey, which during this fall season is sponsoring
an apple picking event for single people.
SAMI is a club for Single, Active, Mature Individuals.
So, although these singles
groups cannot match the size of Match.com or Yahoo personals,
they do provide something that usually does not happen with
dating or matchmaking services. The formation of true friendships and a
sense of extended family relationships for single people.
To read other editions of
Column One, click here.
Unmarried America 2007
Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of Unmarried America, is an
attorney with 33 years of experience in singles' rights, family
diversity, domestic partner benefits, and marital status discrimination.
Each week he adds a new commentary to Column One: Eye on Unmarried
firstname.lastname@example.org. Unmarried America is a nonprofit
information service for unmarried employees, consumers, taxpayers, and