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Single adults cross many age group lines. It is increasing difficult for church groups, secular singles groups, speed dating companies, civic and charity organizations that create events for young professionals and to identify singles in other age ranges. Many singles groups focus on issues, interest and needs and letting people “self-sort” with in the groups.   In some cases this works.  In many cases it causes younger singles to leave a group where there are too many folks not their age. Although many singles are choosing to be a part of the larger group, most choose to hang out in groups that are within 5 years of their age (older/younger).  Single, young professional women are mindful of their time and will leave a group where they are hit on by older men. Single parents, divorced singles, separated, and career professionals in their late 30's to 40's who choose not to marry or just have not "found the one" are also issues that need defining within a variety of singles groups.

Singles Defined

Single Adult  One who is legally single, divorced or widowed, rather than one who is currently in the process of divorce or separation.

Single Parent  An adult parent, unmarried, has had children biologically or adopted children, and is in the process of raising or has raised children.

Separated Single   One who is NOT legally single, is still legally married, in the process of divorce.  Singles who are seperated can go through a long process before a divorce is final.  Still, the person is legally married until they are holding papers from a court that say they are legally divorced.   To avoid confusion and prevent upsetting those that they date, they should be upfront and  hold themselves to others as "separated" not "single" until such time that they are legally "single".

Divorced Single  Legally divorced and no longer married to the previous spouse. Legally "single".

Young Adult Singles  Typical term used in church singles groups.   Singles 18-30 or 18-32

Young Professional Typically singles in a 20's to 30's age group.  Some young professional and singles groups have definitions on their website of "ten years or less in a professional career". Some singles might consider themselves pushing the edge of young professional if they are over 36. Young Professional is a term usually associated with later Generation X and Generation Y.  Young Professional describes civic groups such as the Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) as 21-39 Civic Young Professional Groups such as the Urban League and Young Professional Network-YPN typically define young professionals as anyone committed to his or her career and personal development, no matter the chosen occupation. Young Democrats, Young Republicans describe their groups as 18-35 and don't allow folks that are not in the specified age range to hold office in their local groups.

Young/Mid Singles-Mid 20's to Mid 40's Professional Singles-Singles that are in a white collar profession, typically college educated.  Without an age definition it can be any age range.

Younger Set Typically means Young Professional

Mature Singles-Singles, Divorced and Widowed 55+

Senior-Singles Divorced and Widowed 65+

Middle Aged- Singles 45-55.  Some use a wider definition as the time between youth and old age: 40-60 http://www.answers.com/topic/middle-age and between 45-60 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/middle-aged

Gen X Singles born in the 1960's

Gen Y Singles born in the 1970's to 1990's (Millennials)

Baby Boomer Singles born after World War II to 1960- If the Beatles, Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, Ronald Reagan and the Cold War (not to mention eight-track tape players) have meaning in your life, you're probably a "Boomer"

Christian Single a single adult that believes that Jesus Christ is their Savior, the trinity, and follows the Protestant form of Christian teachings including the Old and New Testament bible.

Catholic Single a single adult that believes that Jesus Christ is their Savior and follows the teachings of the Catholic church.

Jewish Singles a single adult that believes in the God of Isaac, Abraham, and Jacob, that there is one God and follows the teachings of Judaism which includes the Old testament.

Muslim Single a single adult that follows believes that their is one God called Allah, follows the teachings of Mohammad and the Koran.

Player   A single man that is playing the field.  Dating and possibly having sex with more than one woman at a time.  Someone who picks up a woman for sex.

Boyfriend For a woman, a serious romantic relationship with a man.  The relationship is monogamous.

Girlfriend  For a man, a serious romantic relationship with a woman.  The relationship is monogamous.

Lover  A lover can be a boyfriend or girlfriend, a sex buddy, monogamous or not monogamous.

Serious Dating Long term dating relationship, committed, monogamous, focused, usually leading to marriage.  Usually exclusive, neither party is dating others.

Casual Dating  Dating with out the pressure of a serious relationship. Often times a vague reference to a loose relationship, although it doesn't have to be a sexual relationship. The parties involved may be dating others.  More focused on fun.

Significant Other  is a gender-blind, politically correct term to refer to a person's partner in an intimate relationship without disclosing or presuming anything about his or her marital status or sexual orientation. It is also vague enough to avoid offence from using a term that an individual might consider inappropriate (e.g. lover when he or she considers him a boyfriend, or girlfriend when he or she considers her a life partner). Nonetheless, some are offended by the implication that persons with whom one is not having a "primary" sexual relationship are "insignificant" or would as a matter of course get lesser consideration and emotional disrespect compared to the "significant" one.

Partner  A domestic partnership is a legal or personal relationship between individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are not joined in a traditional marriage, a common-law marriage, or a civil union. In some legal jurisdictions, domestic partners who live together for an extended period of time but are not legally entitled to common-law marriage may be entitled to legal protection in the form of a domestic partnership. Some domestic partners may enter into domestic partnership agreements in order to agree contractually to issues involving property ownership, support obligations, and similar issues common to marriage.

Secular Singles Do not subscribe to a particular religion and conform to what feels good and current societal norms.  Secular singles may follow a code of ethics or morals from their parental upbringing, but do not live by the bible or a religious teaching

Friends With Benefits Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved. Typically two good friends who have casual sex without a monogamous relationship or any kind of commitment

Yuppie A young city or suburban professional with a well-paid professional job and an affluent lifestyle, under 40.  A term used in the 1980's.  Young upwardly mobile singles.

Urban Cougar A single female that dates men ten years younger (or more), typically for fun and with no expectations on the relationship.  Dr. Phil McGraw's description: An older woman that aggressively pursue or prey upon younger men.

Sugar Daddy Older wealthy men who lavish gifts, travel and money on younger women in exchange for companionship and/or sex.  The Sugar Daddy's friends will think that it is a form of legal prostitution, that the woman is trainable because she is younger, inexperienced, and really doesn't have a clue.   The Sugar Daddy's friends typically think the man is having a mid-life crisis, that the girl isn't really interested in their friend, just the lifestyle.  His friends will think that she will stay for a short while, marry him and walk off with half his fortune.

Gold Digger A younger woman in search of an older wealthy man.  Some women call their men "Daddy", and the older wealthy man may call the girl "baby".  This type of woman probably wouldn't date the man if he had no wealth.

Dr. Phil McGraw's take is that there is a distinct incompatibility between older men/younger women and older women/younger men because of the different places the individuals are in life and due to the manner in which most of these relationships are started and defined, which creates problems.

Male Mid-Life Crisis Denial of middle-age (45-55) through various escape mechanisms, i.e., affairs with younger women, extreme exercise to try to maintain body, and by being a workaholic to avoid thought on crisis. Driving sports cars. Single never married and desperate to find someone to have your children.

Female Biological Clock A woman's biological clock starts ticking in her late 20s, not her mid-30s.  The younger  women in their early to mid 20's have a 50% chance of achieving a pregnancy in any one menstrual cycle. It falls to 40% for the 27- to 34-year-olds. For women in their late 30s, it drops to less than 30% and if their partner was 5 years older, the chances of conceiving slump to about 20%.  The quality and quantity of a woman's eggs decline in her late 20s and fall off rapidly after age 35. By 40, her odds of conceiving are only about 5 percent per month. Women who don't bear their children by 30 have a greater risk of contracting breast cancer, or having a Down syndrome child. The risk of miscarriage jumps from 10 percent in a woman's early 20s to 18 percent in a woman's late 30s to a whopping 34 percent after the age of 40.

Male Biological Clock Time is ticking for men too!   Men also suffer from a diminishing ability to procreate. The chances of a man having children dip past his 35th birthday. Damage to the genetic material containing sperm cells increases with age.  In addition, the researchers found that as a man gets older he loses his natural ability to weed out unhealthy sperm cells through a process known as apoptosis. This means that there is a greater chance that a damaged sperm cell will successfully fertilize the female egg. This could mean that the risk of miscarriage is increased or, at the other end of the scale, that children have a greater chance of developing mild abnormalities such as uneven teeth, or asymmetrical limbs. Men older than 40 are nearly six times more likely to have children with autism than fathers under 30 years old. Research has found men over 40 years of age were twice as likely to have a child with down syndrome than those less then 20 years old. Researchers found the risk of fertility problems due to sperm mobility for a man increases with age from 25 percent at the age of 22; 60 percent at the age of 40; and it is 85 percent at the age of 60.  More information at the Journal of American Medicine: http://www.malebiologicalclock.com/docs/mbc/MBC-BioClockTicks-JAMA.pdf

Female Menopause Levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone fall and the woman's body stops producing eggs. Menstruation ceases permanently and a woman is no longer able to conceive.  Psychological symptoms such as increased depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and lack of concentration, and atrophic symptoms such as vaginal dryness and urgency of urination appear. Together with these symptoms, the woman may also have increasingly scanty and erratic menstrual periods. The average onset of menopause is 50.5 years, but some women enter menopause at a younger age.

Male Menopause/Andropause is a term used to describe the physical and mental changes that occur in men with aging. These changes largely correspond to a decrease in testosterone levels. Common complaints as men reach middle age are poor sex drive, tiredness and fatigue, acknowledgement of ageing, hair loss and changes in body shape as they become less muscular and more rounded. Other symptoms include irritability, sweating, flushing, generalized aches and pains, and low mood, sometimes depression. Looking at these symptoms, it's easy to see why a comparison is made with the female menopause. Women may experience any or all of these symptoms.

The term "male menopause" is a little awkward, because changes in men do not occur at a specific age. Some of the symptoms are weight gain, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, infertility, decreased muscle mass and strength, excessive tiredness and depression. Some men have a rapid decline in testosterone levels (a quicker clock), while some men’s testosterone levels decline much slower (a slower and better clock). In general, testosterone levels decline after the age of 30, but in some it can start in their 20’s. Loss of testosterone in men occurs much more gradually than the drop of estrogen levels and ovarian function in women, making it quite different. Since there is no drop-off, the term "menopause for men" can be misinterpreted. A better term is "Andropause" or even better, "Hypogonadism in Aging Men" (after the age of 20).

Erectile Dysfunction  While there are many causes, there is a heart-hormone connection. In other words, what’s bad for the heart is bad for the penis. Any factor that hurts heart function, such as elevated cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and weight gain, adversely affects the penis (erection), just as it adversely affects the heart. The blood vessels in the heart are similar to the vessels in the penis. All of these factors are correlated with lower testosterone levels

SINK Single Income No Kids

DINK Dual Income (Married or living together) No Kids

Frequently Asked Questions About Attending Singles Events:

Question: A local speed dating event says it is for ages 32-42.   I am 44 years old, can I attend this singles event?      

Answer:  Call the event coordinator. One or two year difference, they may let you attend.  Most events have an age range for a reason...... whether they are a singles organization, speed dating company or a non-for profit charity or civic group such as the Jaycees.  If you are one to three years over the age range and look as young as the middle range of the specified age range, call the coordinator and ask.  If you are more than 3 years over the maximum of the stated age range, look in the mirror and ask yourself: 

1. Do you really fit in with a crowd that is 10-15 years younger? 

2. Think from the point of view of the youngest to middle of the age range of the attendees?  Are you old enough to have been their parent?  (You are old enough to have them as your child if you are 15 or more years older). 

Always call the event organizer or coordinator of the event ahead of time.  Many for profit organizations such as speed dating companies, dining clubs and dating services will require your drivers license or some form of identifications showing that you are who you say you are and you are in the age range you say you are when you sign up.  Companies are protective of delivering what they advertise.  Unlike online dating, where most companies don't verify, many local companies pride themselves in having a handle on who is attending their events.   You may be looking to date someone outside of the specified age category you fall in for the event you want to sign up for, but, unfortunately their event/party may not be right for you or in the case of many for profits (and non-for profits), they don't want you attending and running off the younger folks.

Question: I am 48 and really don't like dating women my age.   I feel young at heart and like dating younger women.   How can I get a group to allow me to attend without lying?

Answer:  You can't lie.  And don't delude yourself into thinking that younger women are in search of you at such an event. The reality is that the folks that are attending the event are signing up to meet singles in that age range.  If the event is for "young professionals" and you are middle-aged (45+) what are you trying to prove?  Do you like rejection?  There are a lot of women that will go out for 1-5 dinner dates with a guy 8-12 years older, most of the time because they don't know how old they are until a few dates into the dating process.  But for the most part, it doesn't pan out into anything serious beyond impressing the younger woman with a few expensive dinners once they find out your true age. 

I had a friend attend a speed dating event last summer who is 37.  She attended an speed dating vent that was for ages 32 to 42.   She picked a guy to correspond with after the event that picked her.   She found out on the first date that he was 46 years old.   She was very upset.  She said "I attended a specific age range event. This guy lied about his age to me.  I have NO interest in someone almost ten years older than me.  And to top it off, he was separated, not legally divorced.  I don't need to waste my time on men that lie about their age and marital status....what else will they lie about".

The reality is folks generally date "age appropriate" meaning within 3-4 years younger or older than their age. This isn't to say that there isn't anyone out there that won't date someone significantly older/younger.  But the percentages of long term lasting relationships are very low...and think about it, how many folks do you know who actually marry significantly older or younger unless you are wealthy or a celebrity of some type.  If you want to date someone 10 years younger, you typically need to move to NYC or LA where there are young women willing to give themselves to older men for their millions. If you are unwilling to part with your money for dates with younger women, get REAL. Save yourself and those you meet the uncomfortable moment of true reality and the embarrassment of being caught in a lie.  Find singles groups and events clearly marked for your age.

Question:  I'm not single, I am new to town and want to meet people.  Can I still attend an event?
Answer: That depends on the event.  If it is a local civic or cultural group such as the local Jaycees or Young Friends of Art or Young Professionals (without the word single in the title or description) in your city then the answer is yes!    If the event is clearly marked as a "singles" event such as a speed dating event, singles mixer or singles networking, single professionals, then the answer is NO as the event/party is clear that the do not want married people attending.

Question:   I just filed separation papers with my spouse and want to get out and meet new people.  Can I attend a singles events?

Answer: That depends on the group and your intentions.  In general, the best thing you can do for yourself is:

1. Get into a good divorce recovery group at your local church or synagogue. 
2. Get counseling to deal with why your marriage failed so you don't bring baggage into a new relationship. 
3. Join groups that are not specifically for "singles" such as a biking group, hiking group, wine tasting group, etc where you are just out making friends.

4. If you have children, make sure that they are settled emotionally and are handling the divorce/separation before you start creating a social life and bringing new people into their life. 

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What are the best ways to meet singles in your city?   Go to as many singles events as you can. Variety is the key.  Don't focus on any one type of group.   First: Meet young single professionals at fundraisers, singles charity and civic organizations. Second: Join sports leagues, singles hiking, biking, outdoors, or adventures clubs.  Third: Join a church or religious group for Christian, Catholic, or Jewish singles. Also check out singles cruises and  travel.   Newly divorced or single parent? Get help at a singles support or divorce recovery group. 

What about online dating? Check out dating advice on Singlesonthego.com to learn how to place personal ads to meet single men and women online.  Find great dating advice for online personals and meeting singles by using various dating services, dating agencies, matchmakers, introductions services. Check out the singles scene in your area to find a new relationship today!  Check out the list of online dating services above categorized by general, foreign/ethnic, religious, alternative, senior and single parents.

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