DEAR ABBY: I am a 27-year-old woman who would like to meet and date a man who respects women.
Two years ago, my husband and I were divorced. Since then my dating experiences have been disappointing.
My friends and acquaintances all say that meeting men in a bar is not a good way to find someone with whom I could be happy. I agree, because most of the men I have met in bars never call after the first date. They are unemployed, recently separated, or drop me after a few dates when I won't have sex.
I have contacted local parishes to find out about weekend retreats and charity functions, but dating men I met there didn't bring any better results.
I don't understand why dating is such a problem. I'm blond, attractive and friendly. I work and attend college full time. I am ambitious, a voracious reader and can carry on an intelligent conversation.
Most men I've encountered seem happy to live at home with their parents and don't want to start a family of their own.
I'm looking for someone who would take me to dinner and a movie and treat me like a lady. I don't mind staying home and watching movies sometimes, but men today apparently want only casual sex -- not relationships.
Unlike my girlfriends who are satisfied with bar-hopping every weekend for male companionship, I want to share my life with someone and have a family. I'm not asking for an instant marriage proposal, but I would like a meaningful relationship. Have you any suggestions? -- DISCOURAGED IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR DISCOURAGED: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, decent people can be found where decent people gather. Volunteer your services at a library, a hospital, the mental health society, or anyplace that could use a helping hand. Join clubs focused on activities you enjoy such as hiking, reading, golfing, fishing, etc. Take square dance, ballroom, folk or line dance classes. Go to museums, art exhibits and concerts. Join the chamber of commerce and attend its mixers; join a professional club, a gym or the YMCA. Volunteer at a political campaign headquarters. The more people who know you're interested in meeting someone, the greater your chances will be of finding Mr. Right.