Never married, Edwards says she stays active playing soccer, bowling in a duckpin league and hiking with her dog. “There are a lot of things on my bucket list, like whitewater rafting and skydiving, that I want to do with a man.” Of course, there are also those who—to borrow a phrase—have chosen to lean into their singleness.
The groups, which form online ( and then gather in person around targeted interests, represent just about every subculture you can imagine, from hikers and history buffs, to astronomy lovers and owners of large-breed dogs.Hurst says that activities like karaoke or kickball leagues often serve as good ice-breakers.Maurice*, 48, who is unmarried and lives in Virginia Square, certainly enjoys the panoply of lifestyle options close by.“Arlington has more things to do and more people available to do things with,” says the IT consultant, who grew up in Montgomery County and lived there before moving to this side of the Potomac 11 years ago. “Northern Virginia is growing rapidly, which means a larger number of older singles are there than in other places.But at times it feels like just another hassle, she says, coupled with grief.
Ann*, 46, who works in the wine industry, has similar reservations about digital-age dating, which feels awkward and foreign. Eventually a fix-up would be nice and I would like to be married again.” In the meantime, she and her ex are putting all of their energy into ensuring that their two children feel stable and secure. Finding the time to date can be difficult with kids, she acknowledges, and decisions about how and when to introduce new love interests can be tricky.
“Your mate could be sitting right next to you, so put your phones away and engage.” Penny Edwards, a 34-year-old accountant, cites the region’s notorious workaholism as another barrier.
“It’s been difficult to date over 30 because so many men live to work,” says the Fairlington resident.
(Following his own advice, he met his girlfriend of over two years at a meetup group in Reston.) In this same vein, literary types have gravitated to “Book Dating” events at the Shirlington library, where singles (typically over 30) bring a book with them and, in a process similar to speed-dating, discuss the book with a rotating group of people in three-minute increments.
While the program is currently on hold, Peter Golkin, a spokesperson for the Arlington Public Library system, expects it to return in 2015.
The partner with whom you were working through your bucket list is gone. Erin Devine is still figuring that out, almost four years after the sudden loss of her husband, Philip Keating, a prominent Arlington lawyer and former chair of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.