The activity partner

When your friends are all coupled and rarely want to do something social without their spouse, it can be hard to find activity buddies. Sure, there are singles events in many locales, but often they feel like an audition instead of just having people with whom to do things. And other than your all being single, you may find you have little in common with these folks so make few connections.

Sometimes you come upon someone on a dating site who likes to do similar things as you, but you know there’s no romantic interest. Other times the person will say clearly, “Looking for an activity partner.” It takes the pressure off wondering if he’ll try to kiss you in the middle of the first date!

I was contacted recently by someone who refreshingly said he was just looking for a pal with whom to do things. We like to do a lot of the same things, and I recognized him as a community leader from his pics. He shared that his wife of three decades died last year and he wanted someone to go to the movies and hikes and bike rides. Plus, he lives in my neighborhood!

So I will meet my new potential friend tomorrow for lunch and see if we like each other enough to want to do things together. Our phone conversation pointed to “yes” on the would-we-enjoy-hanging-out-together dial. And I don’t think I’ll have to be concerned about his trying to sneak a kiss on the first encounter.

Have you nurtured strangers to become activity partners? Have they ever transitioned to romantic partners? Tell us your story.


Are you like the man mentioned in this posting — not sure if you’re ready to date again or not — then get your autographed copy of Date or Wait: Are You Ready for Mr. Great?


6 responses to “The activity partner”

  1. Lisa Avatar

    I have met a number of guys over the years on that I developed activity partner relationships with. I am still pretty good friends with one. Nothing ever turned to romance in those relationships. My experience, however, is that you can become close to them as friends but when they meet someone to date, you become more or less invisible. It has been my experience that men are not very good at maintaining their friendships with others after they get involved with someone. So if you are going to develop some sort of activity partner relationship, know that the friendship can quickly evaporate if the man meets someone to date. So I guess don’t get too close to the person as a friend or you may get hurt. That has just been my experience.

  2. Sonyawp Avatar

    Yes – I have had that experience – a man quite a bit shorter started a conversation on a dating site and said right up front he was looking for a friend to do things with since he recently moved into the area. We met for dinner last week – he seems nice and we will probably do a few things here or there. However, I have to agree with Lisa – my gut feeling is that he will disappear when he finds someone. Even now – he is scheduling dates sometimes two in a day! Doubt there will be room for ‘friends’ once he is involved with someone.

  3. Brenda Avatar

    I met a man on match a few years ago who invited me out for lunch, and then spent the entire time talking about a ministry that he was involved in. He made it very clear he was looking to marry a woman interested in the same ministry. I had no interest in that ministry or him – but listened patiently. At the end of the lunch, he threw out “And what about you?” only to interrupt me to ask if I wanted to take ballroom dancing classes with him.

    I said that would be something I would consider if we started dating. Of course we did not and I was not interested in taking classes with someone (and being financially committed to this) I was not interested in.

    Now my present beau – we do hope to take dancing lessons together!

    Since I have children still at home, my time for “activities” is very limited……….

  4. Yvette Francino Avatar

    Well, I do enjoy a lot of friendships with men. Typically, we are both starting out looking for more (or maybe even we start by dating) and then realize we’re not a good match for a long-term relationship, but we like each other enough to still hang out or even act as a “wingman” for one another at single’s events.

    It becomes a problem, though, if one person wants to up the relationship to a romance and the other doesn’t. Usually, that creates a little stress in the relationship. Also, if one person does start to have romantic feelings that aren’t developing in the other, then it can hurt both of them in terms of being able to find a romantic relationship, if that’s what they’re looking for.

    I’m all for friendships of the opposite sex, but I think it’s important to be on the same page so that you don’t end up investing all your emotional energy into a friend if what you’re really looking for is a romantic relationship.

  5. Lisa Avatar

    I don’t get hurt by romantic feelings not being reciprocated, I get hurt when you think you have a friendship based on mutual care and concern like you would with a girlfriend, but when the man meets someone to date, he doesn’t even seem to care at all about what’s going on in your life. That has happened to me a few times and it has been very hurtful. I don’t understand why men do this–just seem to not care all that much about friends after they meet someone. It just makes me cautious at this point in my life about relying too much on the fickle friendship of men. Of course, girlfriends come and go out of one’s life too, but it has been my experience that men do it more and do it most especially after meeting someone to date. We are all blessed who have a few friends who have stuck with us through everything through the years!

  6. Lila Avatar

    My experience with online dating is that the majority of the men I meet claim that they are looking for friends, as well as a relationship. I claim the same thing in my profile. My experience is that after meeting in person, if we like each other but there is not the immediate “chemistry” that makes us think a relationship is possible, neither of us make the effort to actually get together and do things.

    I’ve met about 6 men I liked in the past several months who shared my interest in outdoor activities. We enjoyed our initial meeting & conversation, and said “we’ll have to get together and go hiking”, or some such. In only one case have we actually followed up on multiple get-togethers.

    I think that even being friends with someone who is outside of your daily circle takes a lot of effort, and few of us are willing to make that effort if we don’t think romance is likely.