City of Singles
Even when you’re going solo, Raleigh has something for everyone.
By Carla Turchetti
The world is not necessarily divided into pairs. U.S. Census data reports that unmarried individuals make up 45 percent of all adults across the country. In Raleigh, the singles scene is vibrant. Here are some of the best resources for singles in the Triangle:
Adventuring Near and Far
Members of The Never Travel Solo Social Club in Raleigh share a love of adventure that takes them around the corner and around the world. There are outings to local restaurants and historical attractions as well as group travel opportunities to places like Thailand or Hawaii.
“Our trips are so popular that they not only sell out, they sell out quickly,” says Paul Cathcart, organizer of The Never Travel Solo Social Club. We just offered a trip to Tuscany in 2018 where we are renting a private villa, and it sold out the first hour it was posted. We ended up pulling together a second week that sold out just as quickly.”
The club caters to singles but has welcomed couples in the past, as well as married travelers who vacation without their partners.
“Our group is open to anyone and our motto for our trips is, “A week of travel, a lifetime of friendships”.
Cathcart says traveling solo just isn’t the same as exploring with others. “It can be intimidating to go out by yourself, and it’s almost never as much fun when you don’t have others to share the adventure with.”
Potential future travel opportunity: Exploring Croatia by yacht.
Never Too Old for Fun
Ten years ago, Laura Kay House began Silver Connections in Raleigh as a vehicle to provide socializing opportunities for people age 55 and older. With an undergraduate degree in Social Work and a master’s degree in gerontology, House knew that older adults who were busy and active led more fulfilling and healthier lives.
Silver Connections is a membership club that offers eight to 10 socializing opportunities in the Triangle each month, ranging from dining, wine tastings, and cooking lessons to theater performances, museums, and member mingles..
“The members really are role models to me,” House says. “I have people in the group who are 75 years old and going 100 miles an hour. They are doing my stuff, they are traveling, they are volunteering, and they are happy.”
House says Silver Connections isn’t about matchmaking.
“We’re a little bit different because it is a full-time business and it isn’t about dating. We do have people date and I’m fine with that, I love playing Cupid, but that’s not the reason to join. The reason to join is to make some friends and have all these activities every month to look forward to.”
House also owns Travel Memories, a separate travel company for people 55 and over, singles or couples. Silver Connections members get priority bookings, but those trips are open to all.
Group activities and travel may be new territory for Silver Connections members. Some are widows or widowers. Others became single by divorce. House meets with each person before they join, and she also keeps the group at a stable size so that gatherings do not become too large and overwhelming. And there is no shortage of places to go or activities to do. “I am very fortunate to be in this area because there is so much going on,” House says. “There is so much to do, it’s just great.”
Invitation-Only Dating App Debuts in Raleigh
Blind dates have gone virtual and those old-fashioned personal ads have been replaced by social media, dating apps, and online connections. Some of the most active dating apps include Tinder, Match.com, and Coffee Meets Bagel. And a newcomer to Raleigh’s singles scene is The League, which is an invitation-only dating app that launched here in November. The mission of The League is to put together power couples. In key markets across the country, The League uses a selective admissions process that relies on data and social graphs from Facebook and LinkedIn to curate a community of high achievers. The company says it handpicked 500 Raleigh-area singles for the launch and has another 2,500 on the waitlist.
Faith-Based Fun and Fellowship
Night on the Town is a series of Triangle-area events designed to help Christian singles meet each other and socialize. The events range from dinners and holiday activities to sporting events and hikes. There are three rules surrounding each gathering: Respect each person’s home church; no alcohol allowed; and no dating during the events. If participants decide they would like to date someone else in the group, it is done outside of the regular Night on the Town events. Not all churches have a singles ministry, and this group is a way for singles to continue to attend their own churches while taking part in faith and fellowship with other single people.