Extreme measures: dating resources reach family-ville

Charlottesville may be many wonderful things: beautiful, quaint, and family-friendly come to mind. But a dating hot spot? No way.

At least until now. After 6, a "speed dating" service, arrived on the scene Thursday, June 21, with a premier event at Rococo's restaurant, and organizer Candy Schoner says the evening and two subsequent events have been smash hits.

Schoner compares speed dating to musical chairs for adults– without the music. It's a safe and fun way for singles to connect, Schoner says, limiting each participant to a series of quick five-minute "dates."

The turnout for the first event was so good, Schoner says, that she had to turn some people away. This week's event, for adults over 50, is set for Thursday, August 21, at Rococo's restaurant from 6-9pm.

According to Schoner, in this age group she has had no trouble registering women, but men have been slower to spring for the $30 registration fee. While she normally doesn't accept registration at the door, she may accept a few walk-ins Thursday night.

The number of people at the first event was the selling point for Dixie Barnes, a 35-year-old professional counselor who has tried a variety of dating situations.

"The town is set up to please the college student and the young married professional," Barnes explains, "but there's not a place to go to meet someone who's neither of those things." More info: 295-4080


When you're 39 years old....

 While everyone with email is aware of the plethora of jokes about women waiting with casseroles in hand for widowers on the funeral home porch, the fact is that many older adults fail to make connections with others because of shyness or lack of opportunity to meet suitable mates.

To counter that problem, the local senior center offers two meeting options each month: a "singles lunch bunch" gathering at a restaurant, and a senior center social.

Both are afternoon events, the former happening at various restaurants around town every third Thursday of the month at 1pm, and the latter an informal chance for socializing and light refreshments every second Wednesday at 2pm.

One catch: To attend, you have to join the Senior Center ($55/year) More info: 974-7756


Dating for daredevils

 And for courageous risk-takers of any age, there's always the infamous Hook Blind Date Challenge, set for a return next week in an expanded, higher-intensity form.

Extreme Blind Date Challenge has already lined up couples for encounters such as rock climbing dates, and one lucky pair, rising to a different sort of challenge, visited a local psychic on their introductory date. More info: 295-8700x236


Chances for Cavs

 While you'd think that having been in town for four years or so would have provided a long list of contacts for single Wahoos, apparently some UVA alums are still on the loose and lookin'. UVA grads, guests, and friends gather the first Wednesday of every month, 6-8pm at Starr Hill on Main Street to nosh and nibble and see what develops.

Organzer Tina Cote says the happening attracts people in all age ranges, and every month the crowd is a little different.

As for whether they sing the Good Old Song at the end of the evening, well, you'll have to check it out next week and see for yourself. More info: 296-6415.