Going out to dinner, enjoying a concert, dancing, wine tasting, moon gazing, walking on the beach, a picnic in the park — these aren’t solo activities, so say two members of a new singles group forming in Brookings.
Kevin Roeckl and Debra Crawford are trying to do something about the problem, although both are quick to claim they aren’t the leaders of the group.
“Besides meeting really interesting people, I’d like to find somebody that lives here locally to connect with, and you know, start dating,” Crawford said.
“Some people want that and some people were very clear from the beginning that they were not interested in dating,” Roeckl said. “They just want some people to do things with.”
“The challenges for people here and why we would want to start a group is there’s largely married couples, as you know it’s a town of retirees, and they came here married,” Roeckl said.
“So it’s often hard to find other single people to just go have a beer with or sit in the Concert in the Park and enjoy the concert. I can only speak for myself, but oftentimes I end up feeling like the third wheel because I’m tagging along with my married friends.”
They’ve both tried online dating sites.
“I’m getting lots of scammers,” Crawford said. “The ones that are real, are realistic, saying ‘I don’t want to travel that far. I want to meet someone local.’”
“I’ve been off and on dating sites for a number of years,” Roeckl said, “and if you are specifically looking for a romantic partner, our remoteness is a real serious challenge.”
The group of singles got together for the first time on Saturday, Jan. 18 at Chetco Brewing. The idea got started by a post on Next Door that asked, “Do we have enough people interested to have a singles activity group?”
“About a dozen people responded over a period of about a week,” Roeckl said. “The original poster then suggested drinks and an age range of 30 to 59. Over another week, at least a dozen people responded, and said ‘Yes, I’m up for that but I’m in my sixties.' And the man that posted was never heard from again.”
So Crawford suggested the place, and Roeckl suggested the time for a meet-up.
“Seven of us showed up last Saturday,” Roeckl said.
The group met again at Wild River Pizza on Saturday, Jan. 25, with 11 people showing up. At each meeting, the group decides what the next activity will be.
The next meeting is set for Saturday, Feb. 1 at 3 p.m. at Kaya Sushi and Noodle House, at 777 Cottage St. in Brookings.
To keep up with the group’s activities, join their Facebook group: Southern Oregon Coast Singles. The group’s page description reads: “This is a social group for single adults looking for fun people to do things with! We are based in Curry County, Oregon, the southernmost county on the Oregon coast. This is not a ‘dating site’…some people are hoping to meet a partner, others just want a group of great people to hang out with and enjoy all that our area has to offer. If you are single and looking for fun people to do things with, come join us!”
The group eventually plans to post flyers and publish their meet-ups to local calendars such as the one in the Curry Coastal Pilot for those who are technologically averse.