Calling all singles over 65Jan 27, 2020 04:08PM ● By Corey Colombin
A new social club is shaking up the single senior scene
Are you over 65, hip, active, unattached, retired and possibly bored? If you answered “yes” to those questions, there’s a new group in town that may be just right for you.
Cheryn McNicol is energetic and quick to laugh, with a robust love for people, socializing and fun. Her enthusiasm is infectious. Her history in real estate sales and her outgoing personality is the perfect fit to get the momentum going for Singles Over 65. Plus, she hales from Grand Junction, so she knows the area.
“I grew up in the Redlands, went to Grand Junction High School, married a boy from Central, had my babies at St Mary’s, divorced and moved to Nevada 1971,” said McNicol, who fits the single and over 65 criteria. “When my granddaughter, Sierra, got a basketball scholarship to CMU, both of my sons and their families returned to Grand Junction and I followed in 2019.”
After many years away, McNicol is on a mission to shake-up the Grand Junction social scene for seniors.
Having created a similar and wildly popular group six years ago in Reno, Nevada, McNicol aims to recreate the same fun, hip vibe right here in the Grand Valley. She turned to www.meetup.com to form the group “Singles Over 65.” This brand new group is up and running, ready for eligible seniors to join.
Online dating has its place, but McNicol isn’t a fan. Until Singles Over 65, there was nothing like it in the Grand Valley, and past experience has taught her that people in this target age range are looking for an outlet to mingle with persons of the opposite sex.
“Men like the company of women and women like the company of men,” McNicol said. “Many men love to cook, and many women like sports and fishing. This group is for people who want to do something besides sitting at home watching television.”
McNicol envisions a group that does more than sitting and talking.
“I see activities surrounding travel, gourmet dinners or potlucks, golfing, bowling, dancing and music—there’s really no limit,” she said.
However, there are specific criteria members have to meet to be eligible to join the group.
“Some people are taken aback at first, thinking there are too many rules, but the rules are there for a reason and success speaks for itself,” McNicol said.
The group is strictly gender-balanced, meaning that the membership will always represent an equal number of women and men.
“If we get too many women, more will have to wait until more men have joined,” McNicol said.
In this effort, she is actively trawling for members. Don’t be surprised if she approaches you at the grocery store and hands you a business card. She might say something like, “I’m not sure if this applies to you, but if it does, there’s a new group in town that you’ll love.”
You may raise an eyebrow—you’ll probably laugh—but if it resonates at all, you’ll head to www.meetup.com/Singles-Over-65. Applicants must be able to navigate the internet, as online is the only way to join.
A new kind of social club
On the website, member candidates fill out a simple questionnaire designed to get to know them and what they’re looking for. Subjects include age, whether you are divorced, widowed or never married, a bit about your background and if you are retired or still working. It then moves onto areas of interest: hobbies, whether or not you like to cook, sports you may follow, etc.
Next, the questionnaire gets into specifics about hosting shared-cost events, then on to travel. Finally, it asks what you want in a relationship: interested in just getting out, dating for fun or meeting “the one.”
McNicol makes it clear that Singles Over 65 is a social club, not a dating club, although many members have been known to date.
“This is a small, private club, so people actually get acquainted and everyone in the world doesn’t know where we are meeting,” she said.
One of McNicol’s tried-and-true rules is, “When we sit down together, I make sure it’s always boy/girl/boy/girl. Otherwise, the whole meeting will be about cooking and cars.”
Although McNicol’s return to Grand Junction is only a year in, she’s motivated and she’s dedicated to improving the social world of singles over 65.