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Single Men Dining Out: Feeding the Need for Socialization

July 05, 2021

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Whether you’re a member at Moorings Park or simply know us by name, chances are you’re familiar with the community’s numerous events, activities, and amenities available. Though, a hidden gem you may not be aware of is the Single Men Dining Out happenings.

The event, which takes once a month (with the exception of July and August for summer “recess”) inside Moorings Park’s Seasons restaurant, is a simple social gathering of the single men on campus for an evening meal.

An Idea Turned into Reality

It was first organized nearly two years ago by eight-year resident, Dean Patenaude, after he attended a fundraiser and quickly noticed how the women at the occasion had no trouble chatting away with each other.

“I thought ‘You know? Men are different than women. Single men, with exceptions, have trouble socializing, so maybe there’s an opportunity here.’

He, too, was a single man, as he had just lost his wife, Joan, a few months prior, so he understood the struggle. And so, he pursued the idea of connecting with the other single gentlemen at the community, knowing that socialization is a key factor in living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. In fact, the Mather Institute’s The Age Well Study found that “residents with greater community belonging reported higher levels of happiness.”

Patenaude soon started talking to residents for their opinions, including single men and couples at Moorings Park, who assured him that the idea of the Single Men Dining Out group was brilliant. 

From there, the exclusive single men’s club was born.

Every second Tuesday of the month at 5:45 PM, the male members meet for a dinner to which they all individually pay for with meal points.

A Reservoir of Entertainment 

Making these monthly evenings extraordinary, besides the delicious food and shared company, is the entertainment provided. Mr. Patenaude works to keep his army of 18 to 22 single men that regularly attend invested by inviting Moorings Park resident guest speakers to share notable, fun, unique stories from their past. Just a few weeks ago, resident Adrienne Cozette gave an informative talk, sharing her experience visiting China at the invitation of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, one of the most prominent art academies in the country.

“There’s a huge reservoir of [extraordinary individuals at Moorings Park] that are happy to speak,” Patenaude recognizes. “But I’m not interested in how you did in your career. What I want to know is, within your career or personal life, there must have been something that was fun, and unique, and important. I screen them with that.”

In terms of getting the word “out there,” Patenaude sends two notices through the community newsletter and notes that he tries to stay three months ahead in his planning. In fact, he’s got his monthly events and guest speakers scheduled up to October. Though, Patenaude says finding people to speak isn’t that challenging.

“The men and women we ask to speak have had all very interesting life experiences. These are people who have had and continue to have incredible experiences to share. It makes for a roster of top-notch speakers.”

An Opportunity for Socialization 

As you might have figured out, the core purpose of these events is to socialize. “It’s an opportunity to recognize a need at a life care program like ours, to reach out to single men as a health goal for socialization. It’s a rather unique and very important need.” And he’s focused on enforcing that it’s a no-strings-attached, enjoyable program. “I want to keep it simple.”

And simple it is. Unique, too - proving that Moorings Park members are social self-starters and go-getters, truly making the Life Plan organization an “un-retirement” community.

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