Christopher is the co-organizer of Knoxville Eligible Singles, a health- and outdoors-minded meetup for the unattached between the ages 25-45. Their next “members only” events are a tour of Forbidden Caverns followed by lunch at Holston’s Kitchen on Saturday, Aug. 2, and cycling the greenways on Sunday, Aug. 3.
Who is the group designed for?
We are catering to younger bachelorettes and bachelors, those in their late 20s to early 40s, wanting children someday or childless. We’re all about promoting fun, healthy, and active venues. We’ve had outdoors events like paddle-boarding and swimming at Mead’s Quarry, for example. And while we’re only seeking members who are eligible singles, the group is also aimed at forming friendships and offering rapport and support within the area’s unattached community.
What made you take this on?
I started the group in April just to meet people who fit those specifics. What happened with another similar group that had open enrollment—all ages of adult— is that it became mostly divorcées in their 50s looking to bar hop and hook up. This is not a catch-all group. It’s for those in the younger age groups who are eligible and actively looking for someone to see—people who want to get out and do things. We may meet at a bar for a drink or two before or after another activity, but that’s never going to be the focus.Also, I’ve lived here just a few years and just wanted more opportunity to mingle and meet genuine singles, even if I had to organize it myself.
Why the emphasis on healthy activity?
I hate to come right out and say it, but most of Knoxville has a sedentary lifestyle.The people in this group like to be around other people who are active and health-conscious—people who take care of themselves, but aren’t freaks about it. Not that everyone is a perfect weight or marathon runner, just those who take care of themselves, that’s the best description. Lots of people around here are obese or smoke, and that to me is just a turn-off.
Are you an avid outdoorsman outside the group?
I like a little hiking, and I love cycling—that’s something I would like to do more of. I also work outdoors as the owner of a lawn and landscaping company.
How’s attendance been so far?
People have been joining the online meetup—I have at least 80 members—but not as many are RSVPing for events as I would like. I’m going to give it a little more time to catch on, and I’m also very open to suggestions for events.
What would be your ideal size core group?
It depends on the cohesion, but it would be nice to have six to 10 that came to most all of the meetups—that allows for interaction on a personable level— and then grow from there. Some events I have in mind, the ideal number would be more like 20-25, like a dinner social on Market Square.
Do you have other goals for the group?
I’m very interested in our group getting involved with some volunteering opportunities. That goes along with our goal of promoting overall health—having empathy, and working with someone less fortunate who need us.
The group is “dog friendly”—do you have dogs?
I have two labs, but so far they haven’t come to any events because it’s hard to work with two on an outing, and they’re getting older. But we do welcome well-behaved and leashed dogs at any venues that allow them.
Do you envision maybe meeting someone to marry through this meetup?
I don’t know how realistic that is, to find someone to marry in a group this size. But yeah, I’d really like to meet someone. It’s all about networking, so maybe someone in the group will end up introducing me to that person. Meantime, I really just enjoy meeting new people who like to be active.