Being a non-believer sucks. I can't help what I can't believe, so it is not as if I chose isolation, just like I did not choose my parents. It does not pay to be honest in society because everyone keeps the mask of their ancestor's religion wrapped so tightly around their heart that they can't see what is right in front of them. Couple social awkwardness with a reasoned outlook and you have a recipe for dying a lonely old man in a two bedroom house. I have already passed the prime coupling age, and am quickly approaching 40. I cannot just cancel my mortgage and pick up and move to a big city with a larger pool of non-believers. The online sites are slim pickings for someone who won't compromise their principals, and even here, anyone who may spark an interest is 400 miles away or in England. I want to believe that the only limits a person sets on themselves are self created, but that is New Age b.s. designed for motivational posters and Tony Robbins seminars. I have so much to offer, but no one is buying what I am selling, and it is definitely a buyer's market, now, more than ever.
How is 40 past prime coupling age? Just rob the cradle a bit. It's worked well for me. The last couple girls I've dated were at least 8 or 9 years younger than me. You're also likely to find less-religious sorts amongst the younger ones.
Even in small-town USA, you're likely to have a few more reasonable types. I don't know if the Midwest has as many pagans floating around as there are down here, but that may be a viable option for you. At least a pagan would be more accepting of your lack of belief, and perhaps you could bring her a bit closer to skepticism.
If I could find a mature atheist in her twenties or thirties that hasn't already fled the area or had 3 children, I would. As for Pagans; I fear I would be constantly forced to wear dark glasses to hide the involuntary eye-rolls at the risk of suppressing them completely and suffering premature eye strain. When I think Pagan lady, I think hippie-goth chick and I brace myself for the next half-baked "spiritual" notion to come out of her mouth. It is a depressing proposition. I like women with tattoos and piercings, and want to believe that they are on to something, but unfortunately they never seem to live up to the packaging.
I don't think your prospects are any worse at age 40 -- in fact, they're getting better with every passing year! Face it, quite a few men are jerks, and you're at an age when a lot of women are fed up with their relationships, their kids are becoming independent, and they feel it's their turn to live a little. Get to know some of them! I just did a little reading about your town, and I see that it is full of fine arts activities, as well as a Unitarian Church, which would seem to be great places to meet new nonreligious friends. You're also only an hour away from Grand Rapids, home of the very active Center For Inquiry.
Thanks for the encouragement. The boosters that pay my tax dollars to marketing groups would have everyone believe that this part of Michigan is teeming with culture. We have a nice art museum, it is true; Unfortunately the octogenarian volunteers that work there are the only people I see on a regular basis, unless some group of middle-schoolers has been bussed in from even more remote areas. This is a dying rust belt town desperately clinging to relevance. The U.U. Church here skews way elderly, too. The only real claim to fame for this town is "The Beer Tent Capital of the World". I don't mean to be a Debbie-downer, but it is a very small pond for a single free-thinker here. I would leave if it were not for a mortgage, steady job and rapidly aging parents. That is why I tried (and so far failed) with the online sites.
Update: The impossible has happened. After many years of struggle, my beautiful and charming atheist ex-wife has returned. We are also expecting a bundle of the unexpected. She was supposed to be incapable, but I shy away vehemently from calling it a miracle! This makes two groups I should resign from (singles, and childless). Thanks for the encouragement, as well as allowing me to be an introverted lurker here.
It IS difficult. Don't give up. Getting a better phot would improve your chances, though. Joseph P., you, too..get a better headshot.
I told someone else on this page that I used to date many Asians because many are atheist. Try that for a while. Koreans are usaually Christian, though, so avoid them.
Those are in the photo section of my profile, yeah. I'm not really looking for dates on here, so I'm not that worried about the photos.