If you’ve been happy with your partner and their death has left you in an empty, unremitting state of ‘love lost’, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this. However, if it’s been a while and you’re starting to have feelings of loneliness, then perhaps the time has come to find someone new.
Finding yourself in a social situation where you are used to being part of a couple can be a very isolating experience. In particular, there is nothing worse than feeling like the third wheel in a room full of couples. I recall, only too clearly, the first time I ventured out to a social event. Most of the people were strangers to me. The only people I knew were the hosts who, although considerate of the fact that I was on my own, were obviously busy with their other guests. I only stayed for a couple of hours but spent that time riveted to the same spot, clutching a glass, with an inane smile on my face, wishing it was a respectable time for me to leave.
Similarly, whilst you like the idea of getting out of the house, you wish there was someone to walk down the road with. It’s quite surprising how the simplest of actions become major accomplishments when you have to do them on your own.
Gradually, your friends or your sub-conscious lead you to online dating and you find yourself sifting through a myriad of faces and profiles that present a problem of another kind. There are a lot of people like you out there who are also searching for someone and deciding who is the right person to make contact with can be quite a daunting experience.
Looks, of course, are important, but we all know that beauty is skin deep and someone who looks like a movie star may not have the right buttons for you to push.
By studying the profiles of potential matches you will know when someone could be of interest to you. In fact, in the early stages, there may be several matches that you find interesting. Exchanging messages online is a tried and tested means of communication and gives you the facility to get to know someone without any commitment or disclosure.
Having made the decision to meet a virtual stranger, you need to take things slowly. My own view is that meeting up with someone during the day for a coffee is a comfortable arrangement for a first date, rather than making it an evening event.
Be prepared to spend plenty of time together in situations that are not considered intimate. There is nothing worse than making what you think are the right moves at the wrong time.
Get to know each other well, and understand that you are both there for the same reason and it must be implicit that neither of you are making comparisons with your late partner. Remember, this is also an opportunity to put your life experience to the test. If you are genuinely happy in your skin and feel you have a lot to offer, then this should come across as confidence. Confidence, as we all know, is a very appealing characteristic and will make anyone feel reassured in your company.
It is important to get to know the other’s preferences and ask yourself how you feel about them. Could you live with another’s aversion to something you enjoy doing. Do you feel able to share someone else’s passion for an ideal or activity that you don’t approve of?
What will probably happen is that if the person is not right, you will drift apart and will have gained something positive from the experience. What could also happen is that you find yourself in a relationship that will not only fill a void, but will offer a new partnership. Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as, but in a different way, to your last.