Since becoming a bachelor again, you may have started to feel lonely and to crave some companionship. Considering getting back in the dating world? Follow these tips.
John is a divorced dad who spends all his free time with his two young boys. Andy is widowed with grown children. Although their single lives are vastly different, these men have something in common: they lack a fulfilling social life.
Men who become widowed or divorced lose more than a life partner. Without a spouse, they often find themselves far more alone than they ever expected. Men often depend on women for their social support and connections. Women are typically the keepers of the social calendars. They are usually the ones who send out holiday cards, make dinner plans with other couples and organize vacations.
Suddenly living alone, it’s not uncommon for men to feel isolated and depressed. Because of this, they are likely to let their health take a back seat. They may drink and smoke more, and give up on a balanced diet.
Reclaim your life
Although it will take some time to heal, it’s important to know that you deserve to be happy. Having a satisfying social life should be a part of this. Don’t know where to begin?
- Set goals. Who do you want to spend time with? What activities do you enjoy? Figure out what you want and set pen to paper. Getting clear about your goals can help you take that first step.
- Identify obstacles. What’s the biggest barrier to your having a lively, engaging social life? Is it lack of time, or opportunity? Low self-esteem? Guilt about focusing on yourself? Recognizing obstacles can help you find ways to overcome them.
- Do what’s comfortable. People may be telling you to go out and find new love. Don’t force yourself to date if you are not ready. Focus on building or renewing friendships, not just romantic relationships. If you are an older widow, research shows it’s important to connect with old friends and ties to help you feel grounded. The rest will follow.
Get up and go
Maintaining a healthy/active social life may not come as routinely as it did in the years before you were married. It may take more effort now that you are more set in your lifestyle. Here are tips to get you started:
- Host an informal event (like a BBQ) with the parents of some of your child’s friends. This is a great way to get to know other families and develop friendships of your own.
- Get together with old friends you haven’t seen for a while. It’s important to reconnect and maybe they will introduce you to some of their friends.
- If and when you are ready, look into Internet dating.
- Alert the media! Tell friends and family you are willing to be set up on a date.
- Get involved in a group activity – a bowling league, poker club or book group. Or join a hiking, running or skiing club.
- Check the local paper for community events. This is a great way to meet new people who share your interests.
- Find a local support group for singles, men, divorcees or those who have lost a spouse.
- Get back to the gym, take up a new sport or start an exercise program. In addition to getting in shape, you never know who’ll be running next to you on the treadmill. Always check with your doctor, though, before you increase your activity level or start a new exercise program.
Remember, if you are engaged in doing things you love, your social life will grow naturally and, with it, the potential to meet a new partner.