Question: Dear Luise: I have been playing with the idea of looking into online dating but to tell you the truth it scares me silly. I have met people at work and at church but the majority of the men there are married and I can usually see why the singles find themselves in that state. My husband died in his late thirties and I just don’t feel like my life is complete…living as a single person indefinitely. I have waited for five years because I knew I had a lot to go through before I could even think of moving on. Now, I feel ready and just don’t have much idea how to go about it. I met Mac in college where dating was as natural as going to classes. What do I do now? Lucy
Answer: Dear Lucy: This may sound weird but I would suggest that you look at how you could complete your life and create a sense of fulfillment without a partner. It sounds to me like you are well on your way by giving yourself five years to grieve and heal. Now, look to see what makes your heart sing. What kinds of activities attract you and what are your hobbies? Do you do volunteer work? Is it what you want to do? Start expanding your horizons.
Once you get busy and find interesting things to do…you become more interesting. When you don’t feel the need to have someone in your life, someone will show up. Don’t ask me how that works…but it often does.
That doesn’t mean you can’t put it out there to your friends that you are up for meeting new faces and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into online dating, I just want to plant the seed that a sense of neediness is transmitted and is often off-putting. When your life is full and you’re having fun, you attract others.
There are things to consider when you interact with an unknown person online. I’m sure you have friends, like I do, who met their life-partners that way. Just remember that there are those who have also met up with stalkers, unbalanced individuals and ex-cons who have painted themselves into choir boys.
Talk to people who have gone that route and ask for advice. Meet someone new with others present or near. Don’t take any chances. The fact that an online group screens applicants or has a religious connection may reduce the risks involved but it doesn’t erase the dangers completely. Nothing can.
You have some years on you and hopefully the maturity to broaden your horizons. I would be willing to bet that there’s someone out there who is looking for you with the best of intentions. Just be careful. Blessings, Luise