What’s the Best Way to Get Back into the Dating Pool

Question: Hi, Luise: I was wondering, now that I’m divorced and have been alone for a year, when is a good time to start dating? I know every individual is different. I feel like my head is clearer and I’m getting stronger in knowing what to look for if I start dating. I did do a little rebound dating on-line when I first got separated and I did okay. Met and talked with 4 or 5 different guys but I didn’t choose to continue dating them. I guess it was good for my self-esteem as far as knowing I can attract men after a long relationship. Then I took a break from it to clear my head further for four months, at least till my divorce was final. I’m also a single parent now, 37 and with two kids, one older and one younger. I work a lot and the field I’m in doesn’t provide me with a lot of interaction with people. I don’t seem to have the time to get out and create new hobbies on a consistent basis. At the same time I don’t want “life” to pass me by. I do go out with girlfriends on the weekends sometimes. Should I allow myself more time before I start dating again and what ways could I see what’s out there so to speak? Or is it back to the old myth of “don’t go looking for love and it will find you” type deal? I just feel lonely and still long for companionship but it’s been a long time since I did a whole lot of dating. I’ve been in two long relationships my whole adult life. Everyone that I talk to has a different opinion about it. Whatever you could add would be great. Thanks, Maryanne

Answer: Dear Maryanne: That’s an age-old question…”where is he?” And you seem to already know all of the established avenues of contact.

In my experience meeting someone while “out with the girls” is the least likely to produce eligible candidates. Bars are usually loaded with married guys pretending to be single and losers pretending to be winners.

You sound to me like a pretty sound and mature person. That being the case, I think a very careful online search using respectable sites is one of the better ways to meet people. I know several who have found the partner of their dreams that way…my eldest son being one. They married and were very happy until his sudden death eleven years later. Yes, there are risks but that is true of anyone you meet who hasn’t known someone you know for a long time. Even then, there can be skeletons in closets. Judgment is a huge factor and so is caution.

It’s good to remember that the single guys out there who are searching for the right mate are just as frustrated about where to look as you are. When you ask couples where they met you get so many weird answers that you know there is no real formula that works. I know a lady who met the love of her life on a bus. I met mine on a blind date that I went on with dread in my heart, and so did he. Another person I know met her spouse at work and they were best friends for several years without really noticing any chemistry because there was an eight-year difference. Then one day it dawned on them like an epiphany.

Perhaps the magic ingredient is being open and willing. I’ve often thought that some single people emit a kind of vibe they are unaware of that sends a message putting others off.

You have been wise to hold back and get your act together. Tell those you know and love that you are ready now to meet new people and make new friends of both sexes. A new girlfriend could have a great brother! Blessings, Luise

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