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Jerry W Posted 2 months ago
What’s the best way to approach finding a new relationship?

I have just cancelled a subscription to an online dating service. I found it too challenging (very monetised , gamefied , transactional , hyped up, etc.). I lost my wife 2 years ago and have experienced all sorts of emotions, but most persistently now is loneliness and a longing for company. I think I’m ready for a new relationship, but I certainly wasn’t ready for the stress of the online approach. What experiences have other people had and what kinder ways are there of finding a partner?

3 likes & 36 replies
    • Peter Bailey 27th November 2021 at 10:22 am

      I do some volunteering and I’m about to start a couple of craft courses. One is furniture upcyling and the other is a sewing course so I can alter clothes. I think meeting women with shared interests and getting to know someone in that environment is much nicer than trying to use an app.

    • Daisy 1212 27th November 2021 at 8:47 pm

      Maybe join a club that interests you.. Walking, hiking, swimming, chess…. Etc… Maybe just making new friends may lead to something else.. 🤗

    • Jerry W 28th November 2021 at 7:45 am

      Hello Daisy, this is similar advice that someone else has given and I’ve been thinking a lot about it. It does make sense from it being more authentic, kinder and based on shared interests. I am a bit shy and would struggle to ask someone out (maybe that’s why the dating website was too hard for me). It also feels a bit hit-and-miss, but then, hey, that’s life!! I am desperately sad at my loneliness and I have to do something about it but initially I’m going to work on altering my perceptions from ‘being alone’ to ‘having solitude’ – try to reframe things more positively.

      • Daisy 1212 30th November 2021 at 9:39 pm

        I wish you well and hope you make some new friendships very soon. Being alone is different from being lonely.. I have felt alone in a room full of people.
        From what I hear dating websites/apps, can be pretty scary places and certainly add to a feeling of loneliness.

        • Jerry W 1st December 2021 at 6:14 am

          Yes Daisy, I actually did feel my loneliness more acutely when I was (briefly) signed up to the dating site even though it presented lots of possible contacts. I suppose its the context of the thing as it made me feel exposed and vulnerable. I know I’ve got lots of quirks and flaws and trying to present a stylised attractive version of myself was a strain – I’m glad I recognised it wasn’t for me. If you spend time with someone in person and they still find you attractive that is more real and so am looking forward to exploring Meet Up and Silver Friends. I’ve been heartened by the communication I’ve had through this website so thank you and good luck too. Jerry

    • Linpap 28th November 2021 at 9:18 am

      I lost my husband last year so I feel your pain i get lonely too though I am lucky to have good friends and family to visit and meet up with and I do enjoy silly banter with people on the forum here! I agree joining clubs etc is a good way to meet people my problem is I don’t enjoy crafting (and am hopeless at it!) and feel much the same about sport. However I have found a group called Meet Up they organise social events in all parts of the country which are more my sort of thing eating drinking cinema visiting places of interest etc it’s not a dating agency in fact you don’t have to be single to join but you do naturally meet people and should be good for you -always loads more women than men!! But I did have one guy offer me a lift to a meet up in a local Thai restaurant we hit it off and have been for a few drinks and meals just the two of us so you never know your luck

      • Jerry W 28th November 2021 at 12:36 pm

        Thank you – this sounds interesting and very practical. My son has mentioned Meetup but I never made the connection in my head that its something I could do. I’ll look into it further. Good recommendation!!

      • Mad Ralph 2nd December 2021 at 10:00 am

        Top tip Lin, I’ve just had a quick look at the meet-up website and there’s something I’m interested in that’s not too far away from me. 👍
        It’s on my things to do list, I’ll let you know how it goes if I’m able to attend 😎
        Cheers ears 😃

    • Chi 28th November 2021 at 12:12 pm

      You are braver than me! The stories I have heard about online dating really put me off going online. Lockdown has been a bit of a weird “comfort blanket” in that nobody has been able to get out to meet people in the past 20 months but now things have opened up (at least for a short time??) I don’t mind admitting to feeling a bit of pressure to “get out there”. I have been single for 4 years now (!) but only very recently have started to feel that I am ready to look for new friendships/possibly partners. Hopefully, this will happen organically from my hobbies, mainly running, hiking (I have subscribed to some Meetups groups), sports – but perhaps these aren’t the best avenues to meet others in my age group? Friends have suggested hobbies such as dancing as good places to meet single women but it’s not really me and I do not want to pretend to enjoy something which isn’t true to myself (and others).

      Who knows what 2022 will bring? Best of luck to you!

      • Jerry W 28th November 2021 at 12:45 pm

        Hiyah – I wouldn’t say I was braver, just more desperate! Also, I think most people who go on dating sites are probably decent human beings just looking to fulfil a natural need for connection and companionship. I was put off by the way the site itself attempts to manipulate your emotions to maximise their revenue. I’m just not emotionally resilient enough to cope with that environment. I particularly like what you say about not pretending to enjoy things – being true to yourself shows a good basis of self-respect. I wish you well too.

    • Mrs VS 29th November 2021 at 9:31 am

      I’ve joined Meet Up too, and am going to my first event in December. Its a Christmas meal in a local restaurant. I’m quaking in my boots but I think it’s a safe way to make new friends and have some company. I lost my husband 2 years ago, and although I keep busy with my lovely family and friends, I’m trying to be less reliant on them 😏

    • Jerry W 29th November 2021 at 6:29 pm

      Hello Mrs VS, well done for taking this first step. I know it takes a lot of courage (and soul-searching). I’m going to follow the consensus on this one and give Meet Up a try. I also feel that things would feel better if I just do it for its own sake and not have any expectations. Good luck👍

    • Forget-Me-Not 30th November 2021 at 10:06 am

      I think positively reframing your perceptions from ‘being alone’ to ‘having solitude’ is a great start. I’ve been single for 4 years (took 2 years to get some sort of confidence back) tried a year on and off of online dating (wasn’t for me) though never actually met up with anyone but I also wasn’t in the right frame of mind so it was never going to be a positive outcome. Sometimes I think it would be lovely to go for dinner or visit somewhere with someone other than my family but I think in my heart I don’t want to deal with any potential emotional complexities or unrealistic expectations right now. As others have mentioned, local meet-up groups might be a way forward and would certainly give you the opportunity to at least make some new friends and visit new places. Good luck to you 🙂

      • Jerry W 30th November 2021 at 9:11 pm

        Hello Forget-Me-Not, there’s a lot in your message and I’ve reread it a few times as I really want to understand it. It sounds as if it has been difficult for you. You are also being honest in wanting the attractive aspects to being in a relationship but being wary of potential downsides. I spent 32 years with someone I loved totally and our lives were pretty intertwined, but already after two years I’m not sure how it would work out trying to combine my life with anothers. Big questions! I am really grateful for your thoughts as it is massively helping me process my own situation. Take care

    • Mary A 30th November 2021 at 11:19 am

      I’d accept every invitation that comes your way and get yourself out there Jerry! Meeting people through others is the best way to find someone of like-mind. You also can get to know them gradually and there’s no pressure. I’ve tried dating agencies in the past. Complete nightmare!
      Like others have said, the Meet Up Group is good….. walks, cinema nights, pub quizzes. What is there not to like? 😁 You only live once….. go for it!

      • Jerry W 30th November 2021 at 9:16 pm

        Too true Mary A! I think my biggest fear is one day being weighed down with regret. I just need to summon up a bit of courage, commit a bit of time and do it. No excuses!! Thank you

        • Mary A 5th December 2021 at 12:19 pm

          You just need to push yourself out of your comfort zone Jerry. Most people are lovely. Get out there and have some fun!

    • vaughanpauline 30th November 2021 at 12:16 pm

      Jerry W

      I am going to direct message you with a link to a Facebook site we set up earlier this year just for lonely people.

      We are not a dating site but many group members are in similar circumstances to yourself having lost a partner.

      We have a weekly zoom meet up on a Sunday evening. This is often a quiz (Mikes pop quizes are legendary) but there is also a chat afterwards.

      We also have real life meet ups throughout the Uk. The last one was a trip to see Grease in Cardiff and then a meal afterwards.

      Our next real life event is a lunch in Manchester followed by another meaet up in Clitheroe and yet another one in Glasgow.

      In the new year a small group of us are going to Fureaventura together.

      We find that the real life meet ups are so much easier after you have seen the group on Zoom and talked to them on Facebook.

      We do ask that everyone uses there real names, no creating an alternative identity, we want to know the real you and of course, this is also a security point.

      We are a very friendly and welcoming group. I will also point out no one in the group makes any money. We are just one big group of friends.

      I do hope you will join us and if anyone else wants an invite please just message me.

    • Jerry W 30th November 2021 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks Pauline, I have clicked the link. Really interested to find out more. Jerry

      • vaughanpauline 30th November 2021 at 9:38 pm

        Hi Jerry

        I have just approved your request to join.

        Feel free to start a post about yourself and join in.

        The people who get the most from the group are those who give the most, just like real life!

        I hope you enjoy the group and please if you ever feel lonely ley just post something in the group and there will be friends their for you

        P x

    • Sar717 1st December 2021 at 10:32 am

      Jerry W,are you interested in salsa dancing?I go to a couple of classes and have been to others over the years and there’s never enough men/leaders to learn with,always plenty of women

      • Jerry W 1st December 2021 at 5:53 pm

        Hello, my son goes to salsa and loves it. I also enjoy dancing and used to do tap. It was the same issue there with not enough men. Also just round the corner from me in Loughborough is a dancewear shop. I always feel nostalgic when I walk past it but I might just venture in! Great suggestion – thank you.

        • Sar717 1st December 2021 at 8:03 pm

          Your welcome,enjoy 💃😊👍

        • adeliza0165 6th December 2021 at 10:31 pm

          Hi Jerry, you’ve mentioned Loughborough! – I’m from one of the villages in the area and often go into Loughborough to do my shopping. We aren’t that far away!
          When I split up from my partner and my daughter left home and covid came along, I became very isolated.
          I see my son from time to time and although I have a good bunch of friends, they tend to do things with their hubbies.
          I had to get out. I had to push myself to meet people. I joined restless and have made some lovely friends on it. I had to push myself to go to the gym/leisure centre.
          Have you thought of going to the gym/leisure centre? I sometimes go to the one in mountsorrel – soar valley leisure centre. I’m not a member but I go to the circuit classes sometimes. It’s fun and knackering too!lol! I get to chat to people in the class and we have a laugh 😊

        • Jerry W 7th December 2021 at 6:33 am

          Hello Adeliza, I really like your attitude – its very positive. I’ve only recently moved into Loughborough so am still getting sorted and finding my way around. I will over time get out more and take up activities, explore opportunities with Meet Up, etc. Another person commented on ‘getting out of your comfort zone’ and this really applies to me as I feel awkward in groups. I think we all are a bit uncertain of ourselves and yet I can’t see any other way (as the dating site was just too hard). Anyway, thank you for your message – I might see if there are badminton classes as I really enjoy that game. Take care,Jerry

        • adeliza0165 7th December 2021 at 12:31 pm

          I’ve been in the Loughborough area for seven years now – I used to live in anstey – nice village and close to bradgate park, which is lovely for walks, picnics or a paddle in the stream 😊 Has a lot of history too! (Lady Jane grey).
          Beacon hill is nice too for walks. We went there a few years ago on new year’s eve to watch all the fireworks goiing off all around – it was lovely 😊
          The villages near me are nice for walks, too, like mountsorrel, Woodhouse eves, barrow upon soar.
          Have you come from near or far?

        • Jerry W 7th December 2021 at 8:14 pm

          Only from Barrow! I’m afraid I couldn’t stay in my house as it was heavy with memories. Sometimes you need some ‘disruption’ to allow a reset. It’s been a good move and bit-by-bit I’m more at peace with my grief and do feel hopeful for the future. I think maybe the venture into online dating was a bit premature, but I really appreciate your suggestions. Like you I have found sharing and receiving on Restless to be helpful.

        • adeliza0165 7th December 2021 at 8:57 pm

          Oh gosh! Barrow! I’m in sileby!lol. We’ve been barrow many times 😊 We would go to the pub on mill lane (the navigation) and go walking by the river up to the other pub by the river or the other big one😊
          We have some lovely villages about 😊

        • Jerry W 7th December 2021 at 9:51 pm

          Ha ha, yes the Soar Valley is amazing – you could do an awesome pub crawl in a kayak!😃

    • LivelyTony 1st December 2021 at 11:12 am

      There are many ways to meet new people but only for more outgoing people. One of the problems for many people on dating sites that they are too shy and most people on them have never actually met anyone in person from because they are too shy or frightened.

      One important thing is to only list and promote sociable activities. A woman whose interests are knitting and playing with their granddaughter has nothing to do together with anyone else.

      Sociable activities are going out for meals, visits to museums, walking etc. Meetup are good for all of those things.

      But don’t forget walking the dog ( if you have one! ) shopping, going on a bus or train. Working in a charity shop as a volunteer.

      Smile at other people and say a friendly hello. If anyone invites you to go out for a meal or drink or to go for a walk then don’t try to find excuses just agree and go.

      If sosmeone you

    • Jerry W 2nd December 2021 at 6:21 am

      Hello Tony, you’re right that being outgoing and genuinely having ‘sociable’ interests is a real asset when it comes to meeting new people. I’ve been encouraged by the advice you and others have given. I’m under no illusions that it will be plain sailing – life never is, but I am feeling more positive about the future. There are lots of valuable insights from sharing like this. Thank you

    • annp12 2nd December 2021 at 9:43 am

      pubs and local clubs .groups .I’m in the same boat .I won’t go in these places on my own. but being a lady it’s harder for a woman to do it than it is for a man. I’m thinking of rejoining our local holiday group they do nights out and book the holidays we pay weekly to spread the cost rth checking on anyin your area

    • Hala 7th December 2021 at 10:39 am

      After a while you may come to love living alone and the freedom it brings- befriend your loneliness and you can learn a lot

    • Jerry W 8th December 2021 at 6:12 am

      Hello Hala, thank you for your comment – though it is short it has a lot in it! In my head I understand your message and the possibilities it offers, but emotionally I still want to connect and share with someone. Hmmm?!