Q: I am a very lonely 45-year-old divorced man. After my divorce, I have been in several casual relationships, but now I have started thinking that I want to meet a special person to spend the rest of my years with. I have been on online dating apps, but it seems that the best women are already taken and that truly there is nobody out there for me. Please help.
Ans: Plenty of fish in the ocean of love. You just have to cast a wide net, fisherman style. Yes, many have been taken, but many have been set free and many more have been single for too long. Remember that dating apps are not the only platform for finding a relationship partner. There are matchmaking companies that cater to people who want an extra layer of candidate vetting. There are more serious matchmaking apps that have profiles of people looking for long-term affairs.
There are friends and family, who are always happy to spread the news of one’s singledom. How open are you to embrace the experience? Before sailing off to your fishing trip, make sure you are not holding on to your loneliness as an anchor to sadness and self-pity. The boat might not sail and you will be left at the shore with a single fishing rod. You know now that, your loneliness is not based on external facts of the world, e.g., there is nobody out there. A sure external fact is that, there will be challenges along the journey. You will not experience compatibility and chemistry with everyone but reaching out will increase the chances of you meeting some interesting people.
Your loneliness is an emotional signal that you need love and connection, like all of us. If you have been holding on to it for a while, it’s probably rooted in childhood trauma. You will need to address what and who made you feel unloved as a child before you start sailing in the deep dating sea. If you don’t, you might start getting attracted to unavailable people and that will make your self-fulfilling prophecy come true. Stormy dating experiences will again get you sailing back to a safe but lonely shore.
The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach, Founder of The Intimacy Curator, an organisation promoting self-discovery through emotional and sexual wellbeing (www.theintimacycurator.com). (Have a query? Send it on firstname.lastname@example.org)
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