Companionship as We Age

Companionship as We Age
No matter what our companionship goals may be, introspection is a good thing. If we are feeling too lonely, we first need to tackle that issue before proceeding. Loneliness makes us vulnerable, causes us to project neediness, and tempts us to make mistakes with our choices.

Before looking, we need to explore our feelings and acknowledge the kind of relationship we want for ourselves. There are numerous women and men out there who don’t want to remarry and are only seeking a companion and friend, and we may belong in that group.

If we decide that internet dating is one of the experiences we’d like to try, that’s fine, but we also should attempt other venues for reaching out at the same time. No one way guarantees success. Joining a group or club that participates in activities we enjoy, such as a walking group, a senior center, a painting class, a choral group, or volunteering for a favorite cause are also avenues to meet new people. Many older persons are shy about “getting the word out” when they are interested in broadening their horizons. If we let our trusted friends know and they may surprise us.

If we are not comfortable using a computer or do not have internet access, we could ask a more computer literate friend to help us and perhaps join a dating site at the same time -- this can make the process more comfortable and more fun. Signing up for a free trial is a great way to determine which site is best and to get a sense of how many site members live in our locale. We may not want to spend time connecting with people who live so far away that meeting for coffee is out of the question, unless our goal is merely to chat. There are several sites for older adult dating, and this one lists and rates most of them:

No matter how or where we meet a new friend, there are the three C’s to always keep in mind: Caution, Comfort, and Compatibility. Dating is another area where older adults need to be cautious. Beware of individuals asking for money for any reason -- it’s very possible that they are part of a scam. It is also important not to do anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. The first encounter should be in a public place for no more than an hour or two. At home we can review the information we gathered and choose whether or not we want to see that person again. The decision we make should be based on evidence of honesty, compatibility and a high comfort level.

I am divorced and have occasionally used on line websites for seeking new male friendships; I am pleased to report that the experiences have been positive and I've met nice men. I use the three C's as a guide and feel secure while I am "out there" looking!

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Content copyright © 2023 by Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Patricia Villani, MPA, PhD for details.