Chapter 8 – Alone But Not Lonely

Wise counsel advises waiting a year, following the loss of a partner, before making any significant changes in your life; good advice, indeed.  Time is your servant, along with rational contemplation and self-evaluation.  Your life alone is going to be different, to be sure, but perhaps not as different as first imagined or feared.   This is a time to re-evaluate your life: where you’ve been, what you’ve achieved of your “Bucket List;” and what you’d still like to do with your remaining years. Much depends on your health, mobility and resources.  Your health and financial resources are fundamental determinants of your options.  Other factors include:

- your family (proximity, closeness, support)
- your domicile or living circumstances (can you maintain your residence or do you need to down-size or simplify your life)

Again, it’s a matter of choices – your choices – of what you want to make of however many years remain in your lifetime. 

To repeat - “In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.”

Whether you relocate or stay in place, you need structure and routine in your life.  Keep busy and maintain your circle of friends, but recognize that a few, who socialized with you as a couple, may drop away for some reason – or no reason.  Be alert for opportunities to cultivate new relationships.

Being “alone” does not mean being lonely.  As a widow or widower in this digital age, you are in a growing sector of the population; you have lots of company.  Many of you still have decent health and a degree of financial independence.  Numerous websites exist to help you identify someone of similar values, interests and tastes if you’re interested in “another relationship.”  Websites provide an excellent venue through which to screen and narrow your search for – platonic companionship to attend the performing arts; sports venues; dining out; local sightseeing; travel; or perhaps a more serious relationship – or whatever degree of commitment you may seek.

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Bear in mind that today people of all generations are using on-line websites to find and cultivate compatible relationships.  It is a safe and acceptable means of identifying a person who is likely to be compatible with, and reciprocally interested in someone like you.

Caveats: critically evaluate yourself, what you can realistically bring to a relationship, what you’d like from a relationship, and use a recent photo.  Edit your profile, perhaps have a friend comment on your description; they may have valuable suggestions of characteristics or attributes that you’ve overlooked.  When you’ve identified someone with mutual interest, take time to get to know them via email; don’t be overwhelmed by a beautiful/handsome photo – look for someone whose internal beauty (or qualities) at least matches the exterior.  Have some phone dialog before meeting; verbal communications may provide different impressions than written.  Finally, when you meet, make it a public place and keep it simple: meet for coffee, not dinner.  Drive separately and leave separately. 

Note: Whether or not you believe in sun signs, pay attention to their sun sign; it will give at least a few clues to their personality and character.

Finally – enjoy every single day that you’re alive!