Q: After nearly three years of widowhood and attending our senior center community activities, church and other social outings, I still have not been able to find a new partner. Two of my friends have said I've been trying too hard and if I relaxed maybe the right man would come along. I am healthy and can take care of my own finances. I need your suggestions as to what to do next.
A: It is not easy to find a new partner, particularly if you had a good one. Finding a healthy and happy man in need of companionship who matches your compatibility is a challenge. You are on the right path participating in group activities. Also consider spending time where men gather regularly, such as bowling alleys and other areas where sporting groups congregate. You should attend afternoon tea dances and civic clubs, such as the Rotary and Kiwanis who welcome new female members.
Recently a widowed lady told me of her experiences when she chose to use the dating Web sites to find a new man. She agreed to meet a gentleman for coffee at Starbucks and asked him how she could recognize him. He said he was about 6-foot-5, a little overweight and would wear a hat.
When she arrived for coffee she saw a very large gentleman wearing a hat that she believed to be him. Believing he would not meet her expectations she quickly ducked her head and exited through the rear door. Later she received his e-mail asking why she didn't meet him. She replied she did, but the only guy she thought would be him was a large, unattractive man wearing a cowboy hat, so she left.
However, she persisted in her search on the Web site to find a match. Within another six months she found a partner, they married and recently moved from Los Angeles to Dallas.
Web sites offer a much broader geographical opportunity to seek a partner. These organizations use your profiles to match others' needs. Obviously they are not always successful, but I hear of more becoming so. Sign up with a recommended one, and enjoy coffee with a few men who match your profile. This will increase your chances of finding a winner.
Q: We are so worried about the future, and particularly for our children and grandchildren. Every newscast seems full of daily disasters and terrible predictions. Hatred seems to be the crux of the matter. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground and confrontation, without compromise, has become our only choice. Are we in the minority?
A: Every generation is fraught with fear, competition and power seekers. In fact, Will and Aerial Durant, noted authors of "The Lessons of History," wrote: "In the last 3,421 years of recorded history, only 268 have seen no war." This is a remarkable statistic.
Obviously, new medical knowledge keeps us living longer, instant Web site and media communication, larger populations, increased education, changing moral codes and the speed of transportation can be a blessing but have also resulted in more daily challenges for us than any generation has ever known. The explosion of these categories will only accelerate. Negative things will continue to happen.
Worry makes us grow bitter. That can become a form of self-torture. Our future is today, and we need to shut out yesterday as it is already in the history books. Keep busy, find happiness in helping others and accept what happens as inevitable. Don't waste a lot of time considering "what ifs." The odds of many of our worries actually happening is like believing we are going to win at the casino. If doing something differently is beyond your power, the real power is letting it go. Seize every day for your own, it belongs to you, and don't let anyone take it away.
Doug Mayberry lives in a retirement community in Southern California. Send your questions to him at email@example.com or write to him at P.O. Box 2649, Carlsbad, CA 92018.
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