Ask Goldie - January 2007

By Goldie Carlow

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Dear Goldie:

Well here I am, nearly 78 years old and in good health, but alone for New Year's Eve. Somehow, I can't find someone to share good times with me.
When my husband was alive, until five years ago, we had a very active social life. A month after the funeral our friends seemed to disappear. They do phone occasionally and always send Christmas cards, but never visit me or ask me out.
How can I find new friends? R.L.

Dear R.L.:

I am sorry to hear you are so lonely. Everyone needs a social life, yet it is amazing how many people feel the way you do.
First, it is important to look at the reason old friends are not in touch. Friendship is a two way street, and perhaps you stopped phoning and inviting them after your bereavement. Following your loss, people hesitate to disturb you in your grief and then time passes quickly and they put off renewing contact. So, why not take matters into your own hands. Phone a few of your old friends and arrange an evening together. Splurge a little on flowers and good food to make it a special occasion. I am sure some of your guests will start to include you in their social circle again. It is important for you to appear eager for the interaction to occur.
It's normal to feel down and lonely when one loses a spouse and all the social activities of a couple. However, there are many single people your age in the same boat. As I have mentioned before, there are community events where you can meet some of these lonely souls and begin new friendships. This can increase your circle of friends and maybe next New Year's Eve you will have a partner!
These events require action on your part. Start now!

Dear Goldie:

Although I am senior, I think my problem may surprise you. So many of your letters are from lonely people wanting partners, but in my case I am completely content to remain by myself.
My wife died four years ago and, of course, I still miss her and our good life together. However, I have no interest in married life again. I am quite content with my memories, children, grandchildren and even great grands, as well as many friends. I belong to a men's club and go to the Legion every Saturday for a social evening with veteran buddies.
So, what is wrong in my life? It is well-meaning friends who are always trying to match me up with some widow or single lady! The women all seem to be looking for marriage so the friendship ends quickly.
Tell me how to discourage these matchmakers. W.J.

Dear W.J.:

Well, you certainly have introduced a new problem. I now wonder how many other senior singles are trying to escape eager potential partners.
You certainly have accepted your loss and continue life in a manner that suits you. It's too bad that your friends can't accept it too. This kind of problem occurs when people try to put their code of values onto someone else. Each of us forms a unique value system from what we are taught, and from our life experiences. We live and interpret life around us by these strengths.
Your friends mean well, but you must be firm to convince them you have the life you want. I am sure they can find other senior men willing to meet the ladies.
Continue to enjoy your life.

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