Dear Sandra

Dear Sandra,

I have been “single” since a tough divorce two years ago. I loved my husband and he broke my heart by leaving me for our neighbor, a widow. I’m currently enrolled at AU working full-time (5 courses every 6 months) toward a Bachelor of General Studies degree. I don’t have much free time but I’m starting to miss the companionship of a spouse, and ok I miss the intimacy too. I want to start dating again. My two children are in their late teens and as I watch them get ready for dates I’m a little envious. I’d like to be dating again, but at 47 years of age I feel like I’ve been out of the game for too long to get back in again. If you don’t know how to answer this one I won’t be offended.

Lonely AU divorcee

Dear Lonely,

Dating is never easy, no matter how old you are. The human mating ritual is very strange and complex. We get all dressed up and try to sell our personalities and looks to a member of the opposite sex that we barely know. Women act giddy and demure making the man the subject of their undivided attention, men act suave and masculine and will even dance with you and hold the door open for you. When you are suddenly single, you get this strange feeling of fear that you will never be in a relationship again. You want the security, and intimacy, a marriage offers, but to get to that stage you have to start all over again.

It’s not so easy “to get back out there,” because you never really know where, exactly, you are supposed to go. When you were younger it was probably easier to meet up with single members of the opposite sex because there was a higher proportion of them and they hung out with other friends of yours.

As you age however, the proportion of single people drastically decreases and those friends of yours no longer hang out with singles, they group together as couples. So, where do you go to find a date? I honestly do not know, but I do know that one will not just fall in your lap. And since you are probably like most AU students who spend the majority of their time at home, you are going to need to make a conscious effort to get out where people are or try the personal ads.

I have known a few people “getting back out there” who have used personal ads, a form of pre-approval dating, to find a partner. There are many different ways to connect with someone through personal ads from choosing individuals through a phone-in system to hiring a dating consultant to match you up with someone fitting your pre-requisites with similar interests in your area. Check your local newspaper, the telephone book (under dating services) and even the internet (if you can get over the whole hoopla that has surrounded dating over the internet).

Ok, so preliminaries out of the way, what now? Time to get out of the sweatpants let your hair down and get ready for the “dating interviews.” Don’t go in assuming that the first person you meet will be the one, or stick with someone who doesn’t seem right out of fear that you won’t find anyone better.

Like they say there’s a lot of fish in the sea. What you find attractive now, probably differs quite substantially from what you found attractive when you were younger, but remember that just as you knew it was right with your first husband you’ll know when you meet someone else that is well suited for you.

Finding this someone may take a few dates or it may take many. It won’t be easy sailing, but don’t give up, something worth having is rarely easy to get. Good luck on your dating and studying!


This column is for entertainment only. Sandra is not a professional counsellor, but is an AU student who would like to give personal advice about school and life to her peers. Please forward your questions to Sandra care of