How you might be feeling
Meeting new people is always an exciting journey. There will be points where you may well be apprehensive, even scared. This is perfectly natural.
If you’ve considered yourself as part of a couple for many years, you may have lost a little of your own identity.
There is no rush. Take your time to take stock of how you’re feeling and make sure this is right for you. Talk to people about how you’re feeling and be honest with yourself and them. Ultimately it’s only you who can make decisions on if you’re ready to meet someone new. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to decide that the time isn’t right.
If you have lost your loved one make sure you give yourself the time you need to grieve your loss. You will know when you are ready to commit to a new relationship, or even just make some new friendships.
It used to be that a certain length of time had to pass before someone who lost a spouse could date. These days, no such convention exists. While some people worry about what their family and friends might say, others feel that dating defiles the memory of the departed spouse.
Meeting new people could be an experience you haven't had in a long time. Whether you are looking for a lasting relationship, a more casual one, or just friendship, take your time and above all, enjoy yourself.
How the other person might be feeling
On the basis that you’re both on this site you’ve immediately something in common – people around you who care and who want you to find someone new.
Everybody will have their own story and each person will be in a different emotional position. Be considerate of how they may be feeling at all times. Some people may not want to, or find it easy to talk about the past. If this is the case don’t press.
Find things that you have in common and build the relationship from there. Take small steps and enjoy the experience of meeting someone new.
How your child might be feeling
As you’re on this site it’s most likely your child wants you too meet someone new.
However, if you don’t feel you’re ready or have met someone and are not feeling that happiness you’d hoped, then maybe it’s not right. Talk to your child – they will understand.
Only meet someone new if you are ready.
Keeping the communication with your child open and honest will most likely bring you even closer. Sure, there’s always a place for keeping some things private but remember they have the best intentions and want you to be happy and safe online.
It’s also important to understand meeting someone new might not work out. It’s as important not to blame your child as it is to understand they might already be feeling guilty for having encouraged you into meeting someone new.
Taking an open and honest approach to meeting new people, and keeping communication frequent with your child, will make the whole experience much more enjoyable and successful.
Also read: New Relationships And Your Children
myLovelyParent COACHING SERVICE
Whether you're the 'lovely parent' who's looking for a partner, or maybe you’ve put them forward, what lies ahead can be both scary and exciting.
We've teamed up with Susan Quilliam and John Seymour to offer extra support to help you on your journey. They’ve also offered their online dating classes and also one-to-one dating coaching to the members of myLovelyParent:
Below are a few thoughts from Susan and John..."We think online dating is wonderful. We've both done it - in fact John married his online dating partner Marian in the summer of 2012 - and we've also worked with some of the biggest online sites, we run courses for online daters, and we offer coaching. We're keen to offer everyone on myLovelyParent - those looking for love and their supporters - all the help we can.
But sometimes, it's useful to also have outside help, help from people who have also dated online but are also experienced in training and coaching on just this subject. That's where we come in.
In particular, we've found that there are seven key stages (see below) along the way where a dater might get stuck and need some more professional support.
So our coaching is aimed at helping clients and their supporters to pinpoint where they are getting stuck - and then to get unstuck. We offer understanding of this new and unfamiliar online dating journey. We offer practical strategies based on our knowledge of the process. We advise where to change direction and how to make the system work.
Above all, and most importantly, we're there cheering on both online daters and their supporters as you make the journey.
The contact details for Susan and John can be found at the bottom of this page.
THE SEVEN STAGES OF ONLINE DATING
Through Susan and John’s coaching work they've found seven key stages where an online dater might get stuck and we thought we'd share these with you.
For each they explain where the sticking point is, and what you need to do about that if you're a dater, and if you're the dater's supporter.
Stage 1: Laying the foundations
It's crucial that the online dater has time and energy for the dating journey - but also that they're truly ready and over any previous heartbreak.
If you're the online dater, you need to make sure you're really, really ready. If you're the dater's supporter, you need to encourage, hand-hold, help them take the leap into the unknown. (And, just sometimes, you may need to help them hold back and wait a while before taking that leap.)
Stage 2: Getting clear
It's vital for the online dater to have thought through the kind of partner - and the kind of relationship - that's right for them; otherwise they may end up kissing huge numbers of frogs before the prince (or princess) arrives.
If you're the online dater. you need to get very specific about your criteria. If you're the dater's supporter, you'll need to support them to think that through. You may also need to help them raise the bar - often at this stage people 'settle' for partners who are simply not worthy.
Stage 3: Creating your profile
Presenting a profile can seem a real challenge - who's comfortable with self-promotion? But it's one of the key elements that attracts good matches.
If you're the online dater. you need to create a profile and photo that really reflects who you are - but much more importantly, welcomes in your best match. If you're the supporter, your vital role here is to help the dater believe in themselves - with your words, your hugs, and the way you recommend them on the site.
Stage 4: Making connections
Once on the site, it can be a challenge to manage the approaches made and the approaches received from potential partner
If you're the online dater. you need to learn how to judge whether someone is really right - and then to encourage them, or turn them away. If you're the supporter, you'll need to help the dater develop really good antennae for a suitable partner.
Stage 5: Starting to talk
When emails turn into phone calls, it starts to feel very real - but it can become even more of an emotional roller coaster.
If you're the online dater. you need to learn the new and very different skill of online dating phone calls. If you're the supporter, you'll likely need to boost the dater's confidence before the phone call - and afterwards help them judge whether to take things further or not.
Stage 6: Meeting up
Meeting up is crunch time - when potential partners find out whether there really is chemistry.
If you're the online dater. you need to know how to arrange - and enjoy - first meetings. If you're the supporter, you'll need to help the dater to judge whether there's further potential and - quite often, to ride out the disappointment when there's none.
Stage 7: Finding Your Loved One
Moving from online connection to real life commitment is the final step.
If you're the online dater you need to be prepared to shift from the adrenalin rush of daily emails to the day-to-day challenges of building your relationship. If you're the dater's supporter, at this stage your main role will probably be to step back and simply let love happen!
If you're interested in our helping your lovely parent (or you are the lovely parent) in the online dating journey, then do get in touch with Susan or John. They offer an initial free chat to explore the possibility of working together and can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will then arrange a date and time to talk to you.