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Ask Ellie: To kickstart social life, explore group activities

Once you’re out among people who have like-minded interests and hopes to make new friends, you’ll have a good start on a true social life.

Dear Ellie: I’m a woman who’s been through incredible pain resulting from a car accident which left me with severe back injuries in my late-20s. It also caused me to leave my job, which required standing for long periods.

Worse, it ended my socializing. Girlfriends my age drifted away because they were more motivated to meet guys, date online, and attend any event that might lead to meeting new men.

I desperately wanted companionship but mostly ended up at home with my mom, for whom I’m grateful. But it’s not the same as being with your besties or meeting someone new who looks at you like you’re someone special.

I had that feeling from a guy I met online, but during 18 months together he turned out to be in worse shape than me: No job, and a series of injuries from doing sports for which he had no training or common sense.

Several years of therapy later, I’m ready to embrace a social life however I can. I’d like to find someone who “gets” me, appreciates my humour, thinks I’m pretty and sexy, etc.

I’m turned off dating “strangers” online.

I live in a small but interesting city. How do I meet new companions, when my life is limited by my former injuries, and my friendships are dwindling?

Lonely in my 20s

Scan your local newspaper for the lists of “happenings” and “gatherings” in your area. In “interesting cities,” you’ll find inexpensive musical events, small neighbourhood theatres, film and drama clubs, and a wide variety of gatherings through locales that offer clubs.

Consider missed previous interests, too, such as learning to paint or to speak French or Spanish, etc. And when weather and your physical healing permits, show up for outdoor activities you can safely handle.

Once you’re out among people who’ll inevitably reveal some like-minded interests and hopes to make new friends, you’ll have a good start on a true social life.

Smile a lot, and be open to new conversations.

Dear Ellie: I’m in my early-30s and met a man by accident. I have a very busy, demanding job that takes full concentration at work. Also, I’ve never been interested in a relationship. But this man keeps finding me when I’m busiest.

I initially ignored him, sure that we had nothing in common, since we’re from different backgrounds, religions, etc. Also, I love activities like rock-climbing, and he’s a committed golfer. No match.

But this man kept coming into my sightlines, chatting with me, even when I brushed him off by being too busy.

Now he waits for me every day at the outer door from our workplace. But he never pushes for anything specific like a “date.” He just says he likes talking to me. He brought me a sandwich and coffee one day when he saw I was exhausted due to product delivery issues. He now walks me to my car. And he’s started to hold my arm when we cross a road.

Is it possible to fall in love based on small signals of someone treating you with respect?

Slow and Steady

He’s courting you very respectfully. Still, take your time getting to know him if you let a closer connection happen. You’re strong-minded with specific goals. If he’s developing serious feelings for you, he’ll respect your independent mind and ambitions.

When ready, introduce him to your parents and note his response when meeting them. And ask to meet his family. Learning each other’s family values ahead is instructive in a new and potentially serious relationship.

FEEDBACK regarding the woman with concerns and anxiety about her partner choosing to become their house husband (Jan. 12):

Reader – “As an actor I’ve had many periods of not working and by default I became the House Husband. We have three kids, all adults now.

“I did all the needed driving, the school parent-teacher associations, field trips, dentist appointments, shoe-buying, lunches, snacks, etc. It was great.

“I was able to establish and grow a close hands-on relationship with the kids and free up chore time for my spouse. Also, I became a pretty good cook.

“My wife advanced in her career and recently told me that she couldn’t have done it without me. She knew I was holding down the fort.

“Dinner was hot and ready when she came home and we all ate together.

“I loved the time with the kids and see it as a gift. We’re all still very close.”

Ellie’s Tip of the Day

Explore your city’s varied group activities. It’ll improve your life.

Send relationship questions to [email protected] or [email protected]

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