Can you help me find a good place to meet people to date? I volunteer at two places during the week and meet people there but it is always on a professional level, never social.
I hear that most people meet their friends at work or at school. A relationship that is professional could turn social. However, if that is not the way things are happening for you, I would suggest participating in as many activities as possible. Do things that you are interested in; for example, if you love theater, see plays and you will instantly have a common interest with the people you meet there. Perhaps you like church, art, dancing, eating, political events, the bar scene…you name it. I know the Open U sponsors lots of events for singles, or maybe you want to place a personals ad in a newspaper?
Unfortunately, (as you can see) I don’t know of a “hot spot”—sorry. “Shy in St. Paul” mentioned they had met someone socially, perhaps if they and other readers would write in with their secret hot spots we could have some luck…?
I am in my mid 30’s and physically disabled. I have not had many relationships and find them hard to develop. In the last few weeks I have met a person socially and find them very attractive but I am shy to make the first move. Can you help?
-Shy in St. Paul
Being physically disabled makes having physical relationships difficult. I often find myself very willing to have numerous friendships freely but as soon as any physical attraction develops I become nervous. In my mind I judge my “physical disability” as synonymous with “physical inadequacy”, therefore when I am confronted with the opportunity or desire to enter into a physical relationship I feel afraid that I will not be “good enough” for the other person. Frequently, this fear prevents me from expressing physical or sexual feelings all together and even when I do have a sexual partner I find myself constantly wondering why anyone would find me sexy in any case.
Breaking through the initial fears and uncertainties of beginning a new relationship is one of the hardest hurdles to jump and having a physical disability really intensifies the situation. Whenever I make it past this stage, I instantly find myself quite afraid of losing the physical relationship. I am afraid because I am extremely uncertain about ever being able to find a replacement. With all of these complicated feelings and fears it is not possible for me to simply have a feeling of attraction for another person and then “naturally” instigate a relationship. This hesitation may be called “shyness”.
There are books, support groups, classes and activities around the city that are designed to help people deal with their shyness. I do not have any answers, I do not have a “cure” for shyness. All I can suggest is that you try to notice where your shyness comes from. Although noticing this probably won’t cure the problem, it is sometimes comforting to explore yourself and understand where your feelings are coming from.
P.S. I wish you good fortune!