Advice on love, life and surviving Valentine’s Day

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

Dear Nancy,

I’m a widow of five years and finally feel ready to date. My friends put me on a dating app and I realized quickly it’s not for me. Last weekend a few friends and I went skiing nearby and I met this really nice man. We talked in the ski lodge for over two hours and bought me a drink. He wasn’t wearing a ring and my friends felt he was really into me, yet he never asked for my number. The funny thing is that he told me his name and where he worked. I would like to meet a guy that likes to ski and who lives near me. Is it too forward of me to reach out to him? I checked him out on Linkedin and his information checks out.

Lauren, West Chester

Dear Lauren,

Sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how challenging widowhood has been for you and I’m happy you feel ready to date again. Dating apps can be very overwhelming these days, so it’s not just you that would rather find a partner organically.

You’re starting out on the right foot by looking for a partner while doing one of your favorite hobbies. I always suggest to my clients to make a list of their favorite things to do, whether skiing, going to museums, golf, just to name a few. Then while you’re out there enjoying yourself, reach out and introduce yourself to anyone you’re drawn to and make conversation. If you don’t have a friend to go with, feel free to join a meet-up group or museum to get involved. Don’t expect to meet someone your first time – you got lucky!  Which brings me to your question: “yes” is the answer! Although your new ski bum may already be in a relationship, you’ll never know if you don’t ask. Write him a quick note through Lindkedin and let him know you really enjoyed meeting him. Let him know you and your friends are planning on skiing again and you’d enjoy meeting up again on the slopes or even just grabbing a dinner together. If you want it to be a date, make sure you’re explicit about it. Don’t be bashful; as Mahatma Ghandhi wrote, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” — Nancy


Dear Nancy,

It’s Valentine’s Day again soon and truth be told, I’m already feeling depressed. I hate this holiday. Shocking. I’m single. Every year I try to find something to do with a friend and I always come home feeling sorry for myself. Worse, we usually go out to a fancy dinner and I just add on the pounds. Any suggestions?

Valerie, Philadelphia


Dear Valerie,

You’re certainly not alone with your feelings. Many, like you, associate it with feelings of loneliness and desperation, rather than love. And, if it makes you feel better, a recent poll found that over 58% of Americans think Valentine’s Day isn’t even a real holiday.

I always recommend my single clients make Valentine’s Day a day to celebrate themselves! Instead of going out to eat again, perhaps you’d enjoy a spa day. Pamper yourself with a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure – the works! If you’re not into that, perhaps take the day or evening for shopping. A new dress or sweater? Whatever fits your budget, there’s sure to be something that’ll make you feel special. The key is to make your needs a priority, even if it’s just by watching your favorite TV show, movie, or Netflix series. Just please remember, the first key to happiness is loving yourself. And Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to demonstrate to yourself just how wonderful you are!

Here’s to you! —Nancy



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