Brenda (name changed for confidentiality) approached Select Connections just after the first Bank Holiday in May 2023.
Brenda's message via the website form was: I would like to speak to someone about how I would go about meeting someone serious and forming a real relationship. I became single during covid after 44 years of marriage. To cut a long story short, I have tried online dating and it seems that men my age don't want to date women of the same age, and they seem to feel we are now too old for them, whereas when we were younger, it was okay to date people of the same age. I also got hoodwinked by someone, but I don't want to go into that now.
A discovery call was arranged with Brenda for a few days after her initial enquiry, where we explained the process and asked Brenda her questions.
A few days later, Brenda contacted us to say that she would like to go ahead with her chosen membership package. All documentation was forwarded to Brenda, including her Non-Disclosure Agreement. Then her consultation with Jacqui was arranged and her initial coaching session with Melinda was also scheduled.
Before any consultation, a GDPR-compliant personal form needs to be filled out. This form provides Jacqui with the necessary information to know about Brenda's (or any other client's) values, desires, and needs. By doing so, it enables the client to feel heard and understood.
In summary, Jacqui suggested that Brenda have an initial session with Melinda before proceeding with dating, after their consultation.
Brenda scheduled her session with Melinda within the week and as a result of the session, Brenda, with the support of Melinda's guidance and support is now working her way through a plan designed to build her confidence and get a positive mindset before dating
Suddenly, without the slightest inclination, I was single after 44 years of marriage. I knew it wasn't perfect but 'that's life", we got on, and even in retirement we lived relatively separate lives (his golf & my charities, friends etc) but always came together at the end of the day
Then one evening my husband said "I can't do this anymore, and I have arranged for somewhere to live, you can stay here for now", and so much more - I cannot remember! I was numb, and without going into too much, I begged, I cried (screeched), and I couldn't eat, sleep or function properly, but I had to in the end.
Once again, to cut a long and painful story short, months passed, and I knew then that it was time to pull myself together and try and do something, otherwise, I would disintegrate into an old woman....it was over and properly done with.
My friends were very supportive, but I missed the company of my husband and felt like no one would ever want me again. After 44 years of marriage, how on earth do you meet someone and just gel with them? I did not expect to ever be in this position at 66 years old.
Other than charity work and my friends I did not have any way of meeting someone new, so my friends tried to set me up on dinner dates with friends of friends, but I felt so awkward and because they knew them, it was even more awkward than dating for the first time in 44 years.
They decided to put together a profile for me on a very reputable dating site and for the first time, I felt excited to be on a good platform and all these lovely profiles of very eligible gentlemen got my hopes really high.
Well, that was soon brought down to earth with a bang. Any gentlemen I liked around my age (give or take 3 years) were not interested in me. I could go on, but I am sure a lot of you reading this will resonate with me.
After 3 months, I came off the dating site and took some time out, but Christmas/New Year, spring, bank holidays and summer evenings led me to look at the services of a matchmaker.
As mentioned above, I contacted Select Connections via their website form and the rest they have mentioned above.
In my consultation with Jacqui, she determined that I was not ready to date and had not come to the right place and mindset to move forward. She was quite clear that she wanted to refer me to Melinda, their coach for an initial session and confirmation that she was correct in her thinking.
Brenda has been through a very traumatic experience with the breakdown of her long marriage, which like many experiences in her life, she thought she had dealt with but, in this case, not necessarily so.
Brenda has not allowed herself to properly grieve the loss of her relationship. She has not gone through the necessary stages that would enable her to come to terms with the fact that it was the end of a chapter in her life and that better times lie ahead. Instead, she has chosen to move on quickly and search for another partner.
I advised Brenda to suspend her membership and I have now created a personalised plan to support her in building her self-esteem. This will help her to overcome any obstacles that may prevent her from connecting with the right person, rather than trying to meet an idealistic image in her mind.
At the moment I am working on myself. Something I have never done before. At the beginning, I thought, "what a waste of time" but Melinda can be quite persuasive in her sessions and now a few sessions in I am starting to see the benefit.
Jacqui & Melinda
Navigating the world of dating in 2023 after many years in a relationship is very daunting. Whether you decide to take one of our memberships or want to date online, or just have the new knowledge of how to date and hold down a new relationship mid-life/late-in-life, the secret is in the work you do on your self-esteem and knowing YOU are brilliant in your own way and someone will be very lucky to have you in their life, and so much more than we can cover in this message.
Remember, each person's (male/female) dating experience is unique, and all you mid-life and later-in-life singles should embrace the process as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. With the right mindset, preparation, and support, you all can navigate the dating world in 2023 with confidence.
When singles approach us, we understand that they have done so after great thought and a big step to ask someone to find for them what they dearly need most at this stage in their life. It is not an easy ask for them, but first, we need to know they are mentally ready and feel confident in themselves.
Jacqui & Melinda would like to thank Brenda for sharing her story so far.