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Sandy Kelly Advises: How do I meet a nice woman my own age?

I'm a man in my early 50s and I'd like some advice about meeting a nice woman in or around my own age

for companionship. I'll tell you how it is.

I've been a bachelor all my life, but it never bothered me that much up until now.

I've been busy running the family business, I'm involved with the local hurling club, and I'm lucky in that I have one or two good pals still knocking around.

My brother, who is married with three teenage children, recently moved away from our area, and I've been caught surprised by how much I miss having them around.

I'd often pop in for supper on an evening, or bring the young lads to a match on a Sunday.

I suppose it being Christmas time, I'm more aware of feeling a bit lonely.

I have had relationships with women in the past, though not for a long time now, it must be said.

My last companion was a great woman, but she moved away, too, for a job.

She asked me to go with her at the time, but I wouldn't leave the business behind.

I'm lucky in that I live in a busy little town, and there are a few ladies in town that I wouldn't mind getting to know a bit better.

One in particular is someone I see quite regularly in our local library.

We've exchanged a few words in conversation, but I never got the nerve to ask her out.

To be honest, though, it has been years since I spoke to a woman that way. I don't know what to say or how I should behave.

What would be a good approach?

And what things do women enjoy doing anymore?

I don't want to come on like an eejit or a dirty old man either.

One of the young lads on the team even suggested me joining a website to meet women, which sounds terrifying, if I'm honest, but maybe I should.

What do you think? Thank you so much for your letter. I have to say I was very impressed.

It was very well written and has given me a good insight into your life and your question.

To me, you sound like a very nice gentleman. You have been so loyal to your family business and you seem very outgoing and popular with your friends.

To be honest, if I were free myself, I think I would want to be on your list of possible girlfriends!

Anyway, I think this is a problem for many people of our age group who have had to dedicate their lives to their work.

The years quickly roll by and, before you know it, family and friends have moved on to marry and have family of their own.

Now to advise you: I've thought about this and I really feel that you should start with the lady you mentioned, the one you see at the library.

You already know and like her, so it's easy really. Just ask her if she would like to meet with you for dinner perhaps, or a night at the theatre. Or you could suggest a drink and a chat.

That really applies to most ladies in our age group.

A nice invitation for any of the above should be enough to get things started.

If she declines the invitation, don't worry. Just pick out one of the other local ladies you mentioned.

As I said earlier, you sound like something of a catch and, despite everything, I think you have more confidence than you might realise.

One thing, however: I don't really advise using the internet to try to find someone. I think it could be a lot of trouble going through a list of dates with people you have never met.

I suspect you think likewise, too, so follow your instinct on that one.

If I were you, I'd also go out socially as much as you can. Have you ever thought about going on a 'singles holiday', or even a cruise?

There are lots of ladies out there who I'm sure would love to meet you, and spend time with you.

I know that Christmas can be a lonely time for lots of people, and I can understand how you are feeling.

So as soon as you get the opportunity, ask the library lady out for dinner and you may be nicely surprised.

I am predicting that you won't spend Christmas alone this year.

I do hope it all works well for you, and you find the happiness you deserve, as life is for living.

Best wishes always.

Weekend Magazine