Finding someone special like a close friend or romantic partner is an important goal shared by most people. Having another person you can trust to discuss your interests, dreams, and goals can add countless joy and meaning to life. Many people find that sharing life with an important person enhances the journey and experience of living.
Unfortunately, many people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) express doubt that they will ever find someone special after their injury.
Have you heard yourself say something like …
- No-one will ever love or care about me now that I’ve had a brain injury.
- It’s impossible to meet new people in this town.
- Who’s going to want to be my friend? I’ve got too many problems.
- All the people I know are either in a significant relationship or married. There’s no one left to date.
- I never meet anyone new or interesting. Even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to act or what to say.
- What’s the use in meeting someone new? All my past relationships have turned out badly.
Like many important tasks, reaching the final goal of having someone special in your life can be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps.
Make a Plan to Meet New People
First, you should make a reasonable plan to meet new people. You’re more likely to be successful at finding a suitable match if you consider your own likes and dislikes, and plan accordingly. If you don’t like heavy metal music, you may not want to plan to meet someone at a rock concert. On the other hand, if you admire books, you may find someone sharing a similar interest at your local library or bookstore. Make a list of things you like to do that offer a chance to meet and talk to others. Remember, pursuing your own interests with a plan to meet others is a great way to make new friends.
Make Yourself Available to Meet Others
Second, you must make yourself available to meet others. That means getting out of your house, apartment, or car and being around new people. Try to do activities you enjoy, in the company of others, as much as possible. Trying a new activity is another great way to meet other people. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Chinese cooking or scuba diving, this is a great time to take a group class or lesson. Although some have found meaningful relationships in the newspaper or online, quality relationships are usually best formed in person.
Try to be the Kind of Person Someone Else Would Like to Meet
Third, you should try to be the kind of person someone else would like to meet. Think about people you admire and their qualities that attract others to them. What do they look like? How do they act? Do they have a good sense of humor, a caring or giving nature, a cheerful smile, or an interesting story to tell? Which of these attractive qualities do you possess or have the ability to develop?
Keep in mind that every person has something unique to offer others.
Have confidence that you will make someone a great friend.
From the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury, Virginia Commonwealth Model Systems of Care. Reprinted with permission.