“It’s easy to lose sight of your most important investment,” says Terri Sloan, New York relationship expert and social coach.
What is it?
“You, of course,” says Terri.
Investing in your social relationships and what makes you happy is an integral part of your well-being.
It’s especially important for women who are single, divorced, or widowed, and need to maintain a strong social network to feel connected.
Terri, a lifelong New Yorker, was in our office this week leading a relationship workshop especially designed for women. It’s one in a series of programs she’s developed and presented in South Florida over the past few months.
Here’s four key relationship tips Terri has pulled together tailored to her baby boomer clients:
Invest in yourself and what makes you happy. We all understand the concept of investing in a financial portfolio to provide for the future. It’s equally important to invest in yourself as a person and what will sustain you emotionally into the future.
It’s important to build connections. Connections with friends, both male and female, and your community provide for a rich social life and better mental health. Research has shown that those social relationships and the intellectual stimulation they provide is one of the first lines of defense against Alzheimer’s, and important for everyone’s mental equilibrium.
Sometimes you need to leave your comfort zone to grow as a person and move ahead in life. For women who are widowed, single, or divorced, it’s often hard to get out and meet people, take part in activities on a “solo” basis, and reach out to make new connections. Yet, if you don’t try, you’ll pass up a lot of opportunities. For example, we sponsored a women’s travel workshop a few years ago in response to many of our female clients’ quest for safe and adventurous travel options they could do without a partner. We were struck by how many women with the means and desire to travel stay home, stymied by the lack of a travel companion.
A relationship need not be perfect to be worthwhile. You may not meet the perfect person, but if you can find common ground or a shared interest with another person, your time is well spent. One friend might enjoy hanging out with you to watch the game. The other might join you for Saturday morning trips to the farmer’s market. Yet another might be a perfect companion for activities with the kids. If you’re dating, you might not find the perfect “chemistry,” says Sloane, but you just might find a good friend.