‘Where and how does a man in his 50s meet new and interesting people?’

Tell Me About It: ‘Dating in Ireland has changed and the old idea of meeting someone in a pub is not as successful as it once was’


I am Brazilian and just turned 50. I arrived in Ireland last year, coming alone, after my 17-year marriage ended just before I arrived in Dublin.

I did enjoy my first year alone. I went to the theatre, read many books, spent many hours listening to music and watching TV series. I did all this alone. I wasn’t able to find a partner, but I did not search much. At least not in my first months.

I have a good job. I have made many friends at the office, but all of them are married or with families of their own. There is not much we can do together. I did ask them if they knew any single woman that they could introduce me to.

All of them gave me negative answers.

I did try going to the pubs, but I am very shy to approach people I do not know. Furthermore, I noticed that all the women in these places were with a partner or in groups.

I ended up drinking alone and found it rather depressing.

At one time, I was using four different dating apps. It was emotionally devastating to me, since on many occasions the profiles were false. At the outset, I did put a lot of faith in the contacts I was making through the apps. People really looked interested in me, but after a while I realised that all was part of scams.

I enrolled in a language course in order to try to meet new and interesting people, but my classmates are not interested in socialising.

I have always had a very difficult time dating, either because I am very shy and introverted (my psychiatrist thinks I may be on the autistic spectrum), or because my social circles are very limited. Now, just turned 50 and being in a different country, with a different culture, I find dating to be extremely difficult. I do not know where to go to meet interesting people and how to reach out to them.

Lately, I have become more desperate. I still have two more years to live in Dublin. I love the city and its people. It is the best place I have ever lived (besides Brazil, I have lived in two continents), but it has been painful to be here without companionship. The prospect of spending two more years alone here is excruciating.

Perhaps you will find my question too simple or awkward, but I would like to know where and how a man in his 50s could meet new and interesting people, even if only to start a conversation, here in Ireland.


You are very lonely, but it is good that you are putting such effort into meeting someone with the idea of having a romantic relationship. The fact that you were married for so long indicates that you have relationship skills and this should stand to you when you find someone to share your life with.

You have made efforts to increase your social circle, but I wonder if these need to be more in-depth and perhaps you might stick with some group (such as the language class) to allow real friendship to develop. Your reference to autism may need further investigation, as it might help you to be more compassionate with yourself regarding your expectations of social success. Joining a therapy group might be a good way of both learning to connect and exploring your struggles in a supportive environment.

Gap (groupanalyticpractice.ie) works with individuals and groups, on a confidential basis, to develop awareness and strategies to overcome difficulties in their lives and support them to develop social contacts. Dating in Ireland has changed and the old idea of meeting someone in the pub is not as successful as it once was.

If online dating is not a current option for you, you might need to consider the type of partner you might be interested in and then go to places where you are likely to meet such people. For example, you are interested in the theatre and reading and so joining a local theatre group or book club would be worth considering. You do not have to be proficient at acting as all groups need people willing to organise or be background support to whatever is happening.

Volunteering is another way of connecting with like-minded people. Do some research on volunteering.ie to see what is available. As the Brazilian community in Ireland is significant, it is worth exploring social circles from this perspective, start with contacting the Brazilian embassy. As you become more integrated into a community of people some of your connection needs will be met and you might find it less stressful to go online for dating purposes.

If you can get help from a work colleague or friend to assist with interpreting the profiles, you might find that there are very many potential partners seeking to meet others and with experience, you will learn to filter the genuine from the fake. Your need for belonging is one, that if addressed, will lead to relationship options so commit to a weekly group and give yourself time to embed this before again exploring the dating world.