Last night some of the Dating Dementia grads gathered for an All Class Reunion. It was great fun for me to see individuals whom I have had the privilege to serve over the course of the last five years, assembled together talking, laughing and even planning future events. We live in a time that offers so many opportunities for people to gather together and yet I frequently hear people complain that they are lonely. I say, “Quite whining and sniveling and get out and get involved.” That is what these individuals did last evening. They chatted on the site’s forum, made plans, made compromises about how, when and where to hold this event and then they made it happen. In other words, they got off their fannies and created an opportunity for people to meet new people. People moan about how others are so lucky to have so many friends and to be having so much fun. That is called envy—desiring something that someone else has. However, usually someone else has something that another does not because they put some time and energy into getting it. Opportunity might fall into a lap on occasion but I would argue that opportunity is just a door that someone recognized needed to be opened, and then did just that.
Opportunity is one of the elements of “The Gathering.” The Gathering is the gated community within this site that was set up just for graduates of the Dating Dementia Class. Here individuals, with common information absorbed in the class about what it takes to establish a healthy relationship, and common insights formed as a result of that information, come together to build a community of friends based on common interests. That is what the Dating Dementia Community is all about—people connecting with other people to form new communities. Why bother? Because you can’t meet and fall in love with someone you aren’t in proximity with. So get out there and get connected by building new communities. That being said, I do recognize that not everyone lives in a city the size of Madison. If you are in a small community you may need to put forth a little more effort and planning. But it can be done—either by developing your own groups within your small community or joining groups like this one. People are hungry to connect and the world is ripe with opportunities to do so. But connecting and being lazy can’t be on the same plate.