I realize now that all the female friends I have had for the past 27 years have been married. Sure, there have been "work friends," but none where I shared any deep feelings. So, on the road to relationship recovery, I am trying to make new female friends. Not just potential "girl friends" or lovers, but honest to goodness "share emotions and experiences" friends of the female persuasion.
It is not an easy thing to do when I'm in pain, when time alone starts to feel like loneliness, and when my ego has taken a beating because the person I loved most in the world is not "in love" with me any more. I don't want to just be liked. I want to be loved. I admit to being addicted to making love, and the feeling of withdrawal is intense.
I understand a lot of men in my position decide to bed every woman they can to prove they are desirable, while at the same time proving they are real jerks. But I have decided to do my best to, as my mother told me so delicately, "keep it in my pants."
The online world is very seductive. You can have dozens of instant female friends who laugh and flirt with you. But there is no physical connection. That has to happen in the "real world," not the fantasy world where you can share your deepest feelings and not have to worry whether you can do the same thing when an actual person is actually standing in front of you.
I think almost everyone on dating sites is looking for love, not just someone who will go to a movie or go bowling with you. It just doesn't seem to be the best place to build open, trusting relationships with good communication while I struggle to learn to be a "single" person who is not just half a couple.
I believe that I need some good non-romantic female friends now, and when I am truly ready to face life alone, that will actually be the time when I am ready to fall in love again.