I hope you are coping okay as this lockdown enters its second week. I promise you, you are not alone. There are many, many single people out there, living on their own just as you are, all over the world.

Technology is our lifesaver in these troubled times. Contact interest groups you’re interested in; join their Facebook pages and comment on other people’s posts. Practise interacting with people. Before I started dating online, I remember thinking “I’ve forgotten how to flirt!”; I just didn’t have the confidence.

So I joined an online chat community called ICQ: I spoke to grandmothers in Mexico, a teenager in Holland and many other people from all over the world. I found it fascinating and felt little risk of rejection. Through them, I learnt to come out of my shell emotionally and learnt to interact again online. It really helped my confidence. Instead of online dating, why not give ICQ a try? www.icq-chat.com

Meeting new people should be fun; it’s always interesting, at least, even if the person you meet isn’t your cup of tea. Try to detach it from all the emotions you associate with focused dating, and see it simply as meeting new friends. Remember that I can still accept profiles and ‘meet’ you in a phone or Zoom call during lockdown. I can even put you in touch with matches; there is plenty that can be achieved in advance of when we can get back to normal.

When you can once again meet people in real life, you’ll see how each new person comes with their own network. Meeting new people can bring new experiences, and maybe help you to step outside your comfort zone to try new things. Be brave and reach for your dreams.