found himself suddenly solo when his wife died, so, he turned to what he knew best – research. Cofounder of McCollum Spielman Worldwide, a marketing and research company, Hal planned to use his skills to find out more about solo living for his own benefit, hoping it would help him navigate the waters of singlehood a little easier. Little did he know he would be writing a book that would help others do the same thing.
Published in 2012, his book, co-written by Marc Silbert, “Suddenly Solo: A Lifestyle Road Map for the Mature, Widowed or Divorced Man,” is not only gaining sales, but has even generated a website.
“I never imagined I would write a book like this,” said Spielman, who goes back and forth between his homes in Lake Worth, Florida, and Long Island. “I had written reports and articles in my field and done many speeches, but the idea of writing a book like this never entered my mind. I started thinking about it more than four years ago, after I retired. It has gone completely beyond anything I could have envisioned.”
He added, “[After my wife died], I didn’t know where the checkbook was, but my sister-in-law did. She had helped my wife, who in the last few months was unable to write. I was kind of lost.”
He found he wasn’t alone. From his research, he found that most men leave the planning of household, family and social activities to their wives.
“There was a man who didn’t know where to get his shirts done. All he knew was that he threw them in the laundry and then nice, clean white shirts would reappear in his drawers,” said Spielman. “It is a strange experience to be dependent on another person and then the relationship ceases. It is a learning process, particularly if you get into the social scene, which has changed radically from the last time they were single. It used to be you meet someone in high school or college, and getting married was the only way you were going to have sex. It is a different world. Dating can be nerve-wracking. Many people have only had one partner their whole life.”
He found that, contrary to the stereotype, older men do not want to date the young, buxom blonde. They actually prefer a mature partner. If they do, it will be short-lived because they have nothing in common.
He also found there were two big sources of how people met their significant other. He was surprised to find that 22-24 percent of them met online. The other big source was reconnecting with someone from the past. For those going online, he advised not putting up a false front.
“It is not good to start out with a lie,.” he said. “If you put a photo of you 10 years ago, 40 pounds heavier, the other person is going to find out the truth.”
In addition, he suggested meeting in a neutral location until both parties feel comfortable with one another.
“Another question … on the first date, who pays? We found that 19 percent of women want to go Dutch on the first date. They don’t want any obligation to go on a second date,” he added.
Spielman’s website is an informational portal on everything from movie reviews to the importance of getting a flu shot. To find out more about the book and Spielman, visit www.suddenlysolo.org.