Johannes Radebe was "reminded to live again" by Annabel Croft.
The 'Strictly Come Dancing' professional, 36, was paired up with tennis legend Annabel, 57, for the last series of the BBC Latin and ballroom competition and revealed that his co-star - who lost her husband Mel to cancer just months before taking part in the show - had "changed [his] life" by encouraging him to get out and try dating again.
He told Hello! Magazine: "I went on one date with a gentleman and it was lovely. It's now about me doing this a lot more. Meeting the beautiful Annabel, I was reminded to live again. She's encouraged me to be more social and since then, my life has changed. I've started going out, but needed someone to tell me that.
"Having spent time with her, I connected with her and with nature. That has allowed me to step outside - and go to parties."
The TV star explained that when it comes to looking for a man, he is focused on "kindness" above all else as he admitted that he has found a "friend for life" in Annabel - who has Amber, 27, son Charlie, 26, and 24-year-old Lily with her late husband - after she "nurtured" him during their time rehearsing for 'Strictly' together.
He said: "Kindness is my type.That is love for me. Kindness is love because when you're kind to one another, nothing can come between you. Love is caring and that's how I recognise it in people. A kind gesture goes a long way. It builds a better society when everyone is kind.
"Everyone thought I was helping her, but she helped me, too. She was so nurturing, telling me to bring my washing to her and cooking for me. Her kindness blew my mind.
"I don't think she realised how much I needed her. She's such a pure person, a friend for life."