January 26, 2006

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Pinings: Tuning out?
by Sherry Hughes

Dear Sherry,

I’m a 38-year-old woman and I’m having a rough time maintaining a relationship with a man. I really want to be in love, have children and settle down, but I don’t seem to be having any success.

I have a pretty good job; it pays well, but I’m not crazy about it. I have a nice apartment. I am not what men consider a “hottie” — but I’m not a dog or anything. I have many friends and I go out and socialize frequently.

I just don’t know why I can’t find a guy who wants what I want. My last boyfriend broke up with me after six months, saying he really wasn’t ready for a commitment. He sure acted like he wanted one. We spent lots of time together; we had a lot of common interests. In short, I think he just got scared.

I feel like I am ready to stop trying. It feels as if every time I put myself out there, I get hurt. Any ideas?

Signed, Giving up

Dear Giving up,

Yes, I have lots of ideas. Which one will work is another story. If I knew that, I’d be in a relationship right now and so would everyone else I know.

First, the basics: How interested are you in getting married? Because if it’s a big goal and you don’t feel like you will be fulfilled if you don’t get married someday, then you have to be gutsy and put yourself out there. Stop messing around with guys who aren’t sure they want a commitment. I don’t think it’s something that you need to discuss on a first date, but don’t even bother if you know a man isn’t interested.

Have you been really blunt with your friends, coworkers and family members? Are you OK with blind dates? Do you say yes to all social opportunities that sound interesting…or perhaps invitations that may involve meeting single men?

Have you tried a personal ad? Have you joined a gym/taken a class/gone on a singles cruise?

All of these options are worth exploring. If it’s really important to you, pull out all the stops.

That said, let me give you my philosophy—but remember, I’m 42 and single. I’m a happy single woman though, and I have a full, enriching kind of life.

I believe we become magnets for romance when we stop trying. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. We find someone to love when we are not looking.

My advice is to live your life. Do things that make you happy. Create a home for yourself, go on vacation and surround yourself with people who love you. Go out and have fun, do things to enrich your life. Volunteer in your community, continue your education—whatever that means to you. Explore your creative side. One of the most wonderful things I’ve done for myself is to take voice lessons. It is magical for me to sing. I also had my mother teach me to do embroidery, which may sound a bit on the corny side, but I love doing it and I love giving things I’ve made as gifts.

In short, stop worrying about love; worry about being the best person you can be alone. Someone told me a long time ago that being alone and being lonely isn’t the same thing. I believe that’s true. And what I’ve discovered in my time alone is invaluable.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Write her at sah103@hotmail.com.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com



01/26/2006 Tuning out?
01/12/2006 Under pressure
01/05/2006 Sex isn't everything?
A Few Words From Sherry

A LIttle Joy, A Little Heartbreak
Abusive Relationship
Abusive Relationships
Advice to young mother
Annual Tips For Avoiding The Holiday Fight
Any Way To Return To 'Just Friends'?
At The Women's Expo

Back In The Same Place
Back Off, Buddy
Bad Breaks
Being Patient
Blog, Blog, Blog
Broke up

California Dreaming
Changing My Mind
Clearing It Up
Cooking Help
Confused and Angry
Consumed By The Internet
Crying All The Time
Dating Again
Ex-Cooperation
Falling Short
Family Friction
Friend, With Benefits
Friends
Friendly Secret
Gift-Giving Season
Go to Funeral?
Homesick
Hunting Season
In Love and Confused
It's the most "beautiful" time of the year...
Keeping Things Secret
Just Sex
Lying, But Not Cheating
Might Get Married
Move Back Home?
My Boyfriend's Computer
My Roommate's Family
Mutual Intrigue
Needs Support
Newly Single Mother
No Explanation
Nosy Neighbors
Nothing Happened
Oh, Grow Up

On Her Way To 'Trouble'

Our Pal Al
Pretty Tight
Publicity Stunt?
Quiet, Please
RSVP, Please
Ruthie's Secret
Should I Stick or Should I Run
Should I Tell Him
Shy Girl
Splitting and Sharing
Stuck In A Sticky Situation
Sucky Gifts
Taking advantage
The Boyfriend & The Friend
The Difficult Coworker
The Letter
The Pain In Spain
The Sad Bride
The Ultimatum
Two Men At The Same Time
Vacation, Not

Why would anyone stay?