Pinings: Tuning out?
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 philosophybut 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 educationwhatever 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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