Dear Annie, I've tried absolutely everything that I can think of to find love, but nothing has worked. I’ve gone out with dozens of men, but only felt connected and attracted to one, who ended up ghosting me after a couple of months.
I don't understand why I can't seem to make this happen even though I have been able to find success in every other endeavor I have tried to pursue.
Now the holidays are here and I can’t believe I’m still single, despite my best efforts. I feel alone and humiliated. All of my friends have found someone. I don’t want to deal with yet another holiday dinner where I’m the only one going solo. Alison
There is nothing to be ashamed of. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over half of adult Americans are single. Being single today doesn’t mean you’ll be single forever.
This is the time of year when people are inclined to look for love. Maybe it’s the long evenings and cool weather that makes them want to connect. Perhaps it’s the extra time away from work that provides the space that allows them to ponder what’s most important in their lives.
Both men and women are most attracted to someone who is happy and confident. People want to connect with someone who is interested in getting to know them, rather than someone who wants to obtain a mate to fill an empty chair at the table.
So, even if you have to fake it, you’re better off if you display an upbeat attitude when you’re out and about meeting people.
While modern dating may seem discouraging and confusing, it helps if you focus on the positive. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that single people over thirty were considered unfortunate people who had missed their chance for love. In 2016, you definitely have a lot going for you for the following reasons:
1) This year, more people are seeking a partner who shares their values in an increasingly divided country. After the recent disruptive election, many people who were previously satisfied with casual dating or waiting for the impossibly perfect partner are now actively looking for love.
2) There are more ways than ever to meet like-minded, single people. The more you take advantage of these, the greater your chances of success:
- In real life: You can meet people through friends, social groups or clubs, and MeetUps. Participating in volunteer work, networking activities and attending classes or Internet-organized events or singles events is also a plus.
- Online dating—actually, I prefer to call it “online introductions”—whether it’s one on of thousands of online dating sites, such as match.com and OK Cupid, or apps, such as Bumble and CoffeeMeetsBagel is a great way to meet people.
- Randomly, whether you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market, waiting for public transportation or walking the dog, you can chat with potentially eligible mates.
3) It’s easy to get support: You can find answers to questions on the Internet, meet new friends in social groups while you’re looking for love or hire a dating coach, an option that was almost unheard of at the turn of the century.
4) We are in a country and place in time where you get to choose what kind of relationship you need at this stage in your life. No one else feels entitled to make your decisions for you. The key difficulty is creating the time and making the effort to getting to know someone before you decide to stay or go.
5) We are so fortunate to have access to reliable birth control. The last 50 years have marked the first time in known history when engaging in sex did not automatically include the risk of a woman becoming pregnant. If you are like most midlife women, you couldn’t imagine waiting to marry someone before becoming sexually intimate.
There is a lot to be thankful for when it comes to dating in the twenty-first century. Happy Thanksgiving! I wish you love.