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Men ignore me

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  September 10, 2009 09:00 AM

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Good chatting yesterday. Turns out, my use of the C-word (crap) was quite controversial. How exciting.

Usually, I don’t do much with my Twitter page, but today, I’ve posted some information about free movie tickets for Love Letters readers. If that sparks your interest, check out my Twitter here.

And now for today’s letter ….

Q: I really hope my question gets answered. I am a 33yo single gal. Moved to Boston from NYC 3 years ago to a new job, and to move in with my then boyfriend of five years. After one year of living together he left me. For me, this was bad. I ended up in therapy and took anti-depressants. I am much better now. Also, in the past two years I lost a lot of weight. I feel good about myself – except when it comes to dating. I have been single for over 2 years.

I have never been approached by a guy, asked out on a date, flirted with - nothing. Everyone says how good I look, yet I feel like something about me scare off men. At the moment I yearn for companionship, it’s been TWO years. But lately I have been feeling as if my ex rejected me, and so is the entire single men population of the world.

Is my yearning for companionship desperate? I am deathly afraid of approaching men – I do not know what to say, or how to act. I have literally 4 friends in Boston, all co-workers; they do not know any single men. Where do I start in putting myself out there?

Also I have tried online dating. Did not work.

– AtMyWitsEnd, Boston

A: AMWE, you are not desperate just because you want companionship. That’s a human need. All you are is human.

As for the whole “no men ever want me” line, you did have a boyfriend for five years, didn’t you? He must have flirted with you back then. He found you desirable. And now you’re an even better package – older, wiser, and in better physical shape, apparently.

I know you want an answer to the boyfriend problem, but I’m more concerned about your friend drought. If you can find some more social connections in the city, you’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll have more opportunities to meet romantic partners, and you'll have a good support system, which is what you need.

Can you focus on the friend issue for the moment? That’s what I recommend. I also recommend not making this boyfriend drought mean more than it should. Love Letters readers will tell you that going two years without a boyfriend isn’t so uncommon. It happens. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are not wearing an invisible sign that says “Stay Away.”

But you could use a better network. My gut tells me that once you start working on that, you’ll feel better about approaching men, you’ll feel better about Boston, and you’ll be less lonely, in general.

Putting yourself out there is incredibly scary if there’s no one to eat a burrito with after a bad date (or a good one). Start joining some clubs (young professional associations, etc.) to find some pals before you worry about anything else.

Readers? She says she’s never approached by guys? Do you believe it? Is that so uncommon? Is this a self-esteem issue? Am I right about her needing fiends? Help out here. Letters to the right.

– Meredith

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239 comments so far...

    Posted by rw September 10, 09 09:12 AM
  1. Find things you enjoy doing or at least trying that lead to natural conversations and friendships. Especially outdoors, where the healthy guys are: kayaking, sailboarding, hiking, AMC.

    And don't give up on the on-line thing completely. It didn't work for me for years, and then it did, very happily.

    Posted by That will be $150. September 10, 09 09:19 AM
  1. Good advice Meredith. AMWE needs a social life before she can have a dating life. As for the approaching issue - its always been interesting to me how much more attention I get when out of town versus in Boston. Very rarely in Boston does a man send a drink my way - but that happens occassionally when I'm out of town on business and a lot when I'm on vacation. Maybe its a Northeast thing, we're sterotyped as more reserved and damn - drinks are expensive here. I don't take it personally either way. I know that AMWE tried online dating and it didn't work for her - I say try some more. I was on and off Match for 2 years before meeting my current boyfriend.

    Good luck!

    Posted by Monty September 10, 09 09:21 AM
  1. I would recommend the Boston Ski & Sports club, the Boston, Cambridge or Brookline centers for adult ed., or any of the zillion "meet up" groups at www.meetup.com for making new friends. Friends can introduce you to your boyfriend, give you advice, support you if things don't work out or even be your bridesmaids! Gotta have the friends first. Also, as you make more guy friends, you'll be less intimidated approaching and chatting with men.

    Posted by Stephanie L. September 10, 09 09:21 AM
  1. You need to join a social club, play some sports or something; even if you're terrible at sports - anyone can play kickball. Join BSSC, join MoveOn, join a gym, take classes. Just stop focusing on the fact that you're lonely, because people can pick up on that if they are attentive enough, and it's not attractive.

    Posted by Clortho September 10, 09 09:22 AM
  1. A sure way to attract desirable men, is to engage them in discussions about the benefits of sensual enemas; this will tell the man both that you are an adventurous lover, and at the same time caring about your colonic health. Either that or simply ask them out for a drink or coffee, you decide.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 September 10, 09 09:23 AM
  1. I guess there is no sensitive way to ask this.....but.
    What do you look like? I mean, do you consider yourself a '10' or a '6'? Maybe a '4'? Not trying to be mean or anything but, men and women alike find attraction in - well - attraction. You mentioned that you lost a lot of weight. How heavy were you to begin with? How thin are you now? I realize most men like slender women, but if you are Lara Flynn Boyle skinny, that could be an issue.
    Otherwise, if you are looking good and feel physically healthy and have gotten through your bout with depression, I see no reason to worry. People go through dry spells all the time. And besides, if you are like I was when I was young and single, it always seemed like feast or famine. If I was seeing someone, it was almost a guarantee that several other girls would suddenly show an interest. Just the opposite when I was alone.

    Good luck,

    Posted by DrK September 10, 09 09:23 AM
  1. I was hoping I was first, but I probably wasn't.

    Oh CRAP.

    Posted by Monty September 10, 09 09:24 AM
  1. This is a self esteem issue for sure. There's no amount of compliments from other people that will make you feel good about yourself if you don't already feel good inside. Work from the inside out.

    And to find love...you have to put yourself out there. If you aren't willing to approach a guy, you can't expect them to be willing to approach you.

    Good luck!

    Posted by Sabs September 10, 09 09:24 AM
  1. well i don't think she needs any fiends... but definitely could use some more friends.

    also a lot of people on here say they tried online dating and it "didn't work". this statement sort of bugs me. its not like a one shot thing that either does or does not work. it just hasn't worked YET. there are a ton of different websites (some free) with different people and new people signing up all the time. im not saying online dating is the greatest thing ... but just because you haven't met the right person yet doesn't mean you can't or won't meet someone great from online dating.

    but as a single woman i do sympathesize with the LW and know how hard it is to meet people. i don't know what her experience with online dating was, but i wouldn't neccesarily rule it out

    Posted by E September 10, 09 09:26 AM
  1. Never approached by guys? It sounds to me, if I'm reading correctly between the lines, that AMWE isn't often in situations where she CAN be approached. Meredith's suggestions about joining up are good. She should also just get out in the community (art openings, events on the Common, etc.) And when she does go to an event, AMWE is going to have to get over the fear of approaching men - I mean, think about it, AMWE, why should they approach you if you never approach them? And "approaching" someone is an anodyne event. You say hi, you do a little small talk; if it doesn't advance, you move on, cocktail-party style.

    Posted by Sasha September 10, 09 09:26 AM
  1. "I feel like something about me scare[s] off men."
    "I am deathly afraid of approaching men."

    Which one is it? Are the men scared of you or are you scared of them? And what is with all the fear?

    My guess is that you're so afraid to let someone get close to you for fear of rejection... that no one is close to you now.

    When you close yourself off, everyone stays away. They think it's what you want. And maybe you did want it for a while. Maybe you needed the time to be by yourself, to heal. But now it's hard to open back up.

    Hard, but not impossible. Take Meredith's advice, but remember to do so with a big smile and an open heart. It's a risk that you haven't taken in a long time, but the rewards are delicious.

    Good luck to you!

    Posted by Penelope September 10, 09 09:30 AM
  1. not a comment about the letter writer but in general what is the deal with hopping on anti-depressants" anytime something bad happens. yes, we all have heartbreak and loss. I think our western medicine/harvard school of thouht is way to quick with pharmaceuticals. Bad break up, take a week on a caribbean island. ply yourself with umbrella drinks. etc. time heals.

    as for the LW, I applaud your honest letter but would offer that you would not want to over share some of this info. telling someone you were on ant depressants can scare people off. As for being afraid of guys, etc. keep in mind they are just as scared as you half the time.

    Posted by say NO to drugs September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Yes, she definitely needs to start developing a better network. Join clubs, take community education classes (wine tasting, sailing, whatever she enjoys doing), join a church. Once she starts meeting people she will find that there actually are men out there.

    Posted by Anonymous September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Yes, she definitely needs to start developing a better network. Join clubs, take community education classes (wine tasting, sailing, whatever she enjoys doing), join a church. Once she starts meeting people she will find that there actually are men out there.

    Posted by Anonymous September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Meredith's advice is spot on. Meeting men in bars not only intimidating, but also difficult. It's purely a meat market, and in my opinion, guys are not focused on personality (it goes both ways). With that being said, it's better to make connections through networking and friendships. Good luck!!

    Posted by DomeFoam September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Yes, she definitely needs to start developing a better network. Join clubs, take community education classes (wine tasting, sailing, whatever she enjoys doing), join a church. Once she starts meeting people she will find that there actually are men out there.

    Posted by Barry September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. I'm 31 swf who has a job, an apartment and a college grad. I'm tall and a big girl I've lost some weight but I'm still working on it getting gastric bypass surgery in the next few months. I have a cute face and guy friends but I'm not a size 6 and I never will be. I've dated a lot but NEVER had a boyfriend in my life. Guys always want to hook up with me that's it. And I want more. It's horrible. I know when I lose the weight I'll find a guy...but why does it have to not be until then...why can't I find someone during the interim...again I have NEVER had a boyfriend in my ENTIRE life. Girl I feel your pain. Meredith is right you gotta just put yourself out there and I guess when you seem happy and comfortable with yourself a guy will pick up on that and approach you...not sure though I think we're all destined to be lonely.

    Posted by Chris September 10, 09 09:32 AM
  1. Yes, she definitely needs to start developing a better network. Join clubs, take community education classes (wine tasting, sailing, whatever she enjoys doing), join a church. Once she starts meeting people she will find that there actually are men out there.

    Posted by Barry September 10, 09 09:33 AM
  1. You're going to think I'm crazy and new-age-y, but I think you need to change your energy aura. I don't mean with crystals and whatnot, but I agree with Meredith about your friend drought. You are not expressing yourself (and believe me, all human beings have infinite ways of expressing themselves) in ways that connect you with the world at large. By making more friends and doing more activities that make you go "wheeeeee!" inside, you will recognize your own energy and passion, and also project that into the world. People, not just men, but women too (as friends) are attracted and resonate to radiance and energy. The "vibe" you're putting out is decidedly desperate, I hate to tell you. Put your bitterness about the world and your hurts down the toilet, they have no place when you are given the choice to live your life joyfully. Do that, and people will be attracted to you as a person--whether for romantic or friend reasons. Open yourself to to the world!

    Posted by Amy September 10, 09 09:34 AM
  1. LW,
    You absolutely need to focus your energies towards making new friends and let dating be an afterthought. I recommend buying some self-help books on how to be more outgoing. It's scary and you might feel like you suck at meeting new people, but making new friends takes effort. Sometimes people come across as stand-offish whether they mean to be or not and I would analyze your mannuerisms to see if you are unconciously telling people to stay away. Spend time in front of a mirror practicing introducing yourself. Make sure you arent unknowingly scowling, giving dirty looks, etc. Looking good always makes people feel good as well. Get a new hair-do to signify the start of new chapter in your life. Analyze your clothing choices. Are you dressing too conservatively/out of style/crunchy-granoly? The next time you go out, even if it is to the laundromat, up the sex appeal. It's going to scary, nerve-wracking, embarassing at times, sad, etc but you will be getting out of your comfort zone and it's the only way you will be able to make some significant changes to your life. Congrats on getting to start your life all over fresh! It's an exciting time. Stay positive & good luck

    Posted by trueluv4eva September 10, 09 09:36 AM
  1. Dear AMWE,
    I've been married many years now, but your letter sparked some old memories for me. My advice is going to be hard to do. It's stop questioning whether men are attracted to you or scared of you. Enjoy life, make friends, find things you're passionate about and then the men will come. I'm guessing that you are sending off some subtle, unconscious signals that have you in an unfortunate, self-fulfilling cycle.
    When I would date, I'd often go out with friends I knew weren't as attractive or smart as I. Yet, they knew how to flirt, were comfortable in their own skins, and the men flocked to them. In retrospect, I see I was way too "in my head", judging, questioning, worrying. Everything changed when I found things I really loved to do and stopped worrying about flirting. I never did learn how to flirt, never did learn how to comfortably approach men. But at some point it didn't matter -- they saw me for who I was and all was good. Really, really good. Good Luck!!

    Posted by A Meredith Fan September 10, 09 09:36 AM
  1. She just needs to grow her circle of friends, socialize more, make new friends, meet new people, and just put herself out there.

    She's probably not being exposed to many available men. Meeting men at bars or in public is just weird these days. I feel that it's almost creepy to just go up to a total stranger and start talking. I think it's okay, but I think our society has looked down upon that type of interaction, which is sad.

    The best way to meet people is through other people.....or through your "network" of friends.

    Once you expand your network, it will open you up to a much better selection of men, some of which will definitely be interested if you put yourself out there.

    Also, you said you were on anti-depressants and lost some weight. Do you have low self esteem? This could be it too, but I don't know your personality. Do you have anything interesting going on for you? Do you have anything that will catch a guy's eye and keep him interested?

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons September 10, 09 09:36 AM
  1. Okay, so what you need to do is adopt the attitude of my newest hero, Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. We all know how much I like dogs, right? And cute Latinos as well. You've got to go into this with a pack leader attitude. As Cesar would say, "stay calm and assertive." I tried this, and true, it resulted in about four dogs licking my shins and jumping up on my new dress, but hey, at least I got some attention. And turns out, there were four nice looking guys attached to those pups and I while I didn't ask any of them out, I certainly got an ego-boost.

    I agree with M -- first priorities is start making some friends: men, women, dogs, even cats. Avoid alligators and spiders, though. You'll expand your network, people will start talking about how calm and assertive you are, and next thing you know, you'll be the talk of Dogtown.

    Posted by Sally September 10, 09 09:37 AM
  1. Try Match, eHarmony, etc...they highlight your personality and physical attributes without betraying any nervousness or "desperation" you might be projecting. You DEFINITELY will meet some men.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Spy September 10, 09 09:37 AM
  1. First of all, I do not believe you have not been flirted with in two years!! I mean, it's not even possible! Unless of course you haven't left the house?

    My gut is telling me that you are trying to outwardly act confident but it's not how you feel inwardly. People sense confidence. They also can sense when you actually have it or when you are acting like you have it. I think you need to work on this. People are attracted to confidence.

    Also, you know 4 people?? Again, do you leave your house? Meredith is right. You need more friends GF. Do it in the way you would network for your job. Make some new friends and get yourself out there! Yikes....

    And lastly, you have been single for over 2 years....who cares! You need to create your own happiness and stop relying on other people (men) for that. A boyfriend should be an added bonus, not something your happiness depends on.

    Posted by Kathleen September 10, 09 09:40 AM
  1. In general, in my experience, Boston is not great for meeting men, even if/when you approach them. And more so when you are in your 30s. I always find that European men or men that have lived abroad and are well traveled are actually better at approaching women, are fun, know how to flirt, are not intimidated by independent women and are more open to the idea of a woman making the first move. Most men I run into in Boston dont even know how to flirt and I am not speaking for just myself but many single women friends I have here. I would live in Europe if I could but having said that, I think a better way to meet men is to engage in activities that interest you-the few quality men I have dated in Boston (even though have lived here for over a decade!) are people I met hiking, running etc. But even then I had to be the one to chat with them first. Whereas, I find in Europe or even here with men that have lived abroad and/or have experienced different people and cultures, that they are more comfortable with approaching a woman first. And on line dating does suck for me too. Not sure why that is the case.

    Posted by kinda in the same boat September 10, 09 09:42 AM
  1. I agree with Mer! Forget about the men for now, they will come once you have a group of girlfriends and you get yourself out there more. The most important thing in life is to have a few close friends that will always be there to get a burrito with after a date! Maybe you'll find the man of your dreams at Chipotle.

    Posted by reallllyy??? September 10, 09 09:42 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith's advice. Virtually everyone I know who met their special someone after college did so with the support and help and sometimes networking of their friends. It might seem like a detour to a boyfriend but it really isn't. Get involved with activities where you can build a social network, and you will find yourself taking small risks by asking the smart, funny gal you are volunteering with (or in a class with, etc) if she wants to grab coffee after you are done. Those small risks pay big dividends and can help build your confidence. That confidence can extend to making other friends, friends who have brothers, male single friends, maybe even nice ex boyfriends who they may sometime introduce you to, and if not that, then at least you will have friends to laugh with, to build you up, and to suggest that maybe that guy in the corner who is kind of cute but looks out of place might appreciate a warm smile and an introduction!

    Posted by merilisa September 10, 09 09:43 AM
  1. i think in general, guys in boston are a little stand-off-ish. whenever a guy comes up & starts talking to me, my first question is, "so, where are you from?" b/c they are ALWAYS out-of-towners. i don't know why, but trust me, its true. i'm not saying NO guys from boston will approach a cute girl, but in my experience, its rare. (for the haters that will say I’m fat & ugly – what-evs – I’m not).

    As for online dating. A bunch of people will say they met their spouse/s.o. online. I say, online dating is like the lottery, everyone that plays isn’t going to win. that doesn’t mean you should totally write-it off, give it a break & jump back on in a few months.

    I think we need to start a single-girls club on here!!

    Posted by polly September 10, 09 09:44 AM
  1. Before Michael says your fat, and he will, I'd wager that you're putting off a vibe that says stay away. Your posture, your look, your way of ignoring other people on the T, out shopping, at the gym... And it sounds like you have no idea you're even doing it. Nothing says you're unapproachable more than a scowl. Try smiling a bit. Yes, it's corny, but if you smile or at least look/act engaged in social situations, strike up stupid small talk whenever you can, you'd be suprised at how many people will talk back. Granted, you'll have to be able to screen out people you don't want contact with, but give it a try on the T when you see someone cute, smile at him. Flirting doesn't need to be a full contact sport, but you've got to put yourself out there even in the smallest of ways to show you're open to communication.

    Posted by big dummy September 10, 09 09:44 AM
  1. First and foremost, this is Boston. Dating in Boston is known internationally as impossible. Call it whatever you want, it just is. I have a story that illustrates this.

    I've been in Boston for 11 years. I'm single, and I'm used to walking down the street and being ignored. Last summer, I went to Chicago for a weekend to meet up with a girlfriend. I was flying alone and breezed through Logan unnoticed as usual. However, the minute I landed at O'Hare, I was in a different world. The flight attendant (male) complimented me on my watch: "It looks good. So does the rest of you, but we won't go there..." I froze like a deer in headlights and scurried off the plane! Then, in the Starbucks line, I absentmindedly lifted up my shirt to adjust my skirt. A handsome traveler saw me do this and immediately turned around and got in line behind me, smiling and trying to start up a conversation. The rest of the weekend went like that.

    So, dear LW, it isn't you. It's this place.

    Posted by LR September 10, 09 09:44 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith. I just recently moved to Boston and I know how scary it can be moving to a new city where you know virtually no one. Friends are the first step to feeling grounded, and when you feel grounded, you are less afraid that the slightest rejection might uproot you, or knock you over. Join clubs, go out and do things you're interested in and you'll meet people with similar interests. You're not invisible, you're just uneasy. Understandably. Good luck!

    Posted by Elle September 10, 09 09:44 AM
  1. If you don't count the homeless, I haven't been approached by a man in public in four years. But I haven't been dateless -- you need to go back to online dating and you need to stick with it. Keep your expectations low, the fun high, and, yes, for the sake of your sanity find some more women friends to hang around with. It's not you, it's: Boston, men, life after the age of 25. C'est la vie.

    Posted by lisalisa September 10, 09 09:44 AM
  1. Ok, here's what to do...join a club like Boston Ski and Sports Club which has LOTS more to do than just ski or play sports. I have a friend who is a volunteer for ski trips for them. They do a great job of organizing fantastic activities at all price points. My friend has a blast working with them and meets tons of fun folks- ALL THE TIME. Anyplace stinks if you don't have any friends, but PLEASE be your own friend first and stop being so hard on yourself : ) Do an activity you like and you will meet people like you. Simple! PS I met by fiancee on a bus, a ski trip bus to be exact. Oh yeah, after a heinous breakup. Carpe diem!

    Posted by Busgirl September 10, 09 09:45 AM
  1. Ok, here's what to do...join a club like Boston Ski and Sports Club which has LOTS more to do than just ski or play sports. I have a friend who is a volunteer for ski trips for them. They do a great job of organizing fantastic activities at all price points. My friend has a blast working with them and meets tons of fun folks- ALL THE TIME. Anyplace stinks if you don't have any friends, but PLEASE be your own friend first and stop being so hard on yourself : ) Do an activity you like and you will meet people like you. Simple! PS I met by fiancee on a bus, a ski trip bus to be exact. Oh yeah, after a heinous breakup. Carpe diem!

    Posted by Busgirl September 10, 09 09:48 AM
  1. I think she definitely needs "fiends" -- and friends!
    But it's not so easy to make friends as a 30-something, especially in this city. People tend to be stuck in their ways. I actually think it'd be easier to find a guy to date than to find a whole new clique. I get the sense from the letter that she's putting out a "don't approach me" vibe maybe without even meaning to.
    Why not ask a guy out? Why does she have to sit around waiting to be plucked from the crowd? I think she should start taking responsibility for her own dating life and not wait for a guy to wave his magic wand!

    Posted by The Queen of Preen September 10, 09 09:49 AM
  1. Do you have a New York accent? It's possible that guys hear you speak and think "no way in heck am I dating a Yankee fan."

    I'm only slightly kidding.

    Posted by Schlippo September 10, 09 09:49 AM
  1. Are you completely ugly beyond repair? Sorry. I had to ask. Anyway, Two years is not a long time, and no, you are not desperate for wanting companionship. I'm worrying about the whole, "men don't approach me sentence" though. Where do you go after work? Do you hibernate in your bedroom until it's time to go to work again. Are you expecting to be approached at work or just randomly on the streets? I would try to go to small cafes, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, parks, concerts, and especially the gym ( don't limit youself). I hope you're not sending an anti-depressant vibe when you're out in public? because that should kill any male approach.

    Posted by antidepressantvibe,no? September 10, 09 09:50 AM
  1. Speaking from a guy's point of view - many men can sense the type of woman who is purely "waiting to be approached", and for many men, it is a turnoff. Many, many guys like women who are open and may even initiate the flirting. This is the age we are in. If you are simply waiting to be approached, whether out in the real world or online - you are setting yourself up for dissapointment. Trust me - men sense this concept in women and tune in to those that give some indication of interest. It makes it their approach to the woman that much easier and comfortable.

    I think Meredith's suggestion is strong - in that you can practice getting comfortable opening up in a network of friends and then extend that to an outside topic like approaching men. In doing so, you may find you grow as a person that much more, and your confidence will lead you to success.

    Posted by spaceman September 10, 09 09:51 AM
  1. 1) Meredith, you need to do a whole lot better than 'how exciting' as an apology for your stupid insult to the male readers of this column-- unless your goal actually is to turn this blog into an online estrogen-fest and send half your potential readers elsewhere. You said something offensive. Act accordingly.

    2) Letter-writer-- First off, if you're so deathly afraid of approaching men, you probably come across as aloof and unwelcoming. Second, explore why you're so afraid in the first place since men are not the enemy (despite stupid potshots from Meredith). Third, Boston isn't a friendly city, so you do need to work hard to people. I don't like that any more than you, and I wish it were different. But it is what it is.

    Posted by Joey September 10, 09 09:52 AM
  1. I agree 100% with Meredith. Focus on developing a more fulfilling social life - this will make you feel better about life in general and may open up doors to meeting men. I make the next comment not to discourage you but to make you realize you are not alone...Boston is a very tough city to meet people. It is small, sometimes unfriendly and there are a lot of people in their late 20s and early 30s that attended a local college and seem disinterested in expanding their social network beyond those college friends. I am from Boston so feel justified in saying that people here do not do a good job connecting with "newcomers". That being said, you will meet nice people that will become friends simply by following Meredith's advice. Join a running club, professional organization, etc and I'll bet you'll start meeting people. It may take a little bit of time but it will happen.

    Also, relish in being an independent woman who is ok on her own (read the whole cavewoman topic posted a while back). My mother, married for 30 years, is now a widow and is actually doing very well on her own. She swears it is because she was single for a good portion of her 20s and learned to enjoy and live life as a single woman. It is a great experience to have as a woman! Soon enough you will have other people in your life - husband, children, sick parent - that you will have to take care of. For now, it is all about you! And your friends....

    Posted by Cataumet September 10, 09 09:54 AM
  1. Meredith is spot on with this one. I suspect you are #1. Too focused on finding a man (men can smell this and they fear it). #2. Lonely in general which can definitely be helped by a good freind network and #3. Adjusting still to moving here - sorry folks, but Boston isn't the most friendly town. Not being from here myself, I found it really hard to connect with people and I already knew a few before i moved.

    So go forth and form some hobbies - ones that involve getting out of the house and interacting with poeple - Co-ed social sports leagues, art classes, cookng classes, etc. Start by meeting some folks who share your interests and get your life back. When you feel good, INSIDE and out, you'll radiate and people will be drawn to you.

    Posted by alisa September 10, 09 09:54 AM
  1. We can smell it. You're from NY......

    Posted by TD September 10, 09 09:57 AM
  1. It could be the vibe that you are putting out. Then when you talk to a guy, he may be getting the impression that you are desperate and clingy. Yuck!

    1. Like yourself and be okay being by yourself
    2. Do not think about what you need so focused on you. It will come out.
    3. Know that there are many people out there for you. You either did not do enough to meet people or were weak when you did. You sound defeated. Nobody wants a charity case. You need to make yourself attractive. That means personal energy not just make-up and lipstick.

    So many lonely people yet nobody getting together.

    Posted by IamChachi September 10, 09 10:01 AM
  1. Women without friends are crap.

    Posted by sean September 10, 09 10:02 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith, you need some more friends... if you're into sports, join a soccer/ softball league (bonus if its a coed league).

    Next time you go out, why not approach a gu you are interested in, initiate the flirting, and see where it takes you.

    Posted by EM September 10, 09 10:02 AM
  1. Its probably your looks. Try a make-over. Show some skin too...guys like skin.

    Posted by RS September 10, 09 10:02 AM
  1. AtMyWitsEnd - I am a 42 year old married man. I am someone who has always noticed people, their behavior, and what appears to make them tick. What I have noticed is that people are very different, not so much from obvious physical appearance, but by strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly, the subjectivity for which they see the world. You can have someon talk to a particular person and they will think that they are overbearing and opinionated. Someone else may talk to the same person and find them to be fun and invigorating. This is what makes the matchmaking process generally hit or miss, as indicated by our high divorce rate.

    I know several women your age and older who are single and looking for men. I find most of them attractive, intelligent, and endearing. Interestingly, one trait that I notice with all of them is that they, like you, openly yearn for companionship and are very affectionate people. Thinking about it, some might say that this yearning and affectionate personality might scare a man away. It’s possible. But I think these traits are wonderful, and I wouldn’t suggest that you change anything about yourself. Besides, you really can’t anyway, because these traits would shake off any disguise you have given them in the future.

    My advice to you is to stay away from the online dating websites, as they are stalked by unsavory men panting for easy sex. Yes, I’m sure that there are many men on those sites that are legit, but the weeding process would probably wear you down. You simply need to keep yourself in a position to meet people on a regular basis. Think of your hobbies and passions, and attend clubs and meetings for such. Even if you are a shy person, just being around others will enhance your chances of connecting with someone. The great thing about this is you might meet someone who shares your passion, which is great. Personally, I love mountain biking, and I am a member of New England Mountain Biking Association. At the various group rides and functions, I meet great people in the 30-50+ range all the time.

    Lastly, I just want to say that you have to realize that companionship is the result of chance. Some people meet their perfect mate when they are 22, some at the age of 52. Some marry at the age of 25 only to divorce at 30 because they didn’t really know who they were marrying. You must believe that this is not because of YOU, it is because you have not found the right man yet. There is going to be someone who is looking to be loved, and will passionately accept the love that you have to give. I never thought that I would get married until I met my future wife and fell hard. And I am not one of those player types with dozens of notches on my belt. In fact, although I was somewhat outgoing and a mister funny guy, when it came to women, I was very shy. I almost never could muster up the courage to ask a woman out.

    Hang in there, it will happen. But as I said, you have to help yourself. And be yourself, because to me, it sounds like you have so much to give someone. Some lucky, unsuspecting guy will be pushed into you by chance and it will be your turn.

    Posted by Joe September 10, 09 10:03 AM
  1. My sense is, you have "Men Reject Me" written on your forehead. Time to change the message to "I am very cool, and you would be a lucky person to know me".

    Posted by getovrit September 10, 09 10:04 AM
  1. AMI FIRST>!>!>!>!>!> YES!!!!

    Posted by FIRST!!! September 10, 09 10:05 AM
  1. Rico is so sorry he was out of touch all week, he had no access to the internet but he's back and hopes to get out some good info for all today...

    Rico has an answer for this writer today and it is quite simple. Rico thinks you have no idea when a guy is flirting with you, whether a guy is checking you out etc... Here is why possibly:

    Do you tend to be in your own world and busy with other things, maybe have yoru head down? Maybe you are too close with friends or hang with married couples and guys are thinking you are "involved". Do you go to a gym? Have you tried group/co-ed organized sports clubs? How often do you go out and where? Are you a homebody? there are many reasons you aren't meeting people and for the most part the main reason is that you just aren't out there. Rico is assuming you are being honest about your looks/shape but on the off chance he has assumed wrong then that might be an area to focus on...GYM, BIKE, RUN, Sports clubs etc...

    Rico thinks it is possible that you have made your mind up that no one wants you and it is a self fulfilling prophecy. That is what Rico thinks...Now to change it you need to change yourself...Not entirely but just get out of your comfort zone and explore the city...it's big and it's small but it's busy with lots of nice people to meet. Go out tonight and make it the start of a new you.

    Rico will check back later for more...have a great day.

    Love always,


    Gears not Gas

    Sorry Rico missed everyone for a couple days...

    PS. School is started so be careful for children walking or biking. Thank you

    Posted by Rico September 10, 09 10:05 AM
  1. "I am deathly afraid of approaching men – I do not know what to say, or how to act".

    This might be the problem. No doubt that fear manifests in some way when you interact with them, whether it's something in your expression, your body language, a hesitancy to speak or look them in the eye. All of these things could be interpreted as indifference, or even revulsion (remember, men don't like to be rejected, either.)

    You may or may not do these things. I have no idea. You probably have no idea yourself. Maybe ask one of your friends if they think you inadvertently give off some kind of "get away from me" vibe to guys. Tell them to be honest, too.

    Posted by Anonymous September 10, 09 10:06 AM
  1. I completely agree with meredith about finding friends first. If you have a lot of friends, they'll have a lot of friends, who have a lot of friends.. etc. And, you'll probably go to a few dinner parties or social gatherings your friends throw along the way and most likely run in to a few single men. However, you shouldn't just want friends so they can hook you up with single guys!! Enjoy being single! Happiness shows and attracts companionship, Loneliness and self pity just discourage people!

    Two years is nothing! Give it time, focus on friends, the whole thing will resolve itself before you notic

    Posted by Tuna_muffin September 10, 09 10:06 AM
  1. Most guys want some snuggy in the buggy.
    Maybe she's not up fer that?

    Posted by Wizard September 10, 09 10:08 AM
  1. Figure out what you like. Do what you like. You'll meet people who like what you like. You don't have to "approach" anyone. Take advantage of those little opportunities at the check out, in line somewhere, to make a joke, ask a question, observe something. Laugh! You'll be fine.

    Posted by singledad September 10, 09 10:08 AM
  1. I'm much more concerned by the fact that you've only made 4 friends in 2 years than that you haven't had a boyfriend in awhile. And the 4 friends that you have made are really just friends of convenience (co-workers). This means you have done absolutely nothing to get out there and meet new people. I agree with Meredith - stop worrying about meeting men and start thinking about what you can do to meet people. Intramural sports (softball, kickball, soccer, flag football, etc.) are great, as are social clubs/events and classes. Check out the Boston Center for Adult Education - you'll find absolutely wonderful classes from dancing/cooking to wine/food tasting to fitness/recreation, to personal growth, etc. I'm looking at the course list right now and they even have a class on flirting! Seems like a great place to start. Also, check out meetup.com and search for group activities that appeal to you.

    If you feel that you are close enough to your co-workers, I would also try to have a really candid conversation with one or more of them about how you appear to the world. Ask them to give you a brutally honest assessment of what you can do to make yourself more approachable.

    Also, if you're ready for a different kind of commitment, look into getting a cute, friendly dog. I got one recently and it has enriched my life in every way imaginable. You have absolutely no idea how easy it is to expand your social circle with a sweet dog. I went from knowing absolutely no one in my building to knowing everyone, and I meet new people in my age range (30-something) every single day at the dog park. It's been such a rewarding experience.

    Posted by Rae September 10, 09 10:09 AM
  1. There are two things I'll call out from the letter, and while they may seem trivial, I think they're important:

    1) Your only friends are from work. This suggests to me that you spend a lot of time there and not much elsewhere. This can be intimidating for some men to date a "workaholic" (perceived or actual). If all you have to talk about is your job, that can lose a guy's interest fast.

    2) You moved here from NYC in your late 20's. Boston is incredibly difficult to penetrate socially, but even more so if you are from the dreaded five boroughs. People here don't like New Yorkers (city folk, not up-staters) and you're fighting an uphill battle if you lead any conversation with that. You moved here three years ago - you're not from NYC anymore, you live in Boston.

    Meredith is right about finding your networks. Join a volunteer group, or an outdoors club, or a concert group. There are ways for you to build your network, but I can understand if having battled depression in the past these types of outreach are tough. But I was there myself, and you can find your niche if you put yourself out there!!

    Posted by Andrew September 10, 09 10:10 AM
  1. You need more therapy. Buy a puppy if you're so starved for companionship.

    BAN RICO!!!

    Posted by Chloe-OBrien September 10, 09 10:11 AM
  1. A woman who needs anti-depression medication and therapy after being dumped by a boy friend must be sending out signals that she's problematic. No wonder if men are running in the opposite direction. If you don't like yourself while you're single, how do you expect men to do so?

    Posted by I'd Run Away, Too September 10, 09 10:12 AM
  1. There are volunteer groups for singles. I would try one of those! That way, you will meet other people who are interested in flirting/dating but, the meeting itself takes place in a platonic setting where you are doing a little good in the community. And who knows? Maybe sparks won't fly but you still meet some cool new friends.

    Posted by e-i-e-i-o September 10, 09 10:15 AM
  1. You gave her essentially no advice. The formula to attract attention from men is very simple: if you are slim or in reasonable shape, it's all in how you dress and move. Watch some of the girls that do attract alot of attention and copy them. Hints: show off your legs, wear low-rise jeans, sexy shoes, show off your assets. The personality stuff comes in later. Or ask a guy how to change your presentation. I wish it were so simple for guys !

    Posted by John September 10, 09 10:15 AM
  1. How you feel about yourself is obviously going to project to the world if you're sad or angry or otherwise just down. Especially if you're one of those people who wears their emotions on their sleeve (I am and it's frustrating).

    Also, maybe this is a good time to consider another move? Sometimes it's nice to start over. And frankly, Boston is NOT the best place to meet people - friends or significant others. Other posters may blast that comment, but I'm from New England and I was in the same position for two years as well. Finally I moved around to different cities and suddenly had no problem meeting friends or getting asked out on dates. There's just something about New Englanders that can be standoffish, self-righteous, and snobby. Maybe a refreshing change of scenery will do you good!

    Posted by Marina September 10, 09 10:16 AM
  1. the 50s have been long gone. Why can't she reach out to men?

    Posted by BobInH2oTown September 10, 09 10:16 AM
  1. "Love Letters readers will tell you that going two years without a boyfriend isn’t so uncommon. It happens."

    Yes.. LOVER LETTERS READERS will tell you. Do you know why?

    Most are angry feminists who scare away men. They follow their own - and eachothers - advice and are doomed because of it.

    If you want to meet a nice guy, go to a gym, volunteer at a homeless shelter (meet other volunteers not the homeless people lol), and at other places guys go that generally they arent women hunting.

    However, if your looking for a good time down south (if you know what i mean) then go to a bar or night club and just drink yourself into oblivion. I am sure someone will pick you up.

    But remember, most of the women that comment here are in the same boat as you. They feed off eachothers seething loneliness and blame everyone else for their problems. When in actuallity it is their own fault and in order to get out of the rut they must change themselves first.

    Too much feminist mumbo jumbo these days have corrupted women and men arent interested in making bad investment that these type of girls bring. To the displeasure of most of these feminists, many many men have other option and are going foreign. What are they looking for? Commitment and Loyalty.

    Posted by Straight Male Talk September 10, 09 10:17 AM
  1. Why not take some night classes? I really like the Harvard Extension School. It has many interesting and challenging courses, and the people who take them (it's open enrollment) are from all walks of life. You'll make friends (male, female, young, old) and learn something.

    Also, start chatting up people you run into (not necessarily date material). Just for practice at being friendly, and starting conversations. Talk to the cashiers at the market, people waiting with you on the T platform or at the bus stop, even in the elevator. No need to be creepy about it. A quick, friendly observation about the weather, or whatever seems natural. They may just smile and look away, but many people will smile and chat back.

    If all else fails, and you're an animal person, get a dog. They are great conversation starters and good company.

    Posted by Susan September 10, 09 10:21 AM
  1. I'm sorry but this is boring.

    Posted by waiting4betterLL September 10, 09 10:23 AM
  1. AMWE,
    Please do not be! First of all, you are only 33, no need to panic although I too understand your want for companionship. I agree that you should focus on meeting more friends, because once you grow your network, you will have more possibilities - it's a numbers game! Meeting people is tough in Boston but there are many groups/clubs to join so I suggest you take that route. Also, 2 years without a boyfriend is not uncommon!

    Good luck

    Posted by Sus September 10, 09 10:24 AM
  1. Definitely agree with Mer on this one.

    Don't THINK about it so much! Over-analyzing is exhausting. Go out and have fun, meet people/friends (male and female) and see everything this city has to offer! Boston can seem, at times, a little "chilly" but trust me, there are plenty of people on the same boat as you. Once you slip out of your cocoon of, what sounds like unreasonable, insecurity, you will become a social butterfly and the rest will just click. I'm a firm believer in "It happens when you least expect it" !

    Posted by dontbejealous September 10, 09 10:24 AM
  1. I've been living here for 2 years so far (and I am also older/wiser/in better physical shape than previously). I agree that Boston men for some reason do not approach women as much as I've experienced in other states (whether in bars or just in general). The very few guys (maybe 3?) who have approached me have either been drunk or did so in a very disgusting manner.

    Also, I did end up meeting someone through match.com, after about 1 year of dating on there-- it wasn't easy, I had to go on a lot of dates (some bad, some just left me feeling complacent) before finding someone I wanted to date seriously. So I feel like the online dating route takes a lot of perseverance and patience, but it can work in the long run.

    Finally, I agree that the more friends you make, the higher your confidence... and perhaps the boyfriend issue that AMWE is experiencing will cure itself (or become less of an issue in general).

    Posted by G September 10, 09 10:25 AM
  1. AMWE

    Need to know additional info. Do you go out? Where do you go? Can't see anyone approaching you at the movies or the theater. Do you have coworkers who you can go out with after work, hang out with at the bar? I suspect that if you've lost weight that you maybe work out at the gym or go running??? Take some exercise classes to meet other people if you run do some fun runs or short races. It ain't the movies, guys don't approach you in the store to say hey I like that dress.

    Posted by Vinman September 10, 09 10:25 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith, you should make some platonic friends (male or female) and then go from there. Join a book club, take a kickboxing class, do something that you enjoy with people of similar interests. Once you do that you will find that meeting people becomes second nature, and maybe one of those friendships will turn into a romantic relationship.
    Good luck!

    Posted by Summahlovah September 10, 09 10:25 AM
  1. Meredith is right on. Don't call it a drought, though, call it a vacation from men, an in-between-boyfriends period, a time to reflect on yourself. I agree you need to join professional clubs, do activities that you enjoy and try to make women friends. I feel deja vu all over again from what I wrote yesterday. Single women friends are as important as men because you will go out more, make yourself more visible and you'll start to enjoy yourself. One bad relationship doesn't spoil your future. Try to move past him, get active in clubs, and you'll meet many people with your interests. I am not endorsing any particular club, but I know the Post Club is great because not only do they match you up, but they have enough social events that puts you in the right place to meet on your own. Good luck...you're young and will find the right guy - he's out there looking for you too!

    Posted by legalgal September 10, 09 10:27 AM
  1. #27 i wish you were there for me last night when i got a burrito!!!

    Posted by itsahairflip September 10, 09 10:28 AM
  1. Meredith:

    I agree with your advice. Expanding her social network will help tremendously. Once she feels better about herself out in the world socially, she'll project a more positive energy that will attract attention from men. If you feel lonely, isolated, unloved, etc. you're not putting out an I'm available vibe.

    Two years is not a lifetime in terms of not dating. Many women have gone longer while they were working, raising children, taking care of elderly parents, etc. She's invested time in dealing with her depression with therapy and medication. Now that she feels ready to get back out there, joining a professional organization, gym, singles group, running club, whatever she's interested in will be helpful.

    I was single for many years, raising my son with no time to date. 5 years ago I made the decision to get back out there, met my husband and married him at 49. We've been happily married for 3 years now and life couldn't be better. Everything in it's own time!

    Posted by Debra September 10, 09 10:32 AM
  1. I think you need an attitude adjustment. I get that things haven't been great for you, but you are approaching everything as though it's over before it's even started.

    Posted by it ain't over til it's over September 10, 09 10:33 AM
  1. If you're cowering in the corner with zero confidence NO ONE is going to approach you.

    It's up to you missy. Put on something hot and work it. Guys. LIke. Confidence. They like Wit. They like Intelligence. And they don't mind a cute little package to go with it all.

    That's really all there is to it.

    Posted by EastCoastGirl September 10, 09 10:33 AM
  1. LW,
    I am just going to say it, Boston is a difficult place to date. As a transplant from another place I have found that here social circles are quite closed and people keep very much to themselves, it’s hard to break into any group. In addition in my experience there is a particular “look” that is very popular in Boston and genetics did not gift me with such a look. But what genetics did give me is with a quick wit, a lot of brains, and a keen sense of reality. So that is what I have banked on. I have found that the men that I find attractive and that find me attractive are guys that like a more alternative look, which is perfectly fine with me. So dear make peace with who you are, don’t put yourself down and acknowledge your gifts.

    As for your social circle, you must expand it. You will feel better as you start becoming less dependent on the 4 people you now have to go out. I highly recommend checking out meetup.com where you can sign up for all sorts of social activities with people with similar interests that have found themselves struggling with making new friends or wanting to try new things that their usual social circle does not want to try. You may want to volunteer for a political campaign, an organization close to your heart, or take a class; do something that requires your attention. Volunteering will not only take up some of the lonely time but you may find that there are people with similar interests that you can make friends with and you are helping make the world a better place, which always feels good.

    I was once in your shoes so I speak from experience. Allow your social circle to expand and this will make you a much happier person. Good luck!

    Posted by PoliteG September 10, 09 10:34 AM
  1. Mere is dead on once again. This is what I was thinking when reading your letter. 4 co-workers do not count as friends. There are boundaries you keep with co-workers that do not apply to friends. Bottom line: You need to make friends!

    Possible friends: Neighbors, fellow gym goers, others you meet at a class (take up a hobby)...find friends!!!

    I really believe this is a self esteem thing. Once you make some friends, you will gain confidence, and then YOU can be the one approaching men. Don't be scared!!! They are people, too, and will enjoy a friendly conversation. By making friends, you will better identify who you are, your opinions, goals, likes, dislikes. It will help you just by having human interactions! What do you do on the weekends, or when you are not at work? Make real friends. Everything else will fall into place.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! September 10, 09 10:35 AM
  1. When it comes to men you have to pay attention to both the inside (make sure you take good care of your heart and find some happiness in your life) and the outside. It is great that you have lost weight, but if nobody is approaching you you should still take a hard look at the outside package. Do you exercise? Take the time to dress in an up to date, attractive way? Get a good haircut? Address any other big appearance issues (skin, teeth, breath)? These superficial things really matter particularly in the beginning. And sometimes spending time on those things can make you feel better otherwise because you are taking care of yourself. You sound like a nice person and I wish you luck.

    Posted by Sympathetic September 10, 09 10:36 AM
  1. No childhood friends to talk to? No NYC friends? Any advice that recommends joining a "young professional association" to "find some pals" is both laughable and absurd. Only a complete tool like Meredith would join a club like that . Time to move away and take a shot at another city. I heard East St. Louis is very nice this time of year.

    Posted by Anonymous September 10, 09 10:36 AM
  1. No childhood friends to talk to? No NYC friends? Any advice that recommends joining a "young professional association" to "find some pals" is both laughable and absurd. Only a complete tool like Meredith would join a club like that . Time to move away and take a shot at another city. I heard East St. Louis is very nice this time of year.

    Posted by Anonymous September 10, 09 10:36 AM
  1. Boston people are purposely unfriendly - it's a power thing. Have you considered moving? It isn't like this in other parts of the country.

    Posted by Find a better fishing hole September 10, 09 10:38 AM
  1. 2 things
    1. go out and do things you like to do and you will meet people that like to do the same thing. for me it was Boston Ski and Sports Club, i met so many people participating in sports, friends and companions

    2. Smile.

    Posted by thad September 10, 09 10:40 AM
  1. Why didn't you lose the weight while you were still with him?

    Posted by Hey Joe September 10, 09 10:43 AM
  1. Good day! After a few days off, I feel like a new man...

    To our letter writer friend - when I was reading your letter, it seemed as if you had no friends, no one to talk to, but there is a hint of frustration? You seem to be looking for a boyfriend - and the fact that you stated your age may suggest that your biological clock is ticking louder than before. Here's what I suggest: 1) Work on yourself. Your outward appearance is a reflection of who you are on the inside. 2) Set goals that are attainable and realistic. Don't try to meet as many men as you can in one day because too much is a bad thing and you sacrifice who you are as a person. And the most important of all - 3) Build a network! How about going out and meeting new people and making friends? By adjusting your focus off of getting a potential mate, you are under less pressure and you can be a better friend to people - if you are a friend first, your relationship may be that much better because at least you'll have a solid foundation on which to build. Heed my advice. You will be happier and less stressed. I wish you the best of luck.

    I'm done. At ease people. Have a good day. Don't take anti-depressants. Take a walk. Or fly a kite.

    Posted by Admiral Antgro September 10, 09 10:46 AM
  1. Lisalisa #33, totally LOL about the "except for the homeless" comment!

    Posted by Frico September 10, 09 10:46 AM
  1. 33 and 68 are correct. You need to have a little thicker skin and keep on the online dating. You have to kiss some frogs to find a prince, and if you are not willing to be open to the chance for romance then you really don't deserve it anyways..

    Posted by techdood September 10, 09 10:46 AM
  1. I will give you some different advice. Focus on building your own life with your own passions and finding friends that share those passions first. Anyone who has the magic formula or join this club or that is off-base. It has to be an authentic interest!

    Posted by sanity123 September 10, 09 10:48 AM
  1. 1 - WHY do people care so much if they're first or not?

    2 - As DrK pointed out and I couldn't agree more with - it is usually either feast or famine. If you start hanging around and making friends with more guys, chances are more guys will show an interest in you.

    Also agree with posts that say you just need to join more social groups. Ditto that and also don't give up on online dating.

    Good luck!

    Posted by Lizziex1980 September 10, 09 10:51 AM
  1. Hi LW...I have a hard time with your approach - the "cold" approach, as in going up to strangers to find a date is completely awkward for both the approacher and the approachee, sometimes creepy, although your gender might help avoid that. It's too simple and impatient of an approach, the chances of meeting someone single who shares interests AND will go out with you are so unlikely, it's not worth it. Yes, there are some exceptions, but being from the Northeast, we have a rule about not talking to strangers. Even the nice good looking ones.

    I would recommend a multi-tiered approach, many will coincide with yesterday's letter.
    First get into social situations - classes, groups, and even neighbors you befriend that you meet who share your interests.
    Next, in these situations, you find friends, male or female. You have conversations, you invite them to go out for drinks or coffee after class, or even to your house for dinner. This is difficult enough to do with close friends, nevermind new friends. People can be such antisocial homebodies.
    At some point, if you're persistent without being too pushy, you'll be able to find a couple of people to hang out socially.
    Finally, after you've achieved that tier, the next approach is to introduce the conversation - single, married, kids, etc...Somewhere in there, there will be opportunity for meeting and dating new people.
    The last piece I would add, is stay positive. You say you've come out of your funk, but make sure stay out and catch yourself if you're dropping back down into depression or even negative conversations. While they say misery loves company, I guarantee it never gets you laid. :)

    Posted by Brian September 10, 09 10:52 AM
  1. Try reading the book...getting a date worth keeping...its extremely helpful and full of great suggestions on how to meet all kinds of people!! good luck!!...your not alone!

    Posted by Hopeful September 10, 09 10:57 AM
  1. ultimately the bond of companionship ,in marriage, is conversation. even in marriage, at the end of what is called the sexual life , the only love which lasts is the love which has disappointment, failure,betrayal, has accepted even the sad fact, that in the end, there is no desire, so deep, as even the desire for companionship.lonely men seek companionship. lonely women sit at home and wait. they never meet.

    Posted by Graham September 10, 09 11:02 AM
  1. Lose more weight.
    I don't even know you and I know you're heavy.
    Sorry, but I'm trying to be helpful and you asked.

    Posted by Spikethedog September 10, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Hi All, It's good to see that the haters and crass are largely silent today! I was worried that they were taking over and that we have seen the last of the great posters like Hoss (where are you Hoss?). Let's keep this a constructive forum and focus on the LWs, not each other.

    Dear LW - I agree with Meredith and the posters that encourage you to expand your social life. You think you are missing male companionship (and I'm sure you are) but companionship of any healthy sort will do wonders for you. Many good suggestions are posted here like AMC, Boston Ski, etc. If you live in the city itself, why don't you start by meeting your neighbors? You could leave a flyer in all the mailboxes on your street inviting them to help you plan a neighborhood block party (get permission from the city) for some Saturday afternoon. You should also think about what you like to do (read? knit? sail? hike?) and find a club focused on that activity. Join Rico - get a bike. It gets you outdoors, you meet nicer more athletic folks than you would in a bar or nightclub. I wouldn't get a puppy simply to use as a social tool. It seems like the wrong approach to pet ownership, you will have that responsibility for the next 10 - 15 years, and it limits your travel flexibility.

    Change your outlook. Start by smiling at people as you walk down the street. Not leering, just smiling. Start with women, kids, and old folks, and work your way up to the target audience. A smile does so much for a person's look and their self confidence.

    Consider a small relocation. Move out of the city and into a suburb. There is a different buzz in suburbia and maybe more chance to make friends. You would at least meet different people on the train or bus during your commute or you could start a carpooling thing.

    Bottom line is, this is a great time of year to get out there and meet people. Get going before winter sets in!

    Posted by J Bar September 10, 09 11:07 AM
  1. I agree that making more friends first is the way to go. They can be a support system regardless of the current condition of your dating life. Getting out and finding fun activities is a good way to find new friends, as people have said. Also, Boston Young Professionals Association is a great way to make friends-there was an event the other night that was just about making more female friends. I have met a number of good friends at their events.

    Posted by Sallykat September 10, 09 11:10 AM
  1. #82 "Why didn't you lose the weight while you were still with him?"

    This was a common trend throughout all of my previous relationships. They took the best care of themselves outside of the relationship but once we were together it's time to let yourself go!

    Posted by Jack Johnson September 10, 09 11:11 AM
  1. It is not at all unusual for even extremely beautiful, exceptionally bright and fit women- of all ages- to be snubbed by the men in Boston. "Used and dumped" is a more accurate description, actually.

    I believe that these local men are spoiled by the constant flow of very young, inexperienced girls who drift in and out of this college town like the tides. Why should they settle for just one female when there are many thousands more to "sample" from all the time?

    Perhaps it's not about you at all AMWE. I consider myself to be a rather unique individual, as all who know me will confirm, so when one longtime Boston Lothario- with whom I was involved very intimately- coldly informed me: "There are ten thousand women just like you in this city", it was a sobering wake-up call.

    There's an old saying, "It ain't the thing, it's how you look at the thing" which applies to your situation. Sadly, as highly as you may regard yourself on the inside and the outside, most men will simply see the outside and do a quick cost/benefit analysis. It's all about what they believe they can "get" from you without having to contribute anything to a real relationship.

    Boston men don't seem to have a problem with "kissing every frog" as a perpetual way of life. Women assume that if they kiss enough frogs, sooner or later they will find their prince. There are no princes in Boston, just a slew of self-centered and opportunistic horn-dogs. They never grow up, either, as long as they have fresh young blood to suck from the ever changing "herd" of single women.

    You are young enough to start a more promising life in another part of the country (or the world) so, I advise you to get outa Dodge before you wake up one day and find that you've wasted your best years here. Think about it. Good luck.

    Posted by Mari September 10, 09 11:12 AM
  1. Take a writing class at Harvard Extension, Cambridge Center or Boston Center for Adult Ed, Grub Street or through other adult ed schools. It's cheaper than therapy but works almost as well and you'll meet all sorts of people. My writing classes had a dancer from Boston Ballet, a sitcom writer, a 20-something whose parents dragged him through Europe and Tibet as a kid, a homeless man, a couple of anorexic people, a women who took in a dozen foster children, someone who served on the Boston School Board during the tough bussing years. Just fascinating and a chance to make friends of all ages and backgrounds.

    Posted by arhus September 10, 09 11:16 AM
  1. Your ex leaving you may have prompted you to regain control of your physical and mental well being that has brought you to a better place today. This was an important positive step for you to have made. You still need to get over that rejection (I realize that is hard, but it;s been long enough) – perhaps the hardest part is that in some way you rejected yourself as well. Stop doing that and continue to pull yourself together since you may be projecting negativity that has more to do with yourself than others.

    I agree with Meredith that you need to network. If I were you, I would find things that I am truly interested in (hobby, exercise) and begin there. When we are doing what we love it brings out the happiest part of ourselves and that is very attractive to both sexes. This opens you up in the best possible way – a sincerely happy face to the world.

    About the rejection: You did not come out and state directly what led to your breakup, but the first thing you mentioned was that you lost a lot of weight and then how everyone comments on how good you look. People only comment like that when a transformation has taken place. I imagine this was part of the rejection problem.

    Sad to say but issues do arise in a relationship as one partner changes their image and physical stamina greatly. Much of what we do in this particular area of our lives is within our control. Watching someone self destruct physically, or mentally for that matter, is tough. Relationships self-destruct as a result of these pressures and whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not going from being physically fit to obese impacts the desire & attractiveness factor. Being young with your whole life ahead of you makes this even more important.

    We cannot afford to depend on ‘true love’ to save us from ourselves. This is not to say that people should stay 5’5” @ 120# and never gain an ounce or they won’t be capable of a long-term relationship. Keeping ourselves in the best possible form is in our best interest (self preservation if you will). This goes for all facets of our lives: financial, educational, fitness, mental, etc.

    It’s only natural that of aspects within our lives may deteriorate at any given time. We need to pay attention to the cues around us (like rejection) when we this occurs and work to get back on course.

    Be true to yourself; expand your social network; enjoy what you do; hold your head up high. Never rely on anyone else to fill your basket with happiness – all that depends on you. Your ex’s rejection (whatever the reason) is merely an obstacle/lessen in life.

    Posted by True2Self September 10, 09 11:21 AM
  1. WOW... seriously... I have never read so many vitriolic comments on Love Letters before...

    LW, Meredith's advice was perfect. You expand your social circle = you meet their friends and whatnots and you are bound to meet a single man worth dating.

    Maybe try and let go of wanting a boyfriend so badly. Meditate or breathe deeply when these desperately lonely feelings occur. Focus on other things or find a hobby to use your energy and get your mind off the past. I hate to say this, but it's a turn off for anyone to be around someone who gives off the vibe that she is such dire need of a boyfriend.

    Look within and to family and friends for support. Don't rely on a boyfriend to give you peace, harmony, love, and a LIFE...

    Good luck!

    Posted by Amazed September 10, 09 11:22 AM
  1. First, you should probably continue in therapy and make sure your therapist is actually pushing you to grow. If it's just a place for you to go bitch and moan about how much your life sucks, it's not helping you at all. You need somebody who isn't going to let you make excuses for why things aren't how you want them (I only have four friends, it feels like the whole world is rejecting me, etc.)

    Second, stop equating the success of your existence with whether or not you have a boyfriend. I cannot believe how much people are playing into this. Cut the crap with the "poor me" routine. How do you only have four friends? Have you never gone out with any of them and made friends along the way? Join a gym. Sign up for some type of activity. Talk to people. Just like you did on the playground when you were a kid. Get some friends and go have some fun. Then, once you're comfortable with your life, then you can worry about trying to add something to it. It sounds to me like you're trying to solve the problems of your life by finding the perfect guy to fix everything. Trying to do that would be a HUGE mistake.

    Posted by Honest Abe September 10, 09 11:26 AM
  1. AMWE: If you only have 4 friends in Boston, and they're all co-workers, you would be hell to date even if a Boston guy did miraculously ask you out. All the single men I know who are interested in dating a woman in her 30s are expecting someone with her own interests, hobbies and social circle. Part of the excitement in getting to know someone new is meeting their friends and watching them interact. I agree with lots of what was posted above -- focus first on building your social network. Get active, whether you define that as learning how to sail on the Charles or joining the knitting circles offered by MeetIn.org. By doing what you love and loving what you do you will be a happier person, and will attract other shiny happy people.

    I agree with others' suggestions about Boston Ski and Sports Club, Appalachian Mountain Club and New England Mountain Bike Association. These organizations attract outdoors and sports enthusiasts (so you already have something important in common) and are a great way to make friends and meet potential lovers. I met my girlfriend through the AMC and know MANY couples, some now married, who met through the AMC and BSSC.

    To Chris (#17): Try Big Beautiful People Meet (bbpeoplemeet.com). My 60-year old lady barber told me about this site last night. After nightmares with Match, eHarmony, Craigslist, PlentyofFish, etc., she finally found the love of her life at this site.

    To Meredith: I love this column and agree with much of your advice but you were absolutely wrong yesterday to label all men who prefer to date younger women as crap. Just because YOU feel rejected when you see men your age looking for women 5-10 years younger does not make them crap. My father is 7 years older than my mother. My brother-in-law is 8 years older than my sister. Are they CRAP because they were attracted to younger women? Absolutely not. There's nothing wrong with Jews who only want to date Jews (that's why Jdate exists, yes?) or the 6' tall woman who will not date men of my short stature. Everyone is entitled to look for what they want in a mate and to limit their search parameters accordingly.

    Homily over.

    Posted by Priest Bait September 10, 09 11:28 AM
  1. #90 said it best:

    "lonely men seek companionship. lonely women sit at home and wait. they never meet."

    I think the LW needs to examine whether she actually does anything to make men approach her... Do you make any actual eye contact and smile or do you do that jackassed quick-lookaway-glance-up maneuver? Do you merely position yourself to be seen, adored, and therefore, approached, or do you ever actually try to connect with a guy you might happen to have interest in?

    If you make absolutely zero effort to connect, it's not going to happen. Unfortunately, alot of the women who fit your self-described disposition fall victim to the exact same tactics outlined above. You see them everywhere on the T, shops, etc. Completely desperate, but not willing to give an inch of effort towards making something happen. Like a paralyzing self-pity. I'm sorry to say, but you just might have to put yourself out there maybe 10-15%, if you expect him to see that it's worthwhile to pick up the remaining 85% of the effort and move forward...

    If you give off the appearance that you'd rather be home playing with the cats, that's exactly where you'll be!

    Posted by DJMcG September 10, 09 11:35 AM
  1. It's tough. There aren't many decent men out there who are available. Plenty of scumbags, that's for sure. If you have trouble approaching men, perhaps you should start online, but not a random dating site. I;d suggest joining an online community of people who live around your areas. LiveJournal probably has one. There, you can start interacting with people without feeling threatened. Then you can go do some local events (meetups, political meetings and whatnot). At that point, you can introduce yourself in real life to people and then you may get over your fear (sounds like a phobia, which you treat by exposing yourself to the object of your fear, gradually).

    Posted by William Richards September 10, 09 11:36 AM
  1. LW-- you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. Keep in mind that Boston is completely over-populated with college kids, which isn't going to help your dating scene.

    You said you are terrified of putting yourself out there, so my advice is to step out of your comfort zone. Gather up these 4 women friends of yours and start having some "girls nights out" on a regular basis. Go to some lounges where are more mature croud (not college kids) will be. Be confident and strut your stuff, girl. You have NOTHING to lose!! Plus, most men like women with confidence. I know this may sound easier than it really is, but I think this will help you grow as a person in general. Stepping out of your comfort zone will not only help you to meet guys, but it will help you to meet new people in general. You could find some really great friends!

    Good luck!!

    Oh, and thanks rw (#1) :)

    Posted by Kristen September 10, 09 11:37 AM
  1. I don't get it - DudeGuyKid obviously sits at his computer every day at dawn with his finger on the trigger to post a comment on Love Letters as quickly as possible - but his responses are neither helpful nor entertaining. Why does he do it? I'm embarassed for him.

    As for LW, I agree with other posters - join groups, take classes, get out there. I'm very shy, but took some classes with Cambridge Adult Ed - not only was it fun, but I learned stuff and met people easily! Also - don't dismiss online dating so quickly. It's how I met the person I am now married to, but I certainly had to weed out the "wrong" ones before finding the RIGHT one! Dating is not easy - the perfect person does not usually come knocking on your door. It takes a lot of effort (**positive** effort... not frustrated, desperate effort).

    Good luck!

    Posted by ferrick September 10, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Physical attractiveness is only part of the package. Confidence and self-esteem is the other. So while you've been hitting the gym and likely look better, it sounds like you need to work on the confidence. There are many good suggestions already for ways to get out and meet people (I had enormous success after moving here and joining BSSC, and am now married with two children). I actually found the most dating success when I wasn't actively looking for a date or a relationship, but was just out doing what I wanted to do -- being myself. In my mind, putting on a fake "dating" persona was just a waste of time, because eventually anyone who would date me seriously would need to be able to put up with who I really was, anyway. So be yourself, join a rec league, take some classes, join a book club, start volunteering, attend art gallery openings -- whatever floats your boat. Stay off the interweb and get away from the teevee -- you aren't going to meet anyone sitting at home on your arse. Soon enough when you begin to get a network of folks, you'll get invited to other stuff and at some point there will be men involved.

    The bottom line is that you need to be able to talk back to people who will talk to you -- both male and female. I'm betting people HAVE tried to engage you in the past few years, but you likely went into "shy mode". You've gotta get out of "shy mode" and at the very least engage someone in a conversation. You never know where a conversation will lead. Sometimes, it's nowhere, but that's OK.

    Posted by Jason September 10, 09 11:41 AM
  1. I am a single guy in Boston and I just assume all the girls are taken unless the girl acts really friendly. Then after I start talking to them sometimes they'll work in a reference to their husband or boyfriend. Then sometimes they think I'm flirting when I am not. My point is, it is a two way street and you should just act friendly to guys

    Posted by jonesmonkey September 10, 09 11:44 AM
  1. Not sure of where to go to meet guys but I do know that there are a lot of women that have more success than others. Here's what they do.

    1. When a guy looks their way they smile.
    2. When I guy talks to them they play with their hair. ( shows your interested)
    3. When a guy says he has to go see a movie. She says "Oh I heard its good but I don't have anyone to go with" Take me is implied. Also works for great restaurants, plays. You get the picture.

    4. Do not tell him you have a boyfriend. Most guys take it as a rejection and your dead, they move on. However, to a woman it's. I just met you and I'm not sure if I like you enough to go out with you. So, I'm going to hang around you until I decide; and then I will suddenly break up or maybe you'll have enough guts to persue me anyways.

    Or they really do have a boyfriend. In which case this doesn't pertain to you.

    5. Once dating do not live with a guy. Marriage is the only option. Why, see from your experience. He didn't love you enough to commit, so he
    kept you around until he decided to split. Get smart girls.

    Posted by jojobobo September 10, 09 11:48 AM
  1. like the ads for royal caribbean cruise line, GET OUT THERE!
    Do some volunteer work, join a gym, find a sports club or some type of hobby you like on the internet and go join. Do anything that will introduce you to new people. Take a deep breath and go.
    Write back and let us know how you are doing.

    Posted by linda p September 10, 09 11:48 AM
  1. Thank God Rico is back!!

    Posted by shelly September 10, 09 11:48 AM
  1. When I'm desperate, I don't meet men. When I give up on men and just focus on my life, THEN I meet men. Also, don't give up on online dating. online dating is like fishing, you need a lot of patience. It took me months to meet my current beau. I meet guys IRL too, but I'm picky and I like smart guys, not random guys that hit on me in the parking lot.

    Posted by Bee September 10, 09 11:49 AM
  1. Having been born and raised here, I agree that we're not the most friendly bunch. But, that's not to say we're impossible to penetrate. It takes time and patience.

    I agree wholeheartedly with looking into meetup.com. When I came back from living in Italy for a year, it was the first thing I did and have made a ton of friends within the various groups. Like I said above, it takes time and patience, but expanding your social circle will be extremely rewarding and will help make your life here in our cranky city much more enjoyable.

    Posted by Piccola September 10, 09 11:50 AM
  1. I honestly think it's a Boston thing. This is just about the least friendly and most silo-ed place I have ever been in my life. I have had cute, single female friends who have left Boston due to the lack of social life and they immediately found friends and significant others in other cities, after spending 3, 4, 8 years here trying to do the same. I'm talking NYC, Atlanta, Minneapolis... Pretty much anywhere else. If you are not from this area and didn't go to college around here, it is extremely difficult to find a good social network. Unless you manage to find other transplants. Most of my good friends are not from MA originally because they are far more open to developing new relationships than the natives.

    If I were single, this is the last place on the planet I would want to be. But if you are determined to stay in Boston for whatever reason, then the other posters have good advice about getting yourself out there. I just want you to know that there is a possibility that YOU are not the problem and that Boston's insular social scene could be part/most of it.

    Posted by JK September 10, 09 11:55 AM
  1. LW... #63 has given the best advice all day. Dont be fooledotherwise youll find yourself going one direction on a dead end street.

    Posted by Waahwahh wahhh September 10, 09 11:55 AM
  1. Stop Hanging out with fat chicks......You are probably hanging out at Sub Shops or burger joints....Guys like it when girls hit on them and say dirty things to them...start talking dirty to some random dudes...and stop eatin all dem burgers...

    Posted by Ghost Hunter who sees stuff that isn't really there. September 10, 09 11:56 AM
  1. "Everyone says how good I look, yet I feel like something about me scare off men. At the moment I yearn for companionship, it’s been TWO years. But lately I have been feeling as if my ex rejected me, and so is the entire single men population of the world."

    I foresee a lesbian in the making here....

    Posted by pauline September 10, 09 11:58 AM
  1. AMWE,

    My advice is probably going to be a little different.....

    First, if you're low on self-esteem, keep remembering the qualities about you that your previous boyfriend liked. After all, he saw enough in you to keep up a 5-year relationship. Forget him, but remind yourself of your attractive traits.

    Second, seek out platonic friendships with MEN. You feel nervous around men - but they're just people. I want you to cure that nervousness!

    So I want you to join activities that are stereotypically for men. I mean ongoing activities that aren't designed as social "mixers". Make male friends that way, and pretty soon you'll feel comfortable around other men as possible dates. For example....

    Join a hard-core computer club. Not "Intro to Computers" - I mean hard core. Maybe look on meetup.com for the nearest Linux user's group. So what if you don't know anything about Linux? Show up and 12 nice guys will teach you all about it. Just say you heard there's now Linux for home PCs, and you'll have a bunch of new guy friends (and maybe some new women ones, too).

    Join a co-ed gym and sign up to do free weights. (No, you won't end up looking like Arnold. We women don't bulk up like that.) Guys there will love to give you advice on your triceps, your technique, etc. With most hobbies, everyone loves to help a newbie. You'll get in shape, make friends with some men, and probably enjoy some eye candy.

    Then I think you'll have the confidence to deal with men as possible romantic partners.

    Go for it! They're just people.

    Posted by TallGirl September 10, 09 12:00 PM
  1. I think many times people just don't know how to break the ice. You can practice by asking people you interact with (cashiers, attendants, waiters) "Hey, how's it going?" or "How is your day?" It is amazing how people will open up when presented with a simple open-ended question, and it gets you accustomed to talking with strangers from all walks of life.

    Also, if you learn to talk baseball in this sports-infatuated city you will never be lonely.

    Posted by JC September 10, 09 12:04 PM
  1. One word: CONFIDENCE. That's your problem. If you knew, deep down inside, you are valuable, and hot, and worth a man's attention, you would have more luck. I agree with the other posters that say "what's with all the fear" - fear seeps out of you like honey, and you're not scaring men away with it, they just aren't drawn to you.

    Maybe you need a new therapist?

    Also - as everyone else already said - if you aren't putting yourself in a position to be approached, it won't happen (even with your confidence). You can think you're the cat's pajamas but if you stay home every night crying/reading a book/watching tv/working out/working/reading love letters then that's certainly not helping your case. You are in a new town, which means (unlike some of us who have been here for years and have already dated everyone) you have the WHOLE TOWN as your oyster! Men here love 'fresh meat' - if you didn't get approached online, you need new photos, a new, more confident blurb, something spicy (did you say "I like to stay home or go out with friends" or "loyalty is important to me" or any of the other drivel most people have on those profiles?) - rewrite it, come up with something confident and original, and try again. Online dating can, if nothing else, help you get your feet wet.

    Good luck!

    PS For all the annoying posters who say we're all just annoying lonely feminists whining at each other - please, come up with something original! I'm in a happy relationship that only had the chance to happen after I was single for many years and was able to clear my head and get myself right.

    Posted by Used to be single too September 10, 09 12:04 PM
  1. LW,

    And whatever you do, please DO NOT listen to #95 Mari!!
    You'll waste a fortune on batteries in your lifetime!


    Posted by DJMcG September 10, 09 12:06 PM
  1. Yikes - I don't really agree with No. 63 at all!!

    Are you a seething manhater?? I see LOTS of comments from all walks of life - singles, marrieds, gays, etc. etc.

    LW, I think most of the advice here is great. Go with it, and I was going to say maybe try some volunteer work as well.

    Posted by Lizziex1980 September 10, 09 12:10 PM
  1. Hey poster "polly" poster # 29 who wrote:

    Email me (anthonyduf@gmail.com) and let's get to know one another.

    Posted by ADuffy September 10, 09 12:16 PM
  1. #112 is dead on. If you do not come with references you are doomed.

    Anyway, if I were a single woman in the city and needed a target rich environment I would hit a ski area in NH VT or ME. Not a family mountain but one of the destination resorts. You don't even have to ski. Just get there for the apres ski scene and be prepared for action including hot tubs. Women are regularly outnumbered 2--to-1 by single active men with money. A little out of season right now but something for every single woman to keep in mind.

    Posted by Darwin September 10, 09 12:20 PM
  1. Joe (#47) Does your wife know you've been looking for men online? You must be, since you seem to be the expert.

    First (#49) - is anyone monitoring these comments? Why do they let these dumb ones in?

    I don't understand all of these comments that it is impossible to date in Boston. I broke up with a long term bf in June of 2007 and by February of 2008 I had met my now husband and had dated several very nice guys (a few of whom I am still friends with) who just weren't quite my match, but were still very nice guys! And I am a shy person who is not great at flirting! I found it very easy to date in Boston - you just have to do what works for you - if you're meeting a*holes at bars, stop going to bars to meet people! If you're sick of "Boston guys" join some nature groups or things that will take you a bit outside the city (even Cambridge has a whole different crowd). If you like to write and don't have tons of time to go out, try online dating - it's easier than you may think to weed out the undesireables if you have some intuition.

    Posted by ferrick September 10, 09 12:24 PM
  1. LW, if it makes you feel any better, men are just as afraid of approaching women. Make brief eye contact. Smile.

    You've gotten a lot of good advice--do the things you like doing, try different activities, etc. And at these activities, or at a party, or when your out with you're friends, push yourself to be a bit more outgoing. Just go up to a man who looks interesting to you and say hi. Chat him up a little. Ask him about himself. If he has interests you know nothing about, get him to talk more about them. If he's lived in other places, learn about them. Get to know him--get him talking. The rest will follow.

    Posted by PM September 10, 09 12:29 PM
  1. As a transplant from the west coast one thing I have realized about native New Englanders is that they are not unfriendly (one on one anyways) they just don't take it upon themselves to invite you into their life. Mostly I think they don't really think about (they all have friends from kindergarten!)
    Take it upon yourself to approach them yourself. Be friendly and smile. Besides, what is the worse that can happen? Doing nothing doesn't seem to be working...

    Posted by ScienceChick September 10, 09 12:29 PM
  1. You wrote "I am much better now". It sounds to me that you are not completely okay. Men can sense whether you're a happy person or a miserable one, and nobody wants to hangout with someone who is unhappy. Being single is not bad, enjoy your single life, go to church, gym, and do whatever you like, just be happy. Stop looking for "Mr. Right", he will show up when you least expected. It happened to me!

    PS: Don't be desperate, it will cloud your judgment on someone's characters.

    Posted by Trying to help September 10, 09 12:29 PM
  1. DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 is the Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) of Love Letters -- rude, inappropriate, and talking out of turn. Shut him off already. Make him go outside and run around until dinner time, then put him back on his court-ordered meds.

    Posted by Enuff-Already September 10, 09 12:31 PM
  1. Here's some information to consider: Boston is stuffed with over-inflated ego filled women. Because of that and their standoffish attitude, men are statistically less like to approach a woman at your age group under the assumption that you are taken or a lesbian. Sorry, but that happens - UNLESS you are are overtly signalling that you are available.

    So, join some clubs. Play tennis. Ski. A hiking club. Join a softball or touch football league. Do something that involves outgoing people and I guarantee that someone will identify you as available and act upon that. Eventually...

    Posted by big h September 10, 09 12:31 PM
  1. Why do all my posts have a 1 next to them? Is it just me?

    Get OUT and get noticed. Smile. Don't worry be happy!

    Posted by Youareallnumber1withme September 10, 09 12:32 PM

    It's your decision is you want to fight the odds here, btu a fight is what it takes.

    Posted by big h September 10, 09 12:41 PM
  1. Stop wearing the Yankee garb....

    Yankees suck!

    and then.... I gave this advice last week, and it still holds true.....

    New Boobs!!! Guess what... we like those!!

    We are happy.
    You get more attention.
    You are happy.

    This is a really easy equation to figure out. I am sad and now have less hope for the human race because I had to spell it out!

    Posted by BlameMe September 10, 09 12:44 PM
  1. I didn't date for almost eight years, because I had a trauma early in my dating life, but then, when I moved to Boston, I was dating non-stop! Basically from orientation day at grad school on... I had three years of non-stop dating and boyfriends (one at a time, of course). I realized two things:

    1. It's easy to close yourself off and give a vibe of "don't approach me." I did this for years, by choice, and it worked.

    2. When you are ready, the guy will show up. I mean, when you truly feel good about yourself alone, and that you don't really need a relationship, you tend to attract tons of guys. At least, this was true for me when I was in grad school and more focused on my studies than wishing I was in a relationship.

    I would suggest maybe taking a class, meeting other students, or getting into a club of some kind. I met a lot of nice guys in a martial arts class, and most of the other guys I dated I met at school, or while shopping. If you smile and are open to conversation, you're bound to meet someone. If you feel like you're not ready, then you also know what to do. Best of luck!!!

    Posted by not in kansas anymore September 10, 09 12:50 PM
  1. Mari,

    If you're not a sockpuppet who's trolling, get therapy. Seriously. I know women like you and their tiresome as friends--negative and whiny. I've met the male version of you, and I ran as far and as fast as I could. He was moaning about how women didn't like him. SHOCKING.

    You get what you put into this. You're being bitter and negative, and that's what you'll get.

    Posted by PM September 10, 09 12:51 PM
  1. I will also agree - two years without a boyfriend isn't unusual. I had a boss who asked me once how I could do it, because he didn't like himself enough to be alone with himself for so long. All I could think was how sad and miserable that must be for him (it also explained his numerous failed marriages).

    That aside - so many people are suggesting sports clubs, but, really, what do YOU like to do? When I moved to Boston, my last inclination was to find a S.O., and more to just meet people. I went on Yahoo! groups and found discussion groups that fit my interests in the area. I participated online, and when an event came up, I went to it. I spent my first 3 months going to absolutely everything, then I started paring it down to what I really enjoyed.

    As a result, I not only met the man I am marrying, I met lots of other cool people (and some not so great, but that's life). I learned about where things "used to be," so that I could figure out Bostonian directions. A couple of times I even threw parties like I did in my former home town and invited everyone on one of those lists. That way I got to meet great people in a place where I was comfortable doing something I love to do - play hostess.

    At some point, though, I had to just step out the door and go to something where I knew nobody. I'm a shy person, by nature, but forcing myself to do these things gave the opportunity to meet my fiance and the people we've invited to the wedding!

    So meet people. If someone you meet (even just a potential friend) invites you to a party, go. Just talk to people - not as though they are potential mates, but just as interesting people. What do they do for a living? Where are they from? What brought them to Boston? What do they do for fun? Pets? Travels? Weird childhood memories? When you show interest in people, they often become interested in you, too.

    As someone said to me, recently, sometimes you throw box cars, and it's a good thing, even if you weren't really thinking that you needed box cars right now.

    Posted by Joan September 10, 09 12:54 PM
  1. As we know from life and other love letters writers and posters, it is hard to move on after rejection. Good for you that you lost all of that weight. I totally agree that you should work on finding other activities that may lead to developing more friendships and meeting other people. While you are doing that though, you need to work on being able to open up to people. This is why guys may not be talking to you or asking you out. If you are shut down (consciously or unconsciously) and afraid of rejection they will see that you are shut down and pass you buy. There have been alot of great activities suggested by the other writers to get out and meet people. I'm going to suggest an activity that doesnt come up often, where a single girl can meet guys: golf!

    It may sound crazy and it takes alot of patience to learn, but if you think about it, you can go out and enjoy yourself on the course while hanging out with 3 other guys for up to 4 or 5 hours. You can also just play 9 holes and its much cheaper and you still get 2.5hrs to get to know a few of them at a time. There are all types and ages of guys out there playing everyday and it may be a fun thing to do besides. Plus they'd love to give you some tips, they'd admire your interest in the game, and you'd have them all to yourself. No competition.

    Posted by sexual chocolate September 10, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Waaaaaahhhh!!! Men ignore me! But I'm too afraid to appraoch them. So I sit in the corner and wait for them to approach me. Absolutely pathetic! If you're not attractive (which I'm gathering) and you won't approach men, you're going to be single forever, end of story.

    Posted by Flash September 10, 09 12:57 PM
  1. Just a general comment here, but men ignore you because of exactly what you wrote: you are deathly afraid of approaching men and do not know what to say or how to act. Do you know what to say or how to act if a man approaches you? Is it possible that men HAVE been paying attention to you and you just haven't noticed? Something for you to think about. Do you seriously expect men to have any interest in you if you don't know how to talk to them or how to act? Just be yourself (cliché, I know), in whatever way that manifests itself.

    Lastly, I agree with Meredith, you need to focus on making more friends. Through friends, you'll meet guys. So start with friends. Where do you meet new friends? May I suggest:

    1. Boston Ski & Sports Club. Don't let the name steer you away, it's actually a club for socializing as much as it is about getting together for sports. If you're a fit person or inclined to try something new, check it out at bssc.com. I have two friends who met their significant others through BSSC.

    2. You may also want to try meetup.com, which another site for people with similar interests to get together.

    3. Book clubs/movie clubs/cooking clubs/eating out clubs. Whatever fits your fancy. You can fins stuff like this through Craigslist or even searching around Boston.com. You may also talk to your group of 4 work friends and start something with them, and then have them bring along some of their friends. Hopefully you'll befriend some of their friends too.

    Trust me, focus on friends. Go to dinner parties, birthday gatherings, movie night, etc. and the more the merrier. A Red Sox or Celtics game, a music show at a club like the Middle East, basically anything to get yourself out and about and in places where you're likely to meet friends and possibly a love interest. Just get out there and do stuff. The men will come your way eventually, but you need to be more receptive and friendly.

    Posted by MattyB September 10, 09 01:05 PM
  1. One word...Smile.
    I'm a guy and if a girl, at the very least smiles in my direction, it opens the door for conversation...we're not that complex :)

    Posted by CC September 10, 09 01:09 PM
  1. Do you dress like a homeless lesbian? Maybe that's your problem.

    Posted by Bee September 10, 09 01:09 PM
  1. There is no greater turn-off than lack of self-confidence and being insecure in one's own skin. Pursue as many outside-of-work groups, activities and clubs that you have time for and interest in. Be gracious and genuine with people you meet (no whining and complaining, and maybe best to keep the depression history in check, at least initally -- people in general don't care to hear other people's problems) and in time you'll have many new friends and acquaintances and perhaps new loves too. If you are filling your life with worthwhile pursuits for your own personal fulfillment, and (even better) perhaps to give of your time and talents to those in need, you won't be wallowing in self pity while waiting for a man to round out your life. Beauty ultimately springs from the soul. Feed yours and let it shine. Good luck and Godspeed.

    Posted by Americana September 10, 09 01:09 PM
  1. We need to see a picture to give any further advice! I know, I know, I'm horrible, but honest.

    Posted by raf69 September 10, 09 01:10 PM
  1. Bottomline -- you need some confidence. Nothing will come together without it. You don't have to approach men, but people need to see that you're a fun confident person when you're out. If you're actually good-looking, as you say, the chips will start to fall once you've gained those two traits.

    Posted by C September 10, 09 01:14 PM
  1. Dude666
    Enough coffee and the enema becomes superfluous…of course without the rectal sensuality.

    Sweetie, Pumpkin, Bubbeleh:
    You might have a ‘Brain Cloud’ because your life reminds me of the factory where Tom Hanks works at the beginning of “Joe Verses the Volcano”. Let me give you a way out…Are you ready? Wait…Wait…OK…………Contra Dancing.

    First of all, it’s not square dancing and you don’t need to bring a date. You can be a novice…they will show you what to do. Everyone asks everyone to dance. If you shave your armpits et al you will be a goddess among twirlers. The naturalist men say they’re tolerant of the bush, but that’s just to get laid. Trim it up and watch the wolves howl at your moon. Also remember that life flows unevenly. You know when you’re in line at a road construction site with those sign-holder interns who do the Stop & Slow routine like St. Peter at the Pearly Necklace? Well, sometimes they let more people go depending on their reaction to wearing orange. But when they say “GO”, you’ve got to do-si-do. But enough from me…Let’s see what Neil has to say:

    Don’t let it bring you down
    It’s only castles burning
    Just find someone who’s turning
    And you will come around

    Posted by valentino September 10, 09 01:14 PM
  1. To #17 - looks has little to do with it. All you need to do is look around you, and you'll see that average people, ugly people, fat people have found love and are coupled up. I would not use this as an excuse.

    LW - It's interesting that this is not just a dating issue but also a friendship issue. I suspect you are unconciously sending out the wrong signals with your body language. If this is the case, you can join all the clubs you want, and will not get the results you want.

    Is there anyway you could videotape yourself interacting with others? I have been videotaped before for work, and it was a real eye-opener. While I'm generally a smiling happy type person, I am shy in certain situations. I saw clearly that when I'm in the spotlight and get nervous, I loose the glint in my eye and hug my arms across my chest in a defensive posture.

    Approachable people smile a lot, and look people directly in the eye. Their body language is open and relaxed - arms down at the sides instead of across their body, legs uncrossed. These are behaviors you can learn - you just need to practice. Start with learning to smile. Genuine smiles are best, as they light up your eyes. Focus on a happy thought (puppies! kittens!), and practice in the mirror. Then see if you can maintain a smile all day long tomorrow, and see what happens.

    Posted by anecdotal evidence September 10, 09 01:17 PM
  1. I read this column daily at lunch. I'm a sbf. I had to concur with the LW and some of the commenters about being single in Boston. Everytime I go out and am approached by a guy, 99% of the time he's from out of town. To alleviate my dating issue, I travel alot. I visit my friends out of state and keep an open mind about meeting guys through their networks. Guys even as closeby as RI, NY and CT are 10,000 times friendlier than guys in Boston. LDR's aren't easy but neither is dating in Boston. I suggest opening your mind and exploring other area codes. Men are in abundance and just waiting to flirt with you.

    On that note, its been rumoured that women in Boston act like their stuff don't stink so maybe that's why local guys don't bother. Sth to think about!

    Posted by missteeq September 10, 09 01:19 PM
  1. Two bits of advice from a regular all around guy:

    1- Get yourself out there. Find out what you are passionate about and do it in your free time! Love to cook- take cooking classes. Love to bike- join a group. There are LOTS of things to do around here. If you are lonely- get a dog and hit the dog park, those parks are FULL of great fun people and its a great social outlet. This is a major city- there is plenty to do here and people to meet! Meet some guy friends that are platonic that have potential to grow into something more. Do you really want to meet your future spouse in a bar? And then- once you meet that guy- see #2

    2- I have to agree with previous posters- maybe its time to up the appeal. Buy some new clothes. Brunette? Go blonde... long hair? Try a bob... If you got a guy friend where it could eventually turn into something more- a big change is going to catch their eye. If you are all out to dinner one night and you show up as a new blonde wearing a nice party top, if he is remotely already interested in you- it's be like hooking the fish. It's what my wife did to me, LOL! It's a near chapter in your life- right now change is good!

    Finally- this is the Northeast- not the South or West, social protocol around here is going to require YOU to be just as aggressive as you'd want him to be.

    Posted by Beentheredonethat September 10, 09 01:20 PM
  1. To All of the Boston haters here -

    You don't like it YOU CAN LEAVE!!!! We talk too much about sports? SO WHAT!!!!!!

    It's better than dealing with some sloe-poke midwestern town where everyone and their grandmother has something to say - how invasive is that? Yes, everyone knows that everyone in Boston keeps everyone at arm's length. So what? It's not like we bite, we just don't have time for annoying people. It's pretty simple.

    Posted by big dummy September 10, 09 01:21 PM
  1. This is an easy fix. The best place in Boston to meet guys is Fenway Park. Go to the bars around the park a few hours before the game and you'll have plenty of "friends". These places aren't "pick up" bars..they are hang out bars. Strike up a conversation about how this is your first game and people will adopt you and talk to you. Sit right at the bar and say you are waiting for a friend....guys will be talking to you when they come up to order a drink...its a low pressure environment....pop into any of the bars after the game and they are always packed. try the Bleacher bar, Game on,Jillians, Copperfields,,Boston beer works...any of the local Fenway bars..jeans and a sox tee shirt...and a baseball hat...You'll have your pick in no time.

    Posted by Have Faith September 10, 09 01:21 PM
  1. AMWE
    I had to go with Mere on this. Just finding friends in a new town is hard, so think of it as practice. Once you start meeting friends (male and female) doors will open for you. You might be approached when out with friends, or meet a girl with a single hot brother in-law. Just get social and stop putting so much pressure on finding a boyfriend. Because you will end up with the wrong guy. You will fall for those stupid lines, and just be in love with the "IDEA" of having a boyfriend, not the actual boyfriend.
    Good Luck

    Posted by LilShorty98 September 10, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Early 30's with such significant self-esteem issues? Do not, I repeat do not stop therapy under any circumstances. You need it and you will benefit greatly from it. Work on why you believe there is something about you that scares men- do you have fangs? Also, ask your therapist about behavior modification-it sounds like you're almost male-phobic. Above all, never give up! There is someone out there for everyone. Find yourself and you will find love.

    Posted by CABE September 10, 09 01:26 PM
  1. The LW said "After one year of living together he left me. For me, this was bad. I ended up in therapy and took anti-depressants. I am much better now."
    Upon reading this, did anyone else think of the witch burning scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"?

    Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she's a witch?
    Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt!
    Sir Bedevere: A newt?
    Peasant 3: [meekly after a long pause] ... I got better.
    Crowd: [shouts] Burn her anyway!

    Anyway - this letter seems like a carbon copy of yesterday's letter. The LW should go back and read that one as well. Get yer butt OUT there and make friends. Attend classes - like to cook? Try Cambridge Culinary School. Like to go to movies? Yahoo Groups and other sites have group set-ups where you can get together to discuss wine, food, politics, movies - virtually anything. Work friends are just that - work friends. They aren't (usually) good anytime friends.

    And Mer (or whoever allows the posts to be shown online) should ban DudeGuyKid, as the comments are written strictly to garner attention for him/herself. Shows a childish mentality that is far beyond repair.

    Also sorry to see that Rico is back. Too bad a continually broken Internet connection couldn't have kept Mr. Third Person off the intertubes.

    Posted by Linda September 10, 09 01:26 PM
  1. You need to go on a few bad dates and get over your fear of men. Men are not to be afraid of...they're just as clueless as us girls! If you think of every interaction as a "do or die" scenario, it's not going to be fun for anyone.

    Not feeling #63...a lot of mean-spirited men and women on here, but there are also a lot of people who seem nice and fun! It goes both ways, bucko.

    Posted by emmj September 10, 09 01:28 PM
  1. I am sorry. Did you say something?

    Posted by John Diamond September 10, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Hey, Meredith has free movie tickets for next Tuesday night. It's promising to be a fun group of LL people. Why not come along to that as a first step to getting out and meeting some new friends?

    Posted by Trueblue22 September 10, 09 01:32 PM
  1. You might want to stop calling yourself a "gal". Who are you? Dale Evans? Roy Rogers is dead. If you want a man who is alive, be a woman.

    Posted by Confucious September 10, 09 01:35 PM
  1. Smile. It sounds stupid, but do it. People will smile back at you. Then, smile and say "hello", and then graduate to saying something funny about the setting you are in. People in Boston, despite our reputation, are friendly, we're just not always the ones to break the ice. Break the ice yourself with small gestures, I think you will reap rewards.

    Posted by vamanos September 10, 09 01:38 PM
  1. #147 Big Dummy (appropriate)... Saying that Boston has a challenging singles/social scene is different from being a Boston hater. I'm married with kids and obviously find redeeming qualities about Boston or I wouldn't still be here. However, the level of friendliness here is not one of the better features of this metro area.

    I have lived in a tight-knit cul-de-sac neighborhood outside of the city for 3 years. Was told by a neighbor (only sorta jokingly) that I wasn't considered "one of them" until I'd been here for 10+ years at the very least. Typical of this area.

    Posted by JK September 10, 09 01:44 PM
  1. Go check out the Boston Young Professionals Association! I go to their events sometimes and it is great. Lots of people who are new to Boston, and some like me who arent, and the thing that makes it best is that everyone there is there to meet new people... so while it might feel awkward at first, it is perfectly normal to just walk up to someone at one of their events and introduce yourself and join in the conversation (much better than trying to meet people at a bar or club!). Also, its geared towards networking, so you dont have to worry about guys just trying to get in your pants (another drawback of the bar scene). They also have singles events, but I'm married so I cant tell you much about them! :) They have a website where they post all their events - bostonypa.com. I've also heard that meetup.com is a great place to make friendships and more, but I've never tried it personally. Good luck!

    Posted by socialite September 10, 09 01:48 PM
  1. You'll have a better chance of getting a date in San Francisco, where a high percentage of the men are gay, than you will here. But you live here, so you have to make a life for yourself. And that means losing the desperation. It's not easy--I was there once when my first marriage broke up and my only friends actually belonged to my ex. I think it's best not to date at all. Join something that interests you, but that also gives you a chance to meet men (i.e., not a sewing club). Running and cycling clubs are good bets, and they'll keep you in shape. Just pursue your interests. The very worst that can happen is that you find something really fun to do with a group of people who turn out to be good friends.

    Posted by Isolda September 10, 09 01:51 PM
  1. confidence, you need
    a new outfit and hairdo?
    hit the town tonight

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! September 10, 09 01:56 PM
  1. AMWE, it may be a New York vs Boston thing. I've lived in Boston 25 years and still when I go to NYC I find the people a lot more open, friendly, willing to talk to strangers.
    But the solution is to do gropu activities with other people - especially volunteer activities. This fall, I strongly suggest any one of the election races - City Council, Martha Coakley, mayor, etc. Pick the one you like best and spend one night a week helping him or her. Then, win or lose, I guarantee you'll have more friends, and some will be men with compatible politics to yours.

    Posted by Dotreader September 10, 09 01:57 PM
  1. At least "Valentino" (#143) gets my humor, boy Boston is such a tough town to work! I can't figure out why I have lived here my whole life, even after seeing every other Continent in the world...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 September 10, 09 02:04 PM
  1. Oh, you can meet guys around Fenway by the dozen, but the ones that aren't already taken are usually not worth dating in the first place.

    Posted by frankfurter September 10, 09 02:06 PM
  1. #63 you hit the nail on the head. You should have your own column.

    Posted by Paul from Wellesley September 10, 09 02:09 PM
  1. I would suggest losing a couple hundred more pounds. People that say "how nice you look" were probably just being nice. It's like when you call a fat person "slim". Also, wear a shirt that says "I F**k On The First Date", that's always worked for me.

    All kidding aside, just get 30 cats and live happily ever after.

    Posted by Dr. Fil September 10, 09 02:10 PM
  1. I too am never approached by men- at all! I've asked some of my male friends if they see a problem/reason, and some said it's my face that looks mean (unapproachable), OR, from the very beginning, a man can tell when a woman is serious (as in play no games) and can be intimidated by the "commitment" it will take to get what they want. It's not you at all. Your prince charming will soon follow your lead.

    Posted by Crystal September 10, 09 02:15 PM
  1. One word: MOVE.

    You’re blaming yourself for defects that aren’t even your own. Your only problem is that you stayed in this city too long.

    No one told you how this works, so I will: If you didn’t grow up here, Boston can be a lot of fun when you’re in your 20s. But as each generation of newcomers reaches age 29, a bus pulls up and carries them away to New York, DC, Atlanta, or anywhere else they will actually be welcomed. Sadly, you got left behind, and now the natives see you as just another annoying party guest who long overstayed her welcome and won’t go home.

    Here, the natives’ social skills are about on par with their driving skills, and for the same reason: they are so into their own tedious selves, they can’t see a Mack truck coming at them, much less some chick who might be interesting to date. True, it is possible to force people to talk to you, and even have a good time doing it, if you lead them with baby steps and show them how to talk to strangers. It helps to have extensive professional experience working with the autistic. However, that is an awful lot of effort, and at the end of the day, all you end up with is friends who still can’t stop talking about themselves.

    If I were single, I’d high tail it out of here any way I could, even if I had to join the damn circus. Otherwise you could end up like a lot of other cute women I know who started off in your shoes in their 30s and are now shuffling up to 50, still dateless.

    Oh, and don’t listen to all the goofy advice about adult ed classes. Please. Did you notice who’s suggesting them? Single women. Guess who you'll find there? Single women.

    Go, girl. Go. You can have a great new life somewhere else.

    Posted by Marcus September 10, 09 02:24 PM
  1. If it makes you feel better, I'm exactly where you are...single and in my 30's (39), and haven't dated in 2 yrs (except for one icecream date that went nowhere). I too lapsed into depression from the break-up I had (thought it was a forever thing), and am in counseling and take anti-depressants. The counseling has helped me see the big picture of my life and gives me a place to let out all my fear, anxieties, and worries to someone who can help me focus, identify where it comes from, and can encourage me to work on things that intimidate me into non-action.

    So, you're not alone. But, unlike me, doesn't sound like you have the added difficulty in getting out there and meeting people that I do of being a single mom, so you don't have the excuse of not having time to get out there and do something social everyday if you want after work and on weekends.

    Like Meredith suggested, get active with things you enjoy so that the focus is on expanding your social network in general and less about finding THE ONE. Get involved in your community. Help coach a youth sports league. Take yoga, a night class, get active at a gym, walk dogs (and meet neighbors in process); network with other professionals in either your current industry or an industry that you hope to be in (LinkedIn is good for that). Like I mentioned to yesterday's letter writer...make sure you utilize facebook to develop current social network. I'm sure a few people in your NY network have friends/family in the MA area that you could get introduced to.

    Don't despair over the past 2 years and what may be some future time alone, so that when you do find someone to have a relationship with, your personal growth will make the relationship that much stronger and probably lead to you picking a more compatible person than if you didn't have the me time to understand yourself as a person. The truth is we won't always be partnered up every second of our lives and there's a lot of personal growth that can happen when we are alone and facing life's strugges on our own. It strengthens you. In fact, in a perfect world, everyone should experience significant alone time just to know, "hey...I CAN get through life by myself". That's an empowering thing. Not everyone feels that. So, you're not a loser....things happen for a reason. You've loved before and someone loved you and it will happen again, so don't focus on what you don't have, and just get at peace with what you do have and make small changes everyday to work on all your goals. Won't happen overnight...but with the right mindset, you'll get there eventually and enjoy the journey along the way.

    Posted by bklynmom September 10, 09 02:34 PM
  1. AMWE - I SO agree with Meredith. You need to expand your circle of friends. More friends means more opportunities to meet new male friends who may be potential love interests. More friends mean more parties, dinners, concerts, movies, weekend trips. You will have more opportunities to meet men. Even if you don't find love, you have a good time. Also, do you have family who could assist? I learned the hard way, I didn't want to be set-up by siblings/parents but they really do know you best and sometimes they see something in a person you may not even think of as a potential companion. Even if you don't expand your friend base very much, get out there and take a cooking class, dance class, auto maintenance class, go to a ball game. You get it. Any place that men may also frequent. Lastly, FLIRT! Learn all over again. Flirting is the way we send non-verbal cues to others that we are available. It shows you have interest in the other person and want to get to know them. It draws them out and opens them up which is what you want. You don't have to be overt and sexy, just be fun, lighthearted and interested.

    Posted by Michelle2112 September 10, 09 02:34 PM
  1. Sorry, but I'm calling bullpoop on this love-letter and here is the clue why

    "Also I have tried online dating. Did not work."

    So you are saying that not one man "approached" you on on-line dating? I smell a rat.

    Tell me if I'm right, but I suspect that men do come up to you. I suspect you got quite a lot of hits online as well. I suspect the problem is more that the perfect, ideal, Brad Pittesque man that you think is going to come out of the woodwork and wisk you off your feet to his chateau on Lake Cuomo or whatnot.

    People like you (men and women) need to stop the pity party and really call it for what it is... you haven't found someone that meets your high standards and you are refusing to compromise anything.

    Posted by monkeycaller September 10, 09 02:37 PM
  1. JK - You want friendly? Move to Wisteria Lane. People here just stay out of each other's business and that's true of more than just Boston. Philly? All of NY/NJ? Puleaze. Even if you moved to Maine they wouldn't want you around, that's just how it is.

    Good thing you're in the suburbs, now go drive your kids to the soccer game!

    Oh and PS - My moniker's not for me, it's for those reading. Thanks for falling into the trap.

    Posted by big dummy September 10, 09 02:45 PM
  1. You know, if you follow some of this great advice about going out and getting involved, you will feel more like you belong, and maybe care less about meeting just one guy. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy being a part of mankind again? It's always about perspective, and there are lots of perspectives to the definition of being happy. You will need to push yourself out the door, but go do it - and make sure there's some variety. Something physical for the bod, something educational for the mind, something artsy-crafty and hands-on for the hidden artist in you. You'll be excited about greeting each day and that's a great definition of happiness.

    Posted by BirdieKate September 10, 09 02:47 PM
  1. Marcus (166), As usual, while your basic message makes sense (LW needs a change of scenery) you manage to equal opportunity bash just about everyone in your path in delivering your screed, and have insulted everyone from transplants to Boston to Boston natives to the autistic to women in general. While your own special cranky brand of advice has certain charms, have you explored less alienating ways of communicating with people?

    Posted by abigail adams September 10, 09 02:49 PM
  1. Switch teams, become lesbo, that's your only solution. Maybe you won't feel as nervous around women. This is probably 90% of Boston women, sitting in the corner waiting for the line of guys to come to them because "they're that special" and shouldn't have to make any effort. They sit there surrounded by their gang of female friends wondering why guys aren't hitting on them. They end up going home to their rabbit wondering what went wrong.

    Posted by Scooter September 10, 09 02:56 PM

    Posted by Been around September 10, 09 02:56 PM
  1. I'm not a Boston native. In fact, I'm originally from the midwest - just call me "Dorothy." I have lived in the area 15 years now. I do not understand why so many people think Boston is so difficult. The reality is that half the town isn't even FROM Boston! Half the town is here for college or grad school or on research assignment or got relocated from elsewhere (as I did).

    Meanwhile, I'm married to a native Bostonian and he has a lovely family and circle of friends. I've never been made to feel like an outsider with any of them. My closest friend was also born and raised here as well, and her family is equally wonderful. Most of my neighbors have been here for decades, and I had no trouble being welcomed into their fold either.

    I just don't see why everyone complains so much about this. I have always found Boston to be friendly compared to other places I've lived. It also offers an amazing range of social options too - clubs, meetups, lectures, art openings, sports, you name it.

    I also don't think Boston drivers are nearly as bad as everyone says either... but that's a different topic...

    Posted by anecdotal evidence September 10, 09 03:00 PM
  1. Why do people say "first"? Wicked gay.

    Posted by Dave September 10, 09 03:08 PM
  1. Was there a letter writer today, Meridith? I didn't notice anything.

    Posted by Bad Boy September 10, 09 03:16 PM
  1. Come on, people! It's Boston. No one approaches anyone! It's totally normal not to be approached by men or vice versa. Chances are, unless you are in a club or bar, no one is going to talk to you, and even then, the ones who are talking to you are the ones you wish wouldn't.

    All of my female friends either moved away from Boston after we finished w/ grad school, or else got married. I had no one to really go out with. Rather than sit at home and bemoan my fate, I started internet dating. Once you get the hang of it, you will never sit home alone again. It's a great way to meet people. I met a few boyfriends that way, and ended up meeting my husband online. The men and women who do this are not hideous, nor are they social misfits. They are busy people who want to cut to the chase and meet people. I would rate the bulk of the people that I dated this way between 7-9s and all were gainfully and well employed. Try it. It's fun.

    Also, join a gym, take classes that you enjoy or join a volunteer organization. Those are a good way to meet friends, as well as potential boyfriends. Good luck!

    Posted by ALF72 September 10, 09 03:16 PM
  1. #167 bklynmom, that was a great post. Great advice.

    Posted by Patty September 10, 09 03:23 PM
  1. good suggestions and LR is correct - was in chicago with the hband in Jul and my gosh the men were smoking hot -- and tall. must be that "vic" heritage - anyway - you need to make friends outside of work and the sports/gym suggestion are on it. and don't run on the treadmill, take a class, you'll see the same chicks if you go to the same class .....and then work out in the gym or on the machines .......

    Posted by Maryro September 10, 09 03:23 PM
  1. # 63 Nailed it. LL feminists are crap

    Posted by NoI'mNotCrap September 10, 09 03:33 PM
  1. "I am not a Boston native and found someone who is who actually likes me! So you're all wrong about the difficulty of the Boston social scene."

    "Big dummy"... What trap? That I called you by your user name? Wow, joke's on me!!

    Posted by JK September 10, 09 03:36 PM
  1. Marcus your a Moron!

    Posted by tina September 10, 09 03:37 PM
  1. Scooter #173,

    I don't think you're giving women enough credit... You mean you didn't see "the sign"?? She was clearly staring off into the distance, trying to catch you looking at her out of the corner of her eye!

    I mean, come on man -- THAT's the classic "sign"!!

    Dude, it's not a Boston thing, it's a woman thing. It's called severe unacknowledged narcissism. (No, no -- of course only the MEN are narcissists!)

    It's this constant pathetic mentality of "oh why isn't a man bending over backwards to prostrate himself before me, so that I may deign him worthy?" Their just not aware that the P#$&@ fell off the pedestal LONG ago... They really don't realize that there are plenty of women out there and men don't have to jump through hoops anymore.

    When you're so self-absorbed that you think everyone is supposed to fawn over you and chase after you and think you're the most special thing on earth since sliced bread... it's just always going to lead down the same unsuccessful blow-up that it always does when one half of the relationship is the focus. When you think you're too good to be with anybody, and the one you choose for now is just oh too lucky to be in your presence!

    Men are taught early on that, in society, we're worthless. Dogs, scum, pigs, meatheads, Al Bundys, etc., etc. Our ego gets shattered right out of the gate in life. It's why men are funny and women aren't. Self-deprecation (or the lack thereof!). For women, the ego is something to be pampered, protected, and even fortified. It's the man's job to not avoid the ego, but actually feed it further!

    Bottom line: women need to grow up and realize that this old-school shyte only works on the morons out there. Not the guys you REALLY want to attract. They have engaged brains, so they're not willing to (or, more to the point, don't NEED to) deal with the above-detailed bullsh!t... You will have no problem bagging the knuckle dragger, but can't understand why your self-aggrandized tactics don't attract the worthy ones. Yup, it's a tough one!

    I'm sick of people pointing to exceptions rather than the rule. Yes, a small cross-section of women have grown up in situations that shed (or were devoid of) these pathetic societal archetypes. Believe me, I've met them, sought them out for relationships, celebrate their existence, etc. But they are NOT the NORM. The norm is exactly the image first described: A woman sitting on her throne, throwing out crumbs, waiting for the Prince to crawl forth...

    And as for the "Cold" Bostonian... No, no... it's called the INTELLIGENT Bostonian. As in, they don't fall for your petty games like those jagaloons down South. We see through the BS and have a mental capacity far greater than that of a leg-humping dog. THAT's the problem you have with Boston men...

    Posted by DJMcG September 10, 09 03:55 PM
  1. Just a few little tidbits of advice from someone who managed to find relationships entirely by accident - i.e. I was not out searching for them.

    1. Unless you're looking for a no-frills 'hookup' type of arrangement, avoid the "free" online dating sites. There's a lot of folks out there who enjoy that sort of thing, and this is one of the places they go to to meet "friends with benefits". If that's not your bag, stick to the online dating sites you pay for.

    2. Take up a hobby where smart, fun guys might also participate (stuff like wine/beer tastings, cooking classes, or trivia night at a local bar). Start going to music shows, movies, by yourself. Even if you don't meet anyone there I've met a few cool guys that became friends and/or at least you get practice on how to talk to guys in a friendly, non-creepy way.

    3. Accept being happy and single, essentially stop trying so hard, and eventually this will show on your face and in the way you appear to the rest of the world. When you least expect it, you might actually meet someone in an unexepected place, who might be a person that you want to date.

    The bottom line is that guys can smell desperation a mile away. The more panicked you get over having to find a boyfriend, the less likely it will be you will be successful. Once you "give up" and relax a bit - you'll be surprised how many interesting people you meet.

    Posted by neon mermaid September 10, 09 03:57 PM
  1. A trick I tried when I felt like no man would approach me - I created an account on MySpace that reflects my best self (I wrote it on a day I was feeling particularly good about myself).

    For the longest time, I had 5-6 emails a day. All of the inquiries were flattering and well written. Unfortunately, none of the men met my criteria (most lived far away and I suspect a large proportion of them were from a scam artist in africa that preys upon women over 40). But that wasn't the point - it was just a nice reminder that there are men out there that dig me. It put a smile on my face and made it easier for me to meet people in real life.

    I'm not suggesting that you do the same thing....just find a way to put a smile on your face every day.

    And I agree wholeheartely about developing a strong social network. When you do meet someone special, having a strong social network helps a lot. It slows the relationship down (it is easier to spot someone that isn't right for you when you don't do the instant relationship thing). It gives you a natural way to spend time together in may different forums (one on one, in a group where you have buddies, and with close friends who will give you their perspective)

    Posted by 40-something and fabulous September 10, 09 03:58 PM
  1. If I were you I'd join the military!!! You'll lose more weight and be surrounded by tons of men!

    If you're not up for that, it's pretty easy:
    1. dress feminine but classy
    2. Smile and look at a guy you want to approach you (or even others)
    3. Smile in general
    4. Don't act desperate
    5. Be genuinely friendly

    Posted by notthathard September 10, 09 03:58 PM
  1. And for all the posters that say they have more luck in other cities, have you considered it might be the fact that when you visit another city you're different from the others there and stand out more. People like different! I can't tell you how many times my Boston accent has gotten me attention in other states! When in doubt on the road just order a BAH-CAH-DI and Coke and watch what happens!

    Posted by raf69 September 10, 09 04:00 PM
  1. Just in case you are still reading this far down... I second (or 179th) what everyone else is saying. I met my husband (as well as a lot of other great friends and other guys I dated before my husband and I got together) playing coed sports with Boston Ski & Sports Club.

    We were friends for over a year before we even started dating (and honestly, that wasn't even why either of us joined the team- often dating seems to be like waiting for a pot to boil; it seems like when you're waiting for it, it doesn't happen). I've been through the devastating breakup followed by therapy and medication- and have come to realize that living well truly is the best revenge- although when you're really enjoying life, you're fulfilled enough that the person you're trying to show up doesn't even matter anymore. Double win.

    I'm a little older than many here probably are :) and have a lot of years of dating (and not dating) behind me. I can tell you I've gone on dozens of first (and only) dates with guys who generally seemed like they were unhappy, who really had nothing going on in their lives and nothing to talk about. That's not what I was looking for in a date- and to be honest, I can think of guys who never called me back after I probably gave off the same vibe.

    It's sometimes hard to join things alone, but maybe join something that interests you along with one of the people you do know. If you get out and expose yourself to things you like and lead a fulfilling life in which you are obviously genuinely enjoying yourself (the key being "genuine"), more friends and potential boyfriends will be attracted to you- it's uncanny. Again, double win because you'll be occupying your free time with enjoyable activities.

    Good luck, and hope you are out enjoying whatever it is you enjoy soon!

    Posted by sc6218 September 10, 09 04:08 PM
  1. I'm sure in the beginning of your 5 year relationship you kept yourself in good shape; first you wanted to look good, second to keep your new boyfriend around. But as what usually happened, you got fat. And just because others tell you that you look good now, you still have a fat brain and that is all you see when you look at yourself. Conversely, because you see yourself this way, you give off a vibe that others, including men, see you as you see yourself, in this way.

    Get to the gym, lose the weight, get in shape, gain some self esteem and self respect, lay off the Ben and Jerrys. Depend on yourself for that positive reinforcement and quit looking externally for what you can only give yourself !! GROW A PAIR and quit whining and take control!!

    Posted by Michael September 10, 09 04:14 PM
  1. Rico's final thought for today...

    Looking forward to tomorrow's letter Rico is leaving for the day with this last thought on todays question:

    Rico is curious how all your friends (not many) have no single friends at all? Rico thought about this all day long and is very curious about that. There are friends of Rico that say to him how his wife is great and maybe he could set them up with a girl just like her, maybe her friends are free...you know the jist of where Rico is going with that? Rico tells certain friends he knows no single girls or guys he can set them up with, all of Rico's and his wifes friends are already taken.

    The truth is that Rico doesn't feel his single friends would be good for those that are asking. Whether it be looks, personality or some other reason. The truth is that Rico knows single people looking for love but for whatever reason he doesn't set some of them up. Maybe you are one of those people that a friend is worried about setting up? What you need to do is figure out what it is about yourself that is a turn-off. Is it looks, personality, lifestyle? What is it? Do as Rico said and join clubs and change routines to help meet others but you also need to look at yourself and get to know yourself better so you can be happy and fulfilled for life.

    Love to all and to all a good night....


    Green is the new Black Recycle

    Posted by Rico September 10, 09 04:14 PM
  1. Dudekidguy 161: We can't figure out why you're still here either. Feel free to move to any of the other continents you've visited and like so much more than you like Boston. We can't miss you if you won't leave.

    Posted by dude get a life September 10, 09 04:22 PM
  1. Missed you Rico

    Posted by Ilikerico September 10, 09 04:32 PM
  1. AMWE, There are plenty of guys in Boston who want to date. My suggestions is BSSC (Boston Ski and Sports Club) or come to Buff's Pub in Newton on a Sunday Night or check out ski houses at www.eicsl.org, or join social groups on meetup.com or volunteer at an event (the Snowball comes to mind. In all these circles, I know 5 couples that met through any or all of these venues and are tying the knot within the next year...

    Good Luck

    Posted by lovesgrilledcheese September 10, 09 04:42 PM
  1. Rico---stop referring to yourself in the 3rd person!!!!! Your comments are great but seriously stop!!

    Ignored--You need to make an effort to go out and meet people. Take a class, ask the cute guy at the grocery store for a cup of coffee, go to a church social, chat with someone at the gym, go to hardware store and ask someone's opinion on which screwdriver to buy...anything. Just talk to people. It will be hard at first but I 100% guarantee it will get easier.

    Boston guys in general aren't that friendly because they're sick and tired of being shot down by Boston girls (ladies--we all know we could be a little nicer). Unless a Boston man is drunk he will not approach you! You're going to have to realize that you've got a lot to offer a guy and make it happen. You go girl!!!!

    Posted by Bostongirl26 September 10, 09 04:46 PM
  1. I have a new hobby: I pretend I'm the day's LW and behave as s/he does. (Trying to create empathy and suggestions is the idea.) So this afternoon I came out of a store, got in my car (windows open - another tiny but useful piece of advice), and a very cute guy came out to the parking lot. I, being a Masshole, did not do anything besides register his cuteness. Then while I was adjusting my music, he looked over and smiled at me. I smiled back. End of MY story, but YOU, AMWE, could take that little smile of his and say just about anything relating to the music to him and who knows where it could go. As everyone's saying, you've got to get out there.

    Posted by Frico September 10, 09 04:52 PM
  1. #161 DudeGuy, your phrase "every Continent (sic) in the world" is like your screen name, tautologous. But tell me, have you considered returning to Antarctica?

    Posted by GB September 10, 09 04:56 PM
  1. Try to:

    Make eye contact.
    Be willing to make friendly conversations with people in general. Not only potential dates but men and women that you meet, to build social connections.
    There is more initial difficulty in getting to know others in Boston unless you belong to a social group of some sort--club, sport, church, class, etc. Belonging to a greater variety of social groups will not only make you more potential connections, but also help to fill up that lonely spot so that when you meet a guy, it won't come from loneliness but from a desire to share the great person that you are.

    Posted by Flowers September 10, 09 04:56 PM
  1. Here's what you do:

    Put yourself OUT there. Dress provocatively. Show some decolletage! Expose those thighs! Flirt!

    You can't get picked up if you don't advertise. Don't be shy -- let the men know you are interested and available and ... wait for it... GAME!

    You will have to beat them off with a stick. Take my word for it. Everyone wins.

    Posted by Lance Romance September 10, 09 04:58 PM
  1. losing weight is highly advised over gaining weight.

    Posted by ghazmh September 10, 09 05:00 PM
  1. DJMcG #184 - I'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that you're fat.....

    Posted by TallGirl September 10, 09 05:02 PM
  1. No time to read previous comments. I hope someone already figured this out. "Lost a lot of weight" by NY standards? The LW is probably WAY beyond attractive and is intimidating to men. There are very few straight men who have the confidence to approach the hottest chick. This would also explain her lack of female friends. I would wear jeans, t-shirts, no make-up and put my hair in a pony and a smile on my face :)

    Posted by citykitty617 September 10, 09 05:04 PM
  1. DJMcG, I'd love to set you and Mari up and film the date. You two bitter whiners deserve each other.

    Posted by PM September 10, 09 05:05 PM
  1. Couple things, I agree with the blogger that getting out and getting more friends in general is the way to go. Forgot trying to get a boyfriend, just go meet people in general. The brighter your disposition, the more attractive you will be, to everyone. Get out of your comfort zone and meet some new peeps.

    Second, being a 33 yr old guy, I can safely say only the drunkest or most obnoxious of us guys will hit on a girl at a bar or at the grocery store or wherever, and those probably aren't the guys you want to meet. Internet dating gave back some of the power to us guys as now we don't have to get shot down by 99% of the women we meet (trust me, it's no fun). Now I just put a profile up and wait for people to contact me. Its worked great for me.

    Lastly, and this is just a general comment, why is it that this girl (like most girls) waited to get dumped to "lose a few pounds"? I'm so sick of this. Women work out and stay fit until they get a boyfriend. They still work out for a little while, but after a few years when they think the relationship is pretty much a lock, the effort plummets to zero and they pack on the pounds. What does that say to your man? "I don't care enough about you or this relationship to bother" is what it says. So why should I bother? Then it becomes a battle of who could care less. I'm not looking for all girls to be swimsuit models, but once I see the effort is gone, I'm gone.

    Posted by effortless September 10, 09 05:29 PM
  1. Here's the only advice you need, AMRE. Ignore everyone else, or at least everyone else who doesn't agree with me. I'm a guy, so trust me, I have this down.
    First, you need to radiate positive energy (someone mentioned this above). If you don't absolutely radiate "I'm approachable", 98.5% of men will shy away. Out of the 2% that remain, 1% are like me - nice guys who have no fear - and .5% are "players". That means that you only get 1% of the dating population approaching you that you actually want to talk to. (Don't blame the 97.5% for being lame - they're just like you... shy. Also, men get rejected quite often, most develop major issues overcoming that by their 30's :-)

    Now, the good news is that if you can learn to radiate positive energy and how to "approach" men, at least half of the male population will be interested in you. As mentioned, men (in general) have to work quite hard at overcoming their fears in approaching a woman. They've been quickly rejected a lot over the years, and it begins to wear on most of them. If a woman approaches them, she takes down the one major barrier preventing them from talking to her - approaching an unknown woman who might (once again) reject them. If a woman is not beaming out positve energy, or even worse, if she's sucking in energy, men can tell. You need to help men overcome their fears.

    How can you learn to radiate positive energy? Try mentally stepping into the role of the woman who is incredibly comfortable with men. The woman who'd have no problem approacing a man and asking for a date. Cool, confident, beautiful, fun, outgoing, the life of the group/party, always something witty to say, always a story to tell. You don't have to actually know how to do all that, just convince yourself that's you. Work at it for 20 minutes a day, three times a day, for at least a couple days. Strut around like you won the world while you do it. Big smile, shoulders back, you own the world and men fall at your feet. Work it, until you believe it. It doesn't matter if it's true. Little of what we believe internally is true. It jsut matters if it works.

    With that skill honed for a couple days, the next thing you need to do is to overcome your fear of approaching men. Keep one thing in mind - most men love to be approached! See above. You make their day by approaching them. Still, it can be hard to do up front. So, here's what you do. Start "approaching" men in public places, like a mall, a store, a bank, a coffee shop, etc and comment on something. You can start in checkout lines, purchase lines, or just walk up to them and compliment them on something or ask a question. Then walk away. Example: "these bank lines are so long" or "isn't this a terrific sale"; "Love your shoes"; "that's a great jacket", "can you beleive this weather?", "can you tell me where you got that coffee, I'm dying for one", anything. Just use the environement and come up with something to say. You don't have to continue the conversation. In fact, have your exit planned. Do that to at least 10 men, and do it in 10 days if you can, more if you need it. By the time you've done it 10 times, you will not only overcome your fear of approaching men, you will likely have run into several who want to continue the conversation. Play that any way you like (but check for rings first :-). Again, your goal is just to talk to them and walk away. That's it. Do it in checkout lines at first. Do it with people you'd never date.. jsut practice starting a conversaton.

    Don't let fear stop you. As Tony Robbins notes, fear is a primal emotion that is supposed to save us from being eaten by a lion, not from talking to people we don't know. He says fear is "False Evidence that Appears Real". Remember that. Once you beat your fear, you are all set.

    Also, an important note: Many folks will not warm up on the first try. If you speak to someone and they don't respond in an overwhelmingly friendly fashion, wait a moment and try again. You'd be surprised how many men (or women) will warm up when they realize you are trying to start a conversation and you are not to be feared. The second attempt technique works most of the time, with most people.

    Remember to consider every single time you even think about starting a conversation as a success. It doesn't matter how it turns out. You're miles ahead just by working at it. Pat yourself on the back for doing an outstanding job, and keep working it. Define success as trying. You only fail if you don't even think about trying.

    Lastly, I suggest staying away from bar scenes, etc. Work the everyday places like malls, stores, shops, supermarkets, local attractions, etc. Women are uncomfortable meeting men in bars. The men there are 50% players (at least 50%). Find some other places to browse and meet people in a non-threatening environment. Use some of the suggestions people have listed above.

    And, bottom line: Remember again that most men fear approaching women more than death. They'd rather chop the head off a live moose than try to start a conversation with a woman. They are thrilled when a woman talks to them first. Just smiling at them makes them happy. Go for it, you will be amazed at how many respond.

    Posted by phonyuser September 10, 09 05:32 PM

    Posted by Been around September 10, 09 05:58 PM
  1. Good Lord, DJMcG, what letter are you responding to? Today's LW is the antithesis of the woman you are constantly writing about. She's hardly ego-driven and is clearly not expecting a man to lick her boots. You really need to focus on the letter writer on this blog, not the evil imaginary female in your head that has twisted your brain into a pretzel of estrogen-hating envy. You should really lighten up, and at least READ the damn letter before your nightly rant. Dear LW, please accept the many positive ideas that have been posted here and PLEASE ignore those that are convinced that weight is an issue. It is not. It's just that, like DJMcG, you have to release the little goblin in your head that is telling you that because your boyfriend broke up with you it means that you are undesirable.

    TallGirl - way to co-opt Michael! It cracked me up. Now, if only Hoss would weigh in with his thoughts, we would be all set. Where are you Hoss?

    Posted by J Bar September 10, 09 07:03 PM
  1. To the LW: what they all said - find some friends, find some interests, find yourself. Once you're happy, engaged and active, you'll actually have something to talk to guys ABOUT. Relax.

    And to DudeGuy: MUCH better attempt today. Still trying a bit too hard, but keep up the good work. I'm rooting for you.

    Posted by Cathy September 10, 09 07:29 PM
  1. LW,

    It sounds to me like you are desperate for a man in your life, frankly people can sense it and it makes them avoid you. You need to find out what makes you happy & excited in your own skin. You need to do the work on yourself and learn to relax (no one can fix stuff in other people's lives.) If you are truly happy in yourself, then the other stuff will follow.

    Mari - I find it hard to believe all the available men in Boston are life sucking dogs/frogs.

    DJMcG - jeez another bitter rant, yada, yada yada... You need a shiatsu massage or one of those sensual things that DudeGuy mentioned so you can go relax.

    Posted by sundiego September 10, 09 07:30 PM
  1. Mmm, "rectal sensuality." Yummy! To give and to receive is to give and to receive! It's awesome.//

    Being the daughter of a WASP (from England to boot), I can guarantee you that this is a, uuhm ... reserved place to live and socialize. Ex and I lived in the USVI and every single person we met, except for the pirates wary of the law, was the friendliest. Always shared their pot, too! //

    I agree about the concerts. I met a lovely man at a Nils Lofgren concert, we were both there alone, and have remained good friends to this day,19 years later. //

    Absolutely NOT Boston Ski and Sports Club - snobs who never read a book! Metrosexuals! Vapid! But hey, if that's your schtick ... . Join clubs and stuff that YOU'RE interested in, not us here. You'll get more out of it, and you won't feel lonely (as you will if you join something and don't talk to anyone). I agree with the person who said help start a block party - begin close to home (and you and your neighbors, in addition, never know when you'll need each other).

    Posted by reindeergirl September 10, 09 07:32 PM
  1. "Tell me if I'm right, but I suspect that men do come up to you. I suspect you got quite a lot of hits online as well. I suspect the problem is more that the perfect, ideal, Brad Pittesque man that you think is going to come out of the woodwork and wisk you off your feet to his chateau on Lake Cuomo or whatnot."

    Is it that she ignores approaches by the men who aren't "perfect, ideal"...

    ...or that you not only don't approach the women who aren't "perfect, ideal" (which is perfectly reasonable, you don't have to flirt with anyone you're not attracted to), but angrily deny that they exist in every other circumstance too (which is completely unreasonable)?

    Posted by Leslie September 10, 09 07:50 PM
  1. I'm a native Bostonian, and I'll tell you that while I don't much care for NYers as a group, I have no problem with NYers as individuals. I've had best friends from NY. And being a feminist is not really an issue. It might turn off some atavistic creeps, but what really matters is your underlying attitude. Some women use feminism to show a saucy and sexy assertiveness. Other women use it to be defensive and hostile. People use religion, automobiles, and potato chips that way too.

    Most people tell me that my personality is a far bigger problem than my looks. I'm the kind of person who sound obnoxious about being thoughtful and reasonable.

    Posted by Michael September 10, 09 07:58 PM
  1. Make friends by volunteering doing something. I think there might even be a volunteer fair coming up, but it could even be as simple as volunteering for your local park, or friends of the public gardens, or greenway, or YMCA... Get practice making friends first. It's a lot like dating, without the kissing

    Posted by anomity nomous September 10, 09 08:35 PM
  1. As a single guy in NYC, and 31, I never bother talking to women during the day. I find it to be extremely awkward. Online dating also sucks.

    I've told been told I'm a good-looking guy too (resembling Collin Farrel) but it's all for naught. I've been on one date in all of 2009. Bars and clubs I meet women who I exchange numbers with and never speak to them. It's beyond frustrating.

    Good luck!

    Posted by T Diggs September 10, 09 10:18 PM
  1. Get a cat.......

    Posted by hiya September 10, 09 10:41 PM
  1. Who doesn't have trouble finding men in Boston, except for Giselle that is?

    Posted by Nada September 10, 09 11:20 PM
  1. anyone who is actually going to take the time to read all 216 posts for romantic advice is, sadly, yes: IN the category of Desperate. I believe that a little advice from Jim Carroll is in order:

    I think it's time
    we all started thinking 'bout getting by
    without that NEED to go out and find
    Some Body to love!

    meaning...make yourself feel truly good about whatever it is YOU do FIRST and THEN find a match! Don't let some Bozo who noticed you were of the opposite sex, enter your world and take over and define who you are! If you don't find love for yourself first (not conceit! LOVE, dammit!) then you will be lost forever, romance or not. Love yourself and you can bring it to the table.

    Posted by phigks September 11, 09 12:53 AM
  1. Meredith has decent advice for the soul overall, but also consider asking men out. If you aren't in situations where you could ask out a good guy, then the good guys aren't in the situation to ask you out either. Create a decent network of acquaintances. Volunteer for something you care about. People can introduce people that way, and you just might bump into mister amazing.

    Online dating can be extremely frustrating. But it's a slow boil.

    Posted by Mario September 11, 09 06:19 AM
  1. Volunteer. Once you see how many people are in need, you will forget your own problems -- and meet many like-minded people in the process. Join a church. Join organizations. There are so many ways to make new friends (including men) when you put yourself out there. Sure, it's risky, but it's better than sitting and home and writing letters about how lonely you are.

    Posted by Carol September 11, 09 07:35 AM
  1. AMWE - It's hard to relocate. Also, don't look desperate. You sound very down and that's a tough downward spiral to get out of. What you should do is cultivate your interests outside of work. Do things you like to do and the confidence will return. Plus you'll meet people who share your interests, get invited to a few parties and voila. A social life.

    Don't rely on work - for one thing anybody at work who doesn't have anything outside work isn't the type of person who they want to hang out with. Plus as somebody else said, there are alway boundaries with the people you work with. Do you like the arts? music? Sailing? Golf? Singing? Dance? Take up a dance class at a gym join a museum and take a class, Volunteer at the animal shelter...there are lots of things but you aren't saying what you like to do..

    Posted by moi September 11, 09 09:19 AM
  1. Eau du Desperation is a lousy perfume. Men AND women can smell it from a mile away.

    It seems that desperate people are more concerned about relieving their desperation than they are about the people they're pursuing. It doesn't make anyone feel special when they get the sense that "anyone" will do.

    "I have never been approached by a guy, asked out on a date, flirted with - nothing." Maybe you're not approachable - and obviously I have no idea whether that's true.

    And maybe you could stop waiting for guys to take the initiative and be outgoing. The suggestions people have provided are generally good and will work. They amount to putting one foot in front of the other, getting out there, and being friendly. The rest will follow. It takes time, but it will happen.

    But only if YOU take action.

    Posted by George September 11, 09 09:26 AM
  1. Wow, 219 experts....I havent heard anybody on here offer to take her out on a date. That would be the noble thing to do....but noone knows just how much weight she lost, or how much she weighed to begin with. Cmon guys its not all about looks, give her a shot!

    Posted by supreme virgo September 11, 09 09:26 AM
  1. Check out the Boston Ski and Sports Club.. I am not affliated or work for them. I live in DC now but when I was in Boston, that organization put together activities,outings,day trips and team sports. It was a lot of fun and I made new friends through there. Don't get too down. It is just a moment and although it might feel like forever things can change in a New York minute before you know it :)

    Posted by ChuckBuck76 September 11, 09 09:48 AM
  1. Rufinol and Money have always worked for me.

    Posted by Atticus Black September 11, 09 09:59 AM
  1. I feel your pain! I moved here a year ago and broke up with my then boyfriend of 7 years. Its hard meeting a whole different network of friends other then the ones you work with, who inevitably are married and have no single friends. You are not alone in feeling like this, maybe we should start a new circle of friendship:)

    Posted by Jessica September 11, 09 10:02 AM
  1. Yes, volunteer. Find a cause you care about and do some work. The more involved you are with interests other than dating and meeting men, the more interesting and attractive you will become. Work on making others the center of your universe rather than focusing on yourself.

    Posted by Elaine September 11, 09 10:26 AM
  1. J Bar #207,

    I couldn't resist! DJMcG is quite a piece of work.

    I sometimes tell female LWs that men are just regular people too. But then the misogynists and homophobes rear their ugly heads, making me look like a liar.

    Posted by TallGirl September 11, 09 11:06 AM
  1. I went through much the same thing about 15 years ago...bad breakup, feeling down.... I joined Community Rowing and learned how to row because it always looked like such a cool thing to do and I desperately needed an outlet. Not only was it a great place to work out, but it was a friendly place, too. I ended up making lots of friends (both male and female) because we would often go out for drinks and dinner after practice, and a lot of folks had parties that everyone would go to as well. Better yet, there are a lot of nice, tall, fit and educated guys (who also tend to be pretty normal) who row. And I speak from personal experience....tons of rowing relationships that ended up in marriage! Including my own!

    In all seriousness, though, first find something that YOU want to do and enjoy, then go out there and feel good about doing it. But CRI was an excellent place to start.

    Posted by jozkid September 11, 09 11:07 AM
  1. Butter face?

    Posted by hatemachine September 11, 09 11:08 AM
  1. I actually read a comment on here that is a good one - someone suggested that if you want companionship, get a puppy. Granted, I know this was a sarcastic remark, but it's actually a good one. As a dog owner, I can tell you for sure, you will meet a huge number of people, both men and women, when you're out and about. Strangers will stop to pet your dog and other dog owners will want to stop and talk. Go to the dog park on the weekend and you will DEFINITELY meet people. You may only know their dog's name to start, but eventually, a friendship forms. Ask any dog owner, they know!

    Posted by lbr September 11, 09 11:16 AM
  1. So many comments I can't read them all so appologies if this was already said: Stop trying and just let it happen. There've also been radio ads about a singles activities group. Not a dating thing but just a "if you like this, come join us" type of thing. I have no idea if it's good but skip the bars and "putting yourself out there," and try a welcoming smiling (not a come hither lets do it smile ;-). At least try a different neighborhood, maybe one more like you.

    Posted by Dave September 11, 09 11:33 AM
  1. Classic cars and dogs! I never met as many men as I did when I drove a '69 BMW (that I had restored myself) with my hound dog at my side. Sadly, it was all wasted on me (being a lesbian), but I think the point is that finding companionship is something that you have to go about doing sideways. What are your interests? What are you curious about? What makes you happy and feel engaged? Do those things, LOTS of those things, and you will meet people who share your interests and find friends as well as companions. A sports or health club is my idea of purgatory, but hanging out with other dog owners, going to political events in JP or the bookclub at Brookline Booksmith, and volunteering -- all of these things are fun and interesting to me, make me feel more connected and grounded, and let me hang out with interesting people while giving us something to talk about. Which certainly helps!

    So take your time, try some new things, let yourself start enjoying your life, and you will be fine -- whether you find the right guy now or sometime in the future. And good luck to you! We've all been there, so we know you'll get through this.

    Posted by JP Gal September 11, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Volunteer, do charity work...that will serve several purposes, helping people out, meeting people that have kind hearts... Never allow yourself to fall into a sense of despair (easier said of course)... Take it from a guy and a guy that knows guys, and a guy that knows how guys think... guys in general are no different... there are just as many who fear approaching women as there are players... so its not you, its just mutual fear. The biggest what if for most guys is, well she's probably with someone, or what can I possible say, and after the first sentence, what can I possibly say after that.. and how do I avoid awkward silence... Like with everything, fight through it, stay positive, stay focused, broaden your experiences with other challenges, and things will come, it may take 5 years it may take 10 years or mit may take 5 days... but stay positive...

    Posted by JohnTheReviewer September 13, 09 12:53 AM
  1. Dating is difficult. Any woman who's been single for more than 6 months knows this. And let's be honest, on the surface men are only interested in what a woman has to offer on the outside. I can't say that women aren't that way as well. The difference is that although a woman may be attracted to a man at first for looks, it won't make any difference if he opens his mouth and he's a complete jerk off. Opposite side..a woman can have two brain cells and have a hot body and the man doesn't care. In some cases it makes her more attractive to them. Such is life.

    You may not be the thinnest or cutest girl at the party, but you don't have to be to attract male attention. I am not the thinnest chick on the block, although I am not a fatty either. I am an attractive woman, physically and emotionally. I have curves and I'm hilarious and can hold an intelligent conversation. I love all different activities.

    Case in point, I was single for a year after a 4 year relationship and thought I would never meet anyone at first. Men ignored me too. Then I woke up an realized..it's MY FAULT. I don't go out of my way to talk to men when I'm out. I don't do anything special to get myself noticed. So I changed that. And now I'm in a relationship of over a year with someone who I can honestly say compliments me in every way. And I went after HIM. He was a mutual friend and I though he was great from the moment I met him. He was attached to another female at the time, but as soon as they broke up I acted. He wasn't interested at first. But I did everything I had to (without be psycho ;) to make it clear that we would be great together. And look where I am.

    My point is, and I'm sorry for being long-winded here, that you have to take control of your life and make things happen. Men are not going to line up at your door asking for dates. Find what you want and go for it. Just beware, you have to grow some thick skin, because there will be a good amount of rejection, that's dating. But you'll learn something from every experience and eventually one amazing guy will come along and you'll think to yourself, "THIS is why I went through all of the BS." And you know what? It'll be worth it.

    Stop wining and get out there. Oh..and online dating sucks. All the guys I dated online were desperate and clingy.

    Good Luck!!

    Posted by Finally September 13, 09 10:17 AM
  1. Someone once told me something that totally revolutionized the way I think about men and dating.

    You have to give them an invitation.

    Not literally, obviously, but, a guy isn't going to send you a drink, or ask you out, unless he thinks he has a chance. There's more to just "giving off the wrong vibe." You have to let a guy know in a subtle way that if he takes a chance, you aren't going to reject him right away. So if you see someone interesting, smile at them. Hold eye contact. You have to invite men to make a move. Let them know it's ok.

    Pay attention to how you are sitting. Are you looking like a fun, interesting person up for a conversation, or a scared, walled-off person afraid of the world? You say you are scared, and in this case, I suggest you fake it 'til you make it. You might be freaking out on the inside, put if you just take a deep breath, hold your head up high, and look like you are confident, it might work.

    That being said. I agree with some of the others, that you could be giving off the wrong vibe. I do get a sense from your letter that you have a case of the "Yeah, buts." Yeah, I tried online dating, BUT it didn't work. Yeah, I have a few friends here, BUT they don't know any men for me. It sounds like you'd rather prove that dating is hard, rather than actually giving it a chance. Yes, dating IS hard, but it is for everyone. "Yeah, but why is it so easy for others?" you want to ask? Yeah, but except for the people who accept that it is hard, and do it anyway. Those are the people who have success. Instead of focusing on how hard it is, get over it, try to look at it in a more positive light, and have fun. No connection with the guy from Match.com? At least you spent 2 hours practicing small talk for the next date, someone you might spark with, and not 2 hours sitting alone in your apartment. The guy from OKCupid wore a wrinkled t-shirt and gym shorts to your date? Hilarious story.

    Think positive. Send out invitations and good vibes. They will come back.

    Posted by sometimes September 13, 09 01:34 PM
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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