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Becoming the cat lady

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 18, 2009 09:31 AM

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Cat lady. Not to be confused with Catwoman ....

Q: I'm a 53-year old female. I've been divorced for a long, long time (15+ years) and my children are grown. I'm smart, funny, educated, sophisticated enough not to embarrass anyone if taken out to a nice place, but also appreciate the proverbial hamburger on the grill. I love rock music, I am artistic and creative and I have a good handle on life in general. I have a decent job and a little side-business that I created and run all by myself. I get along with my extended family, and don't seem to have any baggage, per se. So, what's the problem? You tell me!

I have not had someone special in my life for years despite efforts to "get out there." I had a lone four-year relationship that ended very badly (he left me for someone else) and since then, I have been alone. That was seven years ago.

I've tried internet dating, friends of friends, courses, church....you name it. I will tell you - I don't have traditional good looks and I wear a plus size (just barely plus, mind you!). However, I keep myself attractive and wear nice clothes, I'm clean, my hair is nice, I have all my teeth....you get the picture. For some reason I am overlooked on internet sites (I often think that in real estate terms, I just don't have "curb appeal"). It has happened time and time again. I also simply do not meet men who are in the same boat as me. (I do meet women in my boat, but that's not my thing.)

I know -- you'll say "just wait, he's out there," but honestly I'm starting to wonder. My friends all say they can't understand why I haven't been able to find someone. For a long time I felt like it was my looks, my weight, whatever. But I've decided that I am what I am ... and if I can't be me, then it's not worth it just to have someone else. I guess my question is, how can I learn to be content with the status quo and enjoy the moment? I'm afraid I will I end up as a crazy cat lady who doesn't even own a cat.

What is one to do when it seems that love won't come?

– Will I end up as a crazy cat lady?, Cambridge

A: WIEUAACL, I wish I could say he’s out there, but I have no idea. You’re doing all the right things (church, classes, etc.). All you can do is keep doing those right things.

Please consider that you’re not alone even though you’re lonely. Some of your married friends may be lonely within their relationships. I’m not saying you should make yourself feel better by assuming that everyone else is miserable, but you can take comfort in the fact that there are some pretty great things about your life that are quite enviable. You’ve mentioned friends, children, and a drive to be creative. Some people would trade their boyfriends in a heartbeat to have those things.

It’s a tough age, for sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to meet someone. I make no promises, but again, just keep doing what you’re doing. And please, value all of the good stuff, the fact that you have two sources of income and a great sense of humor. Crazy cat ladies do not make jokes about having their teeth. They’re too busy feeding their cats. You are a cool single lady. Walk the walk and people will believe. Looks have always been less important than confidence.

Many of the letters I receive come from people – usually in their 20s to 50s – who are lonely and wondering why they don’t have a partner. Despite the fact that everyone around you seems better off in love, that’s not necessarily the case. You’re living in a world full of people who are looking for someone to love. They’re just like you. I believe it was the great and tantric Sting who once said, “Seems I'm not alone at being alone … a hundred billion castaways, looking for a home.”

Now stop me before I move on to “Eleanor Rigby.” Ah, look at all the lonely people …

Readers? Is this letter writer any different than the 20 and 30-somethings who pine for partners? How can she feel better about the present? Does one must own a cat to be a crazy cat lady? Share here. And remember to chat at 1 p.m.


– Meredith



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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.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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