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Why am I single?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 27, 2010 09:17 AM

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Everyone knows I like "Twilight." OK, fine, I love "Twilight."

I mention this because actress Julia Jones, who's from Boston and plays Leah (the only female werewolf) in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," is visiting the Globe today to do a chat on Boston.com. You can ask her questions about her career, the movie, or what Robert Pattinson smells like at 12:30 here. She'll be at the Wheelock Family Theatre, where she got her start, tonight.

Now for today's letter.

Q: I've been a fan of Love Letters since the first week's installments. My favorite being the pseudo rock star. Everyday during my coffee break, I sit and peruse the relationship topic and comments from regulars.

I've been asked this question quite a bit lately -- "How are you still single?" My response is a friendly chuckle and smile. It doesn't seem to be "why" but "how." It's been asked by older folks, married couples, and even people I've just met platonically.

Men obviously find me approachable/attractive because they initiate conversation and remark I'm "easy on the eyes." My witty banter has them hooked initially. Topics can range from sports, fitness, current affairs (news not cheating), travels, authors, movies, musicians, cooking tips, childhood memories or choice in Belgian ales. I am very open-minded, a respectable listener, humorous and confident. Yet when I mention my career, the interest level seems to turn. When I share my passions of daily activities, I start to overwhelm or come off as "high-maintenance." I've learned to limit information about myself to avoid instant intimidation.

My credentials: I'm a scientist. I will admit I am nerdy but won't talk about quantum theory unless you ask. I am currently in a PhD program. I like to give back to the community, I volunteer with various organizations. I do find time for myself, I enjoy running (active marathoner), a quality yoga class, downhill skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping and dancing. I love to read, the classics or current news magazines. Impeccable cooking skills comparable to "mother's home-cooking." I can be found in great seats in Fenway or TD Bank. I make time for friends and myself. For the most part, I appear busy. But it is a result of feeling lonely so I find activities to make up for time.

My friends reassure me that I just haven't found Mr. Right. I've been single for about two years, been on good and bad dates. Most ending after the 2nd or 3rd. I gain insight from all the experiences but its emotionally exhausting.

Do men really desire the whole package of brains and beauty? Why is it so hard for successful and ambitious women to date?

For the record, I do not have a deadline for marriage or procreation, I am only 25. It would be nice to have a companion and friend. I am just tired of rejection and could use some help. Would you or the LL community contribute some helpful pointers, please? I believe there has to be other ambitious women experiencing a similar issue.

– Trying Not To Give Up, Boston


A: You're only 25, TNTGU. You're supposed to be having hit-or-miss dating experiences. Be patient, please. The next time someone asks why you're single, you can tell them, "I'm single because I'm only 25, dummy."

Maybe don't call them "dummy." But tell them, "I'm hoping to meet someone awesome, but it hasn't happened yet." I don't know why people ask that question. I know it's supposed to be a compliment, but what are you supposed to say? There's no good answer.

I don't think that you're doing anything wrong -- but, I'd like to remind you that you want the people you're dating to know that you have room in your life for a partner. You're quite impressive, and there's no need to dumb yourself down for anyone. But there's a difference between being impressive and appearing as though you're not missing any pieces. You are missing a piece. It's OK to let that show. Vulnerability is scary, but make sure you show yours. You don't need to say, "I'm a PhD student, I have many hobbies, and I'm vulnerable!" It's just a mindset.

Many men are looking for an ambitious woman who's funny, witty, and "easy on the eyes." I truly believe that. But those men (and this goes for women, too) want to know that there's a place for them in their partner's life, that they have something to contribute. I think you're doing just fine. Again, you're 25. Just keep the vulnerability stuff in mind.

Readers? Is she doing anything to keep people away? How should she answer the "Why are you single?" question? Am I right about the vulnerability issue? Help.

– 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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