What’s your love and relationship problem?
Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.
I’m 54 years old and still single. I want to know if I’ll ever meet someone and fall in love. For me, it would mean being in a relationship for the first time.
I’m getting ready to give up on love. I also wonder if there’s something wrong with me. I’m an only child, never had many friends in school, and it’s not much better as an adult. It’s getting worse as I get older.
I’ll admit that I’m shy, and I do have some trust issues that make it hard to get to know people – especially men. I spend a lot of time on social media, which is not good. I have tried online dating, which has not been helpful because I’ve never been able to find someone who didn’t want to use me for one thing or another (or didn’t ask for nude pics or talk about sex).
I’m an old-fashioned girl. I don’t drink or do drugs. It’s so hard for me to find the kind of guy I want.
We’ve had some pretty lonely letters in a row, so it seems like a good time for a general pep talk.
To everyone who feels hopeless about finding love – and so many people do: there are a lot of people out there searching for companionship. The comforting thing about that is that I do believe good people can find each other … eventually. I’m not promising romantic soul mates for all, and certainly not on a deadline, but it’s possible. At the very least, we can find someone who understands us, even if it’s a platonic connection.
You’re not alone in being alone, if that makes sense. There is reason to have hope, I think.
My advice for you, letter writer, is to find a therapist (if you don’t already have one) and talk about trust. Also, ask about groups where you can practice being social. A doctor can refer you to services, and sometimes insurance companies can tell you where to go. Hop off social media and spend some time googling your options. You might find some non-therapy get-togethers for people who want to make new connections.
Sometimes all you need is one excellent friend or companion to make the world seem better. Opportunities grow from there.
Also, volunteer work might help. You can meet friends by committing to a good cause. Romantic partners too? Perhaps. We’ve talked about this before, but showing up for something you care about is a great way to find others who share your beliefs. The world needs helpers. Doing good might remind you that other people mean well too.
App dating might not be for you – at least not without boundaries. If you’re on Hinge or another mainstream app with membership options, pay the fee to filter others by alcohol use, priorities, and whatever else is important to you. You can narrow the search; sometimes all it takes is more money, and it might be worth it.
First, though, prioritize working on yourself and finding activities that make you feel good. You can move on from there. You’re in your 50s, but so are a lot of people who are single again for the first time in years. Take your time so you’re at your best when you find them.
Readers? Please offer a pep talk about finding companionship – whether it be friends or a romantic partner – after turning 40. What helped you get to a good place to meet people? Were the changes internal or external? What would you say to people who have a tough time making connections? It would be nice to hear some helpful, kind advice. (And no, I don’t want to set up today’s LW with yesterday’s.)
Have advice for today’s letter writer? Be helpful. Be clever. Get your comment featured here.Meredith
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