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Thread: Honestly lost

  1. #1
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    Honestly lost

    Hi people,

    i haven't been here in awhile but didn't know really where else to go, i feel like i need to share my story as i don't know what really to do or how to feel. i just turned 30 and I'm starting to just feel lost, I'm going to go over my relationship history and ask for some advice.

    i turned 30, 2.5 weeks ago and so many things keep going through my mind;

    my first relationship was for 4.5 years, (it ended in October 2011) i was young, we went through a lot, she wanted to marry me but at the time i was just unsure, i had a very hard upbringing i had a father that wasn't the most kindest person, my mother and father are not exactly the most positive relationship, never seen them kiss or even really hug each other. they've been married almost 34 years, my father was someone that drank a lot, took a lot of frustrations out on me. didn't help being an only child either.

    This girl was my first love, we met thru one of my friends when i was 12 years old, she was my friends cousin, i always told him about my feelings towards her, when i was 17 i got my mother to drive me to her high school on her birthday and i gave her a neckless and 17 roses, we use to talk on the phone every night, but she didn't seem to notice me the way i noticed her, so after awhile i just stopped courting her. fast forward 8 months i ran into her again and she really wanted me, once i realised this it was love. I was her first love too, i was crazy about her, likewise she was about me, i never felt like this about anyone before, never felt i was good enough. she was beautiful.

    she always wanted to marry me and i bought the ring; i was making alot of money by the time i was 19, more than 250k a year as i am very good at sales then half way through my relationship (approximately 2 years into it) i found out she kissed a guy at her workplace at a christmas party, i gave everything to that person and this was my first betrayal. after a few months i ended up forgiving her and gave her another chance but i never told her about the ring, i didn't end up picking it up.

    i went out and started my own business, by the time i was 21 i took a risk, i helped her with her developing her career. she wanted to go on an overseas holiday so we booked a trip to USA, we were off to Los Angeles, Anaheim, Las Vegas and San Fran. I couldn't really afford it at the time but i wanted to make her happy, i sold everything i owned such as my car and all my saving to do it. two weeks after we got back and roughly 2.5 years after she kissed that co-worker at her old job, she ended up leaving me for another work college (october 2011) at her new job, she married him a couple of years ago.

    I never thought id experience heart break the way my heart broke at that time.

    (she did call me about a year later and when i picked up the phone, i froze and hung up, never heard from her again asides from one time i ran into her like a year after that, she denied being with the dude which was the worst part. especially when i once ran into him at a club and he told me she was nothing but a to him which fired me up. fancy that, someone i loved so much married someone that told me she was a )

    so i started going to Los Angeles to find myself after working on my business and felt maybe i need to change my environment. Then i met my second partner, everything was fantastic at the start we were together 2 years, we lived together across Canada, Australia and finally in the United States together ( I'm Australian ) at times we went long distance but i truly loved her, i made mistakes in the relationship being complacent, not paying enough attention but that wasn't the whole time either, I'm career orientated so i worked hard on my business thinking that i could make her proud but the business at that time wasn't doing that well, she on the other hand was from a very wealthy family in which i wasn't, she couldn't understand why i had so much drive, she wanted me just to work a regular job in the united states but thats not how I'm like, i love business, in the end she left me in October 2014.

    for the following couple of years she'd message me from time to time just to on me, always blaming me for everything, she had a new boyfriend at one point but still did it anyway, i never understood this and it had a big effect on me. she even made sure she let me know as soon as we broke up she slept with her ex in which was her first boyfriend.

    My third relationship was the worst one of the lot, we got together in feb 2016, i found out a few months in she was cheating on me with her ex boyfriend, i dumped her and for months she was begging me back. to my stupidity i got back with her in june 2016 we stayed together until march 2017 in which my life was breaking down from financial hardship at the time she left me for another guy right at that time in which they are still together.

    I ended up getting my finances right and now i own a VERY VERY successful group of businesses, i deal with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, i deal with some of the biggest businesses on the planet with regards to entertainment.

    I've now been single for 2 years,

    I have a great places in both Australia and Los Angeles, not including my properties i own across the united states that i rent out.

    I feel so alone, i feel like all my ex partners got the better end of the stick even tho they ed me over. my third partner even stole money off me while i was going broke as she walked out the door.

    I felt like i never had a chance, my parents seem to me like they never really loved each other all they do is fight like george costanza's parents out of Seinfeld.

    i have big trust issues, but i never show it.

    i act strong for everyone of my friends but they have no clue I'm hurting inside

    every women i meet never really end up working out or have lots of problems

    I'm now 30 and the people that hurt me the most, are all happy in there own new relationships while I'm single and lonely

    yes i have money, yes i have business success globally but trust me that isn't everything in life.

    How can people that ed me over so badly end up in relationships laughing at life while brushing me like i was nothing, am i not a human being too? i didn't disrespect them by going around cheating and lying. i respected what we had. at least i thought i did.

    i don't know why i wrote all this on here, just felt like i needed help and wanted to see what other people asides from people around me think.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    Having been on the receiving end of "betrayal" I have been able to get over what you feel by taking that person off the pedestal. It doesn't matter whether they are married or whatever, they are still the same horrible persons that are capable of deceit and betrayal. They still have the same faults and limitations. Married is not an accomplishment on its self. There are plenty of unhappy marriages out there and no one knows what happens behind closed doors.

    You are telling yourself all these negative stories about them riding off to the sunset while you remained behind, a victim. This negative self-talking is not true. You have accomplished much with your life since then and you have much to offer to the right person. What your exes are up to is irrelevant and they are the wrong persons anyway. They are still the same selfish individuals that turned out to be liars, cheaters and incompatible with you. Marriage doesn't magically change people's character or limitations.

    Have you ever tried individual therapy? It sounds like you are telling yourself some self-limiting stories and may be drawn to women who are bad for you. Therapy can help you identify this pattern and address it. What your exes did has nothing to do with your worth and it should serve as a reminder of why you are lucky to be rid of them rather than feeling like a victim. Putting things in their right perspective can do wonders.

  3. #3
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    thank you Clio, I really appreciate your message.

    Your right, I know they were horrible, I wouldn't wish them back if they were the last people on the planet. It does sting in a trust sense because obviously I'm not judging character correctly in my personal life, i really would like some advice on how to identify people that i should not date or waste my time with. time is valuable to me as i run multiple corporations and each of those already have enough issues to deal with on a day to day basis without coming home or wasting time on someone thats just another issue to add to the pile of issues.

    What i want to know is where do i find someone decent? I've tried all the dating apps and they don't seem to work well, lots of people fresh out of a relationship or have a lot of baggage.

    I tried to do therapy actually, found it like the therapist spent more time telling me whats wrong with me then actually spending time listening and explaining what the issue is that I'm running into.

    I guess the reason why i have used the victim mentality is because it has happened several times, clearly I'm not looking in the right places or I'm attracting the wrong type of women into my life.

    FYI to add as well, i don't wish anything for them i don't look at them as good people, i don't think they're someone i want in my life ever again, what id really like is someone that actually talks about issues if they have them, works on building a relationship rather than just bolting to the next person as soon as things are no longer sunshine and rainbows.

  4. #4
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    I understand how you feel because I used to feel really jealous and awful about the fact that my ex's that hurt me found partners, and one long-term ex even got married and had kids. It's definitely a terrible feeling but the thing is, the faster you can try to forget about your ex's and move on, the better you will feel. I love the saying "Don't look back, you're not going that way". I even have that quote as my Facebook cover photo!

    Of course from time to time we do think about our ex's or other people that may no longer be in our lives (e.g. friends we lost). I think the key is to try to think of them as little as possible. I used to stalk my ex's on social media and feel terrible looking at all their "happy" photos. I can see in hindsight that was a terrible idea! DO NOT do that! Lol

    To be honest, just going by your stories about your ex's, it doesn't sound like any of them were "the one". I know you loved them but I think none of them truly loved you back. If they did they wouldn't have cheated on you and dumped you. Someone that really loves you and sees a future with you would not do those things, trust me.

    I understand you're 30 now but sometimes finding the right person doesn't come until later in life. I only found my fiance when I was 32, after a string of failed relationships. I think one thing you should definitely do is stop dwelling on your ex's and really open up your heart to meet a new woman.

    Are you actually giving yourself opportunities to date and meet women? Are you putting yourself out there? I think sometimes finding love can be just luck and being in the right place at the right time, but it does take effort too. For example, just about every Friday night I used to go to this nerd/gaming/cosplay bar. I met a few friends and added them to Facebook. And through one of those friends I met my fiance.

    Congratulations on your business and financial success at such a young age! However, I agree with you, I think money is not everything and yes it's definitely nice to have someone to love. Sometimes you just gotta have patience and perseverance though!

    I'm Australian too by the way!

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by Tinydance
    I understand how you feel because I used to feel really jealous and awful about the fact that my ex's that hurt me found partners, and one long-term ex even got married and had kids. It's definitely a terrible feeling but the thing is, the faster you can try to forget about your ex's and move on, the better you will feel. I love the saying "Don't look back, you're not going that way". I even have that quote as my Facebook cover photo!

    Of course from time to time we do think about our ex's or other people that may no longer be in our lives (e.g. friends we lost). I think the key is to try to think of them as little as possible. I used to stalk my ex's on social media and feel terrible looking at all their "happy" photos. I can see in hindsight that was a terrible idea! DO NOT do that! Lol

    To be honest, just going by your stories about your ex's, it doesn't sound like any of them were "the one". I know you loved them but I think none of them truly loved you back. If they did they wouldn't have cheated on you and dumped you. Someone that really loves you and sees a future with you would not do those things, trust me.

    I understand you're 30 now but sometimes finding the right person doesn't come until later in life. I only found my fiance when I was 32, after a string of failed relationships. I think one thing you should definitely do is stop dwelling on your ex's and really open up your heart to meet a new woman.

    Are you actually giving yourself opportunities to date and meet women? Are you putting yourself out there? I think sometimes finding love can be just luck and being in the right place at the right time, but it does take effort too. For example, just about every Friday night I used to go to this nerd/gaming/cosplay bar. I met a few friends and added them to Facebook. And through one of those friends I met my fiance.

    Congratulations on your business and financial success at such a young age! However, I agree with you, I think money is not everything and yes it's definitely nice to have someone to love. Sometimes you just gotta have patience and perseverance though!

    I'm Australian too by the way!
    Hey Tinydance,

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me, you're 100% right i don't believe they truly loved me, thats something I've grown to accept. obviously we all have a bit of an ego and they did love us and they did mean the junk they said but the reality of the situation is actions speak louder than words and when it was time to show the actions the words didn't match up.

    i don't look on their social media pages haven't for ages and i mean that, i use to, but i realise its just a waste of time. its just the thoughts that run through my mind that i keep finding the same type of person that does the same thing over and over again and thats why i reached out here because sometimes you feel alone because you don't want people to know that you feel this way as it can come off like your weak.

    you're right about everything you said and it makes me happy to know people would take a minute out of their life to message me and give me advice without knowing who i am and what i can do for them. its the real crappy part of being a CEO or a Chairman of many corporations.

    i don't feel like "oh I'm 30 I've missed the boat" what i don't want to do is spend another 10 years finding the same people and be 40 and go " why is this still happening" i want to get to the bottom of this so i can have the love and support I've always wanted and to be able to give the same in return to someone that deserves it.

    I've gone on tinder and done all the apps but honestly I'm over meeting women that are on them because their freshly single and need a distraction which in return means there unavailable emotionally, or still hung up on there exes even tho they've been single for ages they still have like a billion pictures of there exes on their social media accounts which to me means their still holding on because i deleted all that stupid stuff years ago.

    I've honestly never been single 2 straight years, while career wise its been fantastic, personally its starting to make me think maybe I'm not looking in the right places so i figured id come on here and get some help.

    thats amazing that you found someone mate! i love hearing success stories i actually read a lot of them on here as it gives you hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel ( and I'm not talking about successfully getting exes back because you shouldn't want people that discarded you)

    i feel like apps just aren't the right places to look, see when i see your story it makes me think its better to go out and meet people as you can know right away if theres a connection rather than texting someone on an app for a few days meeting up and thinking they don't push the buttons correctly in real life.

    i appreciate you saying kind words about my career, its the one thing that takes my mind off the rough stuff, money sure isn't everything, it just helps assist you paying bills and having nicer things but at the end of the day you're only as good as the company that your with and the biggest gift you can share with anyone is your time as we aren't going to live forever.

    glad to hear you're an aussie too hahaha you living in australia or are you abroad?

    once again thank you for reaching out

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Carus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by magicman89
    I've gone on tinder and done all the apps but honestly I'm over meeting women that are on them because their freshly single and need a distraction which in return means there unavailable emotionally, or still hung up on there exes even tho they've been single for ages they still have like a billion pictures of there exes on their social media accounts which to me means their still holding on because i deleted all that stupid stuff years ago.
    Hm. That's interesting....That's how my exwife did it and she's in her new sparkly relationship now....Good ol' Tinder

    I sometimes wondered why she never took down any photos of us or how she deals with the 'On This Day' reminders that FB throws up. I certainly deactivated that little beauty immediately! Maybe she did...I haven't looked for quite some time now....But you know, our marriage meant something to her I'm sure*

    Love and long term relationships....Funny things really. Like you I'm fit, healthy and fairly successful and semi retired at 50. I don't drink or do drugs or anything....Just can't get a relationship to stick. I've never been abusive and I've always been very generous and supportive....so I don't know ma man...What advice could I give?

    It's late so I better zzzz....I'm an Aussie too but living in Bali now. PM me if you wanna come up for a holiday! :)

    Regards
    Carus*

  8. #7
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Tough love.....

    At 30 years old, you can't keep blaming your parents for your current lack of emotional health. Get a good therapist and work with them to clear that up and to learn what healthy relationships look like even if you didn't see it growing up.

    Issues like lack of trust, lack of forgiveness, extreme insecurities often manifest themselves in toxic ways in relationships in the form of controlling and manipulative behaviors even IF you aren't aware you are acting that way or aren't doing it consciously and intentionally. So yes, people will run away from that. Again, things to work on with a good therapist and get out of your system. I think it would actually be interesting to hear your ex'es takes on the relationship. It might be enlightening. Too bad you can't go back and get that info, so all you can do is take a seriously hard and brutally honest look at yourself and how you conduct yourself.

    I'm picking up on a sense of desperation in relationships coming from you. Attachment that isn't healthy and that you hang on for dear life when you should have let go. You also carry wounds rather than let the past go. This is toxic to you and destructive to any potential relationship you might have. In your current mind frame....you really shouldn't be dating as your view towards women is truly toxic at this moment. You want, but you also hate and look down - all women are just a damaged mess. You are seeing demons in every shadow and no sane, emotionally healthy person will get involved with that mindset.

    You also come across as highly compulsive. If a dude sold everything he owns and spent the last penny to take me on a trip abroad, I wouldn't see that as some grand romantic gesture, I'd see it as him being bat sh$t crazy and unstable. I'd actually be scared out of my mind of continuing to date him or build a life with him. The latter would be completely out of the question. I couldn't trust someone like that to make sane decisions going forward. Be sure that you don't do crazy grand gestures as a way to buy love - you will be disappointed every single time. Literally setting yourself up to fail. There is a whole lot of ground between treating someone well, with love and respect, and going completely overboard to satisfy some whim.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member indea08's Avatar
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    I would say your story seems pretty similar to most peopleís dating experience, maybe just spread out a bit longer. Weíve all had our share of bad relationships, stayed with someone longer than we should have, forgave someone we shouldnít have, etc. All that means is that those women werenít meant to be your forever, they were meant for something else. Maybe to teach you what qualities you donít want in a woman, what your deal breakers are, what kinds of things attract you vs what traits cause you to fall in love. They were lessons. They each taught you something about yourself to make you more aware and better prepare for the woman who IS intended to be your forever.

    I hate that you feel as if your exes went on to live happily without you while you were left lonely and unfulfilled. Iím sure those women would turn green with envy of your financial success and feel like they were stupid to let you go. Regardless, their happiness (again, is subjective, they could be miserable) doesnít have to equal your misery. Their lives are irrelevant to yours. Your life can be as happy and fulfilled as you make it.

    Regarding finding the right woman...I canít speak to australia, but I did spend some time in LA and various other cities in Cali, and I would imagine it would be very hard to meet someone there. The people are a very different breed (Iím from a small town and found a lot of the general public in CA to be abrasive, absorbed in the fast life). Not to mention, there are SO MANY PEOPLE, so everyone has so many options...they can afford to judge you in 5 min and decide they like another option better. Would your position allow you some remote time in some smaller cities?? See how you feel about a totally different type of person??

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by Carus
    Hm. That's interesting....That's how my exwife did it and she's in her new sparkly relationship now....Good ol' Tinder

    I sometimes wondered why she never took down any photos of us or how she deals with the 'On This Day' reminders that FB throws up. I certainly deactivated that little beauty immediately! Maybe she did...I haven't looked for quite some time now....But you know, our marriage meant something to her I'm sure*

    Love and long term relationships....Funny things really. Like you I'm fit, healthy and fairly successful and semi retired at 50. I don't drink or do drugs or anything....Just can't get a relationship to stick. I've never been abusive and I've always been very generous and supportive....so I don't know ma man...What advice could I give?

    It's late so I better zzzz....I'm an Aussie too but living in Bali now. PM me if you wanna come up for a holiday! :)

    Regards
    Carus*
    i know this feeling, feels like the more you do for someone the less respect you get in return!

    Tinder is seriously rubbish, its full of people on the rebound that can't give you anything more than a 1 night thing which is funny really because they call it a "dating app" but its far from a dating up, none of my exes I've ever seen on tinder as their already in a relationship by the time I've logged in hahahahaha

    How long have you been in bali for? i was meant to go for new years eve. I've promised myself next one ill be there. good to meet another aussie when I'm in bali ill have to come say hello!


    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Tough love.....

    At 30 years old, you can't keep blaming your parents for your current lack of emotional health. Get a good therapist and work with them to clear that up and to learn what healthy relationships look like even if you didn't see it growing up.

    Issues like lack of trust, lack of forgiveness, extreme insecurities often manifest themselves in toxic ways in relationships in the form of controlling and manipulative behaviors even IF you aren't aware you are acting that way or aren't doing it consciously and intentionally. So yes, people will run away from that. Again, things to work on with a good therapist and get out of your system. I think it would actually be interesting to hear your ex'es takes on the relationship. It might be enlightening. Too bad you can't go back and get that info, so all you can do is take a seriously hard and brutally honest look at yourself and how you conduct yourself.

    I'm picking up on a sense of desperation in relationships coming from you. Attachment that isn't healthy and that you hang on for dear life when you should have let go. You also carry wounds rather than let the past go. This is toxic to you and destructive to any potential relationship you might have. In your current mind frame....you really shouldn't be dating as your view towards women is truly toxic at this moment. You want, but you also hate and look down - all women are just a damaged mess. You are seeing demons in every shadow and no sane, emotionally healthy person will get involved with that mindset.

    You also come across as highly compulsive. If a dude sold everything he owns and spent the last penny to take me on a trip abroad, I wouldn't see that as some grand romantic gesture, I'd see it as him being bat sh$t crazy and unstable. I'd actually be scared out of my mind of continuing to date him or build a life with him. The latter would be completely out of the question. I couldn't trust someone like that to make sane decisions going forward. Be sure that you don't do crazy grand gestures as a way to buy love - you will be disappointed every single time. Literally setting yourself up to fail. There is a whole lot of ground between treating someone well, with love and respect, and going completely overboard to satisfy some whim.
    ill start with i don't blame my parents for my problems, in fact I've got a great relationship with them now and have for some years now, i meant it as when i was a kid it wasn't like i knew what two parents in love was like and in return maybe that has had some type of effect on my life and relationships.

    Look i'd love them to come on here and tell there side of the story lol it will be much different to mine that i can assure you, they told everyone that would listen "their" story. in which they never met the guy during our relationship, i was a piece of crap etc. the fact is how can you get the truth out of a compulsive liar? they tell you what you want to hear and not what is actually happening because thats the common thing all cheats, liars and bigots do.

    I'm not desperate for a relationship, I'm not also hung up on an ex either, i came on here to get some help and guidance off people that have had similar situations and found love, happiness and stability in there lives and thats what i ultimately want for my life.

    I was 21 going on 22 when i sold my stuff, i agree it was a stupid decision and i wouldn't ever do that again, but it wasn't like i had much help in my life and many role models to guide and direct me into not making foolishly stupid decisions. it wasn't even my idea to do it, she told me "if you don't take me to america I'm leaving" and i was scared because obviously i didn't want to lose her and yes thats not a good thing, i wouldn't be telling you the truth if i didn't tell you thats exactly what went through my mind at the time.

    i can tell you I'm the least controlling person you've ever met in my personal life, i never stopped any of my partners from seeing friends, i encouraged it! i encouraged them to go forward in there careers too! none of them have gone higher in there careers since each one ended in fact I've been told from people that are friends from both sides that one has gone so much backwards that their new boyfriend leaches off them!!!!

    I don't hate women, i just wanted help in what to look for and what to avoid,

    if i was a really bad decision maker in my life completely, i wouldn't have built and sold corporations that i turned global many times over

    Originally Posted by indea08
    I would say your story seems pretty similar to most peopleís dating experience, maybe just spread out a bit longer. Weíve all had our share of bad relationships, stayed with someone longer than we should have, forgave someone we shouldnít have, etc. All that means is that those women werenít meant to be your forever, they were meant for something else. Maybe to teach you what qualities you donít want in a woman, what your deal breakers are, what kinds of things attract you vs what traits cause you to fall in love. They were lessons. They each taught you something about yourself to make you more aware and better prepare for the woman who IS intended to be your forever.

    I hate that you feel as if your exes went on to live happily without you while you were left lonely and unfulfilled. Iím sure those women would turn green with envy of your financial success and feel like they were stupid to let you go. Regardless, their happiness (again, is subjective, they could be miserable) doesnít have to equal your misery. Their lives are irrelevant to yours. Your life can be as happy and fulfilled as you make it.

    Regarding finding the right woman...I canít speak to australia, but I did spend some time in LA and various other cities in Cali, and I would imagine it would be very hard to meet someone there. The people are a very different breed (Iím from a small town and found a lot of the general public in CA to be abrasive, absorbed in the fast life). Not to mention, there are SO MANY PEOPLE, so everyone has so many options...they can afford to judge you in 5 min and decide they like another option better. Would your position allow you some remote time in some smaller cities?? See how you feel about a totally different type of person??
    Thank you so much for reaching out, to your first point i definitely agree with you, i guess i wanted to know why i keep liking or dating the same type of characters, i have been reading this forum for awhile and found a lot of people have gone through similar stuff in which makes me not feel as alone with my situations in return makes me not happy as no one deserves that but makes me feel people will have some good tips on how to prevent it from happening again.

    it was tough finding out instantly they went from telling me all the stuff i wanted to hear to dating a new person within a week of the breakup, at the start they always tried to hide it on social media but as life happens people can't keep juicey gossip secret long and the truth always eventually comes out. I'm sure they do get jealous of my lifestyle and the deals i make as its all in the public eye I've been on fox news and cbs and that every time we buy into something or sell off something so its all public information. i just feel lousy as when i was a kid i use to always think " if i was just this successful" or "if i was just this great" and you find out later in life that all that isn't true. I don't wish one single day more with them. but i sure don't want history to find a way to repeat itself.

    YOU ARE SPOT ON ABOUT LA! wow didn't think anyone would understand that, everyone is judgemental, especially in the entertainment industry, i went to a celebrities bday party recently and believe me those people its all about what car you drive, what house you own, how much your net worth is, how much you can benefit. LA is not a place to raise a family. ever.

    i wouldn't actually mind trying some of the smaller areas, what would you recommend?

    thank you once again everyone for reaching out. it means the world to me that you've taken even just a few minutes of your time for me and i really respect and appreciate that

  11. 03-06-2019, 11:47 AM

  12. #10
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    May I offer some advice, just to give a different perspective. I am totally your opposite, worked 9-5 jobs, stable income, good savings, very mediocre, just enough money to be comfortable. But I am happily married for over two decades to the second woman I dated. She is Asian, so she has that traditional, high regard for family and faithfulness. So this is something coming from maybe an entirely different perspective. If I were you, and thatís a very big if I were you, I would avoid online dating sites and since you are very mobile, I would go the conventional way of meeting as many women who are single, either through others, through work, or through travel. Just meet as many women and know who they are, not necessarily dating but through activities such as parties, volunteer work, sports events like marathons or raising funds for cancer or whatever. Take your time, and do not reveal your financial status if you can. You need to immediately weed out those who might have other motives. Wear simple clothes, not flashy. If you go on a date, a respectable but less expensive restaurant might help each of you focus more on each other. I tell my sons if your date seems more concerned with your shirt on a date, take note of that. If you work with someone who seems to have very good values and has a single sister, let us say, in Canada, go for a visit and meet the family. If I had that money, I would travel and seek opportunities to meet women who have values that would probably contribute to a stable relationship.

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