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Why is it so hard to find someone these days?


Leo781
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Hi, I'm 44 years old, and I have had very little relationship experience. For me the longest I have been with someone was 8 months, I have never experienced a serious relationship before. Sometimes I feel like if I was destined to find someone then it would have been 15 or 20 years ago, and I'm terrified that I will never find love, which is something that I have wanted all my life. 

I've have profiles on Match & Tinder. I have sent a few messages on match but don't always get replies. I don't send the 'hi how are you' stuff. I will view the profile & try to message something that they are of interest or have in common. Sometimes I feel too scared to send a message for fear of rejection, as it dents my confidence. I have always felt awkward around the opposite sex & sometimes I think it shows. Whenever a girl appears to show interest in me, my hopes get raised drastically, which always gets in the way of things. I really wish I could improve my social skills.

How do I get around this? I would really love some advice on being confident with other people, sending messages. I am on the autism spectrum but very slightly (was only diagnosed a few years ago). The older I get the worse I feel, as don't want to live in regret. Finding love is something I think about almost all the time.

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I'm not far behind you in age, and also stuck in the single cycle; and it sucks.

First I will ask; do you make efforts to go out and meet women in the real world? Do you have good friends (preferably in a long term relationship) that you could ask to help you look for someone, or go as your wingman?

Strictly with online dating, it's a numbers game. Like you I once craft long stimulating introduction messages, that went no where. It really got me thinking, "wow do I suck this much?" Well maybe, but it really came down to did she even bother to read? Probably not. I would advise a multi pronged approach, OLD and meeting women in person.

Now I know there will be the standard boilerplate advice on working-out, improve yourself, self-love, and yadda-yadda-yadda. Or joining meet up groups and other social outlets. All good advice. But until you start making headway with dating in your own mind, all that feels like telling someone in a tent to just repaint the door of the house they don't have.

The unfortunate thing with not being a Don Juan and having lots of dating experience, is that some of the tools are missing that others use to breeze through dating. Something like confidence is a learned thing, now you can fake it to a point, but eventually it gets seen through. To work on that, my best advice is to take what you are good at and find ways to brag about it. other things like taking rejection are harder, sometimes you need to build callouses of rejection to get past that; but there is always a bit of a sting no matter how many times you do it.

The big thing is to start going on dates, chat up women that you meet in public. Not with the idea that you are going to ask her out, but so you can lower the intimidation you are feeling. Don't be afraid to chit-chat with the model looking woman at the grocery, this will take the edge off of your fear when you meet a woman you want to date.

I know far too well that empty pit of feeling like you are never going to meet someone, I struggle with that a lot. If anyone says don't fret about it, well they're a bit foolish or indifferent to your plight (Now some really great people will say that and want to help, the difference is they will encourage you to talk about it not shut you down). Don't beat yourself up too much, and don't let your concerns be dismissed.

I did a lot of circular talk there, but I'm dealing with this myself.

 

 

 

 

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I'd probably start off as joining groups where both women and men participate, and I don't mean for dating. I'd use them as opportunities to enhance your social skills--places where you can chat with women as members of the club, as practice. Some that come to mind are: the masonic organization Eastern Star and Toastmasters. For both, some public speaking is common, but that's also good practice for being more comfortable in speaking in general.

You're really going to have to rein in your excitement about a lady being your future if she's initially interested. It's best if you see the outing with her as enjoying her company in the present, and having a wait-and-see attitude. You can't know how things will unfold, nor if you share major needs and goals, nor if she'll be a good partner from what you learn on the first or second date. Lots to learn about each other over time, if it even gets that far. Being over-eager will scare women away.

You might also try book discussion groups, and get to know women as another person to speak to without them being like some supernatural enigmas to you. Even as you're speaking to a woman you wouldn't want to date, but she's someone interesting to speak to, is good practice.

Just know women are usually nervous too, on first meets. Think of it as normal. Practice makes perfect, or at least brings a little better comfort level. Good luck.

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Thanks for the responses. I should add that I've gone back to University, and whilst there are some nice girls there, I'm far too old for them. There are not that many mature students around. Joining groups outside university maybe a possibility,

21 minutes ago, Andrina said:

You're really going to have to rein in your excitement about a lady being your future if she's initially interested.

 

22 minutes ago, Andrina said:

Being over-eager will scare women away.

Thats the thing, I'm not sure if I could deal with this overnight? 

I've been to a few bars during the World Cup & talked to a couple a girls (who were drunk lol), but never materialised anywhere.

Even when I do get talking, conversations are difficult because I'm always thinking of what to say & avoid awkward silences.

I'm thinking that I might need professional help.

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1 hour ago, Leo781 said:

How do I get around this? I would really love some advice on being confident with other people, sending messages.

Its not a rocket science. Introduce yourself, ask some interesting question based on what says on her profile, or just pics(maybe she has an animal on it or maybe she has some nice place in background) or even names. I did a few one based on that and got some answers. I asked one if her Godfather was in Greece when he was suggesting names because her name sounded that(here according to tradition Godfather suggests 3 names and parents choose one). I did get a nice answer to that. So it doesnt matter that much as long as conversation flows and they are willing to participate.

You need to look at it as more of a practice then anything else. Online dating is pretty harsh on average man(I am guessing you are one since you message first, its more common for a man but maybe I am wrong lol). So dont expect too much, lots of them wont follow through no matter what you write. But look at it as a chance to talk a bit. Ask anything that you are interested, see if they ask anything back and see if you can get number or even a date.

That is why I would suggest that maybe its better you do enroll to some group or even a course. It gives you the chance to meet new people and maybe some of them would be available for more. Plus the chance to "ghost" you is minimal as people would usually at least answer your messages and you would get at least a decent conversation out of them.

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Just want to throw in my usual spiel that being an over-40 male not trailing kids or ex-wives can be very attractive!  What a rare bird you are.  You have lots of good advice above ^^^

And I'll throw out there (again) as an example my friends who both married (neither had kids) for the first time in their 50s.

Please keep looking, the one is out there, don't settle and don't lose hope.  Hugs to you!

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13 hours ago, Leo781 said:

I've have profiles on Match & Tinder.

Can you try other apps? Swap Tinder for a better paid app. Tinder is for hook-ups, so it doesn't have your target audience.

I agree with the rest of the advice above. Put yourself out there and mingle even if it's not to date.

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2 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

Can you try other apps? Swap Tinder for a better paid app. Tinder is for hook-ups, so it doesn't have your target audience.

I've also used PoF but never had any success on it. Some people have recommended Hinge, which does seem a bit more professional than Tinder or PoF.  I have considered the more expensive sites like Eharmony, but also have to think about my finances, being a student. There are a few societies I am interested in joining at University, but I would feel out of place at my age, even if just looking for friends.

Meetup groups could be a possibility.

14 hours ago, spinstermanquee said:

Just want to throw in my usual spiel that being an over-40 male not trailing kids or ex-wives can be very attractive!  What a rare bird you are.  You have lots of good advice above ^^^

attractive to girls in their 20s/30s?

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Leo,

 Do you have friends or coworkers you hang out with?  The best way to build the skills you want is to get good at them with people you do not want to date because there are no expectations so you stay relaxed.  Like anything the more you do it the better you get at it.

Not having a woman respond to a message you send on an dating site is not rejection, it is a non reply.  They are a total stranger so always look at it that way. I know it is easy to get your hopes up when you send a message but you need to keep them in check.  Most messages sent by men to women are not even opened if they get a lot of messages.  They check your profile and then decide if they want to read your message.  Just because you don't check some boxes for them doesn't mean you are less of a person or unwanted, it simply means you are not what they are looking for what ever that is.

 I have never been treated rudely or hurtful when someone has declined to engage in a conversation with me in person or on a site. Does it sting sometimes?  Yes. Is it disappointing? Sure but all journeys have them don't they?

  I see a lot of positives in your post.  You have received responses to some of your messages which is good. Some guys get zero.  You also go out and actually talk to women in the wild which is much better than some guys that hide behind a keyboard and then complain they can't meet anyone.

You are trying so keep it up but be open to new ideas and most of all learn as you go. If you get shot down think how you didn't die from the experience. If you get your hopes up to high check yourself to stay on course.  Learning these things is what you need to do navigate the waters you are traveling. You can learn all these things like others have.  Not everyone is born with a thick skin, you have to grow it through knowledge and experience.

 Lost

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Finding someone you’re compatible with is like finding a needle in a haystack. That is a universal truth for everyone, so don’t put yourself down for it or think it’s only you. Doing so puts you in a negative state that will make you seem unattractive to a person that you might have an interest in.
 

Also, remember that romance is a game of chance. You can and probably will get hurt at certain times. It happens to people everyday. Think of a beekeeper; he has to get stung a few times before he learns how to handle the situation. For this reason you have to choose wisely, but also don’t let the fear of pain stop you from being open or receptive to finding someone you might be compatible with.
 

Also remember that not everyone you meet in life is going to like you or take an interest in you. That’s also a universal truth that applies to everyone, so again, don’t make it about you. Be yourself and only take an interest in someone who likes you for it and for whom you can do the same in return.
 

Easier said than done, but when you love and accept yourself as you are, you become open to doing the same for someone else. You also become able to allow someone to do the same for you.
 

Be open to accepting yourself as you are. If a person you are meant to be with comes along, then they will. If they don’t, they won’t. When you are ok with it either way, then you are happy with yourself as you are. Don’t get attached to outcomes. That is when you are ready for that special person to come along. 

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1 hour ago, Leo781 said:

I've also used PoF but never had any success on it. Some people have recommended Hinge, which does seem a bit more professional than Tinder or PoF.  I have considered the more expensive sites like Eharmony, but also have to think about my finances, being a student. There are a few societies I am interested in joining at University, but I would feel out of place at my age, even if just looking for friends.

Meetup groups could be a possibility.

attractive to girls in their 20s/30s?

Why do you want to date girls and/or women who are so much younger ?  Also what does attractive mean to you ? Is that a physical features or type?  You might be unnecessarily limiting your dating pool. What kind of volunteer work do you do or have you done?  Have you considered volunteering backstage at a community theater ? Joining a singles hiking or sports team ? 
the places I met singles or people who could introduce me to singles when I was in my mid to late 30s (2001-05) were:  volunteer work (homeless shelter - weekly - reading to children ), events at my place of worship and other related religious activities, professional organizations, through two dating sites, singles events, singles resorts. I also was active in a book club and a women’s networking group. 
 

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Just now, Leo781 said:

I'm not, the majority of girls I'm around are in their early 20s as in Uni.

I'm looking at girls between mid-30s and 40s.

Why are you referring to adult women as girls and why are you limiting yourself to classmates? Do you have close friends who are women ? Have you ever ?

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Just now, Batya33 said:

Why are you referring to adult women as girls and why are you limiting yourself to classmates? Do you have close friends who are women ? Have you ever ?

I am not limiting myself to classmates, they are far too young for me. I have some close friends around my age but are all married in engaged. My last relationship was before the pandemic which was around 3 months.

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Getting this conversation sidetracked into linguistics and semantics is not beneficial for the OP.

i’m seeing a lot of good advice being thrown in here, and I would definitely encourage you to take to heart avoiding the freebie dating apps. They’re just so rife with spam account some ladies of the night that you won’t find anybody really worth communicating with.

if you haven’t already, I would highly encourage you to develop a routine the kind of pump yourself up before going out for the day. Something to boost your confidence and treat as many opportunities as you can as the day you might meet that nice girl that you wanna date. Sometimes it’s about the psychological games you have to play with yourself. As always best of luck

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14 minutes ago, Leo781 said:

I'm not, the majority of girls I'm around are in their early 20s as in Uni.

I'm looking at girls between mid-30s and 40s.

Ok, because you asked another poster if you would be attractive to "girls" in their 20s/30s.

Adult women in their mid-30s and 40s will likely be a better bet. You can relate to them more and have more in common.

Some activities that I see lots of single women in your age range is volunteering at things like planning and decorating for charity events, cooking classes, exercise classes and lower level walking and hiking clubs.  Would you be willing to try any of those?

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55 minutes ago, Leo781 said:

No I can. But I can only imagine ones such as eHarmony or Match Affinity are too expensive (maybe I'm wrong)

I just took a quick look. A six month eHarmony subscription is about $400 or about $70 per month. The monthly cost goes down the longer you subscribe for. 

$70 is about what a lot of people spend on coffee. It depends on what your priorities are.

Just out of curiosity, how much can you afford to spend on dates each month? And what is your living and employment situation? 

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48 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

To me referring to adult women as girls or attractive girls often has substance underneath and often means there's more going on as far as the man's mindset and attitudes about adult women. 

I'm fine with men referring to me as a girl as long as they refer to themselves as a boy 😆

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$70 for a full time college student can be an awful lot per month. That's also $70 that he could use for a date with a nice girl who is interested in him.

So lets push eHar-money off to the side.

Hinge is $19.99/month
Bumble is $29.99/month
Match is $24.99/month
OKCupid is $24.99/month

All of these are much more reasonable, and probably have a broader reach than eMore-Money. I think the trick is to look at what they offer for free, see if there is a selection of gals on some of these app who catch your fancy. Make a mental threshold of say 10 women who are interesting to you  before you sign up.

I would highly encourage you to look for in person involvement in your area. Maybe Bowling, exploring some new activity, heck you might even find singles groups or speed dating. Don't get distracted from your goal, but don't obsess over it.

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

I just took a quick look. A six month eHarmony subscription is about $400 or about $70 per month. The monthly cost goes down the longer you subscribe for. 

$70 is about what a lot of people spend on coffee. It depends on what your priorities are.

Just out of curiosity, how much can you afford to spend on dates each month? And what is your living and employment situation? 

I'm not ruling it out. As far as I know the more you pay, the more likely you are going to find someone serious, as it eliminates the p***-takers right?

I'm back in University, so living on Student income 😔. Here in the UK, we are dealing with the triple whammy of Brexit, Post-Covid recovery & war in Ukraine causing extremely high bills, so having to economise. Not sure if the US is any different. I've spent quite a lot on Match in the past, normally you can cancel & renew at about £5 a month. 

I would do Eharmony but its a risk if I don't get anything out of it.

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What is your housing situation?

If you were to date, could you afford to take a lady out to dinner or to a film or concert? Or would you need to do free or low cost activities?

Not all women expect to be taken out to a fancy dinner at a pricey restaurant. But some do, so it's good to weed those out ASAP. 

If the cost of a dating site is out of the question currently, I would urge you to find other ways to meet women such as volunteering, signing up for low cost fitness classes or joining a interest group such as hiking or some kind of sports activity (if you're into sports). 

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