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Ready to give up on finding love...


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OP here's a story.  My friend met her fiance on Match.com in her early-mid 30s.  A few months before the wedding they broke up.  She was then single for over a year and went on many dates mostly meh or even bad (there was one guy who totally stood her up -then one night we and two other gals were at a popular cafe/dessert place and -he walks in! -she recognized him from the photo.  We went all Sex and The City girl power on him - he walked by her -his eyes widened - and he ducked into the restroom.  Came out.  We kept staring him down lol  He finally approached my friend with some lame excuse and she graciously replied then walked away(I think he finally left lol).  I mean such stories.

Then on a rainy valentines day night in 2005 she decided to do laundry in her apartment building.  That is where she met her future husband -her neighbor who also was doing laundry.  What a good (and handsome!) guy.  So good to her all these years.  They have two teenage kids now and seem very happy still -we lost close touch a couple years ago.  So -yes hers is a least expect it -except she was out looking proactively.

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I've never actually dated but I did go where men were. I was involved with a sports organization and there were dozens and dozens of men. I was married when I started but after my divorce there were several men there who were interested in me. Probably because there was only a handful of single women at these events. So scarcity created demand. It was almost like a buffet for me! And I was able to pick one who interested me. 

Are you interested in anything that a lot of men are also interested in such as sports?

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Hi @victoria1983

I literally could have written this post.  Aside from the sobriety-- same boat.  I am everything I ever wanted to be-- healthy, happy, stable... But finding an equal partner-- ugh.  

Honestly, go ahead and give up.  It makes no difference.  I am sorry but this is your life.  You have to find a way to enjoy it for what it is until the situation changes.  

Try to have hope and faith that in all things there is a season.  You're in a love drought and just like a drought happens, the pendulum has to swing back to raining men again.   

I have been through the same things you described.  I will say, my screening has gotten better.  I no longer follow the advice that used to work pre-online dating days... Which was, to go and meet you never know. 

In this day and age, sometimes you know.  And can tell what is NOT for you.  And I take those clues seriously.  If someone seems like a dud, I don't waste my time.  I feel like now I am at a point where I am meeting better quality guys.  But the elusive "click" is still due ANYDAY NOW!  LOL

Learn to cope and if you're feeling like you don't want to try, don't.  Beating yourself up over things you can't control (mainly other people) is not going to help you anyway.  Feeling bad about it won't either. Sure, I acknowledge that I can feel let down and wish things would change.  "If If's ands were pots and pans, there'd be no work for tinkers' hands" 

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You don't seem ready to give up, just a little burned out. Try a completely different approach. For example it's great you're pursuing a healthy lifestyle, but keep the sobriety struggle or therapy out of the dating picture for a while. 

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer (but Not with addicts or alcoholics), take some classes and courses)or teach some with your popular avocation), get a fun part-time job, get involved in sports and fitness. Make like minded friends and meet  like minded men doing fun, interesting things.

Get a good profile and pics on PAID relationship focused quality dating apps and start taking to and meeting men. Paid apps tend to offer more serious daters and better screening (which seems like an issue). You can also benefit from better matching and screening criteria built-into the app. 

While it's important to stay healthy and sober, please make sure its not a central focus as far as dating. For example if someone suggests going for "drinks", don't explain anything, just order soda. 

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19 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

All the work we do on ourselves, we do it for us. Your choice in education, sobriety, is ultimately your own. And its good that you did it. But magically expecting for others to recognise that and to get the same partner is not really achivable sometimes.

What we think deserve and what we can get are ultimately 2 different things. I would also ask about your "high standards". Is it just the looks and education? Is it also high earning job? Is it also something else? Because I might have to tell you something that will rub you the wrong way. Guys who have all that you are looking for, also have options. Options that are, sorry to say that, not 40 year old. Sure, you have attention of men. But do you see how that men you choose turn out? Superficial, narcissist, rude. Because they also picked you for the look. And because if you say "No" to them, there is a fresh 20 year old down the corner. 

Do you want to know why those men are very superficial? Because you picked them that way. And because you also seem to be that way. So I am sorry, but if you dont change that outlook, this is what you would get. Superficial narcissoids who dont care about you. And who would can you tomorrow for some younger model. So, if you want a long term relationship maybe you should look some other qualities in your future partner that are not so superficial. If you want them to look at you not for your looks, maybe not pick them just based on looks. 

Btw all you described is pretty standard for somebody who uses dating apps. So I am going to assume you are on them. That is also a modern problem for both sexes. You said you have hobbies and interests. Maybe get more social about them and try to meet somebody through them.

I think this is a good perspective to keep in mind.  I also think, just like online dating, a lot of the words we use to describe what we're looking for (quality, educated, healthy lifestyle) can still be very subjective.  And there are so many factors at play in middle age. 

When we meet people when we are younger and everyone has about the same things going for them-- no assets, no kids.  By 40, we've all made some choices that have impacted what we have-- assets, debt, aka baggage.  And we all heal from bad choices at different times and rates.

It can be hard to be on the same page.  If you are free and clear, you are in a different space than someone riddled with heartbreak or massive debt or a challenging lifestyle.  

When you look at things realistically, I think it makes complete sense, most people are not compatible.  LOL

 

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Yes. Definitely was needle in a haystack for me. I had assets - financial and others lol - starting in my early 30s once I paid off my loans from grad school. Prior to that I had potential for and was working on a great career and I was single no kids that I knew of lol. When my husband and I reconnected in our late 30s neither of us was ever married and we both were financially comfortable and had compatible goals values and senses of humor and oodles of passion and chemistry. Understatement. I knew fairly quickly he was my person. We started trying to have a baby before we got engaged but knew our plan was to marry regardless.
 

We were older so since I was 40.5 and we were still long distance for parts of the year we figured we should at least start trying to conceive and get married and relocate faster than planned if we were blessed with a pregnancy. Which is what we did. He’s still my person for sure. Married almost 15 years. 

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I think this struggle to find a partner is something so many people experience now. I very often had all the same issues and many of my friends do. I'm guessing you're doing online dating and it's true that many people on online dating are weird, just want sex, are flaky, etc. Personally I never did online dating that much because I never liked it. I never had a real relationship from online but only from meeting people in real life. I think the reason why it feels like there's no spark so often is because you're meeting complete strangers. You probably don't often get a click with people in real life either (e.g. at work).  But because you wouldn't go on a date with them,  it doesn't feel disappointing. If you know what I mean.

I think you should probably give online dating a break and look elsewhere. Try joining Meetup.com, social Facebook groups, classes, hobby courses, etc. Do you see friends often? You can also meet people through friends sometimes. I don't think you necessarily need to stop looking for a partner but you probably don't need to make it such a huge focus in life either.

You mentioned you want to be child free. Do you only date guys who are child free as well? Or would you for example date men who already have kids? If you're only dating child free men then I think that makes your dating pool quite small.

Also what age range are you looking for? Would you be open to also dating men in their 50's? They might already have adult children so having children around them wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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I have many married and long term coupled friends who met in real life after first being in contact through online dating sites. I met many good men. Including on blind dates.  I never dated online or tried to date online . Because I wanted eventual marriage so we’d meet ASAP in person - a few messages and always a safety screening phone call.  I used dating sites as one of several ways to meet people in real life. I had friends who dated online or called it dating. Made no sense to me. My husband had a dating profile for awhile - one of many examples of really good people who use dating sites. I didn’t meet him that way. 
In my 30s I met men through friends and work and volunteer work and singles events. Dated a neighbor once too. My friend married her salsa dancing instructor when she was 39.  

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My brother's former coworker married the lady who cooked on the food truck that serviced the business. My brother joked "at least he knows she's a good cook!" Happy, successful marriage. Someone else I know married the UPS lady.

You just never know. 

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Basically I’m in exactly the same situation, also 40 with no kids, single for ages but get dates/attention but also extremely dating fatigued with disappointments. I’m very particular about what I want and when it appears to come along once every blue moon it never works out. Starting to also lose hope on ever falling in love! So your not alone.
 

I’m currently at the point where I go on the occasional sporadic date however it’s difficult to even get excited about it! In my spare time it’s just lots of sport, hobbies and gym aside from my career and also bored of ‘working on myself’.

When you find the answer keep me posted 😂

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43 minutes ago, MrMan1983 said:

Basically I’m in exactly the same situation, also 40 with no kids, single for ages but get dates/attention but also extremely dating fatigued with disappointments. I’m very particular about what I want and when it appears to come along once every blue moon it never works out. Starting to also lose hope on ever falling in love! So your not alone.
 

I’m currently at the point where I go on the occasional sporadic date however it’s difficult to even get excited about it! In my spare time it’s just lots of sport, hobbies and gym aside from my career and also bored of ‘working on myself’.

When you find the answer keep me posted 😂

So to me it’s not semantics. If you get real ask yourself if you also want to be in a relationship. Where it’s not bliss or cloud 9. It’s giving and giving and giving more whether at that moment you feel in love or in like or just in auto pilot.
Where you even remind yourself - he’s being cranky but remember this morning he didn’t complain when you left for the gym and it woke him. Or if I make those frozen brussel sprouts on thanksgiving he loves he won’t care that it’s not fancy.  Or he can’t put his damn glass in the sink at night but - he killed a bug the other night which turned out to be a small ball of black clothing thread.  

It’s obvious we look to fall in love too. I did but if you’re not all in with the daily stuff daily grind daily responsibilities and like ok I just did the dishes and yes I’m going to make him an omelet last minute and the excitement of both getting Wordle with the same first word choice think about maybe you’re also getting in your own way a bit because you love the beginnings and you know you can have an ending especially if there’s no marriage or kids but the middle isn’t always so thrilling or passionate.

Despite knowing you can revive it but for right then you have to keep on chugging along if you want to sustain what you’ve built. 

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On 11/19/2023 at 7:36 PM, victoria1983 said:

When I'm talking about high standards, a lot of it has to do with how they treat me and other people. They do not necessarily have to have a high earning job nor be super conventionally attractive or anything like that.

I don't think it's unreasonable to want someone who can support themselves financially and that I'm attracted to (a lot of this attraction is based on personality and how they carry themselves. the narcissism and superficiality you described are turn offs for me).

I appreciate your reply, but there are a lot of unfair assumptions there.

Dating in mid life is difficult.  I am shocked how many men are unemployed, don't drive, live with their parents etc - practical things that make a relationship one-sided from the start.  I agree with you - if you've got your sh*t together, you want someone who has theirs together too.

I too have endured numerous examples of flaky behaviour and disappointment.  I am done with giving people second chances because I conduct myself respectfully from the start.  I am still single because I will no longer tolerate being treated badly by people supposedly interested in forming a relationship with me.  My friend (also early 50s) encounters far worse than I do because she will put up with a lot more than me, so take heart that you are most definitely not alone in your experience.

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