As someone who didn’t get married until age 35, I dated a lot. A lot. Let’s say I started dating in high school—age 16. That gave me 19 years in the dating scene before I tied the knot. I then got separated and divorced at 41 and dated after divorce for several years. I’m not married, but 10 years later I’m happily involved and no longer dating.
The point of me telling you all of this is that there were times in my 28 years of dating (19+9) when I felt as hopeless as one possibly can about the likelihood I would ever find true love and happiness in a romantic relationship.
One common scenario was, I’d be in a relationship for a few weeks and everything would seem perfect. Then, the guy would start to get distant. I wouldn’t hear from him as frequently. Dates would start getting cancelled, and then he would just stop calling. It was the worst feeling in the world, and I would cry and not understand what happened. It was awful.
There were also lots of relationships where the men liked me, and the reverse happened. I would lose interest and I would feel awful about having to break up with a guy who didn’t do anything wrong. It made me not like myself.
I never did online dating, but I went out on quite a few blind dates, most of which were nightmares, and I would think to myself, “How could our dear, sweet friends be so off in thinking we would connect?” The answer was clear: the friends were happily married and we were the only two single people left that they knew.
Then there were the dry spells. The times during my single life when I could not get a date to save my life. No one seemed interested, no one looked at me, and I felt like I was surely going to die alone.
This e-mail I got from one of my readers brought back that memory of feeling hopeless:
Divorced at 42. I had high hopes for enjoying dating despite my ex leaving me for another woman, However the reality has been harsh. I have been chatted up by men who have told me they will sleep with me for money, or who have just wanted a text relationship but nothing physical or by 60 year old men. Men see me as à money fountain or just past my prime. Every decent age appropriate guy is not into me. I am tall and thin, too flat chested but felt really beautiful inside and out but my inner flame is dying. Sex and love or any kind of intimacy are denied to me at such a young age.
I completely understand how she feels. It’s frustrating, it’s disappointing, it makes you angry and feels unfair, and it feels despondent, like things will never ever change.
The thing is, I am 110% sure that they will! Here are 7 reasons you should never feel hopeless when it comes to dating:
1. Every bad date or crazy, goofy, rude guy you meet brings you one step closer to a good one. Think about it like you are shopping for that perfect dress. You usually have to try on about 15 before you find it, right? Same concept. And, if you say, “what if I never find a dress?” my answer is, you had to have worn something to the wedding you were shopping for, right? So, eventually you found one.
2. Dating is a numbers game. It’s like job hunting. You have to go on some interviews and then eventually you get an offer that seems like a good fit. Same thing in dating!
3. Every person who is in a happy, loving romantic relationship has been in your shoes before.
4. There really are good people out there who want the same thing as you! Countless! It’s hard to find each other but isn’t just knowing they are out there inspiring?
5. If you never give up trying to find love, the odds are, you will find it. By the way, it is OK (healthy and refreshing, actually) to take breaks from dating and just be by yourself and/or just spend time with family and friends for a little while.
6. Dry spells always end. They are awful, but in a few months time you could be dating like crazy and having a blast, or you could be with the person with whom you just fell madly in love.
7. It is impossible for your inner flame to die. You are too special to let any jerks you come across take away your hopes that there are good men out there. Let things they say to you roll off and don’t look back! Your inner flame is as bright as ever. Continue to let it shine on all the ones who know and love you, and of course, those who are intuitive enough to see it.
Like this post? Check out my blog, “49 Reasons to Be Inspired by Getting Older, Dating, and Yes, Your Divorce.”