It’s hard to find love when you’re a work in progress – The Boston Globe

Posted: October 3, 2021 at 2:22 am

I have a lot to offer someone. Im smart, educated, have a good job, have hobbies and friends and a good sense of humor. But I cant attract anyones attention on a dating site, and never seem to attract anyone romantically in real life either. I dont have any family thats still alive, and friends and hobbies only go so far in filling the gaping hole in my heart. I have tried for years to get myself to lose weight as a starting point, but my overeating is tied directly in with my self-esteem issues and nighttime emptiness and I just dont have the motivation to do it with things as they are.

Please dont tell me to get therapy. Ive been trying for over a year and am on a million wait lists but no one is taking new patients. I just keep thinking that I cant be the only sad-with-potential middle-aged work in progress but where can I meet other people like me? I know theyre not on the dating sites because they arent attracting attention either.

HOPELESSLY HOPELESS

A. Im sorry about the shortage of opportunities for therapy. I am finishing a story about this very issue how empty it can be to recommend therapy when I know most therapists have waitlists miles long because of COVID-19, the state of the world, etc. I will say that there are group therapy options. Ive interviewed a ton of therapists for the story (publishing soon, I swear), and some say that support group work should not be overlooked. Also, your doctor might be able to help find you some specialists to deal with other issues.

But aside from that, lets think about where and how works-in-progress make progress. They switch up their hobbies. They take classes. They play pickle ball. (I dont really understand what pickle ball is, but its been recommended to me by many people over the last six weeks, and all of those people were 50s and older.) You have a very full life right now, but I dont know how much it exposes you to new things and people. Scenery changes are good.

Also, have a friend help with your app profile. Maybe you need to switch up your pics. Sometimes the app experience is better with a support system.

I do wish you werent feeling a gaping hole in your heart because of your singleness. The right romantic relationship could be lovely, but its not everything. Maybe theres a long-term project that can hold your attention and give you real accomplishments to look forward to. That would certainly give you plenty to talk about if you wound up on a date.

MEREDITH

READERS RESPOND:

You do have to summon the motivation to lose weight and get healthy but not as a means to attract a partner. You need to do these things for you so you feel better. Once you feel better you will have an easier time attracting the kind of person you want.

SUNALSORISES

I know way too much myself about nighttime emptiness. So, dont sit around feeling empty at night. Go to bed early! Then get up in the morning early and go out for a walk before work.

OUTOFORDER

Adopt a dog. Then take it for walks and to dog parks. Youll be exercising and filling that gaping hole in your heart. And you can start talking to people at the dog parks. There are a lot of small things you can do to improve your self-image. And all those little things will start to add up.

CUPPAJOESEATTLE

^This is a great idea! Id lived in my neighborhood for several years without knowing most of the other people who live in it but then I got a dog and, as a result of walking him, I now know almost everyone.

PHATALISTIC

Work on what you can. Fill that gaping hole with education, volunteering, activity, creativity. Therapy isnt the only way to improve a work in progress.

WIZEN

Hi! I also have a friend with hair issues, a woman. I believe she got a partial wig to help her out it looks natural and really good. That is something you can do which doesnt require a diet, etc., and might make you feel better. I think if you have good self-esteem or at least better self-esteem the rest will follow. Perhaps this motivates you to do other things? I also saw someone say to take a walk not to lose weight but even just to feel better this works. Just go for a 30-minute walk, or longer if you are up to it, look at your surroundings it can take your mind off things for a bit. Good luck!

PATSGIRL30

Go see a doctor, not a therapist. You may need to be tested for a hormonal imbalance. Check your thyroid, too.

MMNNEE

No dating tips, except meeting someone will be through activities, not dating services. Have meeting new people as a goal apart from meeting a partner. Not so easy in these pandemic times. You have no control over being a partner, but you do have control over *how you live your life*. It is crucial to step back from the crisis aspect of this. [Deep feelings of hopelessness/anxiety will only chase potential partners away.]

QUADROPENTA

We are all works in progress, maam. OK, to be fair, some of us have made more progress than others. But I can assure you, at least half of us confident, self-assured people that you see around you are bluffing, putting on our brave faces, and trying to get through another day.

BRUCEISLOOSE

Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldsteins Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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It's hard to find love when you're a work in progress - The Boston Globe

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