Q. I’m the guy! The guy in romantic comedies who everyone wants to get the girl. The guy parents, animals, and kids love, and females say they want their boyfriends to be like. I’m thoughtful, caring, supportive, affectionate, loving, an amazing father, in good shape, etc.
When I meet someone, I build up her self-esteem, show her how she should be treated. I do this assuming I will continue to build a relationship, only to be fostering her until she finds her “forever home” with someone else. I am almost 44 (I look 34). Yet two years out of a 20-year relationship with someone who cheated on me, I can’t throw a rock and hit a woman who wants to build a long-term relationship.
I’ve tried being aggressive, I’ve tried going slow. I’m tired of platitudes. “It will happen when you least expect it,” “stop looking and enjoy life,” “get busy and they will just find you,” etc. The apps near me are a joke, all my friends are married, and their friends are marriedor not worth pursuing. I have dated girls from 30 to 44. They all seem to want someone like me, but not me! I am no Brad Pitt, but I’m no Steve Buscemi either!
A. First, Steve Buscemi is a legend.
Second, instead of “females” and “girls,” let’s just say women.
Now for the advice. The only platitude I like of the ones you mentioned is “get busy and they will find you.” You gave us your incredible résumé — every reason you’d be a good significant other. But I have no idea what you like to do on your own. It’s almost as if you want someone to pass you a similar résumé and then negotiate a deal for commitment.
I know the whole “I’m the guy you root for in a movie!” line was your clever way of introducing your problem, but I do see an issue in that, too. Sometimes it helps to remember that you’re not always the main character. The person on an app or sitting across from you has their own story. People are rooting for them, too. Maybe you could be better about understanding how/if you fit into their lives, as opposed to being annoyed they aren’t rushing to jump into yours. You’re not supposed to fix them; it’s better to get to know them and be present. You make it sound like you leave these dates thinking, “Look what I did!” It’s supposed to be a shared experience.
Also, and this is a big one, two years isn’t a very long time. There are people who write into this column who date around for many years before finding a partner. A romantic comedy is two hours, but the path to love isn’t as tightly edited.
The arrogance in your letter probably comes off just as strongly in your dating profiles and when you meet women in person. I think I’m a pretty good catch too, but I am fully aware of my faults and quirks and know that I’m not for everyone. Maybe try a little humility? SURFERROSA
Spend some time alone and figure out who you are when you’re not in pursuit of someone. AUDREYLYN
I always thought that was an odd thing in dating profiles, that a man would date someone 14 years younger and then not consider a woman even one year older. LEGALLYLIZ2017
Catch Season 3 of Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast. Get it at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.