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LOVE LETTERS

I wanted to meet someone in 2020

Finding love is not like buying toilet paper

Maybe this year?
Maybe this year?Federica Fortunat/faithie - stock.adobe.com

Q. Like all of us, I found 2020 to be challenging. I am very grateful for my health and know I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been disappointed by the lack of progress I’ve been able to make toward goals, but proud of unexpected successes (like how in April I managed to find toilet paper and pasta).

In 2019, my divorce was finalized and my marriage of 15 years was dissolved. I became a single mother who successfully got back into the work force and was able to afford to keep the house for the kids and myself. I was proud of all I had accomplished on my own. For 2020, I had hopes of finding someone to start sharing life with. In 2021, I am no closer to my goal. I know there’s a line in a movie (“The Other Woman”) that says, ”The last time I was single, I was 24 and the dating pool was everyone!” This hits so close to home even without the pandemic. Have you suggestions on how to meet people during the current state of the world?

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Apps seems to show men not seeking relationships. Zoom dating seems to only recruit the desperate. I tried a dating service and I wouldn’t suggest this to anyone. They say waiting is the hardest part, but I’ve never been able to wait without being proactive. Where in Boston can a single person in their 30s/40s meet someone right now? Doing my best to be patiently waiting.

IMPATIENT


A. “Zoom dating seems to only recruit the desperate.” That’s not true. From what I’ve seen, it recruits many people, especially those trying to be safe. A quick FaceTime meetup is a step toward making sure someone is worth seeing in person. It also gives you the chance to negotiate a way to hang out safely. Don’t rule it out.

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In general, though, you must accept that 2020 was a difficult year for to-do lists. 2021 is no different — for now, at least. You wanted to meet someone last year and it didn’t happen. That means you didn’t defy the odds. Finding the right partner can take a lot of time, and ... we’re in a pandemic. I don’t know what else to say about that. Many people missed opportunities.

Waiting is the hardest part, but it’s also the thing that can turn you into a better partner — and a better friend and person. It can teach you that you won’t be able to control anyone else’s timing. It’ll give you empathy for a world of people who’ve also had to wait. This isn’t what you want to hear, I’m sure, but basically, like everyone else, you have to accept the limitations of the world; swipe, Zoom, and take advantage of the outdoors when you can; and make peace with the fact that you can’t put “meet next life partner” on a calendar.

You’re a problem solver and you make things happen. I get that, and it’s something to be proud of. But finding love is not like buying toilet paper. Make a separate list of what you’re getting out of this time — what you’re learning about yourself. It might make you feel better about what’s out of your control.

MEREDITH


READERS RESPOND:

Welcome to the dating world! The irony is that dating is a lot like buying toilet paper. Just when you think the shelves are completely barren, a bunch of random rolls show up unexpectedly.

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RCARDZ


^I think you mean trolls, not rolls.

PINKDRINK


You mention “goals” and accomplishments a few times. While I’m sure it’s hard to find someone right now, nobody wants to be your “goal.” I am guessing this vibe comes through when you meet potential mates.

ALLUSERNAMESARETAKEN


You say you like to be proactive. Well, keep doing that. If one dating site isn’t working, do another. Edit your profile, expand your parameters for what you’re looking for. People meet new people all the time; there’s no magic to it, no secret tips Meredith can reveal to you. If you’re newly employed you now have the chance to interact with more people, so network, be social.

GOLDGAMBIT


SLOW DOWN. You barely have your own life resettled, and more than likely, whomever you meet now is going to be the rebound guy. You sound determined to attain your “goal.” ... This all sets up nicely for another letter from you in a year: “I’m miserable I married the rebound guy.”

BJORNSBORN


Get yourself a really cute puppy and go for walks. I have a not-so-common breed and people stop me all the time and ask what kind of dog.

WESTBROOKMAJOR99


The thing you need most in the new dating environment is patience and flexibility. Your impatience is palpable. By refusing to Zoom date, you’re probably losing the opportunity to meet some potential candidates. Try to be more open and patient with the process, and toss out the timetables and rules in your head. If you can do that, you might have more fun with the experience and have some successes. Good luck!

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COSMOGIRL


We all had goals for 2020 that were smacked down by the pandemic. There’s nothing to really do other than use apps and dating sites until the rollout of vaccines is done, especially with your children at home. Love will come eventually, but it’s not worth risking you or your children’s health.

COMBATWOMBAT


“I wanted to meet someone In 2020.” I wanted to win the lottery.

CRUCIFIEDZEOFF


“They say waiting is the hardest part.” Who is “they”?

T-PETTY


One year is not a particularly long time to wait to meet the right person. It only happens fast if you’re not picky.

WIZEN


Welcome to dating 102. In 101, we learn that we can’t control the outcome, dating is supposed to be fun with no expectations. Now, 102 builds on that premise. This time around, we need to be safer, wiser, more patient, and have our self-esteem in check. You *want* a relationship, but you don’t *need* one. Strive to build an enriching, happy life so when you do meet a contender, s/he/they will be like frosting on an already delicious cake. (P.S.: You’re the cake.)

PENSEUSE

Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “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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