Q. I feel similar to writers who’ve said it’s hard to find love and a committed relationship after a certain age.
I am a mature woman myself. I am newly single. I was married and recently divorced. I am ready for a relationship again — would even love to be married again. However, that doesn’t seem to be what anyone is looking for these days. I’ve been on several different dating apps and dates. They end up the same — with me still being single. I tried to enjoy it for what it was, but I always wanted more than just a casual relationship.
I want love, romance, and commitment. Someone who wants to be with me for the long haul, even if it’s not marriage. How do I find that in today’s society, post COVID-19?
Guys just aren’t interested in commitment. It’s a sad world for people like me. Because I want that partner who will be around until my dying day. Happy, smiling, laughing, and sharing life with me.
A. First, let’s not make sweeping generalizations. When you say “guys just aren’t interested in commitment,” you mean the men you’ve met so far ... on a few apps. You can’t speak for everyone. Try not to do all-or-nothing thinking.
Second, it’s a lot of pressure to go on a date with someone who’s looking for a partner for life and death. Yes, you want a companion for all of the big things, but can you let these early dates feel fun and light? You can’t replace a long-term spouse with someone who’s instantly as serious. A good relationship might feel very casual in the beginning, and if it’s working on both sides, you can watch it grow. A better philosophy might be, “I’m open to seeing where this could go.”
If you read the column, you know we get many letters from 30-year-olds about dating fatigue, about how difficult it can be to find the right match. It’s complicated at any age, and can feel very needle-in-haystack, especially with apps. Please have some patience. Try not to rush the process. People can sense “I want this now!” vibes, even through a phone. If you accept that you might be single for a while and find some ways to enjoy that time, dating will feel less stressful, and you might have more success with it.
Three of my very close friends got divorced over the last few years. They are in their 50s. All are now in committed relationships, one is engaged. It’s possible. The one main thing I noticed about them while they dated: positive, friendly attitudes. They never referred to their ex or brought up any ill will about their divorces. They were willing to try new things (online dating, travel and activities they hadn’t done before) and let all their friends know they wanted to meet people. Granted this was a few years ago, before COVID, but this current isolation won’t last forever. One met her boyfriend through a setup by her sister, one through a setup by her college alumni group, and the one who is engaged met her boyfriend waiting at the mediator’s office!
Your impatience comes across in your letter, which means that it probably comes across even more strongly during an in-person date. That tone puts a lot of pressure on someone who is still getting to know you and trying to decide if they enjoy your company.
What are your desires outside of this? Turning your focus to those things will help you feel less desperate AND will make you more interesting to other people. It will also help to view dating as an opportunity to just get to know a lot of different people and then see where that goes, instead of treating each date like you might marry them.
Slow your roll. Just go out to have fun and find lots of other things to do in life so you have a life that others will want to be a part of. Plus, the more extracurricular things you engage in, the more prospects you’ll encounter.
A newly-single, mature woman can’t find a life partner in a pandemic? Must be because men can’t commit.
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.