Q. I’m 52 years old. I’m single and I seem to have a hard time finding the right woman.
I have been scammed by woman on two dating sites; I’m so stupid to have allowed myself to believe these women’s phony emergencies. I lost my mom in July 2017 (age 83) and my dad in November 2012 (age 85).
My insecurity in life and as a man is that it’s the role of a man to pursue a woman. I don’t know how to attract a woman, especially when I’m living paycheck to paycheck to survive.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to be alone forever; I want to be happy with the right woman. How do I go about meeting the right person?
A. Please know that dating apps can be confusing. They’re meant to help people meet in person, but if two people wind up going back and forth for a long time without truly seeing each other’s lives, scamming can happen. I’m sorry you got wrapped up in fictional problems. You’re not the only one who’s been through this, but that doesn’t make it any better.
My advice is to get help with these apps, whether it’s from a savvy friend or family member, or a paid service where someone can navigate the system with you. If you Google, there are some dating coaches who will spruce up your profile and help you decide whether you’re being told the truth. Some are pretty inexpensive or have rates based on what you can pay. Honestly, it’s good to do this with someone who cares. I don’t know many people who do apps without checking in with someone for expertise.
Also, please know that the role of a man is … well, it’s the same as the role of any human, in my opinion. Be honest, kind, and genuine with people in your life. Not every woman expects to be pursued. Eventually, many people want partnership, so maybe they want less of the playing pretend and empty chivalry, and more of what you really offer, which might not be a ton of money, but real companionship. Good company is very valuable.
But first, find a dating app friend. No one should have to swipe alone.
I’m curious as to why you think losing your parents is relevant unless you’re trying to tell us you’re lonely, which is not something that will attract a good woman (sorry). It takes a long time to find the right person, and you’ll find at least a few wrong ones along the way. From the time I got divorced to the time I met the right person was 4½ years. It seemed hopeless much of that time, but you only need to find one right person. Good luck.
Living in financial survival mode of paycheck to paycheck is a draining and stressful experience. I’ve been one of the working poor and it’s extremely tough going, which must add to your sense of loneliness and isolation. Perhaps dating apps are not the right option just now and you should put that to one side for a wee while. See how you feel about it later. I would suggest tackling feelings of isolation first with volunteering or meet-up groups which are local and have affordable activities.
Thank you for the compliment, Jacqui. I look back and see just how much of my life was taken over by worrying about money or what was going to break and upset the delicate financial balance. It’s not much fun being a hair’s breadth from needing to use the local food bank. Oh, nearly forgot LW, your local library is an excellent resource and will be used by all sorts of community groups.
Don’t rely on the apps to find someone. Get involved with activities of interest and enlist the help of your friends. Ultimately, being comfortable with being single will also help.
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.