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Q.I am 36 years old, independent, and have a great job. I like to think I’m attractive and pleasant to be around, and I have great friends. I am not married and do not have children, but that is something I’m hopeful for, as I have a lot to give and believe I could be a good wife and an even better mom someday. I didn’t date much in my 20s because I spent a lot of my time focusing on a career and saving up to buy a condo. Also, I was shy with guys.
I’ve done lots of online dating but have found it to be frustrating and discouraging. I have met guys online who have either ghosted or are just unresponsive. It does get to a point where you feel like you’re really trying, but often feel stuck running around in circles and just getting nowhere with it.
Recently, I have decided to change things up a bit and have joined activities to put myself out there in a different way. I’ve gone into this with no expectations, just looking to network, make friends, enjoy myself, and who knows what will come of it.
I know that these things take time and that love happens at different times for everyone. Do you have any advice on how I could approach things differently, or if there’s anything else I should do?
A.“How do I meet someone” letters are probably our second most popular letter. We get them a lot, so please know that this isn’t just you.
Most people who are single after their early 20s spend some time feeling lost in the dating world. I know that’s not comforting, but it’s true.
I have no magic answers for how to meet someone. If I did, I would post them at the top of the column every day. I will tell you that you’re doing the right things to find love; you’ve diversified your methods (activities are great), and you’re looking to make new friends as you search for romance.
It occurs to me that it might helpful for you to hear how other people met their significant others. Maybe that kind of information will give you some ideas — or at least serve as a pep talk. Commenters: Can you share how you met a partner or someone you dated? Your stories could help this letter writer as she continues her quest. I encourage non-commenters (the lurkers) to speak up today to share a story or two.
I met my husband on the Internet. I will advise you to take occasional breaks from it though because as you said it can be trying and exhausting at times. Mr. NoMo was actually going to be my last date before I took a hiatus from it. Turns out he was my ever-after.
I also met someone on a dating site who was going to be my “last resort”... or so I told myself at the time. Just goes to show it can definitely happen, and when you least expect it to. Granted that one only lasted 18 months, but I counted it as a success.
I’ve had three significant long-term relationships. Here’s how I met them: 1. Mutual friends (early 20s) 2. Work (Mid 20s into 30s) 3. Online Video games (mid 30s) #nerdalert. I’m now in my late 30s, and mostly meet men via apps and dating sites. Like you, I’ve also done meet-ups and social group events, etc. I have no brilliant advice as I’m currently single, but definitely can relate. Date when you’re feeling motivated, take breaks when you’re down in the dumps. Stay healthy and continue focusing on things that make you happy. That way when you DO meet someone, you’ll feel great about what you have to offer.
My current wife scoped me out at the gym, lined up next to me on the treadmill, and learned the unfortunate thing that I’m in the zone unless you stand in front of me and wave your arms at me. One day, she MADE SURE I noticed her! She walked in front of me, stood there so that I’d look at her and then said loudly, “I’m getting on the treadmill next to you now!” with a big grin on her face. I’m like, “OK! You want to talk!” We went to lunch after.
Ex-husband (16 years together, total) — met him at the gym. Current boyfriend of over a year (we seem to be “made” for each other) — set up by a mutual friend.
I met my husband on vacation. Be open to the possibilities.
I met my boyfriend at a work function. To put into perspective, I was 38, never been married, no kids, but also considered myself to be attractive, smart, funny, and a great catch. It was a random shake-the-hand-of-a-new-sales-guy moment while enjoying a glass of wine courtesy of work. Long story short, that was 2 years ago and I moved to be with him in October 2015.
I found it helps to have hobbies. For me it was hiking and being a musician that helped make it easy to meet lots of people as I was turning 50 and suddenly finding myself divorced.
I met my boyfriend a few years ago when I unexpectedly quit my job that I had been at for 8 years and started a new job. This forced me to meet some new people.
Met first husband on Yahoo! Personals. (Don’t judge; it was 1996!)
I met my husband through work. He bought what I was selling.
I met my ex-boyfriend at a bar after I lost my shoe and ended up locking myself out of my apartment on St. Patrick’s Day weekend several years ago. My advice — don’t do that.