If I’m a Great Woman, Why Haven’t I Met Anyone Else Great?



Wow. Where do I start? I’m 42, and have never been married, and I guess that I have been dating idiots, or men who are not even dating material for the last 10 years. People always ask me why I am still single, I get all the popular comments, like “Oh, that’s a shame, still single at your age”. It’s ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with me, I’m athletic, been told I am attractive, outgoing, and I enjoy sports, and all sorts of out door activities, and have a great circle of friends, so why after all this time have I not met anyone? My last serious relationship was back in college! I’ve dated on and off for a few months to a year, only to have things crash and burn for one reason or another. What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried the online dating, only to become seriously jaded by it all. I do have an open mind, and have even considered meeting and dating guys I normally would not. But nothing ever comes from it. Do I give up? I’m tired of friends telling me that when I least expect it, I will meet someone great, well, I have not been expecting it, and it never came. What now? 🙁


Dear Lauren,

I’m reminded of a story that Rich Gosse, the founder of AmericanSingles, once shared with me. It was an amazing response to how he dealt with skeptical press inquiries about his new business model.

“What kind of loser (I’m paraphrasing here) would go to an online dating site to meet someone?” the press would ask.

To which Rich would reply: ‘Well, there are a number of people out there who are socially awkward. There are a number of people who are somewhat weak and needy. There are a number of people who are so desperate for companionship that they’d do anything to avoid being alone. I call these people ‘married people’.”

I thought that was a brilliant answer. After all, there’s no special skill for getting married. Buy a ring, take a vow, and you’re married. It’s why I’ve never once worried about my qualifications to give dating advice. I don’t suddenly get smarter if I propose to my girlfriend. And if she dumped me, I wouldn’t suddenly get dumber.

All of this is me saying that there’s nothing wrong with being single. …Despite the title of my second book, Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised To Get Mad, being single is a fine state of affairs. I’ve been that way for 35 years and frankly, I’m a little anxious about getting married.

That said, most single people (including myself) DO want to get married. Which is why questions like Why You’re Still Single and “Why He Isn’t That Into Me” are supremely relevant. And since the age-old answers like “I’m picky,” “I just haven’t met the right guy,” and “Men suck” aren’t leading us to a desired conclusion, everything I write is designed to create a greater level of self-awareness in how we are complicit in our own fates.

Shining the light on myself, I’ve definitely been too picky at times. I’ve been difficult and argumentative at other times. I’ve been in dire financial and career straits at other times. Not surprisingly, now that my career as a dating coach is in order and my head is on straight, I’m more open to giving and receiving love.

So what’s your blind spot? I couldn’t tell you, but I know there’s something there that you’re not seeing. Read this post from a few months back and you’ll hear yourself, Lauren. It’s from another amazing 42-year-old woman, who can’t fathom why she hasn’t put it all together. You seem to be more self-aware, in that you’re claiming to have an open mind about dating. So that’s a start.

But I think the greatest thing keeping single people single is that they don’t truly make an effort to change things. They say they do, but they don’t really DO anything about pursuing love.

Think about dating as a job hunt. This is the core metaphor driving my first book, and a guiding principle of my friend Rachel Greenwald’s book as well. When we’re unemployed, we do everything in our power to find work. Yet when we’re single, we sort of hope things will work out. You said it yourself. “It’ll happen when I least expect it.” No! It’ll happen when you create it. So what are you doing to create it?

Are you telling your friends to set you up with single eligible guys?

Are you going to singles events — parties, trips, cruises — or at least doing activities that have single men in attendance?

Are you taking online dating as seriously as you could be?

Have you gotten a new photo?

Have you a one-of-a-kind essay?

Have you signed up for a six-month subscription on a big dating site?

Have you been searching for and initiating contact with men?

Have you been giving men second chances on dates?

Have you considered hiring a matchmaker or a dating coach?

If you’re not doing all of these things, you’re not doing enough. Yes, it’s great when the universe provides a cute, attractive, successful, intuitive, funny, kind, emotionally available man at your doorstep. But since this hasn’t happened in 42 years, what makes you think it’s gonna start now?

Listen, I don’t know you from Adam, which is why any advice I can give you is a bit scattershot. But I can tell you this:

Happiness studies have shown that happy people are the ones whose goals and actions are aligned. So if a guy is a people person, but works as a security guard by himself for eight hours a night, it should come as no surprise that he’s not all that happy.

So ask yourself: are your goals and your actions aligned?

Your goal: You want to be married.

Your actions thus far: ???

If love is truly more important than anything else in the world, maybe you should start living your life like it. Take action and change can happen. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of magical thinking.

If you want to know how to take action, you can reach me here.

Join our conversation (300 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 61

    its all about luck and who you cross paths with in life – it has nothing to do with looks, personality or brains.   my married friends have none of those qualities and are all married to great men who look after them….even the fat btchy ones. they were just lucky enough to meet them before us.

  2. 62

    I’m 28 and happily married and pregnant ….I never went out and didn’t have many friends and I feel sorry for you ladies cause I never tried ….every relationship I had just felt into my lap ….I’m average looking, have a low paying job which thank god won’t have to work anymore cause my husband is wealthy, you are all obviously the problem

    1. 62.1


      While you are being very harsh in saying they “are all obviously the problem”, I do agree that a few of the women on here come off as disgustingly demanding divas.   I don’t know if they realize it or not.

      I’d love to meet some of these women and hold a conversation with them, to see if they can indeed “walk the walk” on their end, and thus reciprocate in kind to the insane demands they have for men.

  3. 63

    I fear that someone who sees their friends as not having looks, personalities or brains, and seems them as fat and bitchy,  wouldn’t know how to appreciate   a steady, commitment ready, marriage-minded man when he comes her way.   Many women, and possibly men, have fallen into the trap of believing their hotness makes them more viable prospects, and that they have the ability to “tame” men.    But the men  still do what they want regardless.
    It’s partly  luck but after my xth crap relationship it suddenly struck me that NO ONE IS THAT UNLUCKY.   Keep blaming your bad luck  or look to see what you can do better/different.
    When I was ready I met someone suitable. It was partly luck but mainly  I had changed.

  4. 64

    that was crush… and hard, but this made me realise where  I was doing and where I’m heading to…

  5. 65

    Jackie 60,   I see you are putting yourself out there, that’s great since a lot of people complain about being single and do nothing. They continue to just go to work and stay at home, then complain how they haven’t met anyone. it might be something you aren’t displaying enough of in your interactions with men, and/or the men you are choosing. That isn’t to be critical to but to be helpful.   I’m in the same boat and only a year older than you. Intensive self-reflection and research while dating this year has made me realize what part I’ve played in staying single all this time.   And there are 6 major reasons
    1. I wasn’t embracing my feminine energy as much as I am capable of since I was under some false impression that most men want women who “act more like men” nowadays. So I put on a false facade of being more aggressive than I actually am and lack of vulnerability…This was easy to reverse since I’m rather  naturally feminine energy person, not masculine.
    2. I was doing things that made me seem desperate, and needy   without   realizing it.
    3. I had trouble defining my boundaries and communicating them in a way that men would understand. — I still struggle with this sometimes due to a long time   habit of being “too nice”
    4. I wasn’t truly present on most dates. I was in my head too much wondering what the man was thinking instead of having my energy mainly in my body and heart.
    5. I didn’t drop enough cues to let men know it was ok for him to continue pursuing. e.g., expressing appreciation, asking enough questions about him as a person
    6. I was interested in men who were more like my clone than a complement…In this regard,   different from most women since I wasn’t all about his status.   But I started seeking someone who was more easy-going, very laid back than I was, yet also expecting him to be a “take charge” person.   And I was looking for him to have a ton of  common interests.    I would be better off trying more guys who are   more “take charge”, and focus more on common core values than having everything in common down the list.     
      I used to say it was all just because I was picky and the “good men” were taken, etc.    But at the same time deep down, I felt that I was part of the equation.   So this isn’t me saying all the men I’ve interacted with are perfect and did nothing wrong—they were far from it. But at the end of the day we can only control ourselves and see where we play   part…the thing that most of us don’t want to do.   At least now that I’ve been working on me, my experiences have improved  significantly.   And when things go wrong, I    feel more confident that the man simply wasn’t the right one and it’s easier to leave when I see they are wrong for me.  

  6. 66
    its over

    Ive tried everything and im in my 40s now, the ship has sailed, men in my age group seek under 35, i know i will die alone and i did not deserve this, karma is bullshit, bad things happen to good people and i regret all the good i have done and sacrifices i made to help others because it has not helped me. i have stopped trying to meet a man an instead hoping and doing things that will bring my death closer because the thought of another 40 years of this lonely life makes me sick and cry uncontrolably every day of my miderable worthless existance. I have watched all my friends marry and have children and i have been deprived of this……the only thing that keeps me happy is knowing that death is real and will happen unlike love

    1. 66.2

      As a man i feel the same way you do, but someday our luck will change. Hang in there.

    2. 66.3

      So go to Senegal o some of the other places where over-the-wall women go and pick one of those young dudes.   Yes, he will never see you as a 21 year old college girl, so what?   Between your crushing loneliness and a young stud….

      Or date one of the 80% of men that women find “undesirable”.

  7. 67

    Its over
    finding a man is the least of your problems. No man is able to make your life worth living or make you feel better about yourself. sacrificing yourself on the altar of being good is not going to get you anything worthwhile, and I,m a Christian.
      You can be yourself, which means all the less “good” bits and still be with someone. in fact, I would say it is a requirement. You can have your own mind and can disagree, and have bad days, while still being fun to be with, kind, compassionate etc.   a worthwhile man or woman isn,t looking to be with someone who has no needs or opinions. there would be a dimension missing.
    i know many women older than us who married, i also know many who didn,t and are contented with their church,   social life, hobbies, families. I was up for either option having battled with and overcome depression, then I met someone. He has added a new fulfilment to my life but I can’t say he has made me happier. I was happy before I met him and I’d been single for over five years.
    you don’t know what life holds. The future is unknowable. enjoy the blessings of today, the good earth, the people you know, your talents, hobbies, home, food,animals, health. It.s 2013.   I can attest that a lot can happen in a year.

  8. 68

    Ladies, take heart; a couple of recent posts on this thread are very mean-spirited and those people have partners.   So there really is someone for everyone.

  9. 69
    Karl R

    its over said: (#66)
    “i did not deserve this,”
    Dating is not a meritocracy.
    Dating is similar to a job hunt. The best jobs aren’t always filled by the best employees. The best employees don’t always end up in the best jobs. Therefore, if you know what you’re doing, you can end up with a slightly better employee/job than what you actually should deserve.
    its over said: (#66)
    “i regret all the good i have done and sacrifices i made to help others because it has not helped me.”
    I know a man who won’t do anything for you unless he know that he’ll benefit from it. Does he sound like good boyfriend/husband material?
    its over said:  (#66)
    “i have stopped trying to meet a man”
    I know a bunch of men … how should I describe them … when the going gets tough, they give up and quit. Are they the kind of men you’d want to depend upon in a lifelong marriage?
    its over said:  (#66)
    “instead hoping and doing things that will bring my death closer”
    “the only thing that keeps me happy is knowing that death is real and will happen”
    Do men who take unnecessary risks, who have unhealthy lifestyles and who are suicidal turn you on?
    its over said:  (#66)
    “the thought of another 40 years of this lonely life makes me sick and cry uncontrolably every day of my miderable worthless existance.”
    Do you feel better about yourself when you spend time with people who suffer from severe, chronic depression?
    its over said:  (#66)
    “i have been deprived of this”
    “i did not deserve this, karma is bullshit, bad things happen to good people”
    I know some people who never accept responsibility for their own circumstances. Instead, they constantly blame others (people, fate, god, the universe) for every bad thing that has happened to them.
    Do you enjoy sitting down and having a conversation with people like that?
    Dating is not a meritocracy. Dating is marketing. And the way you’re presenting yourself is killing your chances to find everyone. In one paragraph you’ve convinced me that I wouldn’t want to spend a one hour dinner-party in your company, much less the rest of my life.
    If you change the way you express yourself, you still might end up single, but you’ll definitely be a lot less lonely.
    its over said:  (#66)
    Ive tried everything and im in my 40s now, the ship has sailed, men in my age group seek under 35, i know i will die alone”
    You’re lying to yourself.
    How is it relevant that men in your age group seek under 35? There are lots of men who aren’t in that age group. Some of those men date women in their 40s … and 50s … and 60s (etc).
    And the only way you could remain ignorant of what those other men do, is if you’ve limited your dating to the narrow age range close to you.
    So when you say you’ve “tried everything, you’re lying to yourself. You haven’t tried broadening the group of men you’d consider for a husband.
    If you’d rather spend the next 40 years alone, rather than try dating some men who are 10-15 years older (or younger) than you, that’s certainly a valid choice. I won’t fault you for making that decision.
    But I won’t have much patience (or sympathy) when you blame everything but your own choices for the situation you’ve ended up in.

  10. 70

    Louise 62,
    Your comments are obviously to be expected from someone who has never actually worked for anything in life. You only care to profit from others and don’t see a need to do for others as most of us do. Most women try hard and expect the same in return from a partner. If your choice is to not work, have babies and use someone else to live off of that is great. However, most people don’t behave that way and I personally find that behavior low class and disgraceful to women who are intelligent and enjoy working hard and getting further in life, not sitting around sipping tea and watching life go by.

  11. 71

    Women single over 30 need therapy and advice on how to get a man to b with them,   i am 33 and married for 7 years however even when i was single i always had men persuing me and was always dumping them-its not about luck its about you as a person and what you do to turn these men off you otherwise you would not be so desperate-men can sense this and it is a TURN OFF!!!!! And stop looking and he will come just like my husband found me-i was engaged at the time and hence not looking and he came to me-stop being so desperate and worrying about marriage and it will come to YOU, trust me i am proof of this-good luck

  12. 72

    Kerrianna, while you make several cogent points, the notion that single women over 30 need therapy and advice is a blanket statement.   Some certainly do.   But not all.   Some women merely have to understand that to attract a man, you can behave in a way that would attract a woman.   I make my point as a woman over 30 who is struggling with emotional blocks that keep me from finding a successful relationship.   Sometimes the woman is perfectly emotionally healthy, not dependent, etc. and it’s just a matter of timing.

  13. 73

    kerrianna #71
    You’re 33, and married for 7 years? Well, dating over 40 is a very different proposition than dating in your twenties. Dating at that age for women is a piece of cake in comparison.

  14. 74

    I just had to comment about “Jen from NYC” (post #17 and beyond). I like your attitude! You come off as being truly wise, and happy! You really leave no doubt that your story is true! Good for you Jen, may you have a good marriage with your “dorky” boyfriend! hehehe

  15. 75

    i am a straight man that certainly has the same problem like so many men and women out there today. i am not shy at all, and it seems that so many women are very picky today. i was married at one time myself before my wife of fifteen years cheated on me, and i was a very caring and loving husband that was very committed to her as well. most of the women nowadays are playing very hard to get, and with so many women today that have a very bad attitude problem does certainly makes it much worse. it is very hard for many of us men to approach a woman that we would like to talk too, because they are so very nasty to us. why is that? and yet they will go out with men that treat them very mean. now that i am in my late fifties, it certainly makes it even much harder for me. i hate going out as it is, because with so many women nowadays act like a drama queen which many of them are so very drunk to begin with. women were much different years ago which made it much easier to meet a good one back then, especially with the help of many family and friends too. today so many women are looking for a man with a very large bank account, and can’t accept a man for who he is anymore. and now that so many women have very high paying jobs, they really think that they are God’s gift to men since they are making much more money than many of us men do.

  16. 76

    People  in modern day America are exceedingly spoiled and selfish.   But I see more young women playing games and disrespecting men than the other way around.   That’s because young chicks have an abundance of men, hence spoiled. Only players and  high status males can get what they  need (sex) with who they want (attractive young women).   Nice guys are considered as needy loosers and are destroyed in the game.   Some come back as players, but sadly, many are completely destroyed by depression and negativity.   Then Everyone acts as if they are too good for everyone else.   Everyone is acting like a player.   Everyone wants to have the power, be in control, get what they want, etc.
    But then women need to marry.   And so the balance power shifts.   A woman’s looks begin to fade and suddenly she begins to experience the neediness and insecurity of not being able to find what she needs (commitment) from the men she desires.   She looks for nice guys that are attractive but finds none…only players.   Now you reap what you sow!

  17. 77

    I have to chuckle at the women who say that online dating doesn’t work for them, especially the pretty ones.
    You have, God knows how many men contacting you, and yet, not a single one is good enough for you?
    You are just too picky. That’s all there is to it.
    Also, you need to approach us for a change. Or, at the very least, show us an interest. Give us that look. You know the look.  
    Don”t make us do all the work.
    You want equality, there ya go.
    I’m single because I am tired of doing all the work. Women don’t even show an interest, yet they want a man in their lives.

  18. 78

    IME Perry most who contacted me just looked at my pic and didn’t bother to even read my profile as most were Long distance so not even really practically avaiable to date me or smoked. When I had clearly stated that I wasn’t interested in people who smoked or were not parctically available if not in practible radius. Even clearly and directly stating deal breaker distance. Men who could not even be   bothered to read my profile and just contacing me due to my looks turned me off big time. I was not compatible with most men who contacted me. MMM is that me being picky Yes I don’t want to settle for a man who can’t be bothered to read what I want, don’t want or like and settle for someone who is not on the same page as me.
    I prefer meeting people who are really available in real life. who take care of thir health and listen to me as a whole person rathe than someone who is not really available, has any addictions and is more interested in my looks than who I am

  19. 79

    @Perry #77
    Here’s the thing: attractive women have the luxury of pickiness, you might not like that but there it is. I get about 15 messages a day and about 15-30 men picking me on quick match. The vast  majority of them I filter out right away due to things like age/distance/weight. Then the next group I actually check out their profile, if there are glaring things that make them incompatible I filter them out. That leaves me with 1-3 men to respond to a day, most of them filter themselves out due to lack of follow through. So yes, online dating is a numbers game even for pretty women.

  20. 80
    Sparkling Emerald

    Perry @ 77
    I have to chuckle at the women who say that online dating doesn’t work”
    Laughing at others frustrations is unbecoming, not nice and insensitive.   Especially if you don’t know them.   Seems to me you are just ASSUMING that a woman who isn’t part of a couple is entirely to blame and you feel justified laughing at her. Many men express the same frustration with online dating.   I don’t feel like chuckling at them.   I understand their pain.   Not everyone who is currently un-attached is defective or picky.   Most of us have been in relationships in the past, and will be again at some point in the future.   Right now, most of us are in between relationships. You think laughing at the opposite genders pain is appealing ?   If you approach an “available” woman with the attitude that her state of singleness is something to taunt and laugh at her about, & must be HER FAULT,   I hardly see how that attitude will help you. Unless you plan on only approaching women who are already part of a couple.   (A technique advocated by many PUA sites)
    “You have, God knows how many men contacting you, and yet, not a single one is good enough for you?”
    OR, maybe several are deemed “good enough”, and then they pull the amazing disappearing act.   A big topic on this blog and just about every other blog is women who meeta   guy,   & think he’s GREAT. After a few promising dates, maybe even after sex,   he dissappears.   I don’t see too many letters from women who say they’ve never been on a date because they have never met anyone good enough.   One could easily flip your comment around to the men and say, “You have slept with God knows how many women, and yet not a single one is good enough to be your girlfriend or wife”
    “You are just too picky. That’s all there is to it.”   And you know this how ?   Very few things in life are so simple that one can attribute it to ONE and ONLY ONE factor.   Often times, two great people meet, but they just aren’t a match for each other.  
    “Also, you need to approach us for a change.”  
    Almost every relationship coach, male & female advises against that.   An article written by a male has been posted AT LEAST twice to this blog, where he admitted that a guy will feel perfectly justified humping and dumping a girl precisely because SHE MADE THE FIRST MOVE.   Most women don’t like being humped and dumped.   If that makes us “picky” in your eyes, so be it.
    “Or, at the very least, show us an interest. Give us that look. You know the look. “

    Pffffft, Most of the relationship advice is geared towards women, because that is who shows an interest in building relationships.   Most of the advice geared towards men is how to pick up women, mostly for the purpose of no strings attached sex.   Women are more interested in RELATIONSHIPS then men.   I have been to single events, I have seen women giving men the look, and being ignored.   I have seen men approaching women, and getting the cold shoulder.   What I see in the world is men wanting women who don’t want them, and vice versa.   It’s a HUMAN problem, not an issue of one gender or the other being too picky.   Many PEOPLE are too picky, and many people just haven’t met their match.   No matter how great and compatible 2 people may seem on paper, if they aren’t BOTH attracted to each other, it won’t work.   Neither person is bad for not being attracted to the other.
    “I’m single because I am tired of doing all the work. Women don’t even show an interest, yet they want a man in their lives.”
    You are single, because you have given up (for now) The women YOU WANT, haven’t reciprocated an interest in YOU.   And most likely there have been women who HAVE been interested in you, that YOU had no interest in.   Just because you have rejected women who aren’t interested in you, does that make you picky ?   Just because you want a mate, are you supposed to accept ANY woman who is interested in you, just because you don’t want to be single any more ?  
    “You want equality, there ya go”  
    By equality, if you mean voting rights, equal access to education & employment opportunities, etc., yes, that is a matter of civil rights and of course most of want that.   Has NOTHING to do with interpersonal relationships.   Also,   being equal doesn’t mean being the same.   A couple can have different roles in a relationship, without one being considered the inferior.  
    You might think that you haven’t “rejected” any woman if you’ve never humped and dumped, or been the one to end a relationship.   (Which I doubt)   If you’ve ever done online dating, every profile that you’ve viewed but not written to, is a rejection.   In real life, every woman who HAS given you “the look” that you either ignored, or just didn’t notice, you have rejected. Doesn’t make you a bad person, and women who reject you aren’t bad people or picky either.  
    I would say that MOST people have been rejected and have done the rejecting.   Some people   like to say that it is ALWAYS the fault of the opposite gender. (If s/he rejects me, s/he’s “too picky”, if I reject her/him it’s because s/he really is defective)    In most cases NO ONE is at fault, they just weren’t a match.
    Judging from the number of married couples in the world, your “picky women” theory doesn’t hold water.   Even with recent changes in some states regarding same sex marriage, MOST married couples consist of a man and a woman.   Take a look at all the married people.   Are they ALL drop dead gorgeous, super athletes with PhD’s ?   Not at all.   Lots of every day people with a wide range of looks, income, education levels, personality traits, virtues and vices get married every day.   THAT couldn’t happen if one gender or the other was “too picky”
    Rose @ 78 – I hear you !   I have very little selection criteria in my profile.   No height preference, no income preference, no education level preference, no job type preference.   My profile indicates that I am looking for a relationship.   I have a 50 mile radius, a 10 year plus or minus may age preference, smoking and drugs are NO WAY.   I have been contacted by a 40 year old married man looking for some side action (on OK Cupid) 30 year old chain smokers, and men from the other side of the country.   I no longer respond to men I’m not interested in, but when I did, I got an argument from a man across the country, telling me that “distance doesn’t matter”.   (As if what matters to ME, doesn’t matter)   Well ain’t I just the picky little princess who won’t sleep with married men, or have a long distance “relationship” with a chain smoker young enough to be my son.

    1. 80.1

      “I have very little selection criteria in my profile.   No height preference, no income preference, no education level preference, no job type preference.   My profile indicates that I am looking for a relationship.   I have a 50 mile radius, a 10 year plus or minus may age preference, smoking and drugs are NO WAY.   I have been contacted by a 40 year old married man looking for some side action (on OK Cupid) 30 year old chain smokers, and men from the other side of the country.”

      Really? So you pick a few straw-man representatives and run with them as the grand representation of men?

      And you’re dead-wrong about women not being picky. Even in their 40s, women with ANY decent looks are very picky and quite ruthless with their dismissiveness, concerning inconsequential “flaws” in men.   If nothing else has been ingrained in me through online dating sites and apps, it is this fact.

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