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

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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? 🙁

Lauren

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.

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Comments:

  1. 141
    InverseFloater

    Evan, I think the issue here is that many women will lower their standards of how they want to be treated by a *sexy* man rather than lower their standards as to what is *sexy* – the harsh truth is that virtually all women find the same 10-20% of men attractive so those men are going to inundated with offers of sex – and they think he’s going to commit to them?

    Just like men are told to lower their expectations – women who want to be in good partnerships need to value abs, money, and symmetry less, while valuing intelligence, virtue, and courage more.

    – for all the women who will say oh they do value intelligence, virtue, and courage more – what you are doing is filtering out the 80% of unattractive guys first and then saying you want those virtues – such a crock of sh1t! lol

  2. 142
    gardengnome

    Why can’t this woman find a guy she likes? Well, you get you’re answer in the first seven words of the article. ‘I’m 42′.

    A very harsh truth of the world is that women hold the cards in their early 20s and if they don’t play them, they lose them.

  3. 143
    Chris

    I doubt anyone wants to hear this, but I’ve been a single guy for 36 years, I’ve never bothered going on a date, except when I was in my 20s and desperate for a wife (which turned women off). Now I’ve made my own happiness.

    Thing is, women aren’t as attractive as they used to be. Men are getting the milk for free, just by making a phone call to these sluts.   Most men are not only attracted to these good girls who also have self respect, but they also respect the ones who wait until marriage to have sex. These men are disappearing, of course, but the back of every guys head, they want to marry a virgin.   A feminine virgin.   If you act like a rude feminist, then you are going to attract rude people. I personally don’t mind an aggressive woman, but there’s a difference in “I can take care of myself” aggressive and going after the man you want aggressive. My two cents..

  4. 144
    Jessy

    Married isn’t Key of life

    Happiness is

    That isn’t your wrong to be single and happy

    That will wrong if you married with wrong person and he destroy your heart your life

    Well I just wanna say

    You have value enough to be single, you know what you want and just not found yet and if not found just let it go don’t waste time with suck person

    By the way you have a lot of thing that can make your soul happiness just find what you would like to do or what interesting activities you won’t do yet

    Do it! And be happy dear

    Ps.Sorry for my poor english

  5. 145
    TL

    Well,

    I’m a 42 year old divorcee with two kids. I wrote a self-help inspiration book about forgiveness and moving forward after divorce. I have been single for 11 years. I have had an occassional friend or two I’m between but nothing serious. It was intentional on my part. But now im in the trenches of life dodging every circumstantial grenade that is launched my way alone. I do believe in being proactive…but there is a fine line between proactiveness and desperate in the dating world. I get it. Make yourself known, available and approachable….i do those things. But I’m doing too much of this we could deny ourselves the courting experience we want and deserve. Men are hunters….yet the hunt is overrated and not happening in 2016. You made a lot of good points. You did….but let’s face it, men sont want wives…they want trophies…even the 5’s. As a matter of fact men don’t want some   they want the cyblrgish look alike of a sleezy reality star. Not all men…but a lot of men have traded unyielding requirements for a shallow standard. It’s true.

    1. 145.1
      Jonathan Castle

      “Courting experience we want and deserve.”

      Honestly, courting is for 18-year old virgins.   Men will work and charm and persist through all challenges for the opportunity of   a lifetime with a young, fertile girl.

      At 42, I think courting is not realistic.   You aren’t a young princess anymore.

      Is it enough for you to have a healthy, fun relationship with a man?   Because if you want the Disney-land experience, I think you’re setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment.

      Men see this need for ‘courting’ as a big tell of childishness.   You can’t have a serious relationship with a child.

  6. 146
    LAUS DEO

    I know no one will believe me when I post this but it is true with not one wit of exaggeration. I am successful, well educated, emotionally and financially stable, very athletic ( I still compete in sports) I own multiple properties, I have traveled extensively and I am well read. Here’s the part you won’t believe, Pierce Brosnan or Mark Valley doesn’t have anything on my looks (I am not bragging God made made me who I am). I have people stop me and ask me if I am a famous person or are you in the movies? I am just like the people above have described. I have not found a wife or even a serious relationship with a woman. I don’t understand it! The only way to describe it is well! I can’t describe it! It’s beyond description!

    1. 146.1
      Joy

      As a well educated, good looking woman I tend to shy away from overly good looking men.   Men objectify women enough – when they are rich AND good looking they are, in my experience the biggest douche bags on earth.   They have swanned through life using women and they have the ego and arrogance to match.   My last relationship was with a multi-millionaire – he was controlling and arrogant.   Since as long back as I can remember the best looking guys treated girls the worst and then some.   It seems they don’t need to try to be nice or kind and so they don’t be.   Maybe a lot of other women have had the same experiences with good looking men as I have?   The other possibility is of course, that you’re too busy to put yourself into positions to meet suitable women. I met my millionaire on a cruise – he was with his kids, I was with mine.   The good thing about that was no WI-FI so we had no idea what the other earned – he could be assured I wasn’t after him for his money, lol… Unfortunately, his personality after a while showed itself, so his money couldn’t save him then. I thought he was unbelievably good looking but I don’t have a taste for pretty boys.   Maybe women are intimidated by your looks??   Most good looking men are players because they can be – the last thing a serious woman wants is a player. In this case your movie star good looks are probably working against you.   I’m not suggesting you are a player it’s just most women might think you are because of your looks.

  7. 147
    Elizabeth

    Nothing new in my story.   I’m 56, very well-educated, confident, successful, talented, pretty.   People take me for 10 years younger.   I’m divorced with 2 nearly grown daughters.   I’ve been on two dating sites for more than three months, and I’ve never had a conversation let alone gone on a date.   Evan, I purchased your Finding Love Online and found it very helpful.   I worked through it, and took your advice. I religiously send out the questions   (I’m on eHarmony) and send emails, but no takers. Lots of men smile or tell me what a nice profile I have.   But no takers. Men I don’t want, who clearly are not compatible, are very bold, but not the others.   I’m not talking about the Brad Pitts; I’m talking about ordinary men who have something interesting between the ears.   I live in central New York state, not exactly no man’s land, but very few of my matches are less than two hours away. are several hours away.   I’m willing to do the distance, because I’m not closed to relocation, but they’re not.   I’ve fooled with the settings. I’m willing to date outside of race and religion. I have a great profile (I’m a writer, and I know I do), and good photos.   No takers.   I last dated a man my age who   I met face through a friend, but he is now engaged to someone 27 years younger.   We were serious about each other, but I think when it came time to move to the next level,   my confidence and accompishment were off-putting.   He didn’t know what to do with me. It was easier to start with someone who hadn’t yet lived a full life. I’m an optimistic, forward-thinking person.   I have a close circle of friends, a job I love, great kids, and a rich life.    Part of me believes that there must be someone there for me.   I’m not an oddball, after all.   I will persevere, but it is getting discouraging.

    1. 147.1
      Johnny

      Honestly, being 56 is the biggest reason. Sucks to say it but as a man who’s 5’5″, I know all about a condition you can’t help that is crippling. Very few men are looking for a woman of that age and even men in your age group will be looking at someone who’s younger and can usually get away with it. A lot of women in their 20s and 30s foolishly think that they can just play the field and focus on their career and that men will simply be available when they want them later on. Sorry ladies, but that’s not how it works. By the time they’re “ready” and done with their partying and climbing up the business ladder, they’re older and fallen behind in competition with younger women. Men usually don’t lose much social appeal as they age, as plenty of celebrity men in their 50s are considered sex symbols while the opposite is very rare. it’s just a sad reality that as women get older, they lose appeal.

      Saying all of that, I do truly hope you find someone. You sound like a lovely woman and hopefully someone gives you a chance. As I said before, I have no illusions that being 5’5″ is a major crippling blow to my dating prospects and very few women are interested in guys under 6′ tall, especially online.

  8. 148
    Roberto

    So, she thinks she may be dating idiots or men that are not marriage material?   Sounds like someone has issues with who they choose to go out with and/or has lousy taste and a lousy attitude.

  9. 149
    Jonathan Castle

    48 year old divorced white man here.

    Male/female relationships are just totally foobar’d in 2017.

    o Marriage is predatory for men.

    o Dating is predatory for women.

    I get dates on Match, but just haven’t wanted to follow through after the first.   After finding women somewhat in shape, the biggest stumbling blocks for me is:

    Aggressive Liberal/feminists attitudes

    Really.   I just don’t see how a healthy relationship can develop when someone has such a large chip on their shoulder about men.

    Everything is confrontational / competitive from the very start.   Ladies, I can tell you a high value man in his forties has Zero appetite for this.    He’s already paid his relationship dues in his life and will just walk at the first hint of more.

    I’m beginning to think the best this generation can hope for is ‘living together apart’.    Being together but not living together.

  10. 150
    Johnny

    Here’s a  simple test to give women who “don’t know why” they’re single.

    Have you ever turned down a guy for being “too nice”?

    Have you  ever given your number to a guy you weren’t really interested in but was just trying to “be nice” then ignore him?

    Have you labeled guys who responded to your texts promptly as “clingy”?

    Have you ever had a great time on a date, laughed plenty, had much in common, but turned him down because he “was just like a friend”?

    If you answered yes to those, then congratulations, you’re the problem. Sort yourself out first and then get back to it. Way too many women complain about men being “no good” yet can’t look at themselves in the mirror and see how they’re acting.

  11. 151
    Phil

    Lol. This is all very interesting to read, I will not pick sides simply because we are all entitled to our opinion so hence I read, learn and move on. But my contribution must be heard 🙂 It is truly amazing how we all have something someone else needs but they can’t find, and we need what someone else has but we can’t find. Life is funny.

    I’m 33, single man, and a beautiful soul like some people have described themselves here and I wonder, if these lovely ladies e.g Lauren and the others who are similar met me would they be happy in spite of my achievements and appearance? Is it truly that simple (matching goals and actions)? I don’t know, sincerely asking.

    Sometimes people don’t know what they need but think they do, we think we can/will compromise then we want a little more – is that wrong? I don’t know. If I had all the answers, I won’t be here. 🙂 I just feel that matters of the heart aren’t that simple. I have met lovely women but they wanted someone else. Some lovely ladies have met me but my heart was somewhere else.

    I found this article because I googled “why seemingly good people cant find someone to marry”, because I asked myself why having done most of what Evan wrote am I still single? Not unhappy, just curious 🙂

    Anyway, It is interesting (again) to read all these comments/views, I think I’ve learnt a few things that will help me going forward. So, thank you all.

    Finally, dear single ladies, I am a single young man, I have my life together and very available. 🙂

    Thanks for this post Evan.

  12. 152
    Lee

    Comparing dating to a job hunt really spoke to me. This is good! It’s true I should stop lying around and put myself out there the way I do with trying to find a job.

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