Thirty-five, single, and ready to find that special someone? Dear John at your service.
I’m a 35-year-old single man living a good life. I have a great career, my own place, I love to cook, have hobbies, and two cats. About a year ago the relationship I was in ended. I decided at that time that I would take some time away from the dating scene and work on “me.” It took me a while, but I realized that was the best thing I could have done. Now I feel like I’m ready to get back out there and try to find someone to experience new things with. I’ve learned that I have to take one day at a time and just let things flow. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s OK to jump, but to jump with my eyes wide open.
The one thing I find myself curious about is how am I going to find someone I am compatible with. Finding someone seems to get more difficult. Work is not an option, and I don’t think I’m going to find a serious relationship by meeting someone in a bar. So I was wondering if you had any advice for a mid-30-something average guy with a good head on his shoulders. Where should I go? How do people meet these days?
Thanks for listening and your advice.
Single and Searching
I think the way you’ve gone about this is great. Taking some time to assess and not rush into another relationship to blunt the pain of the failure of the last one is very wise.
I don’t know how long it’s been since you were in a position to meet someone new, but in the past 10 years or so, online dating has become far and away the most common way to meet new people. (This is just my personal observation.) Just about everyone I know who’s not in a relationship has tried it. There are tons of dating websites, and each has a different way of connecting you to people you may enjoy meeting. If you go this route, be sure to do some research and try to find a site with a philosophy that’s compatible with yours.
Another way to meet new people has been around much longer: being introduced through mutual friends. There’s nothing wrong with letting your friends know that you’re ready to start dating again and that if there’s anyone they think you should meet, you’re open to it.
The funny thing about meeting someone new, though, is that it seems to happen when you least expect it—the more you try to make it happen, the less likely it becomes. You write that you want to find someone to experience new things with, but I would suggest that it’s usually the other way around: it’s when you’re out on your own, experiencing new things for their own sake and not even thinking about meeting someone, when someone meets you. So whatever you want to try, get out there and try it. Good luck!
Should someone get credit for doing the right thing for the wrong reason? I’m friends with a couple, and the wife is always bragging about how her husband would never cheat on her, she trusts him completely, etc., etc. I know this is true, but it’s not because he adores her as much as she thinks. He’s actually a bit of a letch and he would cheat on her in a second if he could be 100 percent certain he wouldn’t get caught. So his monogamy is mostly attributable to cowardice, not devotion. This got me to thinking, does it matter why someone does the right thing, as long as they do it?
Tired of Lies
I wonder how you can be so certain about this husband’s true motivations. Does he put on a show of sexual braggadocio when you’re alone with him? Isn’t it possible that’s a persona he adopts when he’s with you just to show you he’s still “one of the guys”?
Your letter raises an interesting question. I guess I would say the ideal scenario is to do the right thing for the right reasons, but it’s better to do the right thing for the wrong reasons than to say “screw it” and do the wrong thing. And how many of us are completely exempt from this kind of quiet moral compromise? Maybe we wouldn’t cheat on our spouses even if we could get away with it, but would we cheat on our taxes? Would we shoplift from a big box store that would “never miss it anyway”? Not doing something wrong for simple fear of getting caught applies to all of us at one time or another, I suspect.
Let’s talk about you, though. Why are you so annoyed by this couple’s happy marriage? Whatever its dynamics, what concern are they of yours? Would you like to tell the wife, “Your husband’s not so great—he’d cheat on you in a second if he could get away with it”? What kind of friend would do that? I would subject your own motivations to as much scrutiny as you’ve apparently given this guy’s. There seems to be something going on here you’re not being completely honest with yourself about.
I’m not sure where to begin, so I will dive right in. I’m 22 years old and a senior in college. I am juggling four men and want them all. They each want to go to the next level and get serious but I honestly cannot choose among them—I’m lovesick for each one! Between all four there is 0 percent body fat, multiple degrees, and endless dinner dates. As soon as I think I’ve decided on one, the next arrives with a weekend getaway planned. I feel like I’m on The Bachelorette but without her excuse to lead all these guys on! Besides a pros and cons chart, what am I to do?
What are you to do?! Enjoy it!
If you’re not ready to pick one of these guys, then don’t. Why do you have to? You do have to be honest with them though, especially if you’re having sex with them.
It sounds like each guy is unaware that he faces some stiff competition for your affection, so you have to come clean with each of them and let them all know that you’re just not ready to see one of them exclusively right now. Not being the only one may cause one or two of them to drop out of the race, or it may cause them to redouble their efforts to be your sole choice. Once you’ve let them know the deal, though, you don’t owe them anything else.
If your heart, or any other part of you, is not ready to commit to one of these guys, then trust it, and don’t.
Write to John Simpson at [email protected]
—Photo (mcsdwarken)/via Flickr