25 November 2021

Dear Fiona: I’ve made lots of new friends – but why is it so hard to find a suitable partner?

25 November 2021

The problem…

“I am 36 and divorced with three children. Although they are the most important thing in my life, I would dearly love to have a special person to share things with once more. I have done everything I can to find another meaningful relationship, but nothing has worked.

“I have tried dating agencies, lonely hearts columns, penfriends, social clubs, pubs and clubs and even joined the local ladies cricket team because they run excellent social events. In spite of this, I still haven’t met anyone I’d like to settle done with. Most of the men I’ve met are either married or seem to be just interested in sex – sometime, both! Perhaps I’m too old-fashioned but that’s not the only thing I want in a relationship, and I feel as though there is a gaping hole in my life.

“I’ve become an outgoing, chatty sort of person and whilst I’ve found many new friends and met lots of interesting people, I still haven’t found Mr Right. What am I doing wrong?”

Fiona says…

“I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong at all. Except, perhaps, trying too hard maybe? It’s great that you are being so proactive. But are you making the search for Mr Right the sole purpose of your life? Life is about so much more than that. You’ve already achieved more than many people, so why not see the interesting social life you lead as an end in itself, rather than a means to finding a new man? There are so many lonely people who would be delighted to have a life like yours, and especially would love the confidence you seem to have when it comes to meeting and making new friends.

“I certainly don’t think it’s ‘old-fashioned’ to want more from a relationship than simply sex, so stick to your guns on this. No one should feel pressured to have a sex with someone they’re not interested in having a relationship with. We all have our own standards, so stick to what is right for you.

“As to the gaping hole you talk about, why not think about filling it with other things? To be fair, it sounds like you’re already doing a great job here. And I’m not suggesting you give up on the obvious ways of finding a new partner – continue with the dating agencies and the lonely-hearts columns if you like – but perhaps change the emphasis of your search. When we are desperate to find a partner, that desperation shows and often puts people off.

“You are an outgoing, chatty person so use those skills to keep making friends, develop a range of new interests and set yourself challenging goals. And maybe try and be more relaxed about things. You never know, if you stop trying so hard you could well find that your chances of meeting someone who’s right for you are that much better.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to [email protected] for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

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