Dear Annie: I am a 44-year-old single male who has been struggling with the dating scene. I only started dating in the last 15 years. Although I have met a lot of great people during that time, it seems as if being a gentleman, opening doors, trying to build a relationship, sending good morning/goodnight texts, and having great dates with laughter and a little flirting have scared women. away, especially in the last few years.
I’m at a loss of what to do. Having never been married or had kids has maybe freaked women out? I don’t know what it is. I believe I am doing all the right things, and yet I am not getting anywhere.
I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I will be single for the rest of my life. I’m exhausted in terms of trying to find my life partner. Is there any way to be single without feeling lonely all the time? Or feeling jealous of those who are in happy relationships? — Sadly Single
Dear Sadly Single: I’m sorry that you’ve had such a rough go of it. Sometimes, the secret to finding something is to stop looking. When you’re so committed to finding a life partner, you might be putting undue pressure on every woman you meet.
Instead, try taking a class or joining a local club or sports team, and then focus on simply becoming friends with the women you meet. When you get rid of the pressure to find “the one,” you’ll loosen up and have better odds of connecting.
It’s also a good idea to find a therapist who can help you overcome some of your dating struggles and cope with your feelings of loneliness. Good luck!
Dear Annie: I’m having issues with some things my mother-in-law has said to me. First, here’s some background information:
In January 2015, I found my husband of many years dead on the floor of our home after suffering a heart attack. I am a nurse and started CPR immediately to try to save him. I was unsuccessful. As a nurse, I know and understand what happened was something I wouldn’t have been able to save him from. However, it was a very traumatic experience. I was a widow before the age of 50.
Fast forward, I met and married a wonderful man, and we love each other dearly. I thank God for him every day and know he was sent to me.
I have treated his parents like my own. Since I am a nurse, I have helped with their medical issues. I plan, purchase and prepare a dinner every Sunday after church and send leftovers home with them.
His mother started making horrible comments towards me. First, she told me that I have a large chest and bottom. I responded with yes, I do, but your son enjoys them equally and frequently. If you have a problem, talk to him. She has accused me of murdering my former husband and of trying to put her in a home so I can steal her money. She refuses to believe she has done anything wrong and refuses to apologize. Finally, she tells her son and others she doesn’t know why I don’t like her.
I have tried to talk to her and have written a letter to her explaining exactly why I will not have anything to do with her because of the horrible things she has said to me. I need help with this monster-in-law. — Eaten Alive
Dear Eaten Alive: It sounds like you’ve already tried all the logical, considerate ways of breaking bread with this woman to no avail. Has your husband tried speaking with her? I’d think he’s equally unhappy and embarrassed with how his mother has treated you that a word from him would go a long way. It’s also not at all unreasonable to want him to defend you to his family after you’ve done nothing but care for them as if they were your own.
For now, continue to focus on and nurture a relationship you have control over — your marriage to your husband. Although her concerns are completely unfounded, give his mother the time and space to come around. I hope she finds it in her heart to accept you with open arms and release the reservations about your past that she’s holding onto.
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“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit Creators Publishing for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.
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