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Growing old alone

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Dear Raina;

After finally escaping from a very unhappy and long-term marriage, I was initially looking forward to finally meeting my soul mate, or at least someone decent that I could spend the rest of my life with, but I have been dating for about 2 years now and the dating scene has been discouraging to say the least. I have tried all the online dating sites, have lost count of the number of first dates I’ve had, and met a few men that I thought might have potential. The problem is, once I get to know these men, I realize that they are nothing like the men they described in their online profile. Examples: Bachelor #1 is “adventurous, easygoing, and loving” – reality: “couch potato, lazy and self-centered”; Bachelor #2 “wants to see the world, fun-loving and romantic” – reality: “hasn’t been out of Fort Collins for 10 years (unless you count an occasional drive to Denver), is a workaholic and a player”; Bachelor #3 is “ambitious, caring and family-oriented” – reality: “incredibly controlling, judgmental and hasn't seen his 2 kids by a previous marriage for over a year”. You get the idea. I’m so frustrated that I’m ready to give up and surrender to the reality of growing old alone. Is it possible that my standards are too high?

- Growing Old Alone

Dear Growing Old Alone:

I don’t think your standards are too high if these men are truly what you say they are. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve run into this issue myself, and have friends that have had the same experience. People are not objective about themselves. When these men complete their dating profiles, they may actually be describing how they see themselves, which unfortunately may not be anything resembling what they actually are. Photos are another issue – what goes through a person’s mind when they post a photo of themselves taken 15 years/100 pounds/a head of hair ago? Obviously, when and if you actually meet this person, you are going to see what they really look like and probably be pretty annoyed when you discover this deceit. It might be a good idea to just take a break from dating for awhile. Get involved with some activities you enjoy, spend time with family and friends, and try to enjoy just being alone for a few months. Once you feel up to it, venture out into the dating jungle again, but go into it with your eyes wide open. Don’t just listen to what a man tells you about himself, watch his actions and reactions, which will tell you more about him than anything he can say. If a man says “I love rock-climbing”, don’t get excited and start thinking that you’re made for each other since rock-climbing is one of your favorite pastimes. He may very well love rock-climbing, OR he may think it sounds like fun but never actually tried it. Tread carefully, and watch for the warning signs that indicate he is out-of-touch with reality or just saying whatever he thinks you want to hear.

Although growing old alone would be preferable to spending life with one of the men you described, I believe that with patience and persistence, you will eventually find what you are looking for. Try to keep a positive attitude, and don't give up (although taking a break every now and then might be advisable). Good luck!

Need relationship advice? Email Raina at raina_advice@comcast.net

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Follow Raina’s blog at http://rainagranger.blogspot.com/, or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rainagranger.

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