I haven’t had a boyfriend in almost a year and I’d really like one. Since my last relationship, I’ve had a handful of dates that went nowhere along with a few make-out sessions with inappropriate people like my ex’s best friend and a guy who lives 3,000 miles away and was only in town for the weekend. I am sick of being the only single person I know (truly, I don’t know one other single person) and my friends have begun uninviting me from things because of my single nature, which makes me feel like a pariah. And I get the impression they have given up hope on me ever getting a boyfriend because they aren’t willing to go out of their way to be my “wingman” or set me up with any of their single relatives/co-workers/friends. They are not helping the situation but I try not to let them get me down. I am rounding the corner on 30 this fall, and I know there is nothing wrong with being single and 30, but I want a family and a husband and someone to grow old with. Right now it’s pretty bleak. Maybe I am destined to be a spinster, and that thought makes me want to hurl myself off the nearest bridge. I am fairly certain I am attractive. I take good care of myself inside and out, and I am really mindful about how I present myself to the world. I am outgoing but not overly so, and I put myself in positions to meet new people all the time by taking classes, volunteering, venturing out of my comfort zone. But I am just not meeting people who want to go out with me. I can’t figure out what I can do differently and I could use some objective advice. — Sorry Single
Have you ever heard the expression “attitude is everything”? Well, I don’t quite believe it’s everything, but I’ll say it’s about 70 percent (the other 30 percent is circumstances, strategy, and luck). And I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but your attitude sucks major donkey balls. Seriously, you’re worrying and fretting about being an old spinster and you’re only 29 and have been single for less than a year? Girl, get a grip and quit being such a Negative Nancy! Maybe the reason your friends keep uninviting you to things (and, are you sure they’re really disinviting you as opposed to simply not inviting you in the first place?) is because you’re a buzzkill lately, not because you’re single. And maybe they’re beginning to resent you putting responsibility on them to be your “wingman” and set you up with their single co-workers. Frankly, based on only what you’ve written in your letter, of course, I’d certainly hesitate in setting you up with any single guys I happen to like too. I also have to wonder how proactive you are in actually being a friend. Are you inviting people to do things with you? Are you there for your friends who need you, or is it always about what you need because you’re the single one?
You’re like a dark room right now and not only are you unwelcoming to potential guests, it’s nearly impossible to see whatever cute decorating skills are on display. You might have the coolest bedding, a great mid-century, modern dresser, and some fabulous artwork hanging on the wall, but as long as the lights are turned off, no one will be able to appreciate those aspects. So, focus on changing your attitude and shining some light on your positive attributes. Quit thinking there’s something “wrong” with you because you’re 29 and single and start seeing life as a series of possibilities. Each day — each time you “venture out of your comfort zone” — presents not only the possibility of meeting someone you click with, but also the possibility to have fun, learn something new about yourself, and meet friends.
And new friends is exactly what you need right now! (It probably wouldn’t hurt if you brushed up on your friend-making skills here.) If the only people you hang out with are: a) all coupled up, and b) not inviting you to things anymore, then it seems clear you need to expand your social circle, preferably with a lot more single people. Instead of focusing all your attention on finding a man, think in terms of finding new friends who can potentially introduce you to lots of new people (some of whom may be single men). And if it’s a wingwoman you want, find another single girl who’s interested in going out with you, not your poor coupled friends who would probably rather drink nail polish for breakfast than spend every weekend night trolling for guys for you to meet. Honestly, I don’t know where you got this idea that it’s your friends’ job to find you dates, but you’ve got to get over that line of thinking right now. They’ve got their own lives, which are probably pretty hectic if they’re managing not just one, but two people’s schedules.
People are attracted to other people who love life. They see someone who’s having a great time — smiling and laughing a lot; surrounded by friends; content and confident — and they want in on that action. Does that describe you? If not, think about what you need right now — besides a boyfriend — to be happy. What do you need to be fulfilled? Because, let’s face it, if you’re waiting for a relationship to make you happy, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be setting that relationship up to fail from the get-go. The happiest relationships are between two people who are content and fulfilled on their own first. So become that person — become the kind of partner you want for yourself — and you’ll be in a much better place to find a boyfriend.
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.