Why can't I meet someone?

Since this is a pub, I’ve been thinking about this topic. An acquaintance posted this elsewhere and I thought this might be an entertaining and perhaps enlightening topic in Pat’s Pub.

No, I’m not asking for myself. I don’t consider myself to be a good catch and men seem to be in agreement. :slightly_smiling_face: But there are quite a few that seem to have no social opportunities to meet people to have a meaningful relationship for the rest of their lives.

Of course, some have endured very negative experiences and I get that. But is there such a huge divide between people today that it’s increasingly difficult to find that special someone? Are there enough social venues? Do we treat people like disposable items? What do you see at play in culture today that prevents people from meeting and developing stronger, lasting bonds?

Remember to be kind and gracious. It’s not a brawl kind of topic, ya’ know.

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Unrealistic expectations.

I think the idea of “the one” gets in peoples’ way of developing meaningful, long-lasting romantic relationships. Playing into that is what @MintJulep mentioned, “unrealistic expectations”.

I had the benefit/curse of falling madly in love with anyone who gave me a second glance :smile: . So I was full force into every relationship, real or aspirational, I had. It resulted in lots of heartbreak for me before it finally didn’t.

I was thinking about this again, and another point to address @lacajun’s question occurred to me.

I don’t think it is necessarily a lack of social venues that has made it harder, but instead a lack of utilizing them for certain types. Extroverts never have problems meeting people but introverts might, and it is much easier for introverts to be “homebodies” in today’s world than in the past.

That all being said, the unrealistic expectations of oneself can play into that too.

Every person’s got a type and every type’s got a person. I had some serious self-worth issues for a long, dark period of my life. Things did change for me in a big way though, and a single relationship that I didn’t originally expect anything meaningful from changed my life entirely.

I think that’s part of the problem, no question. But I also think some people don’t care to meet any expectations and that’s just as unrealistic, to me.

I agree. When I dated, some of the men were always looking around the corner for the next better deal. That was disheartening but it was the way they wanted to live. It’s not my job to tell others how to live. So I decided that wasn’t for me and stopped dating them.

Some of the comments I read were about lack of social venues and the original poster was quite extroverted. He obviously enjoys life but had trouble meeting someone that met some, what I would also consider to be, basic criteria.

From some of the comments I read, people weren’t looking for “the one” and had pretty realistic expectations from a mate.

Here’s how I did it. I’ve known my wife since 6th grade when her family moved from GA to NC. It was in the 9th grade when the attraction started. My older brother and I were best friends to a set of twins who had a family band. They would play for pay every Friday and Saturday night. My brother and I found if we rode with them and help set up the instruments, we could get in free. Yes, we were roadies at ages 14 and 16. Anyway, one Saturday night Debbie came with a family group to the dance. I hadn’t noticed her until during a John Paul Jones, the whistle blew when she was directly across from me, so we danced. We’ve been together ever since. 49 years. We’ve been married 42 years. Because of a square dance at a Volunteer Fire House.

My story is a bit longer…

My marriage was a combination of magic and serendipity. My wife and I almost never got together.

I had returned from duck hunting with my Architect buddy and had nothing to do. Being bored, I went to a house party the office receptionist was holding. I wasn’t a house party person and it had been several years since I had gone to one. I grabbed a case of beer and hopped on my motorbike and went to Tracy’s place. At the party I met a bright young lady, Wanda, and we spent an hour or so talking, and I normally wasn’t much of a speaking person.

I got her phone number to call her later and wrote it on a matchbook cover; this was lost. Tracy had no idea of who she was; Tracy had only met her that day and invited her to the party… I lamented the fact that I had lost the contact info. Tracy ran into Wanda two or three weeks later. Wanda commented that she had met an engineer, at Tracy’s party, who was going to call her. Tracy explained that I had lost her number. Wanda came up to the office and we headed out for lunch.

We went to lunch or dinner a dozen or more times and then it was Christmas. I picked up a few little gifts for Wanda and her children. She had a young son and daughter from her previous marriage.

After the New Year we continued our lunch dates and one afternoon when I walked her to the elevator, she gave me a light, demure kiss… that did it. Up to that point there was no romance and I wasn’t looking for anyone; I just liked her company. I was ‘twitterpated’…

Wanda suffered from lupus and during her last bout, her ex looked after the children. When Wanda wanted to take them out, he would only let her take one or the other. Wanda had legal custody and she didn’t want a court fight so she acquiesced.

I had asked Wanda a couple of times if she would marry me and she declined. One evening she was talking to her mom on the phone, and out of the blue she asked, “Why won’t you marry me?” I jumped at the chance and asked again and she accepted. I hopped in my Triumph Spitfile and went over to my brother’s place and picked up a lovely 1-1/2" carved gold locket that I had picked up a couple of years earlier, for the only reason that it was pretty. I brought it back to Wanda’s place and this was our engagement locket… I didn’t have a ring and she accepted this.

Wanda decided that she wanted to get married on Valentines day, about a month away. We were going to have a simple civil ceremony because we didn’t want to alarm her ex. About two weeks before our intended wedding, Wanda decided to have a church wedding. I had to scramble, not being a church going person. The only church I knew was one that I had helped my dad with the eavestroughing the previous summer. I called up the minister and they had an ‘opening’ in their small chapel. I don’t think he thought I was serious at such short notice and on Valentines day. Wanda and I had an interview with the minister and all was good.

About a week before our wedding, we talked to a lawyer and he advised us to ‘scoop’ the kids (you can’t do that now) and ‘stash’ them. Valentines day came, and, we were married. I took half a dozen bottles of champagne and a bunch of glasses into the office and let them know Wanda and I had just been married. Tracy was the only one in the office that knew; she was our Matron of Honour. The next day I found out that the company wanted me to move to the Toronto office. They had no idea that I was married and had a family. The following Monday, Wanda and our two kids were in Toronto and I was at the office.

Wanda was much brighter than I was, and quite different from me. We had 40 wonderful years together and never a fight, or serious argument. Prior to getting together, Wanda had a Masters in Interior Design and worked in New York as a pastry chef while studying for her masters. She was a fabulous cook as well as a mother and wife. There are enough stories to fill a book…

Dik

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@dik It seems we both met “the one” when enjoying life, doing what we wanted at that instant, and not really looking for “the one”. We weren’t really trying, but it worked out for us.

The most wonderful ‘accidental’ happening in my life.

Dik

Luck always plays its part in finding the right mate. It did for me; it has for everyone else I can think of. Those that divorced later will say it was “bad” luck, but they must have convinced themselves otherwise, before. There are some funny and strangely comforting things I could refer you to about the chances of finding the right mate, and how to improve the odds, which come to mind right now. Such as these:
https://what-if.xkcd.com/9/


Before my better half met me, I met women in my classes, as friends of friends, the “girl next door”, and in other random and stupid ways, and dating was always frustrating. Relationships never worked. Those traditional strategies never worked, and I wasn’t happy.

When some people say that the internet tends to isolate people, I have to disagree, both on the principle of the internet - a communications medium - and because I met my wife that way.

That was back in the mid-90’s when the internet was a new thing. It didn’t work like it does now. Dial-up modems. The only way to get free e-mail accounts was through attendance at university or AOL. Back in those days, the tools and sites were all new, and everyone was trying stuff out.

Early on, I found that “forums” are interesting kinds of websites. It may surprise you, but these “forums” as they existed in the mid-90’s were primarily text-based methods to leave messages on a common topic that any member of the site could read. I know - surprise to you! You would check back later and maybe someone has added a comment and you can carry on a conversation! Amazing!

[ I needed to explain that to y’all?! ]

That’s how I met the woman I eventually married. A discussion forum about sci-fi books. Each of us noticed that we were responding to the same book topics, and a few personal clues dropped here and there led each of us to realize, about simultaneously, that we attended the same university. After that we just had to work up the nerve to meet.

On the other site someone has a tagline that it’s not finding a woman you can live with, but finding one you cannot live without…

Dik

It was John Baker… “The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It’s finding someone you can’t live without”

Dik

No acoustic couplers? and Fidonet?

Dik

To me, luck plays a big part of many aspects of life. I didn’t believe in it until the last few years.

The dating pools cartoon was hilarious! I used to tell people finding the right one was like an AND logic gate so about 25% of the people you meet might be “the one.” Most people found it to be good humor. It made some people quite angry for reasons unknown to me.

I’ve worked with younger men that were waiting for the right one as they went through life. The thinking was that he would find her doing the things he liked. It didn’t quite work that way.

Most of the people commenting on the original thread on this topic elsewhere were divorced. I wonder if that really plays on people’s minds about future prospects. Does experience alter what we are willing to accept in a mate? Do people see one or two red flags as too many?

For those of you married a long time, congratulations! You have my undying respect and admiration. I’m glad luck was on your side all those decades ago. :slight_smile:

I think of the term serendipity rather than just luck. It was unlikely that we would have met. Having met and lost contact, it was unlikely that we would meet again. We knew each other for about two months and our marriage lasted for 40 years. Neither Wanda nor myself were looking for anyone or a relationship of any kind.

Dik

It breaks the romance of fate that many people believe in (whether they admit it or not).

Not too different from the forces that keep people together, or split them apart before or after marriage - can you tolerate/accept/forgive a few faults in a person or does it gnaw incessantly? This obstacle can come up during dating, while living common-law, or after marriage. Better it happens earlier than later.

But the flipside is that you should look at yourself. Ask yourself why something bothers you so much; why do you think that one or more of your mate’s characteristics is a deal-breaker? The same characteristic could endear you to one person and enrage another, so finding a match will never be easy.

As I get older, learning to accept peoples’ differences is good for me, my family, my friends, my working life, and so on.