‘I feel like I’m running up against a wall when it comes to dating’

Chat worked yesterday. We discussed a guy who doesn't like phone calls.

I'm 30 and I feel like I'm running up against a wall when it comes to dating/relationships. Backstory: I was in a relationship that ended in my early 20s (it lasted years). After that ended, I dated here and there. I didn't take anything too seriously and was working hard to start my career. Fast forward to my late 20s, and I had one, year-long relationship that ended last year. That one devastated me for a little bit because I felt like I'd found a partner, someone who understood and loved me completely. He decided, after asking me to move in, that he "wasn't ready for anything serious."

After that, I took a year off of dating and just recently started again. I met someone about a month ago and have spent a lot of time with this person. He's really wonderful. Very mature, treats me better than I've ever been treated before, and I'm falling for him. Yesterday, he told me that while he doesn't want to move because he loves it here, recent events at his company are making it so he will probably have to move to another office across the country. I know I just met him, but I'm heartbroken. I feel like every time I've tried to really put myself out there or feel a connection with someone (kind of a rare thing for me) it falls apart. I'm not looking to be in a relationship with just anyone, so while I don't date a lot, I'm sick of this cycle that eventually leads to me being sad, anxious, and wondering where my life is headed.

I realize this problem is normal for many people, but it seems like I really do have a harder time at this whole relationship thing than my friends and peers my age. It's hard not to get discouraged, and I just feel stuck, like maybe I'm doing something wrong. I don't want to give up and go "off the market" again. Any words of advice?

– Better at being single?


You say it's "very rare" for you to feel a connection, but the rest of your letter tells a different story. In the last decade or so – most of which you were focused on your career – you've been connected to three people. Those experiences were spread out, but they happened. Whenever you put yourself out there, you met someone.

You may think your friends are having an easier time, but don't be so sure. Every one of their experiences is unique. If you've concluded that they're all better off, you're probably not paying attention or asking enough questions.

It makes sense that you feel discouraged. It makes sense that you feel stuck, and that you're very sad this guy is moving away. But please don't swear off dating. This guy proved you can find people you like.

It sounds like you're doing it right. You just have to keep doing it.

– Meredith

Readers? Is she doing something wrong? Thoughts on making this easier?