It’s hard to date in your 40s

Hi Meredith,

Where is a single woman in her 40s supposed to look for love? Though I had some decent luck in my 20s, it doesn't seem that online dating is a viable option when you are midlife and not interested in hookups, and I tend to see the same people on all the different sites. Once upon a time it was fresh and attracted a lot of different people, but it seems that online dating has run its course as a legitimate way to meet people, based on my experiences.

I've tried joining Meetup groups, but as a straight female I've been disappointed to find that no matter the topic, it's mostly women who show up. And meeting people through friends is no longer an option, as everyone is settled and focused on their families. I've been feeling so lonely lately and longing for a venue to meet others – but where? Do you or your readers have any advice? There must be others my age who are just as frustrated, but how do I find them? I'm truly at a loss.

- Still Searching

(P.S. Would Love Letters consider hosting an event for singles over 40? Pretty please?)

The first thing to know is that I get this kind of letter from people in their 20s and 30s. Those younger people do tend to have more romantic options (and more time to explore them), but they face other problems. Some complain that everyone their age is transient. Some say their peers are always attached to their cell phones, looking for better options.

My advice is to continue the online dating – because you never know. You should also try to pursue some activities that put you in groups of people of all ages. I know you want to meet someone who's 40-ish, but it might be a 33-year-old friend who knows your match. Maybe that 33-year-old friend will turn out to be your match.

In my own life, I've learned that having close friends of different ages helps me feel like less of an outlier among my peers, and reminds me that I can wind up sharing plenty with someone, even if they're in a different phase of life. Having older and younger friends makes the world seem bigger – and a lot less lonely.

Stop looking for peers and focus on looking for people. The bigger your world, the more options you'll have. That's why Love Letters events are open to everyone.

– Meredith

Readers? If you met someone in your 40s, can you tell us how? Has online dating run its course?