‘I want love before I die’

Dear Meredith,

I'm a 62-year-old upbeat, funny, athletic, younger-looking woman, who hasn't had a boyfriend, husband, or a date in 23 years. Nor have I had sex in 23 years. I was married 31 years ago, and found out that my ex-husband married me for a green card. While married, he was in love with another woman, so we divorced.

I've been doing online dating, and no one I'm attracted to wants to date me. I'm not being very picky. My qualification for attractiveness: Based on their photos, would I feel comfortable enough to kiss them good night? I've had four dates in 10 months, and three of the four dates were with men who were very unattractive (to be honest, they were all pretty gross looking, bad grooming, etc). The four men were also extremely boring, bland, and old-fashioned in a grandpa "get off my lawn" kind of way. These men didn't seem to like women very much, and that is why they seemed to still be single in my opinion. These were the first dates I've been on in 23 years.

I have emailed over 350 men on the dating site to spark some interest, and nothing ever happens. When I tell people I know that no one decent wants to date me, they are all genuinely shocked. My two close friends have looked at my online dating profile and pictures and say it all looks very good. I work from home and I don't make much money, which is why I'm not able to go out as much as I would like. I do many activities, mostly alone, and go to free meet-ups all the time in my city (where I'm always the oldest person at the meet-up). Most of my girlfriends are in long-term marriages, and going out to meet single men with them is a big no.

Over the years, I've asked them all if they know anyone to fix me up with, but they don't. I've tried to make new single girlfriends who are my age, but they seem to be terribly envious of me, due to the great physical shape that I'm in. Everyone I know thinks I'm so happy and together, and can't even see how lonely I am because I genuinely love life. I have no children and don't want to die alone. I want love before I die. I also want to have sex before I die. Behind close doors, I cry about this. It hurts so bad. What can I do?

– Still searching

I wish I knew the secret to finding a partner, but I don't. My advice is the same frustrating stuff you hear from everyone else and already know: Do more activities. Don't give up on the dating sites. Let friends and acquaintances know you're looking. Expand your community.

One thing I can add to that basic list is this: Your letter makes it clear that you're having trouble connecting with many of your peers. You say it's difficult to make new friends who are your age, and that the couples in your life have very different social priorities. If you're feeling like the men you date are get-off-my-lawn grandpas, and that the people in your world aren't compatible with your version of 62, maybe it's time to seek out younger companions. Don't be afraid to bond with the younger attendees at meet-ups, and to ask to hang out with them outside of the group. When you're online dating, set your searches for a wider (and lower) age range – because you never know.

Also, you mention emails, which makes me wonder what site you're using to find a partner. It does help to try new apps, with swiping and quick messages. Variety is nice.

Good luck.

- Meredith

Readers? Ideas?