I’m having trouble meeting someone

Chat at 1 p.m.

I have been in two relationships in my young life so far. The first lasted for about a year and a half in high school/college and ended with her cheating. It took me four years to find someone else through an app. We dated for over five months and it ended with me finding out she was cheating the whole time, as well. So clearly my track record with women isn't great.

It's been six months since the last girlfriend and I want to get back out there but am having trouble. I use the dating apps but don't get any matches. I use different apps, take and try new pictures, write various "about me" blurbs, but nothing. I get female friends to choose my pictures based on what they would swipe on, and use pictures based on certain angles they suggest and everything. On the off chance I do get a match, I message them based on their "about me" information ... and then no response. Usually when I take the real life approach and try meeting someone at bars, coffee shops, parties, groups, etc., it doesn’t work either. Overall, what should I do to just get even a first date? Between the two girlfriends I had, I had similar results, where for four years I met no one.

I met the recent girlfriend by chance but can't always hope for that. I have been listening to your podcast with the new season about how to find someone, but thought I'd reach out, as well. If you need more info about me, my current profiles and past relationships, I'd be happy to share. Thank you!

– Trying

You're doing a lot of the right things. You're asking for help from friends, trying new ideas, and staying open to love on apps and in the real world.

But here's the thing: Sometimes it takes a long time to find success. When we started this season of the podcast, I did a call-out in the column asking readers to share their "how we met" stories so I could figure out some good – and maybe new – ways for other people to find partners. I heard dozens of great relationship origin stories, but in many cases, the most revealing part of the tales was what had been happening to these people before they met their significant others. Some had been unable to find dates for years. Others had been on a ton of dates – but maybe not very good ones. Most people who'd tried apps had complained about quantity or quality. It didn't sound easy for anyone. It was clear that patience was a big part of the process.

I do think that in your case, you might benefit from doing some activities, as opposed to just looking for romance. What hobbies can you pursue to round out your life? What else do you like to do? I'm not promising you'll meet someone in the first Guitar 101 class you take, but ... you might. And every experience winds up being a good story on a date – and something new to put in your "about me" section.

– Meredith

Readers? How can this LW get more dates?