Went out with my neighbor and then …

Chat at 1 p.m.

Hi Meredith,

I'm a 51-year-old divorced straight woman. I live in a community where it's been difficult to meet friends, let alone men. I have tried the dating apps, but it's really all creepy men only looking for sex. With one, I was even sent a message after a few messages back and forth stating he as only looking for a hookup – and ALL men on apps are only looking for hookups. So I'm not even trying apps now.

But I did ask my downstairs neighbor if he wanted to go out for a drink ... and he said yes. We went out – drinks and appetizers. He opened the car door, we laughed, talked about serious things, then said goodbye without a kiss. We see each other almost every day because we are neighbors. We have not gone out again. I sent him this text: "Hey, hope you're enjoying your day ... would you like to get a drink tonight? Or an appetizer? I'm OK with going as friends if you prefer. Just always nice to chat with you." Crickets... not a thing.

Again, I see him everyday and he waves, and I feel like a fool. So now what? Or where do I go to find a man to date? I'm feeling like I'll be alone till I die now. Ugh ... I don't want that.

– Neighbor

Dating a neighbor is a bit of a risk. If it doesn't work out, it can get very awkward. I mean, you had one evening out with this man and it's already pretty uncomfortable. It's possible that he didn't understand that the first outing was a date. Maybe the "going as friends" text let him know you might want more, and he's not sure how to handle that. Give him time.

The complicated thing is that he can't really tell you he's unavailable or busy because he's right there, and you see him coming and going. This is why I always make a tense face when someone asks me if they should date a neighbor or housemate. Because sure, it's romantic when it all works out, but if it doesn't, it can mess with a person's comfort at home.

I do love that you were bold enough to ask this man out. That's a skill you'll need to find the next great date. Can you bring that bravery to some local activities? You said you live in a place where it's tough to meet people, but is there a library with events? Volunteer opportunities? Start small and see who's out there.

Also, maybe try a different app and make it clear in your dating profile that you're not looking for quick hookups. It can be an exhausting process, but there are needles in haystacks.

– Meredith

Readers? What's up with the neighbor?