‘I’m independent but I’m lonely’

I was married to the love of my life ... for 15 months. Then I found out everything about our life and our relationship was a lie. We have been divorced for two years, and even though I want to move on, I'm having a LOT of trouble meeting someone new. I've tried all the apps, joined a gym, and volunteer, but I still can't seem to find anyone. Am I trying too hard? Is it my age (I'm 36)? I'm independent but I'm lonely, and I want someone to share real life with. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I'll add that I’m looking for someone I can actually trust. Someone I can look forward to coming home to, who makes me laugh and likes road trips. I’ve been on some pretty bad dates since the divorce. Last week I had a date who invited me to dinner and showed up a full hour late, still wearing his sweaty gym clothes. I met someone through work, and I was excited because I thought that would be better ... more organic, mutual attraction... we went on a few dates, and then he asked me to be his submissive.

I'm so hesitant about online dating because I met my ex-husband that way. I’ve dated guys who told me that they don't like that I have a career or that I own a house.

I am lonely, and I miss having someone to just share normal life stuff with.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

– Dating

I do not have any magic strategies for finding a partner (sorry). I do know that the whole "it'll happen when you stop looking" plan of inaction hasn't worked for many people. You can't end your search and expect someone to fall into your lap.

I do think that you have to be in the right mood to look, which is why I recommend breaks when people feel fatigued or discouraged. I also recommend swiping on apps with a friend, or having that friend take over on your behalf. The online dating experience can be social. I hate that it makes a lot of people feel even more isolated.

It sounds like you're coping with a significant betrayal, and I'm so sorry about that. It makes perfect sense that you're put off by apps and all that comes with them. This is a great time to ask for setups — and to recommend them. My 2020 goal is to remind everyone I meet that they can set up their friends and acquaintances. Some are afraid to get involved in the lives of others, but I remind them that it can be low stakes and worth the risk. Please tell people in your life that you'd accept help finding love. Dating a friend of a friend might put you at ease.

Also know that it can take a significant amount of time to find a partner. I'm not saying that to bum you out, but I need you to believe that there are a lot of people out there who are asking the same question. The good news? There are a lot of people out there who are asking the same question! That means you're all looking for each other.

– Meredith

Readers? Pep talks here?