I wanted to meet someone in 2020

Start the new year by asking your own relationship/dating/love-in-2021 question. Email [email protected] or fill out this easy form.

Like all of us, I found 2020 to be challenging. I am very grateful for my health and know I've been very lucky. I've been disappointed by the lack of progress I've been able to make toward goals, but proud of unexpected successes (like how in April I managed to find toilet paper and pasta).

In 2019, my divorce was finalized and my marriage of 15 years was dissolved. I became a single mother who successfully got back into the work force and was able to afford to keep the house for the kids and myself. I was proud of all I had accomplished on my own. For 2020, I had hopes of finding someone to start sharing life with. In 2021, I am no closer to my goal. I know there's a line in a movie ("The Other Woman") that says,"The last time I was single, I was 24 and the dating pool was everyone!" This hits so close to home even without the pandemic. Have you suggestions on how to meet people during the current state of the world?

Apps seems to show men not seeking relationships. Zoom dating seems to only recruit the desperate. I tried a dating service and I wouldn't suggest this to anyone. They say waiting is the hardest part, but I've never been able to wait without being proactive. Where in Boston can a single person in their 30s/40s meet someone right now? Doing my best to be patiently waiting.

– Impatient

"Zoom dating seems to only recruit the desperate." That's not true. From what I've seen, it recruits many people, especially those trying to be safe. A quick FaceTime meetup is a step toward making sure someone is worth seeing in person. It also gives you the chance to negotiate a way to hang out safely. Don't rule it out.

In general, though, you must accept that 2020 was a difficult year for to-do lists. 2021 is no different – for now, at least. You wanted to meet someone last year and it didn't happen. That means you didn't defy the odds. Finding the right partner can take a lot of time, and ... we're in a pandemic. I don't know what else to say about that. Many people missed opportunities.

Waiting is the hardest part, but it's also the thing that can turn you into a better partner – and a better friend and person. It can teach you that you won't be able to control anyone else's timing. It'll give you empathy for a world of people who've also had to wait. This isn't what you want to hear, I'm sure, but basically, like everyone else, you have to accept the limitations of the world; swipe, Zoom, and take advantage of the outdoors when you can; and make peace with the fact that you can't put "meet next life partner" on a calendar.

You're a problem solver and you make things happen. I get that, and it's something to be proud of. But finding love is not like buying toilet paper. Make a separate list of what you're getting out of this time – what you're learning about yourself. It might make you feel better about what's out of your control.

– Meredith

Readers? How does a trouble-shooting person with a to-do list like this slow down the search?