‘How do I date when I’m always in the house?’

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I've been single a year now. I work from home and pretty much only go out to the store, gas station, family functions, and that's about it. I'm 47 and feel so shut out. Dating apps are not good. My best friend doesn't care to go out much, leaving me no outing options unless I go alone. It's so uncomfortable to go out alone with no one to talk to or engage with. How do I get a dating life going when I'm always in the house?

Men like to stare, but that's it. If they do get courage to talk to me, the conversation is nice and then just falls off. Men will ask for my number but can only call at certain times, assuring me they're already involved with someone else. Dating apps – or some men, in general – just aren't honest. They either want you to be willing to share them or just cheat.

I don't believe all men are bad or cheat, yet ... where are the stable, available, positive-energy men? And why are they so few and far between? I've also noticed men are hurting and not seeking counseling, and displaying that dysfunction in relationships believing it's normal behavior. I'm very easy to talk to communicate with, and love to laugh and have fun. Some men just refuse to smile and don't realize it. Finding someone to share life with seems impossible.

– Home

Dating apps are not good until they are.

Setups are annoying until they work.

Chatting with a stranger feels fruitless until someone makes you laugh.

Basically, all of this requires a great amount of patience.

Your best friend might not want to go out, but maybe she'd swipe on an app with you while eating very good takeout. Then the two of you can watch a movie, and it'll feel like you didn't spend the entire night looking for a needle in Bumble's haystack. Ask for her support.

I won't tell you this is easy or that loneliness isn't part of the process, but there are no absolutes. Some people are liars. Others – maybe a few of those guys who have trouble with first conversations – are nice, honest, and trying to figure it out too. In 2022, I have conversations with close friends that trail off into nothingness. If someone is cute, tell them you'd like to talk more.

If you really want to be in the world and have the resources to do it, join an activity that meets in person. I've seen outdoor exercise classes and clubs near my house (yes, in February). You might meet a friend who can connect you to a bigger network.

I also have to ask about your last relationship. You mention nothing about it, and you haven't been single very long. You talk about processing hurt, and I want to make sure you’ve considered your own. Maybe that last breakup was all good, but if not, consider how the aftermath might be influencing how you date. Maybe it's nothing, but I just want to make sure you've taken the time you need.

- Meredith

Readers? Tips for dating right now? How to find someone with potential?