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Tired of Feeling like Every Woman's Brother
Dear Dating Coach,
I am a 48 year old single (never married) professional male. I have been trying to meet women to date, but I frequently encounter two major problems:
* Women under 35 consider me too old.
* Women in their early fifties tell me I'm too young.
I avoid going to bars and try to meet people in groups instead. Most of the time I feel as if I am everyone's brother. When I do ask a woman out, most often a divorcee--I am constantly given lines like; "I have to heal," or "There is too much on my plate right now," My questions are; Is it me? If so, how can I overcome these obstacles? --Brotherly Love Only
Phew... It doesn't sound like dating is much fun for you right now. Going on the information you have provided me in your question, there are several "is it me?" possibilities here that you should explore and address if necessary. Firstly, you may be CHOOSING women who are unavailable in one way or another. You know, women who are not emotionally available and/or women who are commitment-phobic (to name a couple of possibilities). Believe it or not these gals could feel safe to you because they are unavailable and you know they will never be able to offer you a real relationship. Another possibility is that you are drawn to "bad girls" and/or women who are just not into you. The thrill-ride of pursuing someone that seems unattainable can be a real adrenaline rush, not to mention an ego booster for some guys.
In order to overcome these potential obstacles, you need to know what you want from a relationship, find the right resources to achieve it and design a relationship building plan. Begin by making a list of the traits you are seeking in a potential partner. Then do a search, online and offline, of good places to meet the kind of woman you seek. Lastly, put together a plan that addresses how much time, energy and money you will put into your search. This last part is very important because if you are not realistic and don't set aside the necessary resources, you will be vulnerable to not following through due to work demands, limited leisure time, etc.
The bottom line is that what you are doing now does not seem to be working, so a change of plan is needed. My advice is to follow the suggestions above and leave yourself open to all relationship possibilities, regardless of factors such as age or lack of marital history.
(from September 2009)
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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