Why can't I find Mr Right? | Agony Aunt

Dear Fiona: I am 36 and divorced with three children. Although they are the most important thing in my life, I would dearly love to have a special person to share things with once more.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 2:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 2:29 pm
Woman using dating app.

I have done everything I can to find another meaningful relationship, but nothing has worked.

I have tried dating agencies, lonely hearts columns, penfriends, social clubs, pubs and clubs and even joined the local ladies cricket team because they run excellent social events.

In spite of this, I still haven’t met anyone I’d like to settle done with.

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Most of the men I’ve met are either married or seem to be just interested in sex – sometimes, both!

Perhaps I’m too old fashioned but that’s not the only thing I want in a relationship, and I feel as though there is a gaping hole in my life.

I’ve become an outgoing, chatty sort of person and while I’ve found many new friends and met lots of interesting people, I still haven’t found Mr Right. What am I doing wrong?

U. A.

FIONA SAYS: YOU’RE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT

I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong at all. Except, perhaps, trying too hard maybe? It’s great that you are being so proactive.

But are you making the search for Mr Right the sole purpose of your life? Life is about so much more than that.

You’ve already achieved more than many people, so why not see the interesting social life you lead as an end in itself, rather than a means to finding a new man?

There are so many lonely people who would be delighted to have a life like yours, and especially would love the confidence you seem to have when it comes to meeting and making new friends.

I certainly don’t think it’s ‘old-fashioned’ to want more from a relationship than simply sex, so stick to your guns on this.

No one should feel pressured to have sex with someone they’re not interested in having a relationship with.

We all have our own standards, so stick to what is right for you.

As to the gaping hole you talk about, why not think about filling it with other things?

It sounds like you’re already doing a great job here.

And I’m not suggesting you give up on the obvious ways of finding a new partner – continue with the dating agencies and the lonely-hearts columns if you like – but perhaps change the emphasis of your search.

When we are desperate to find a partner, that desperation shows and often puts people off.

You are an outgoing, chatty person so use those skills to keep making friends, develop a range of new interests and set yourself challenging goals.

And maybe try and be more relaxed about things.

You never know, if you stop trying so hard you could well find that your chances of meeting someone who’s right for you are that much better.

DEAR FIONA: WHY CAN’T MY HUSBAND AND I TALK OPENLY?

I have been married for nine years but still don’t feel able to talk openly about intimate things to my husband.

He’s just as bad as me because his parents were very conservative and strict.

It’s not that I don’t care for him – in fact I love him very much, I just wish we could get over this barrier that exists between us.

Whenever I try to talk about our marriage, our children or even our sex life (which isn’t bad) I just clam up and can’t force the words out.

B. L.

FIONA SAYS: GET THE BALL ROLLING AND KEEP GOING

An inability to talk openly with a partner can, in the long term, be very destructive. Small grievances, irritations or fears are locked away to grow and gnaw at the edges of an otherwise happy relationship.

If you can talk to each other, you’re more than halfway to solving any problem, however serious or troubling.

You have both grown up with a habit of not talking things through and now (although you don’t say what) something is clearly bothering you. Rather than launching into this, why not firstly try to talk about why it is you can’t talk to each other? Start the ball rolling with a simple: ‘Why do you think we seem unable to talk to each other more easily?’

Once you’ve got a dialogue started with your husband, I’m sure things will get easier, and you’ll be able to talk about your problem.

If you find that things still don’t improve, you may find that counselling would help, and I suggest you contact Relate (relate.org.uk) to help the pair of you to open up.

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