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Can’t Shake the Loneliness

Dear KitschMix,

I have a good job. I’m debt free. I keep my body in shape. I travel. I go out. I’m sociable. I don’t overdrink. I’m not even unattractive.

Yet, I’m lonely. I can’t get a girlfriend. I can’t even get a date. This loneliness is eating at my soul and I don’t know how I can actively work to change it. It feels like every lesbian in the world is able to attract someone but me. Plus, after four years of dating websites there’s no new matches so I feel I don’t even have the opportunity.

Is there something I’m doing wrong? Is there anything I can do to make this feeling stop? I’m in the best place I’ve ever been in my life, but I’m also the loneliest I’ve ever been.

Hello reader! It’s never fun to feel like you’re being passed over, especially when you sound like you’re definitely great relationship material. That’s to say, for the things I value, you’d be quite the catch.

The problem with this is that I’m not everybody – and everybody has different expectations out of their partner. I’m not saying you need to change who you are in order to attract a partner – in fact, quite the opposite. You should focus on discovering every part of who you are – that way, you’re more likely to find the right person.

You sound like you’re pretty sure of what you have to offer a woman, and that’s great. But now it’s time to focus on what you have to offer yourself. I’m pretty sure it’s not what you want to hear, but loneliness doesn’t actually come from not having someone in your life – it comes from being unsatisfied with yourself. Finding a girlfriend shouldn’t be about looking for her, but rather making yourself open to being found.

Do you participate in many sports or other social hobbies? These can be great places to find someone you have something in common with. If you’re into art, start hanging out in galleries. If you prefer the movies, or the bar scene, or live music… Whatever “your thing” is, the thing that brings you the most joy, you need to start spending more time doing that. (Unless, of course, your thing is being alone in your home – that’s not going to help you meet someone.)

I know all of this sounds cliché, but the more you put yourself out there, and the more you consciously love your life, the more attractive you look to other people. Keep in mind that it’s probably going to attract attention from some people who aren’t attractive to you, and that’s okay too – if you absolutely wouldn’t date them, be firm but kind when you turn them down. (Hey, statistically speaking, it’s going to happen at some point.)

Okay, now I’ve got to admit: It’s not going to happen right away. It’s so easy to say “Just be patient!”, but the actual act of being patient enough can be quite difficult. There’s no easy answer as to how long it’ll take you to find someone. That depends on a number of factors – how many hobbies do you have time to pursue? How gay is your part of the world? How far can you reasonably travel for your hobbies, and for your future relationship? Are there social groups for people with the same interests as you have? Are you willing to pursue new, unfamiliar interests? (Some psychologists believe that interests can be “learned”, in a manner of speaking. If you push through the rocky beginnings, you can learn to like and excel at almost anything… Or so they say.)

Personally, I’m the type of person to try almost anything. Whether I stick with it or not is, admittedly, based more on how much success I have from the beginning – that’s something I’m trying to work on in my own life. I know that I can’t find success if I give up, and you shouldn’t give up either.

That means, don’t give up your dating profiles – even if they’re not working right now. I speculate that online dating still has more to grow – not everyone has gotten past the stigmas that used to be associated with the outlet, even though the reasons behind the stigmas are practically ancient history. Don’t put too much focus on those profiles, of course, but check in on them periodically – just to see if anything has changed. I’ve revisited old dating profiles of mine and found that I got matched with someone I’d already met through my hobbies. It may make for an awkward ice breaker, but it could open your eyes to some chemistry you didn’t realize was there.

I think, most of all, you should work on bringing more joy into your life. Personally, I use the “Level Ten Life” method from Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning. I don’t want to give away the whole book, but here’s the general concept: You separate your life into ten different categories: health and wellness, work, love, fun, money, family, spirituality, physical environment, giving back to the community, and personal development. Then, you give each of those categories a score between one and ten, with one meaning you are completely miserable about that part of your life, and ten meaning that you are 100% satisfied. (I just averaged mine, and I’ve got about 5 ½ overall, but each section ranges from 4 to 7.)

Once you have identified which parts of your life you’re unhappy with, you can work on making some goals to make them even better. For example, some of my Level Ten Life goals are “self-publish a fiction novel”, “start a garden”, and “volunteer in my local community”. In this case, that last one would automatically open you up to meeting new people, who happen to care about the same things you do. I can’t give you your specific goals, but I can recommend that you don’t start trying to boost up the “love” section unless you’re at least at a 5 with everything else.

I know this probably seems like the “hard way” to do things, and maybe it is – but you owe it to yourself to be as happy as you possibly can, and you never know what new possibilities are waiting just over the horizon. You just have to go out and find them.


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