Dear Mary: I'm worried that I'll never find romance
I am a middle-aged single man who is very happy and content for the most part but I am increasingly worried about my single status. I used to be able to handle it and passed it off as maybe being just not that lucky in love, but I have never had any sort of meaningful romantic relationship with a woman even though I would love to. While I have a great close family and a circle of friends, my lack of a partner to share life's ups and downs is causing me distress.
I have tried online dating and dating agencies in order to meet a possible partner, but it has not worked out. I met some really great women but after one or two dates they never wish to take it any further. They tell me I am a really nice guy but there is never ''the spark''. I don't know what more I can do. I don't think I am especially unattractive, I am a good conversationalist and am secure from a financial point of view. So I am at a loss as to how to ignite that "spark''.
Must I just forget about finding anyone special? It would be hard to do as I still have a lot of life left to live.
A You sign your letter ''Lonely Heart'' and that is probably what is at the centre of your email. Loneliness - not for friends and family, but for the love of someone special with whom to share your life.
Every time I publish a letter similar to yours, and it doesn't matter whether it is from a male or a female, a lot of people write to me telling me they are in the same position and sometimes asking to be put in touch with the writer. So there are many in a similar situation although this is of no particular benefit to you, other than knowing you are not alone.
That spark that you speak of is impossible to define and also impossible to advise on. People just know when they feel that spark, and sometimes the couple haven't yet exchanged a word.
My own father saw my mother playing tennis and knew that he was attracted to her, to the point of telling his friend he was going to marry her - which he did a few years later - even though they had not yet spoken to each other.
You should not close your heart to the possibility of finding that special person because you never know when they are going to come into your life. You have been proactive in using agencies and dating websites but they haven't worked. From feedback, it seems to me that one of the most successful ways of meeting new people is by joining one of the Meetup groups in your area. Join whatever group takes your fancy and see what happens. There is not the pressure of an arranged online or agency date as all the people in the group share the same interest, and if you do meet somebody and you are both attracted to each other so much the better.
Good luck with it all and I do hope that you find that special person. May I wish you and all my readers a very Happy New Year.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.
Sunday Indo Living