Dear Mary: I've never been asked out on a date and I'm so lonely
Q: I am a 48-year-old woman and I have never been asked out by a man. I have been told that I am attractive, I have a university education, a pensionable job, nice car, apartment, etc. but yet no man wants me. It breaks my heart to be single. It's a physical ache. I know that I am too old to have a family now but even the love of a committed partner would be lovely at this stage. I ache when I see my brothers with their wives and children and ask myself why has this passed me by.
I am the only single person at work and have been for years - so much so that I don't even have anything in common with my colleagues any more as they talk about husbands and children.
I have been told in the past about various men who thought I was lovely but yet they never asked me out.
I cry myself to sleep at night and when I wake the loneliness assails me again.
I work full-time, play tennis, am always out and about but still nothing.
I am apprehensive about trying internet dating but considering I've never been asked out in my life I suppose it couldn't hurt. Please let me know why I'm the only woman in Ireland to have never been asked out.
A: I find this an incredibly sad letter and one to which I do not have an answer. I have no idea why you have never been asked out by a man - I don't even know if you are the only woman in Ireland to whom this has happened.
I am pretty sure that when this appears in the newspaper I will get emails from lonely men asking for your contact details, because I know from experience that there are lots of men and women out there in a similar situation even though they may have actually been on dates.
On paper you seem to have everything that is normally required to attract a man and yet it hasn't happened for you.
If you were sitting opposite me I would be able to go into detail with you regarding your family background and anything else that would help to give answers to your question. But that is not possible so all I can do is to ask that you look forward rather than backward, and try to be positive that something will happen in the future to change things for you.
Instead of waiting for something to happen it is good for you to be proactive and your idea of online dating is fine - I've met many couples who met through the internet - but with the proviso that you are choosy about what sites you pick.
From what I hear lots of sites have predatory men who are only using them for sexual hookups and that is far from what you want. So something like Bumble.com which gives the woman the opportunity to make the first move might suit you. Alternatively, you could try It's Just Lunch (www.itsjustlunch.com) which is an agency that arranges dates for lunch between people they feel would be suited.
They operate in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Dublin. Naturally you would pay for the introduction but we all pay for any service we use so that should not be a deterrent. There are other agencies as well, such as Sharon Kenny's Matchmaker (www.thematchmaker.ie) if you are living in Dublin.
Alternatively, you might consider taking up a new hobby or sport where you can meet new people. It's all about making some changes in your life.
There is no shame in being alone and lots of people choose to be single and are very happy and fulfilled, but you very much want a partner. I do hope that things work out for you.
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 St, Dublin 1.
All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately