Did He Miss the Boat?
Q: I am 49 years of age and lonely. I always thought I would meet a woman and get married and have children. It is getting to look like none of this is going to happen. Does it happen? How do I attract a woman that can still have children? There would most likely be an age difference now, and it seems the people just a few years younger than I have an entirely different set of values and culture. The computer and texting, iPhone mania started after I was out of college. Everywhere you go, people have their head in a device, and it's hard to start conversations. -- James, 49
Dr. Susan: You may be lonely, but you're not alone. Plenty of guys find it hard to meet women when they've just assumed it would all happen naturally, long before this age. The thing is, it doesn't make sense to insist on something that probably can't happen anymore. Unless you're willing to consider adoption, or marrying someone who already has children, there would have to be a significant age difference between you and any likely future wife. So maybe having your own kids may no longer be feasible.
You can still find a mate if you move that quest up in priority now. To avoid the "don't bother me, I'm busy with my phone" quandary, stop trying to connect with strangers in public places. Instead, take online dating seriously (not the free sites necessarily, as they have no screening whatsoever and can be very frustrating). Also get out there and join groups, volunteer for what interests you, work on your social skills, and broaden your categories of who might make a good partner in life. Unless you're a very unpleasant person, there is probably someone out there for you to love and be loved by. Don't waste the future by complaining, but rather, adapt to a future that isn't what you expected.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.