I’m a mid-40s single guy who’s always had a series of girlfriends since finishing college. There were a few young women who even made me think of getting into a serious relationship. But I was too eager to see where the freedom of being able to travel and move would take me.
I ended up in another country for half a dozen years, and got a series of jobs from which I earned well in places where young men with an income had their choice of the loveliest of women.
However, their parents made it clear that if there wasn’t a commitment soon, you’d not be welcomed by them or their daughter.
So, years passed as I made female friends through work, but no lasting relationship.
Then I moved back to my home city, bought a condo, caught up with old friends, settled in to a new job and used dating apps to meet women.
Along came the pandemic with dating limited to awkward attempts to rush meeting online in the hopes of in-person contact.
I waited for the end of lockdowns, hoping the right woman would appear and we’d click.
But even if that were to happen now, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’ve recently learned that I have a health problem that, so far, isn’t easily treatable. I won’t die from it, but I’m often in pain and uncomfortable.
I’ve tried a strict regime of limited foods along with supplements, had clinical tests and used prescribed medications. There’s still a long way to go before the right treatment solution is found.
Should I even bother try to have a social life, maybe go online just to find a new female friend to at least have a rapport, as you’ve suggested to others?
Bored and Lonely
The drive to understand a mysterious ailment defying various treatments, moves some people to unearth all the research they can find on their symptoms.
But some doctors argue that people worry themselves into deeper anxiety and increased symptoms, so should stay offline unless guided to specific sites and information by a professional, e.g., the family doctor and/or any specialists involved.
This is why having a family doctor is so important. She/he knows you, your history, and may also know your lifestyle habits.
This is how the family doctor can start with some educated guesses as to what’s going on, and/or direct you to laboratory-based tests and if needed, refer you to a specialist physician.
Meanwhile, due to COVID-19, a lot of health visits have had to be conducted online. But the persistence of symptoms is the bell-ringer that alerts everyone involved of the need for further investigation.
I understand that the pandemic made many of us reluctant to go for hospital tests or see doctors in person if they could delay and/or avoid it. But waiting too long regarding ongoing symptoms is neither wise nor helpful. Your question has moved me to make that point.
Regarding your dating life, yes, I’ve advised others to seek a female friend instead of rushing to a date. Whether you meet women on a dating/matching site or chance encounters, just share some conversation. You learn about each other, and your understanding of what’s true interest in someone becomes more apparent. Not just superficial, and possibly a connection.
Connecting with someone you find interesting will counter your boredom. Hanging in together, if mutually desired, will end your loneliness.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding your column addressing Collaborative Law (June 15):
“I’m a long-experienced Lawyer with an M.A. in Special Education and a PhD in applied Psychology.
“Good Family Law lawyers try to resolve matters. Sometimes those who call themselves “Collaborative” are the most uncooperative, and deliberately drive-up fees.
“Collaborative Law is (then) a marketing vehicle, ensuring that lawyers are involved without a timeline for completing matters. Calling it collaborative doesn’t ensure a speedy resolution.
“You commented that collaboration doesn’t work where there’s been abuse or a power imbalance.
“Yet in more than 50% of cases there is a power imbalance. In over 95% of cases, the husband’s calling the shots. Accordingly, collaborative law won’t work.
“It also doesn’t work where maintaining the status quo over time will go against one of the parties, where the longer that you negotiate, the weaker your chances of obtaining anything like shared custody if one party has custody at the outset.”
Tip of the day:
Persistent health-related symptoms make seeing a doctor your priority. But seeking friendship over loneliness is a mental-health need.