PeoplesProblems Logo

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
For the last 2 years I've been single. I have been living on my own in the same city I've resided in for quite a few years now, trying to make a life for myself rather than just return to my hometown, defeated. It's really had its ups and downs, and has been difficult at times.

Much of that time I turned to an online dating website to try to meet women, but didn't have much luck getting responses, and recently shut down my account. I did manage to go on dates with 4 different women from the website, though things didn't go anywhere lasting with any of them. Yesterday I managed to go on a 5th date with a girl I had started talking to from there, and I'm not sure if things will go anywhere with her yet or not. I am concerned because she lives 2 hours away and is usually too busy to hang out, and I can't tell if she genuinely enjoyed hanging out or not. But I am remaining optimistic.

My attempts at IRL flirting and dating have been just as unsuccessful, and probably more embarrassing than with online dating.

My friends don't really hang out with me outside of work anymore, and are busy with kids and girlfriends of their own. I get lonely a lot, and worry that nobody will be there for me when I need help.

Work is stressful and management makes things unnecessarily complicated. I appreciate the job I have, but I am scared to try to leave it behind and look for something better and view my job as the most stable thing I have going for me.

My living space isn't what I had in mind for myself, but it's what I can afford. I don't like living in the city and spend most of my time shopping and hanging out in the neighborhood I work in.

I don't really have any ties to this area and am not stuck on it, but at the same time I don't really have the money to just move wherever. If I left here I would likely have to move closer to my hometown and my family that lives there, and would feel like I've lost any independence I did manage to have.

Anyway I wanted to keep my thoughts simple and concise, and I hope that helps. I can try to elaborate on any particular point in further discussion if it comes up.

I realize how difficult it is to find a sliver of hope, so lately I am putting most of my chips on the hope that this woman I've been talking to will want to continue dating and help me open up a better alternate path.

I'll appreciate any thoughtful feedback and insight into my situation.

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Putting words to your emotions may be the beginning of finding your intended life's journey. The process can be challenging, but I assure you, worth the practice and patience.

Begin by giving yourself some credit by initiating the process of “living” rather than waiting for it to come to you. It is also very responsible of you to be patient with your work career as it develops while maintaining income that allows flexibility. That flexibility may make a 2 hour “romance” not only possible but probable. However, it is not distance that creates a relationship. Proximity helps, but it is much deeper than that, as I’m sure you are aware.

If that hasn’t given some hope for a more engaging future, let me offer this also. It appears you may have some recreational and free time. Have you considered becoming involved with social groups that are compatible with who you are and your passions. Try identifying your values in life and link those to area opportunities to engage yourself while finding compatible relationships. For example, coed church groups, coed recreational activities, the arts, music/concerts, etc., may offer many opportunities not just for meeting people but to also manifest some appropriate passions.

We are here to engage you further if you wish to explore opportunities and share the challenges. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you.

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Thank you for sharing this. How far are you from home? Maybe you could use the family support while you look for a partner. I'd give anything to be close to my family. You still have good years to come. Are there places you can go to hear music, art, or other interesting things in your city?

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Altreal, there's a woman out there for you, you just have to give it time and wait for the opportunity to meet her. She may or may not be the girl of your dreams but it'll be what she's 'made of' that will do it for you. She will accept all of's that simple. After you meet her, you'll look back and wonder about all the the drama you've experienced trying to find her. In the meantime, the previous posters are correct about getting out and about, to put yourself 'out there', and meet people face to face.

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
At 30 you are finally mature enough to think about all these things. Congrats!!

You just are looking in the wrong places. It's not going to happen on-line.

Join an art group, volunteer with kids, singles church group? Go back to school to upgrade your career?

Good luck! You are a catch and you just don't realize it!

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image

Don't worry buddy!

Everything will be OK!

I'm 41 right now. I found the love of my life (or so I think) when I was 34.

You're young! The job is frustrating? Look for a new job, then! Join LinkedIn. Post your profile and let the fun begin. Study online. Take advantage of your time alone!

The first person that has to enjoy your company is YOU!

Just look at it this way. If you're going to sell a product, you must know the product from the bottom to the top. Get to know yourself. Try something new. Give a chance to that thing you wanted to do when you were 15 but you didn't have the chance. Read some books! Volunteer! Help people around you. There are few things as fulfilling as helping others.

Learn a new language! You can use Doulingo for that.

There are tons of things that you can do with that awesome person that is YOU!

Just go for it!

And if somebody puts a glass of water half full in front of you and asks you if it's half empty or half full, just drink it. And you'll be a great problem solver!

Cheer up! And don't hesitate to keep the conversation going here!

P.S.: Look at this... And you thought nobody would be there for you when you needed a hand ;)

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Thanks for the replies, everyone! I will try to respond to some of the feedback:

1. 8TWENTY8: I am not sure if I am living or waiting for life to come to me now. The truth of the matter is, I am a pretty introverted person. I feel kind of like what I had been doing was putting myself out there to find women, but now I've reverted to the "wait and see" tactic. I'm not sure if my job is what I would call a career, but I feel like I could do it for a few more years maybe. And I do have free time, but I guess I don't know what events I should be going to. I never know when they will occur far enough in advance to put in for them usually. I am at a point where I am feeling like nobody here is on my wavelength.

2. BlueYankee: A few hours, out of state also. I mean that's the thing, I could move closer, but I am not sure if I will be any better off. And if I stay there a while, and decide to leave for some new place again, I'm not so sure how that would work out - I might end up back at square one. I have this belief that people should get out there and see the world a bit, and not just be born and die in one place. And I already feel spoiled and far from self-made, my parents had to bail me out again once or twice last year. I doubt this will do anything to make me more independent and successful on my own. But idk, it doesn't really come down to that I guess, it's just if I have gone as far as I can go here, then I will likely have to move closer to my family whether I want to or not. I guess I could meet people and find an okay job in some town closer to my family, but I guess I just can't see that happening.

3. Manalone: So you are saying it is right to play the waiting game instead of taking initiative, then? The thing is, I did that all through high school, and never dated anyone - meanwhile I watched all of my peers pair off. Of course back then I thought I was destined for some special person that I wasn't going to meet in my hometown. Ever since I have fluctuated between the thought that I need to find this special person who is on my wavelength, the thought that I should try to meet someone different, and the thought that I should just settle for someone who shows any sort of interest in me. The thing is, 90% of the time, women don't seem that into me. I am worried I will end up playing this waiting game for many years to come. And what's worse is that I feel like my prime years are starting to slip away. I feel like I am also less likely to meet a woman who doesn't have kids as I get older, which is an important thing I look for in a partner.

4. SusieDQQ: A lot of you mentioned joining groups or clubs... Nothing like that has ever come remotely easy to me. I am an introvert, and absolutely dread public events. I spend most of the time struggling with thoughts like - "Should I bring cash?", "Where am I going to park?", "I hate this traffic!", "Eight bucks for a ticket to this? I hope I have enough money left for spending now, and I hope I'm not wasting my time doing all of this.", "Okay, should I buy something since I attended this event? I need to show my appreciation to the workers. And do I need to consider tips?", and always a classic, "Where is the bathroom at?"

That's an exaggeration of course, but I have a really difficult time managing to do things that seem to be really easy for most people. And at the end of the day I usually end up feeling regret for putting myself out there and having nothing to show for it, and usually have to drive someplace else I want to go or buy myself something else to make up for it and end up spending way more money and driving more than I intended to.

I guess I have no idea where to go to do anything, and I worry that I am getting too old now to be a member of most groups and clubs. I'd always hoped finding a date would be as easy as bumping into a girl at a store or while she is working, and striking up a conversation. I felt like online dating was a way for people like me to connect with others, but instead I just got ignored most of the time. But at least there I could have a little background information on a person before talking to them, so I knew if they fit my bare minimum criteria. So many people I work with have Facebook pages, and after finding them I have been shocked at how different some of their lives are from how they seem at work.

5. Silvarion: I'm not sure how to attract the right kinds of people. I feel like most of the people here don't get me, they aren't interested in the same kinds of music as me and don't seem to understand my appearance or viewpoints that easily. And it hurts sometimes because it seems like most of the women here are interested in men who don't look like me.

I think your main message is to make myself more appealing to others. Well, why am I not good enough as I am?

Anyway I appreciate all of the responses, and I will continue to take all of them into account as best I can.

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Good to hear back from you. Let me work with the bottom line thought here and work backwards. Bottom line: You are not that different from the rest of us, and what and who you are is good enough.

With that being said, let’s define good enough. Our appearance, intellectual capacity, stature, etc., is pretty finite, and that is not accidental. We are who we were created to be. However, what really matters and sustains a relationship are the intangibles that can be tweaked. These include (but are not limited to) character, personality, moral fiber, spirituality, charm, etc. Being an introvert is not a liability. Often woman find this charming. Maintaining this quality is easy to do in certain social functions such as museums, bars with the music you like, concerts, church, and physical workouts. Frequenting these establishments on your own, or others you enjoy, may lead you to “bumping into” a friend with similar “wave lengths”. Is it possible that you don’t need to force a relationship or feel pressured to complete yourself with a girl friend/wife?

In summary let me add this. Someone once said life is 10% what you plan and 90% how you respond to it (or something like that). One last question(s): What drives your life? What are your top 5 values in life?

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image

Nice to see you're active in the forums as well.

From your latest reply:

5. Silvarion: I'm not sure how to attract the right kinds of people. I feel like most of the people here don't get me, they aren't interested in the same kinds of music as me and don't seem to understand my appearance or viewpoints that easily. And it hurts sometimes because it seems like most of the women here are interested in men who don't look like me.

Come on, that's what we call a "blue dog". I am a "blue dog" too.

You know, you only have to be yourself, truly aware of who you are and what you want. When you reach that point, you'll see that the right kind of persons will start to pop up out of the blue.

"women here are interested in men who don't look like me" -- Let me tell you something, if women there judge you by how you look, then don't limit yourself to a physical place. Nowadays you have the whole World 1 click away. Join some other forums, chat rooms, whatever you want. And be yourself.

I've seen you here, giving nice replies to people who is troubled. That tells me more about you than whatever you may look.

If women don't take the chance to know you, then they just don't deserve you. There's a blue dog out there that is your perfect match, you're just not ready yet.

You seem uncomfortable with your self image. Fall in love with who you are. Every day, go to the nearest mirror as soon as you wake up and behold the wonderful human being that you are! Look up to you because YOU ARE AWESOME!

Feel handsome! Feel powerful! Feel good!

There's nothing more attractive than somebody that exudes security about himself/herself.

I recommend you watching "Twins". Dany Devitto is "a mistake", all of the "discarded genes" from a bunch of near-perfect human specimens. Yet, his "perfect" twin brother teaches him about self esteem, about loving who he is, and everything turns out to be amazing.

All is in your attitude.

Keep it up, do things that you normally wouldn't (out of fear of a rejection).

Have girl friends, don't think of every single girl as a target of desire. Approach some of them, just for the sake of lending a hand; make yourself comfortable in the presence of women and be natural. I always say: "I am who I am and I don't do things to like people. If somebody doesn't like me, they can just go on, I won't hold them. I'm not a gold coin that everybody will like".

You are a good advisor from what I have read on other posts. Show that out there. Someone will catch a glimpse of how amazing you can be and will be there for you.

And always remember, YOU ARE GREAT!

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Hi ALTREAL, I have been struggling with a similar issue, as a female, at 37 years of age - I went through a lot of down time the past few years especially in trying to come to terms with my situation not aligning with what I had hoped for by this age. Now, ffwd a year later, I feel a lot stronger and my focus is not on "finding love" anymore.

One of the things that shook me is, I was listening to a radio talk show, where the hosts provide advice to people who write in about their problems, they did a 2 part segment on the topic of not being able to find love (apparently they get a lot of letters about that lol.) - What they said on that show, that really helped me change my perspective, is the host said, some of you will find love, most of you probably will, but the harsh reality is, is that some of you may not - and that that is a reality that we have to consider. Ask yourself, what if you don't find love? Would you still be living the life the way you have been, sad, constantly pining, feeling deficient? and if you looked back on your life years from now, how would you feel in knowing that your biggest focus was on those feelings and the lack? - after listening to that show, I really reflected a lot - i mean i'm human, of course i have this desire to love and be loved - but what kind of energy and focus am i bringing to my life. It helped me to shift my way of thinking to - I want to be whole, I want to feel whole, and what do i have to do for myself to make myself feel and be these things, without another?

Something to think about, anyway. Now, when I feel despair and sadness, I've trained myself to shift focus rather than dwelling on it. I find that the more I focus on lack, the more "lack" i feel, and it brings my energy down - I've learned to focus on self-care and I have a way more positive outlook on this whole topic. Hang in there - learn to shift your focus on your betterment, on your mental and emotional well-being and most of all, to having fun and enjoying your life.

Lastly, the power of choice. You have it in you to make shit happen. If you really want to move, you will find a way to make it happen. You can make decisions at anytime, any moment that can drastically change your life, its really about having the courage to face the obstacles in front of you. Courage is everything in life. Without it we can't evolve, we can't discover ourselves - we become stagnant and fearful...

hope this helps :)

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
I wanted to respond a bit, since it's been about a month since I posted this.

So I guess I realize that ultimately, I just have to focus on making my life the best it can be for me; I have to keep myself happy more than anything because unconditional love is not something that is within my control. But maybe self-love is. I've been trying to care less about how others view me and my past-times lately, because I realize throughout my life the judgment and interjections of others into my business has never really stopped. But I can change how I react to it.

It kind of goes without saying that things will never go anywhere with the girl I originally talked about in this thread. After many weeks of no communication, I messaged her and kind of confronted her a bit. She admitted she kind of pushed me away, and came to the conclusion that we are both in different places in life and maybe looking for different things. I remained hopeful for a couple of days there - we texted for a bit, and she even considered my offer to hang out again the other week. But then she was (as expected) not able to hang out and since then she just hasn't bothered talking again and neither have I. I am not likely to give chase to that person again.

I am still trying to make this life work for me for as long as it can, but I really don't want to go through the hassle of moving back out of state and trying to find a new place and job closer to home. It seems like several times a day I'm at battle with myself over whether staying or going is the better choice. I just remember how I moved once, and realize that the grass always seems to be greener, but each side has its downsides. I just feel like I would lose a great deal of privacy and personal choice if I moved back near my parents. And that's really not something I want to part with.

I am upset that nobody really sees value in me. And it hurts to think back on all of the times throughout my life where women passed me over in favor of other men, or valued the qualities and traits of other men to mine. I wish I could break through the fabric of the life that seems destined for me and somehow be with a really beautiful girl around my age with a good personality. But reality has taught me that most attractive women are out of my league. And modern society has made it really difficult for me to really connect with women in general, since there are already a lot of terrible men out there who have caused women to become more feminist in outlook. I'm not even sure if I have done too many bad things in my life now to call myself a good person.

The reality is, I missed enjoying my golden years. I never got to really experience love with a woman my own age, and I missed out on a lot of life experiences that I could have shared with a woman by now. I wasted my 20's. And I guess all I can do is hope that I will meet the right person in my 30's, and I won't make the same mistakes again.

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
My dear friend ALTREAL,

I don't really know you, but I know you soooooo darn well!

1.- "But maybe self-love is"
You nailed it! That's the pinnacle of life wisdom. LOVE YOURSELF! You're a freaking living miracle! The chances that you are you, right here right now are down to 1/400 trillions... Or something like that... That's 0! There's no chance that you are here on this Earth at this very moment being you, yet you are!

2.- "the judgment and interjections of others into my business has never really stopped"
And it won't stop ever. People will talk. But guess what, if they talk about you is because you're the most interesting thing they can talk about. Take the constructive criticism and drop the negative talk. Learn what you can and let go what is useless.

3.- "I can change how I react to it"
That's what life is all about. How to react to it. Whatever people think about you is not about you, is about how they see you. So, at the end, if you know who you are, it doesn't really matter how others see you.

Now, short story for you:

There were a kid, an old man and a donkey. They were travelling across the country. All walking together.

When they passed through the first town they heard people saying: Look at that inconsiderate old man, he makes that poor kid walk all the way instead of riding the donkey.
So the old man told the kid to jump on and ride the donkey.

While crossing the second town they heard people saying: See how inconsiderate of that kid, not letting the poor old man ride the donkey instead of him.
So the kid told the old man to hop on while he walked.

During the passing of the third town they heard: Look at that, the poor kid is walking instead of riding the donkey with that selfish old man.
So they decided to ride together.

On the fourth town they herd people saying: Look, they are mistreating that poor donkey, making the poor animal carry them instead of walking alongside.


See where this is going? People won't ever be happy with your life, because the only one that has to be happy with your life, is you.


Last but not least:

About women.

Boy (I'm 41, so I'm entitled to call you "boy"), don't sweat it.

I dated younger women, older women and same age women. Some of them were like a dream come true... until... There's always an until... til the right one arrives.

They say: Friendship and love are like shoes, if you have to force them, they're not your fit.

I want you to make a small list of things you want to do, for yourself. Let's say learn to play guitar, skydiving, visit Costa Rica. Whatever. You name it. We can start from there.

Finding love and happiness as I approach 30

Default profile image
Welcome back. I appreciate your self analysis. Recognizing you don't have much control over others is very astute on your part. Perhaps, however, I can challenge you a little more.

I believe you have quit looking for unconditional love. Don't! You're correct that it is not within your control but it does exist. But what would happen if you give unconditional love? This will probably result in less self-love and more giving your love away. This is a very risky behavior if you choose it, because it
often results in rejection. But remember, your love will be unconditional.

I doubt you wasted your 20's. Look at it as a time of identifying who you are and who you will become. I'm not a psychiatrist (although I am a psychology minor) but I am confident that "attractive" women are very attracted to self-less and confident men. Both of these are qualities that can be tweaked. All men can improve in these areas.

Good luck and keep us posted on your risk taking behaviors.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?