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Deciding on what to do next with my life

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Almost a decade ago I moved away from home and started a new life out of state. I had little interest in staying in my hometown, had no real friends there, and there wasn't much opportunity or much to do there. Initially I moved because I was dating someone from around here, but after that ended three years ago I continued to stay mostly for some independence and because I made some friends here from work. At first I was a little more hopeful about continuing my life here, but as the years have continued to pass I've grown a little more disappointed by my inability to find the right new relationship for myself. I'd been hoping to enjoy what's left of my youth and meet a woman who I can spend my days with and sort of build towards a future with. But instead there have been lots of embarrassing moments and a lot of time spent alone. I had always had a personal preference not to date women who already had kids of their own, wanting to meet someone who I could start our own family with. But after not having much luck I slowly lowered those standards. For the first half of this year there was a woman I worked with who I hadn't really given much thought to because she had kids, but when I discovered she was single I decided to talk to her more since I felt like we clicked pretty well. Though we were never officially dating, I spent the next several weeks hanging out with her. I met her kids, I met several members of her family, and we talked about a lot of things. I would come over late after work and sleep beside her, or talk with her if she was awake. We would drink together which I thought was awesome at the time, but then I began to notice she was drunk before I showed up usually. After she lied to me several times and quit work, we lost contact. I never knew for sure why, or what happened. But I tried for a while to reconnect with her. I began to wonder if I was really even talking to her (over texts) when she wasn't right in front of me. I was especially devastated that things didn't last because I felt like I made a huge moral exception when I started viewing her as a potential partner. And it didn't matter to me if she was a mess, she gave me the time of day and I was really starting to like her. ...In the months since then I tried my best to just move on with my life. I even hung out with another young mother a couple of times, but it just wasn't the same. Meanwhile most of my friends are dating other people and have gone through a lot of changes this Summer, with some no longer working alongside me. This year in general has been rough, but Summer was particularly difficult so far. Since things ended with the woman, I have been drinking more. I tried justifying it at first because I needed my time to get over things, and I turned thirty in the middle of the season and wanted to celebrate that a bit. But the simple truth is I've felt like I've needed it to help me cope with where my life is at now. And at the same time, drinking kind of gives me warm feelings because it reminds me of my brief time with this girl. I realize that a lot of my issues over the past few years have been in part because of alcohol though. More recently I've done a lot of embarrassing things when I've gotten drunk. I hit on a few coworkers and other random women, or said things drunkenly to people. But I also had some really lousy moments this Summer where I made poor choices or spent more money than I was planning to because I was drunk, and that has made me kind of worried... But I still don't want to give up drinking, and in fact I don't think anyone can ever fully give up something like that. To sum things up, I'm at the point where I'm not sure whether it's worth it to keep trying to work on my life here, or to admit this experiment is over and return closer to home. I could either: A. Stay here, and try to avoid too many of the city's temptations. If I can save a little bit, maybe I can pay off some debts, afford a nicer place to live and maybe get the courage to go after a better job. And I could still keep my privacy and independence here. or B. Go back home, and have a quieter, safer place to try to improve my situation in. The cost of rent would be cheaper, but pay would be lower. There would be less opportunity and less to do. I wouldn't have as much personal space and would have to basically start over again. But my family might be able to help me out a bit. I'm not sure what I should do. But I know I don't want my life to carry on the same as it has been. I will most likely have to make some change - if not going back home then changing things here. Just could use some advice and input from others on what they think is best.

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