Giving up on the idea of finding love after various bad experiences
I'm a 30 year old woman, and after several bad dating/relationship experiences, I've become thoroughly disillusioned with the idea of finding a decent partner or falling in love again. I would love to fall in love and settle down, but after so many false starts and toxic relationships/dating experience with the wrong people, I fear I won't ever find "that person" to settle down and start a life with. My last secure and loving relationship was five years ago. He was a thoroughly decent guy who loved me unconditionally, but we ended because he had to move to the other side of the country for work, and the distance put a strain on things. Since then, I've found myself drifting from one hopeless dating situation to the next. Bar one toxic relationship, where the guy blamed his insecurities and life problems on me, the main issue is that I end up going out with guys who say they want a relationship, and pull out all the stops to date me, but then X months down the line, they've turned around and said they're not ready to pursue anything serious because they want to focus on themselves/their careers. The last time this happened, I was dating the guy for 5 months, and he gave every indication that he wanted to be in a relationship with me, to the point that he discussed introducing me to his family and going on holiday together. Everything was going so amazingly, with no hiccups whatsoever, then literally four days after saying he wanted me to meet his family, he completely 180ed and said he wasn't ready to be in a relationship and wanted to be on his own. Needless to say, I was completely blindsided by this. I felt deceived and misled and p*ssed off that almost half a year of my life had been wasted dating someone who was too emotionally immature to commit.
Since then, I've date one guy, but he ended up being a toxic person after coming across as really charming during our first few dates, then turning around and acting really selfishly. I've been on dating apps and made a big effort to try and "put myself out there", but it's proved fruitless. Often times, it's a case of developing a rapport with guys, and them asking me out - only for them to completely disappear, or just me putting the effort into convos, only for the guy to be half-assed in his conversational attempts. At this point, I just feel completely disheartened and disillusioned with the idea of meeting someone who's stable, mature and selfless enough to pursue a mature adult relationship. I've got a big heart, and am 100% emotionally ready and mature enough to commit to a relationship, but finding someone decent to date feels like a Herculean struggle. I do genuinely fear that I won't ever settle down at this rate. I've spent a few years being single "working on myself" and am self-sufficient enough not to "need" a relationship. But it would be nice to date someone decent and hopefully settle down with them. As a woman in her early thirties, I'd be lying if I said that the idea of kids and marriage weren't playing on my mind/an aspiration of mine.
I guess what I'm looking for on here is advice or words of wisdom anyone can offer? Should I give up hope or keep going, no matter how arduous the process of finding someone decent? I just feel so mentally drained after investing myself emotionally in certain people who say they want a relationship, only for them to turn around and decide they don't want anything serious. I can't keep putting myself through the same crap over and over again.
Thanks in advance!
Your post reads as if you are a sane, thoughtful person. I don't have a clue why this is happening, except that the common factor is you.
I feel your pain. Having been widowed in my early fifties, I found dating somewhat problematic. The only straw I can grasp at is: you're not being selective enough? I don't know. People ghost one another (I did it once, too, and had the fellow politely call me out on it)
You want marriage and kids - so I guess being really up-front about that would deter those on the fence or not similarly inclined. Once you've decided you want children, I guess there's no point having a second date with a man that says, "I don't know, I have to think about that." Or a first.
I've had men bail after three dates (maybe because I didn't put out? Well, I wasn't feeling it!) Actually, if there was no spark or I saw a deal-breaker, I generally ended at three dates, too. But months? Are you asking what was the longest relationship they've ever had? Maybe, if someone in his 30s is saying "uhhh, six months?" he's just not in the market for anything long term.
I didn't date at all in high school, barely dated in college, but by my late twenties I'd had a three year relationship with a man.
You only get one heart, and it can be broken only so many times. The few times in my life that I've been in love, it was because love found me--AKA I had stopped actively "looking" for a partner without giving up on the concept of falling in love, if that makes sense. When I seek love, I get burned more often because I'm trying to force it. Hasty decisions are more on impulsive than they are logical.
I'd say keep your eyes and heart open but don't rush anything. A lot can happen in just a year. If you're lonely in the mean time, focus on trying to make new friends. The more friends you have the more networks you open to IRL people instead of having to rely on dating sites.