Dear Miriam,

I am in my late 30s and about two or three years ago, I felt I would like to meet someone special. To be honest Miriam, I felt lonely.

So, I decided to put myself “out there”. It took a while, but I met this gentleman through his sister. We started to text at first and we exchanged “selfie” pictures and we were both happy, but with COVID it was difficult to meet up. After some time, we did manage to meet up and went for a lovely walk on the beach. About two months later we met up again and watched some TV together. We kissed passionately on both occasions. He would have liked to go further, but it was my monthly cycle. I knew by him that he was disappointed and he went home.

I felt he was a wonderful man – tall, dark and very handsome. He answered my questions and told me a bit about himself. We both work unsociable hours and I appreciate my idea of a good date would be the cinema or a meal, but he wasn’t interested in those dates. He was only interested in having tea and sex. He had said that we could stay a few times together before anything would happen, but that wasn’t the reality when I met him.

I appreciate I haven’t seen him in over 18 months, but unfortunately, I still like this man. I felt we had so much in common both having cared for parents etc.

I have tried online dating and another forms via paper ads, but I only had very basic texts with these men. I am at a stage where I really want to settle down. I really thought he was Mr Right. I’m not afraid to say I feel very lonely. Most of my friends are settled with families. Unfortunately, I do shift work and work every weekend, so I can’t join any clubs.

Please can you advise me on how to move forward?

Lonely lady

Miriam responds

Dear Lonely lady,

Thank you for your letter. I think that it is no mean feat to put yourself “out there” in the search for a meaningful romantic relationship; and I can understand your disappointment that this has not worked out as you might have originally hoped.

However, from what you say in your letter, I feel you were both looking for different things from the get-go. For instance, you mention that this man had little interest in the type of dates you would enjoy.

There also does not appear to have been much consideration for the fact that you had expressed a wish to take things at a slower pace. I guess as a neutral party, it’s not really obvious to me what you did share in common or why you thought he might be “Mr Right”.

I understand it is hard to meet someone special and it is easy therefore to invest our hopes and dreams in a person who may not be right for us. But sometimes, we end up selling ourselves short in the process. And trust me, that will never be a recipe for a long-lasting relationship.

I know that you want to meet somebody; but I think it would be really valuable to invest some time in your own self-care and love first. You mention you are caring for/had previously cared for parents, that you have a demanding work schedule with little free time to pursue hobbies and interests, and that you feel very lonely.

Would you consider talking to a professional counsellor about how you are feeling?

Your GP might be able to recommend somebody or you can find accredited therapists via or

I think it could be really beneficial to have that safe space to discuss what is going on for you right now. A counsellor could also help you to rebuild some of the confidence you may have lost through this experience and help you to establish what you are looking for in a healthy relationship: what your values are, your goals etc.

That way, when you are ready to date again, you will be approaching any potential romance with greater self-awareness and self-esteem. But at the end of the day, the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves.

Let this man go and give yourself the time, space and care you yearn for. I wish you the best of luck.

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