Sometimes the most frustrating thing in the world is to feel absolutely powerless.
A couple of years ago, in the early days of the blog, I would do some personal coaching – mostly for friends, occasionally for the odd client or two. One of my clients, a good friend of mine, was an especially troubling case.
Karen1 was one of those incredibly frustrating cases. Karen was in her mid-30s, working for an IP firm in Manhattan. She was attractive, intelligent, outgoing… and single. In fact, she had been for several years – it seemed as though she had gone on first date after first date and nothing went right. Either the guy was intimidated by her, wasn’t interested in anything “serious,” or would string her along if he thought it would help him get into her pants… and while Karen wasn’t against banging out with a hot guy on occasion, she wasn’t looking for casual sex anymore. She wanted something more serious, more substantial. Something that had the potential to be long-term. She was, frankly, tired of long nights at home with only Netflix and the cat for company.
Nothing worked. Speed-dating was a bust. Online dating didn’t help – the only men interested in her were looking for fuckbuddies – and one more night in the bar-scene was going to drive her insane. After spending time with Karen – even going on a practice date – I was stuck for an answer. She was intelligent, charming, friendly, passionate, funny, cheerful and ambitious. She was, frankly, doing everything right… and still getting nowhere. I couldn’t find any reasonable answer for her problem that didn’t involve radically reducing her standards just to find someone to fill the void. The best I could tell her was simply to hold on… the dating scene sucked now, but it wasn’t going to suck forever.
This, obviously, was not the answer Karen was hoping to hear. After all, she was starting to stare down 40… maybe, she admitted to me, it was time to just admit defeat and embrace the fact that she was going to be Forever Alone.
Now, Karen wasn’t the only person ever to feel this way. In fact, many of my readers have expressed this feeling that they’re reaching the Point Of No Return, where they’re forced to resign themselves to a solitary, empty existence, despite their best efforts. They feel doomed to live loveless, sexless lives, each day a trudging step towards a lonely death.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Note: her name and identifying details have been changed for obvious reasons [↩]