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Annie Lane: frustrated while looking for love

Dear Annie: This will be my first time writing to you. I have read your previous work, and you give sound advice, so I pray you can do the same for me.

I have had issues in finding a woman for me, and this is nothing new. I had this same issue starting back in high school. I admit that, at first, I did nothing about it, thinking it would just work itself out. I had time, after all.

Well, time is running out. Let me explain further. I said five years ago that if I was not married by 40, I would not have kids. I have no kids at the present time. Well, I am five years closer to 40.

I am nervous that I will not make my deadline. More importantly, I feel I will not make my mother a grandmother, and she wants to be a grandmother.

I started with the online dating thing and, so far, have not had any success. I’ve met some wonderful women; however, they never want to keep going out with me. I have asked them what the issue is, and the common response I get is that I can come off as being a little insecure or weak.

My own assessment is that I am very nice but not a pushover. I love to have conversations, and I love to think. I will give my opinion, even when it is not popular.

I have multiple degrees, including a doctorate of education. I have my own home, and I have a job that pays all my bills. I am independent.

I’m told often by others that they do not understand why I am not with someone, and I also wonder the same thing. What advice could you give me?

— What Am I Doing Wrong?

Dear Doing Wrong: The only thing you are doing wrong is being too hard on yourself and setting deadlines. Don’t give up too soon. The right girl will come along, but it’s important to look at yourself honestly.

First, it was great that you had the confidence to ask the girls why they didn’t want a second date. That type of self-reflection and ability to look at one’s faults, and learn from them in order to grow, are what make for outstanding boyfriends, husbands, fathers and just good people overall. You sound like all of that. Now the most important part is believing that, through the help of a professional therapist or life coach, you can get to the root of what you really want out of a partner — which is not for your mother to become a grandmother. While that is a lovely desire and hopefully happens someday, it cannot be the driving force in your decision-making for a partner.

Along with some self-reflection and continuing to put yourself out there, always remember that each rejection is bringing you one step closer to finding the right person for you.