My longest relationship lasted for two years and was a long distance one. My boyfriend was handsome, a family man who treated his best friends like brothers, and who loved taking care of me in every way possible. We were both finishing university and though we didn’t have much money, we tried our best to travel and see each other. The feeling of growing up together was great but there was no romance — there were no romantic gestures or anything that swept me off my feet. At times I even felt he treated me like one more of his "brothers" and I called him out on it on more than one occasion; he also never gave me things I wanted but gave me things he thought I should want, and so as sad as it made me I had to end it.
After him, I dated another guy for four months. This guy was completely different; he was also handsome, but not much into family, and he was wealthy. I wasn’t "growing up" with him, but in a way it was good and again, we weren’t exactly romantic. I didn’t end it because of that; it had only been four months so I was hoping time would give him the comfort of being more romantic. In the end he wasn’t a good man, so I walked away.
Those were my last two meaningful relationships and the last one ended over a year ago. Now at 27 I have no prospects, no crush, nobody trying to woo me, nobody pursuing me, not even a silly text message from a guy friend pretending to like me. I don’t even have a face to daydream about.
Keep reading for the rest of this reader's dilemma.
This past year I tried everything to change that, I started online dating and basically became a serial dater up to the point where going on dates was no longer fun or exciting. I also tried going out with different crowds, leaving my comfort zone, and going to places I would’ve never even considered; I felt like I tried it all and I’m still here completely alone and lonely. I’m starting to feel like maybe my relationship expectations are a little bit unrealistic. I’m kind of a hopeless romantic and I love romantic gestures — from something small, like dedicating a love song to something elaborate like running down the rain just to see you. I love it all and I truly felt incomplete when my past relationships couldn't give that to me. I broke up with good men because that was missing in my life. I began to consider going back to my first ex, whom has mentioned more than once that he misses me, and though at times I feel like I miss him too, that he’ll be a great husband, and a fun-loving father to our children, I also sometimes feel like I’m considering him out of loneliness.
I don’t know how — and if — this is ever going to happen for me. I see it happening to everyone around me — I am literally the only one of my girlfriends that is single — but I’m still here with nothing. Is this romantic mindset ruining my perceptions of reality? Am I just living in a cloud waiting for a prince charming that doesn’t exist? Is my concept of love and relationships narrow minded?
I never wanted to be dependent on a boyfriend, but this lack of love and romance is bringing a melancholy tone to my life that has begun to overshadow all the good things that have been happening to me. So all I want is to hear other people’s experiences and see if I can understand whether you can be in love without romance? Am I setting the bar too high?