Q: I have been dating my girlfriend for five years (we are both 29 years old). At the end of February I texted her and asked if she wanted to go to a friend's house later in the week; she didn't answer. The next day I called her during the day; she didn't answer. Later that night I saw she was online so I messaged her and she still didn't answer.
I refused to call her again and just figured she'd call me the next day, but she never did. Usually I would give in and call her a few days later, but I'm stubborn and haven't called her since, and she hasn't called me. It's now April -- it's been a month. It just seems so childish and cowardly of her to end it this way. Do I just let it go after five years, or do I try to contact her for an explanation?
-- P.K., Lancaster
A: It sounds like you want closure, and shame on her for disappearing like that after five years. This kind of behavior is definitely not normal, and I would take it as a sign that she wants out. Although she is being childish about the whole thing, your stubbornness isn't going to help you find peace. You won't be able to move on until you face her.
After five years with her, you deserve to know what is going on. Perhaps you can find a way to catch her at home or when she gets out of work. Talking to her in person may be the only way to get her to listen to you, and she would then be put in a position to give an immediate response. However, be prepared for her to walk away without any explanation. At least you will know you gave it your best shot and you can move on from this disrespectful woman.
Ready to jump in
Q: I have been out of the dating scene for three years! I haven't even had a crush on someone in that time. It may have been because I was not fully healed from my previous relationship, but I know I am ready now. I went through the counseling and I'm ready to start looking again.
I don't know where to look, though, because I don't have money to try online dating, and I don't date co-workers. I don't have many single guy friends outside of work, and the bar scene at almost 40 years old seems like a ridiculous waste of time. Where can I look for a nice guy?
-- G.N., Buffalo
A: You are right, the bar scene is a difficult place to find a nice guy. Though some people do meet nice guys at bars, it tends to be less likely as we age.
First, you need to make sure that your outside self matches your inner self. Look your best and make sure you are offering the things you are looking for in someone else. For instance, if you are struggling financially, try to work out that situation before dating. You don't want to give the impression that you're trying to find someone to take care of you.
There are some free dating sites online that you could try, but be very cautious. These sites don't screen people at all and there are a lot of people who misrepresent themselves. You need to be smart about it. Meet in public, let a friend know where you are and drive yourself to the date.
Otherwise, I would suggest making new friends as a starting point. Joining a book club or some other type of free group activity will put you in the presence of all different kinds of people who may have single friends!
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). E-mail questions to email@example.com and include your initials and hometown.