Dear Dr. Romance:

I have not had a relationship in 8 years because of a bad relationship. I needed time to heal. My favorite discussion board has closed, and I miss my friends! Emailing is nice but I miss the discussions and topics of the day. I have gone back to school and I'm much older than the other students, so I'm looking for a partner online. I make friends easily because of my friendly nature. But the problem is, no one I meet online wants a serious relationship -- they just want to be friends. If I was to meet some one on the net I would not be going back home to Atlanta but to where ever this person lied.

Dr. Romance responds:

I'm sorry you lost your online group, but it may be a blessing in disguise. If your healing is not over by now, do yourself a favor and get some therapy. I really think counseling would help you. There should be some available at school. Take advantage of it, even though you're older than a lot of students. Don't let yourself wallow in this any longer. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you're busy keeping yourself miserable. You're resisting meeting friends where you can, and complaining about people "just wanting to be your friend". People you meet online can't be anything but friends, realistically, until you've met them and gotten to know them.

I think you need friends in real life, both men and women. And you can do that at school after classes or by joining campus groups. I'm glad you "make friends easily", but do you keep them for a long time? There's a big difference between friends who have been around for years and someone you just met, which I would call an acquaintance. If making friends is so easy, why aren't you doing it?

Don't make the mistake of thinking you can meet someone online and just move to where they live. You'd have to spend time getting to know a new person F2F first, and you can't just go to where they live to do that. Meet new friends where you are now. See my articles "Make New Friends, Keep Good Friends" and "Where is Love" for more help. Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today will help you figure out how to date in person, how to build a social network, and how to find the partner you want.

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For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.