Dear Uncle Mat

I am a 40-something female, good-looking, kind, and loving, with my own little pet-care biz. I have lived in San Anto for 10 years now and have been alone, sans man, for most of my time here. I admit my track record in relationships is less than stellar. As a result (of my poor choices and some not-so-great things that happened to me as a child), I find that I have a very difficult time trusting when it comes to Love. As well, I have lived alone for so long, I feel that I have fallen into a “hermetical” trap (if you will). Aside from therapy — no easier to trust a therapist than a person — which I cannot afford for now, I wonder what you might suggest. I have a good social life/circle, but it usually revolves around the same great group — close and extended. It is rare to meet someone new. Money has been beyond tight, so I rarely go “out,” the exception being art openings, as my friends are predominantly artists.

I look forward to your reply,

— been alone too long in san anto

Dear San Anto Sola,

Remember the good old days when you could just get a guy drunk, get pregnant, and the guy would be obligated to marry you?

That plan’s a little dated, so let’s discuss more modern solutions to your predicament. I’ll start with the therapy, since you mentioned it yourself. I believe in it. I, too, am poor and I only use free and sliding-scale doctors. I have sent you an email with a list of resources in San Antonio (available to anyone for the asking; email me). Just go! You don’t have to go back. Keep trying till one works or you realize that maybe you aren’t that fucked up or unhappy. It’s like the guilt-free version of breakfast tacos after a Bar America bender.

When someone has trust issues and knows it, they have an even bigger problem with their self esteem. It’s a combination pity party and self-hate parade. Learning to trust is a practice thing. Just keep after it. More importantly, stop telling yourself and others that you have a trust problem. It’s like saying you are fat or ugly. You don’t believe you are worthy of a relationship, so you can’t be worthy and everybody knows it because you are saying it. Congratulations on the self-enlightenment! Now do your homework, see a therapist, read a book, pick a theme song, make up a personal slogan, start a new happy parade.

I LOVE San Antonio (though I am currently in self-imposed educational exile in Houston) and I know finding a new single man there is next to impossible. You might try hanging out at the airport arrivals with a puppy and a casserole. Not really, but do look for new things to do and ditch your friends. Not forever, just every once in a while. Guys can be shy and intimidated by gaggles of girls. Lots of boobs usually just attract dicks. Or more boobs. Skip opening night and visit Blue Star the Saturday afternoon after the reviews are out. Any guys you find there read, like art — and you know the artist!

To be honest, I am concerned about your age and pet-care business. A single woman over 40 plus cats equals crazy — TV tells us so. Otherwise, I should think the whole entrepreneur thing is hot. Yet this type of success and a cozy home life can be its own rut. You need to actively create physical space and time in your life for a man. Apply yourself to the problem. Be creative, optimistic, and open-minded. Last winter I was single and made myself a “Mate Finder” kit, complete with instruction pamphlet, two compasses, and a laser-pointer — positive thinking in a box. Now I have a new boyfriend.

Finally, not every guy you date has to be “The One.” Know the difference between expectations and standards. Everything will be disappointing when you have too many expectations. You will be disappointing if you have too few standards. Amy Fisher is a freak show because she appears to lack both.

Good luck, keep me posted, don’t get drunk on first dates, and always use condoms (Plan A is not an option, and Plan B may not be readily available at a pharmacy near you.)


Your Uncle Mat •

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at [email protected] or Your true identity is safe with him.
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