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Ask Athena 

Dear Athena,

I've been single for two years, since I got divorced. I've been throwing myself into work and building myself back from zero. I recently started browsing dating sites again and found only men who want to go to bed with me, no dates, nothing. My girlfriends have the same issue with finding good guys. What is up with people these days, and where can I find someone decent?

Yours Truly,

Lost and Confused

Dear Lost and Confused,

I'm a fan of some good, old-fashioned courting, too: those long, lingering kisses goodnight at the door; an actual phone call where someone invites you to meet them at a restaurant they picked out just for you; flowers, and flirtatious texts and endless phone conversations; and closing out the bar because you just don't want to leave his gaze.

All that time before you really know someone — and getting to know them is filled with butterflies, delightful curiosity and excitement. To be treated like something to be earned is so special and, I think, necessary. Where has the romance gone, is right! I feel you, girl.

But it's out there. It still exists. I've seen it, and you will, too.

Sex is an important component of dating, as it can determine whether the relationship will get past dinner and a movie. But physical intimacy is only one part of being in a romantic partnership, and it sounds like you want something more substantial. A deeper bond.

When you say "browsing," do you mean literally looking online? Have you signed up for a dating website like Match.com or OkCupid? If so, maybe you need to revisit your profile. It's time to be specific and direct. Include in your profile that you are looking for a date. Say you're looking for someone to take you out or meet you downtown for drinks, a coffee or a creemee. A walk? Dancing? A movie? You pick. Say what you want and mean what you say. Those sites are designed to give people the opportunity to publicly declare what they really, really want. For real. And you don't have to look someone in the eye while doing it. It can be really freeing.

If you haven't signed up, give it try and follow my advice about being honest and open. Don't try to sound cute or witty or sexy. Just be you.

One of the awesome benefits of these sites is that you can weed out all the guys that don't fit your description. It's a time saver and it's nice to know it's all happening with the internet between you. You don't have to be polite, and every once in a while you might want to give the finger to one of them and you can, cause they can't see you. After all, that's the person you want your guy to like, right?

In the meantime, keep doing what you're doing — "building yourself up," as you said. Being single is an excellent opportunity to focus on you and enrich the other relationships in your life. Dating can fog up your focus, but for right now, the view ahead is clear. And it's all yours. Enjoy.

Yours,

Athena

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