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I'm 24 and have been in the "real world" now for 2 years. In the past two years I've had two major relationships. Both times the guys have ended up disappointing me. The first one cheated on me. The second one turned into a real jerk treating me like he was doing me a favor by being with me. Anyhow so here I find myself, two years into a new life, out of college in a new area where I know no one except the teachers at my school and a few other friends I've made. And now I'm worried I won't ever find anyone or that I don't know how to pick nice guys. I know it's an irrational fear and I don't want to let myself get depressed but sometimes I wonder if maybe my standards aren't too high? Are my expectations too high? I just want a nice man who cares what happens to me. I feel unattractive and unsure that I'll ever find someone. I read all these great stories on proteacher about how you all found nice men and good husbands at all different ages but somehow I worry I'm different from all of you and no one will want to be with me. Especially now that I have two very very bad relationships under my belt. I feel like I have no direction. Any advice on how to keep my self esteem up and not settle? It's really been a difficult transition for me. Thanks.


Senior Member
I feel unattractive and unsure that I'll ever find someone. - anonymous

That's likely your problem. When you feel that way you have the smell of desperation on you that you can't wash off. Try relaxing about it; you're only 24.


Senior Member

The old, married lady says: No, I don't feel your expectations are too high. You have just landed in two bad situations. We all have guys who do this to us at some point in our lives.

Men have women who do the same to them. Imagine if you had been engaged when this happened to you. That happened to my husband. He was engaged when he was in his early 20's, then he was dumped for another guy. He was hurt, but then he realized, too, that it opened up the door for other opportunities. He also realized that he had been too young to establish such a mature, adult relationship.

At 24, you are really still quite young. Since I don't know how you met and got involved with these guys, it's hard to say if you didn't set your standards high enough. My thought is that you might have gotten too involved too quickly. Take your time about getting involved with the next guy. I think that one of the problems we have in our youth is that we want to jump into a relationship in the same way we would jump into a pool on a hot day. I know, I was there once long ago. So were so many of my friends and acquaintances. By taking the time to really get to know a guy before establishing a "relationship," you get to find out what his weaknesses are and how he values you as a person. You find out if you share a common ground.

If I were you, I'd try again. I know there's a great guy out there who is JUST for you. With perseverence, you will find him. Realize, too, that there is no deadline for having an established relationship that works, or getting married. I have known many people who have found the right person in their 30's and even in their 40's.


Senior Member

I remember feeling that way when I was 24 too. I had serious relationships with some real jerks too. Now that I'm older and looking back, I think the best thing you can do is to learn from those relationships. You need to remember that not every relationship leads to marriage - relationships are a learning experience. You learn what type of person you want to spend your life with.

Now as for feeling unattractive and unsure, the best thing you can do is find something you love to do and do it. That will make you feel better, making you more attractive to others. If you don't love yourself, others won't love or respect you. Take this time to pamper yourself because trust me, once you're married and have children, there will be little time for you to be you. So go to the movies/dinner with friends, pamper yourself with a pedicure, or whatever makes you feel great. Take time to take care of you and all the rest will fall into place when the time is right. Remember we're all here for you when you need us.

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
I always had very high expectations, and I wasn't willing to lower them . . . even though that meant that I really did NOT date. I had an education, a good job, friends, and family. I didn't NEED a man to "complete" myself.

Now, two of my friends are just the opposite. One of them felt that she wouldn't be complete without a husband and children. She was "on the prowl" for years . . . and worried about not being able to find a guy. Eventually she did find a nice guy--just like she wanted--and had two children. The other friend went the "desperate" route and dated every guy coming and going . . . and ended up with a reputation not condusive to "marriage material" in a women, if you get my drift. She's gone through jerk after jerk, one failed marriage, and two long-term relationships with guys who only took advantage of her.

I wish I had a good way to tell you how to not worry about it so much.


Senior Member
Been There Done That

I know what you are feeling as something very similar happened to me. I was just starting my teaching career at 24 and not dating anyone. I was not the kind of girl who liked to meet men in a bar setting. Being in a profession which was held mainly by women didn't make finding a mate any easier. Nor was I a drop dead goddess. I was miserable alone. One day I realized that I might be alone for the rest of my life and I was tired of being miserable. I took to making myself happy. A few years later, I turned to the internet dating websites and didn't find much. Then, I got off. I didn't have any luck on my own and got back online to try again. Within a week I met someone. We had sooooo much in common. We talked at least twice a day and fell in love. 2 months later he proposed and I went crazy. I wondered what I had gotten myself into and was I settling. I later realized that this was my soul mate. We married 13 months later and are about to celebrate our 2nd year of marriage. Oh...I must tell you. I was 34 when I married. 34 and much smarter than I was at 24. Hang in there and give yourself a chance. You will find happiness. It is out there just waiting for you to discover it.


Senior Member
U remind me of me!

At 24, I moved to a new city and ended a relationship I had been in and out of for 8 years (that's a long time in a 24-year-old's life!). I too felt like it would be a long time before I made that kind of connection with another human being. I didn't think I was that great looking either. I believe my low self-esteem played a part in the fact that I dated a lot of fellows that were definitely not husband material for me. I finally decided that I wouldn't allow a relationship to develop with another man that wasn't marriage material. In another post, I told of how I finally met my husband. I was 36 years old when I got involved with him. I'm sure you don't have to wait that long. I suggest that you be your authentic self. There are plenty of men for you to meet, and if you are single and footloose, you can travel or even relocate if the prospects are slim where you are.

Miss C

Senior Member
Don't Settle For Less Than The Best!

Take it from me. I'm 26, and have been in several "bad" relationships. I think maybe four. Each one ended up not being the right one, and one was just downright nasty at the end. However, each one taught me a little more about who I am and who other people are, and also what I need in the one I finally settle with. I'm still single and not dating anyone, but I have great friendships, and find so much joy and fulfillment in my students! Don't take me wrong. I want to find Mr. Right just as much as the next girl, but it's not worth blowing the rest of your life to settle for the one that will "do." My mom once told me not to settle for a man that I can live with, but to wait for the one I can't live without. I hope to never be that desperate, but the sentiment is there. You are beautiful, and the God who made you and gave you breath has a perfect plan for your life. Wait for it!


I am also 24, and got out of a pretty serious relationship of 3 years. He ended up turning into a real jerk also. I started dating here and there and thought my standards were also too high. people always told me I was unrealistic. I thought I would never find someoen to "wow" me and meet my expectations. Wowsers, was i wrong. A year later I met the most wonderful man in the world. He meets every expectation I ever had and actually excedes them. The surprises never end. Don't ever give up those expectations. Being through two tough relationships, like i had also, will make you appreciate everything so much more!!! Good luck and keep your eyes open!! It will come!