Dear Dr. Date,Many…

Dear Dr. Date,
Many bad things have occurred in my life this year. Not getting into a graduate program here at the University, a close friend was killed in a car accident and a relative took his own life. I felt so down and depressed. Then I met this gal. We e-mailed each other and soon met in person. The first time I saw her, I thought she was sweet, simple and innocent. We only went out twice, but I fell head over heels for her. As we talked more I realized that she was intelligent, strong minded, strong willed and very focused on what she wants in life. I liked her so much that every thought I had revolved around her.
Then she said she’s not quite ready for another relationship because she just got out of one. For the short time that I was with her, I was very happy. Now I’m back into my depressed state and even deeper than before. I don’t have any motivation anymore. I don’t look forward to going to school now. The things that I used to do don’t seem fun anymore. My morale and confidence is low. Everything in my life just seems so dull at the moment. I don’t want to be around people, and when I am I just pretend to be happy. So I guess my question to you Dr. Date, is: What must I do to enjoy life again? I don’t want to keep on going like this.
–Broken-hearted and Confused

I’m sorry to hear about all the crap life threw at you over the last year, but somehow you’ve got to separate all that from the rather standard dating story with this woman. When she says she isn’t ready for a relationship, you’ve got to believe she’s telling the truth. This sort of thing happens all the time to both lucky and unlucky people. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right with another person. At this point, you can either blame the cosmos or look at the situation rationally and move on. I’d move on.
The possibility also exists that you freaked her out. A person just getting over a long relationship generally looks forward to a little light dating and fun. If you threw all your sorrow at her on the first few e-mails or dates, you may have gone counter to what she was after. I know this sucks because more than anything, you probably need someone positive to talk to right now. Often, people who have gone through an inappropriate amount of grief will unwittingly attach themselves to another person out of need for someone to lean on. This may have been too much, too soon for your friend.
Life will get better, friend, it just takes time to sort things out. Be realistic about relationships and try it again with someone new.