Life Advice



Depressed and Desiring Love

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I've been in a nursing home since I was 60. I would love to find someone to fall in love with, but I have a problem socializing. I can't wrap my head around the fact that I'm in a nursing home. I'm depressed and see myself not having much time to live with my several health issues. I can't walk and I'm wheelchair-bound. I've tried spending time with other residents, but they hardly talk to me. I feel like they don't like me. As a result, I stay in my room except to go to physical therapy.

I've tried playing bingo, but the prizes they give are junk, which I don't want, so I don't play anymore. The recreation around here is boring, so I don't really participate. I'm lonely. I don't have a very high opinion of myself. I'm thinking of going to another nursing home close to my sister, as she tries to come once a week. My son lives in the city, which is about an hour's drive from me, and comes whenever he can. I have a daughter who lives about eight miles away. I haven't seen her since late July. We text each other, but she won't talk to me on the phone. She has a boyfriend she sees. She says she's always tired and has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It just hurts me that she has time and energy to see her boyfriend but not me. She says she wants to, but she's either too busy or tired. When I ask her to come, it turns into an argument. I tell my daughter I love and miss her and how much I'd like to see her, to no avail.

I cry a lot and sometimes wish I were dead. I really don't want to die, but I just can't bear the emotional pain sometimes. I'm on antidepressants. I don't see the psychiatrist very often, but I see a psychologist once a week. I tried hanging out at the nurses station like some residents do. Like I said, no one talks to me. I smile at people when I see them and try to appear friendly. I get along well with my roommate, but I need a man to love. A lot of them here are married. There was a man in PT that I liked, and we talked a little bit, but he's married.

I don't know what to do anymore. I break down and cry while I'm in PT sometimes. I keep thinking of the things I used to be able to do. I can't go out to a senior community because there is no one to take care of me. I need 24-hour care. I'm presently looking for another nursing home to go to, but a lot of the reviews are bad. The aides here are nice, but the food is awful. Like I said, the recreation is bad. Nothing they do interests me.

I think if I met a guy to love, I'd feel better about myself. I have a good sense of humor. I'm compassionate and caring, and I love to make people laugh. I used to be a nursing assistant but never thought I would ever be in this position. Please help me, Annie. -- Old and Alone


Dear Old and Alone: Big picture, you should absolutely try to make the switch from your current nursing home to the one by your sister. This will likely take time and money, though, so while you're working on making the switch, do try to make the best of your current situation. Is it possible to see your psychologist more than once a week? Or try a new medication? Can you confide in your roommate about how lonely you're feeling and take part in more activities, the two of you together?

I know it's easier said than done to keep putting yourself out there and attempting companionship when you feel as if you've tried without getting anything in return. But isolating yourself and staying shut behind closed doors won't get you any closer to friendships or a romantic relationship. And do remember to show yourself kindness. We attract what we put out into the world -- it's vital that you love yourself the way you want to love another person.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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