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At what point do you just accept you are single and thats the way its going to stay?

(311 Posts)
Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 08:38:27

Ive been on my own for 5 years now, post divorce. This will be my sixth summer on my own.

Im fine, i have a full life, noone would ever guess i long for a relationship, but i do.

For Whatever reason, its just not happening for me.

This comes off the back of a terrible weekend where i was stood up on a 4th date.

I do online dating, i go out and about with friends. But in this whole time ive not had one relationship, not even a short term fling.

I do not understand what the issue is, i keep trying but not getting anywhere.

At what point do i just give up, accept that thats it for me?

Im 35.

Spero Wed 20-Mar-13 22:10:27

No it's all part of the general theme - the importance of connections and why we get hi jacked by the tyranny of relationships.

So sad that people won't come out to celebrate a milestone birthday but I see a lot of this - often because one person is coupled up with a misery guts who won't go out and makes the other partner feel bad about wanting to.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 22:25:10

flipping heck! i can't believe they wouldn't go out on your fortieth. Jayzuss! (sorry). I wish I lived near y'all. I was thinking today as I was walking along :-p that even though married couples aren't 90% of the populations, they kind of push themselves to the forefront. I don't mean that they are pushy. But because they're situation is the norm, they put themselves forward. Socialising revolves around couples.

I might have a 45th SoftKitty, my fortieth wasn't exactly a mad affair either.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 22:29:37

I don't know if I've expressed that well. What I mean is, single people aren't encouraged to come forward on their own. Come forward to what I don't know. But everything from a wedding to a dinner party assumes that all attendees will march forth two by two in to the ark . So, wherever you go, couples just seem to take up more space than their actual numbers would suggest. I try to be friendly to other single parents to make a group, but it is hard. In my own town, one I've met is painfully shy. Another recently split and I don't think she has accepted she's in the gang yet. I don't want to bounce up with registration details, and orientation pack! yes, I have one single friend, and that is it. But we are everywhere as this thread proves. We need our own networks.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 20-Mar-13 22:31:04

I don't think that was it in this case. Friend's DH wouldn't have a problem with her going out. I feel like they just couldn't be arsed. Very upsetting, made me want to tell them all to fuck off, and retreat into my shell. I can't remember the last time I went out for an evening out with those particular friends. However, I'm off for a meal tomorrow with a different set of friends - the three of them are all married, too. Feels like everyone is sometimes. <sigh>.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 22:33:17

Wait another decade. We will be the majority I think.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 20-Mar-13 22:37:52

Agree that singles socialise in couples Leslie. Just remembered the last time I went out with the non-40th friends - it was one of their birthdays a few years ago. Birthday friend invited me on a girls might out. I then found out they were both bringing their DH's but I still went. Turned out there was two other couples invited, so it was four couples and me hmm. Boy, did I feel like an outsider. They've also discussed - out loud right in front of me - a couples night in they were having that night at one of their houses. I feel invisible sometimes.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 22:41:37

oh yeah, I've heard that too. Friends going out with their husbands. And the details arranged while I'm sitting there, like it's just so obvious that I wouldn't be included that it's not even a sensitive subject. Not sure I want to know. I'm not sure how often these nights out happen, and I wouldn't be the only one not included. It's not like I'm talking about a fixed group of people. It's more fluid than that, but yet.... sometimes I do think I need a numpty 'dh' just so that I get to go out to play too!

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 20-Mar-13 22:53:42

I think that if they did that again I'd gently pull them up on it. Maybe a 'hey, where's my invitation then?!' type comment, so they know how I feel. I honestly think I don't need a partner to be a valid human being. I'm a person in my own right. But not for socialising purposes, clearly.

Honestly, it's Time for New Friends if this stuff is happening to you. Another thing I would suggest is looking into hobbies/groups/events that are kid-friendly but not aimed at kids. OK my interests are not going to be to everyone's taste, but the folk music scene and medieval re-enactment/larping/living history tend to be reasonably welcoming to children while they are actually for, and mostly attended by, adults. People who go in for this type of thing also tend to be... unconventional, at least, and a mixed bunch so it's not couples-fixated.

(oh, and commiserations to the poster whose mates wouldn't come out to play on her 40th. I spent my 40th in a morass of collywobbles and pizza - had newborn DS, was living with my parents, my mum had the shits, I had the shits and the cat had the shits, and half a takeaway pizza was about all we could manage for birthday dinner. I am going to have a belter of a 50th.)

comingintomyown Thu 21-Mar-13 06:34:16

I always had a boyfriend in tow from age 14 then got married so it wasnt until just over 3 years ago when my marriage ended when I was 44 that I found myself single.

Once the upset and pain of the divorce subsided I was too busy thinking about rebuilding my life to worry about a man and then once that passed I saw how much easier and peaceful life is without a relationship.

Now having more or less sorted my life to my satisfaction with my 47th birthday around the corner I am still happy to be single.

I agree with most of what Spero has said about the price tag of the benefits of a man being too great for me to consider. I also feel far more wary about relationships having worked through why I have put up with some very bad treatment at the hands of men and dont want to repeat the experience. Historically I put my man at the centre of my world one way or another and that was no good thing. To now put my DC and I at the centre of my world is proving much much more rewarding and I am happier and on an even keel emotionally in a way I hadnt been for a long time.

I live in a very conventional world , think couples and picket fences, but luckily I was very focused on my social life when I was married and built up a good group of friends who are happy to socialise on weekends or evenings. Of course this is also because our DC are teens we are more able to come and go. Plus XH has the DC every other weekend so that gives me plenty of freedom too.

In your shoes OP , a decade younger, I can see why a relationship is appealing. I sympathise with the "when you're least looking for it" comments but I suppose what can you say ? I expect sooner or later your path will cross with a man who wants what you do but I imagine it can feel like a long wait. The fact is though you are very young still and all the evidence points to it being likely to happen especially from what you have said about yourself.

In the meantime it sounds like you do tons of stuff and live life to the full so my advice would be to savour that for now smile

NicknameTaken Thu 21-Mar-13 09:36:37

porridge, on the question of expense, legal battles with my ex over child residence will have cost me at least £15000 by the end of this year, and I'm gloomily expecting him to drag me back into a court a few more times over the next few years. It would have been considerably cheaper to have a child on my own, even including paid-for childcare. And then there's the emotional wear and tear. My experiment in matrimony was a very, very expensive one.

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 11:06:00

Wow. Thought my bills were bad. :-( brew for you nicknametaken.

drfayray Thu 21-Mar-13 12:57:58

I have been single (apart from a 4 month so-called relationship) in the two years and 3 months since my marriage ended. I went online and met a lot of men: mostly idiots tbh. The 4 month thing was ok; but he turned out to have a lot of problems (mental health issues) and I really did not want to complicate my life. Since that ended at the end of last year, I have not been out with anyone.

I would love to have a boyfriend. But I also think I value being by myself a lot too. I do interesting (to me) activities like learning Tango and going to milongas (where you go to dance Tango socially) by myself, I read a lot and I knit. I also run. I spend a lot of time with my two children; 17 and nearly 15 - they both had a hard time with the ex leaving. I have some good friends that I see fairly regularly. I also have been asked to join a discussion group which is quite stimulating and I have met some new people through that. I go to the cinema a fair bit too.

There is something about me that doesn't seem to attract men. I have been told I am beautiful, do not look my age (50), am clever, funny, easy to talk with etc etc and yet...I think I am just meeting the wrong men. A good friend said I was intimidating sad. Look at my pix. Do I look intimidating? I think I look (and am) friendly!

I am now just focusing on myself: getting fitter, changing my work, making sure the children are ok, learning Tango, and well just enjoy being with myself.

I do wish I could meet someone but I am not going online again and I am just going about doing things that interest me. I do think that it is a very real possibility that I will never meet anyone and well...so be it.

NicknameTaken Thu 21-Mar-13 12:59:16

Thanks, Leslie. I try not to think about it too much!

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 13:04:27

Drfayray, you are beautiful and do not look your age. I can't believe the difference between you when you were with your x and you now. Wow. Your children are absolutely gorgeous. They look healthy, glowing, happy. The hard time they had when their dad left does not show. Even if you are single (in the SUN [GRIN] unlike the rest of us here on this thread) you look great for you.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Sat 18-Apr-15 23:07:11

I know this is an old thread, but I searched my username just now to see if there were any old posts of mine that could shed light on the state of mind I was in when I managed to attract my amazing boyfriend into my life. (I believe in the Law of Attraction...do Google it if you haven't heard of it).

Three months after posting in despair on this thread, I met the man of my dreams. So you really don't realise how quickly your life can change grin

SueBeatles Sat 18-Apr-15 23:19:02

Wow! thats brilliant OP - so pleased for you

SueBeatles Sat 18-Apr-15 23:53:00

Ooopps... see you're not OP... but great anyway

albal14 Sun 19-Apr-15 00:36:20

Your right . I'm single male, but it seems too old for 30's 40's women.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Sun 19-Apr-15 08:51:21

Haha, Sue, no I'm not the OP, but one of the many women on the thread convinced it was never going to happen. My divorce came through in April of that year, and I met my new man 6 weeks later. I think it's quite significant that I went almost three years after XH left without so much as a hint of anybody else, and then as soon as that door officially slammed shut (in the form of divorce) someone fantastic was able to enter my life.

Preminstreltension Sun 19-Apr-15 09:46:43

OP I feel your pain. I used to hate "join a club". My life is really full and busy and I always had lots to do and it didn't make any difference. I did online dating, supper clubs, singles holidays, fwbs. You name it I tried it. What seemed to come so easily for others didn't come for me.

Then there was "you're too picky" versus "you're too available - you need to play harder to get". It was crap. Eventually I gave up and now I have two DCs on my own. That's the bit that really mattered to me anyway (cue lots of people saying "ah, that's why - it's because you didn't really want a relationship" which makes no sense in the context of the other camp saying "just stop looking and it will turn up when you are least expecting it")

I think velvetspoon has a point about the odds getting worse for independent women. I'm pretty successful in my career and have always been independent and capable. I think there are men who don't want that. All the men I work with have wives at home and that's not a coincidence. They want to be the alpha breadwinner and so don't want someone like me. Not all men are like this obviously but the pool is smaller.

I don't miss relationships now as I am simply too busy with work and children. I have no time to myself as it is. I'm probably best on my own anyway. Plus I'm lucky to have lots of family around so don't need to be alone if I don't want to be. But I'm glad I found a way to get what I want (DCs) without being on the treadmill you are on. I wouldn't say give up but I had to protect myself in the end. Endlessly putting yourself out there and being rejected, in the nicest possible way, is exhausting and demoralising.

Can you refocus your efforts on just building your network of friends and single parents and people who just want to hang out with you? It won't solve the sex problem but it might give you a chance to have more fun.

DollyRocker1 Mon 20-Apr-15 22:20:21

I read this thread over the weekend and found it very poignant. I really hope the OP has found the right person for her.

mychild fantastic to hear that your Mr Right turned up soon after.

ocelot7 Tue 21-Apr-15 04:25:54

I came across this thread hoping to find some ideas but have found a lot of experience like my own - not least the repeated advice to join something(!) I have used a mixed racket sport for decades - nada. I also just missed another gig tonight as I could not face walking in alone again (that has not got any easier sad ) - live music seems to be mostly the preserve of people much younger than me so I feel uncomfortable alone...

I've tried OLD & it's only with hindsight that I can see what a hopeless enterprise it is (it was just soul-destroying at the time!): men my age holding out for much younger women (who sensibly don't look at them) e.g. 50yo looking for women 25-40....& who are still there years later....saying they also want a relationship then disappearing....lots of attention from (otherwise suitable) married men & too many "one date wonders" with socially dysfunctional men or players....

So many lovely women are alone who would like to be in a relationship but few male equivalents around....for a long time I assumed most men lied about their age as they look so much older than women their age but turns out often it's just how badly they've aged shock....a coupled friend observed wisely that it's hard to start fancying a man of 50+ & you'd have to have been with him since an age when you did(!)....yet these men are confident of attracting much younger women! A contemporary of mine who has has a couple of relationships said that she accepted she had to go for men 10+ years older but I am not keen on a retired man when my work is still so full on....

All I can add to OP & other younger women is it really is easier when you are under 40! There are nice men who for various e.g. career reasons have not yet had a family as well as bitter divorcees... I see I left it too late to start - having not wanted to bring a new man into my DS life when he was young, and being a ft working SP I had no social life for so many yrs & so many exclusions from couples events, friends never introduced me to any single men - only being proactivewhen he went to uni sad since when I've had a couple of shortish relationships one of which broke my heart in a way I would not have thought possible...I have also learnt to my cost that I can't do casual (much as I miss sex sad )

So all I can really offer here is solidarity....I too hate coming back to an empty house but really feel it doesn't make any difference whether I DO something or not... che sera sera... I have lovely friends & a busy life but want that intimacy too

foreversinglesupplement123 Tue 21-Apr-15 07:44:01

Bit bitter sweet to see this pop up again today. .I am the op.
Sadly to say I'm in the same situation I was two years ago. Still single.
I've dated less, I think I ran out of steam, and constantly putting myself out there became too hard. I still try to date but mostly it doesn't happen as the man blows it before we even get that far.

I've had a few relationships of a month or two, which is I suppose something, but I always end up finishing it as it comes to light they have big issues such as booze or being a cock lodger etc..so I'm not in a place where anything is better than nothing..

It still makes me sad. Most of the time it's quiet acceptance. I don't ever think this is something that will happen for me..I'm pretty sure I'll be on my own for the rest of my life now. .This will be my 8th xmas on my own. .In this time I have known people get divorced, deal with the fall out, meet someone, get married, have babies. I've known loads of people who have done that yet I'm still floundering on 4 or 5 dates.

I had a bad weekend, got a bit upset, but. It'd ok.

So. I just wanted to update. Mr right or even Mr right enough didn't appear in the two years following these posts amd life is pretty much exactly the same..

ocelot7 Tue 21-Apr-15 09:16:58

Hi OP smile

Yes - I recognize the running out of steam thing sad the mostly quiet acceptance & wondering if it's me sad Still hope it might happen though - based on no evidence.... hmm

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