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

(290 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.)

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.

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 22:37:52

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 22:33:17

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

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 22:29:37

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.

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.

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.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 20-Mar-13 22:07:57

I know Spero. Apparently one couldn't leave the house until the kids were asleep, which would be around 9pm, so that was that. I got the impression they were glad to have an excuse not to go out because in the run up there was one whinge after another - don't pick such and such a day, don't pick an indian restaurant as I don't like curry etc. I went out with DS and my parents to a local place instead, and guess what? My mother moaned about the food at the place I picked, ffs hmm. I'm still annoyed by it all, tbh. I mean, I'm never going to be 40 again, am I? It was a total let down

Will stop thread hijacking now. grin

Spero Wed 20-Mar-13 21:50:27

Miserable gits not to go out on your birthday.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Wed 20-Mar-13 21:41:39

Joining this thread a bit late but I'm a single parent and I've been on my own for seven years, since I was 4 months pregnant. DS's dad chose not to be involved with him so I hardly get any time to myself to socialise, apart from the odd occasion he stays overnight with my parents. I'm kind of used to being by myself now and think I'd find it hard to compromise in a ltr - I could absolutely never bear to give up my independence, especially financial. I enjoy my own company, which is just as well grin.That said, it would be nice to meet someone I get on with, to go out occasionally with another adult, or stay in and watch crap films, to put the world to rights, be each other's special someone. I get lots of hugs and 'I love yours' from DS, but we all know it's not the same as it is from another adult.

Like many on here I've tried internet dating, although not for a few years. I became so sick of halfwits sending me suggestive messages in text speak, and jaded by the lack of compatibility I had with those I met up with. The men at work are, in the main, married with kids, although that didn't stop one of them propositioning me a few years back hmm.

My friends are all married and don't want to go out - not even for my 40th last year sad. They have very short memories imo - one friend in particular I used to spend lots of time with when DS was young, as she was single and admitted to being lonely. All she wanted was to settle down and have a family. The minute she met her now DH, I was dropped like a hot potato and now we only meet once every few months. Neither she nor my other friends ever acknowledge that I might still feel lonely, like they used to. However, I wouldn't want to be in any of their marriages. Not one.

So where to go from here? Who knows.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 19:51:53

Yes. I see the same. My closest friends do actually have good relationships but I smell a bad one from five hundred metres, I know what it smells like!

Spero Wed 20-Mar-13 19:10:12

o ditto, ditto, ditto.

From about 27 years, most of my friends were getting married. Don't tell me they were all miraculously finding their soul mates at roughly the same time - it was just 'time' to settle down so whoever they were going out with at the time they married.

Most are still intact but I am not sure about the quality of the relationships. I see a lot of bickering, a lot of comtempt openly expressed by both to each other in my presence which I find very embarrassing. I wonder how many stay together just because they couldn't afford to split up, or at least they couldn't afford their present lifestyles.

But I don't want to sound bitter and jealous - just realistic. My experiements with on line dating show that my 'worth' on the Sexual Market Place is almost zero so I wouldn't put myself though that. But it doesn't mean I am not open or hopeful that I might one day meet some and we would 'click' and enjoy each other's company. But I am not going to put all my energies into chasing something which I know won't guarrantee me a happy or full life, I have got to sort that out for myself.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 18:54:38

The tyrany of the couple is what made me sleep walk into and stay in a shit relationship for too long. But now I don't want to conform, It's not about appearances anymore.

But despite what I've written here in the last few days, I have a few things going on in the next 3 -6 months. I wouldn't say "who knows?!" with an inane grin, but I will be busy. There are thngs I want more ! And I'm going to sort out those first.

Spero Wed 20-Mar-13 18:53:14

Nursery fees are HUGE. But it's not forever and you can get to meet other parents, do babysit swops etc. but unless you are earning a fantastic wage your social life will take a hit I am afraid. It's not just cost - you will be too knackered most of the time.

But the upside is you do get to make one of the potentially most fantastic connections of your life - and you will be weeping for those weekends of simple piece and quiet, with only yourself to attend to!

Spero Wed 20-Mar-13 18:50:18

I used to find weekends hard too - but I agree with SGB - it was the lack of any human contact that hurt, but because this was in my late 20s/ early 30s most of my friends were coupled up,and it was the 'rules' that weekends were for couples and couples dinner parties etc. I should save got off my arse a bit more and invited single friends over or organised myself to go out an do something I enjoyed. I was in London so had no excuse really.

I think I was so caught up in the tyranny of the couple I would end up moping a lot at home, somehow thinking I didn't have the 'right' to go out and try to connect with people,or enjoy the connections I had.

There seem to be more 'friendship' sites setting up - maybe those are worth a try? Then you haven't got all the awful pressure of trying to 'click' with someone and hopefully you will weed out the terminal shaggers. And if you widen your circle of friends, they might know people you might click with...

You're convincing me spero wink

I still do get lonely though ... can empathise with another poster who said her heart sinks at "See you Monday!"

Expense is another biggie. It'll cost me over £4000 to have a DC and then goodness knows what to keep him/her in nursery!

Spero Wed 20-Mar-13 18:19:44

I am not focusing on marriage but the search for long term relationships which must be akin to marriage. If you want the cuddles and chit chat that implies a level of intimacy and a level of shared living - yes, you don't have to be married or even living together full time to enjoy that but you must be willing to intertwine your lives to some extent ... And that WILL involve compromise.

I suppose all I am trying to say is that I suspect there is some degree of idealisation about ltr. The kisses, cuddles and sex always come at a price. And sometimes that price is well worth paying, sometimes - and more often for women - it is not.

The statistic about 45% marriages ending on divorce is the most recent statistic - I was tweeted it by one of my family law contacts. But it's actually fallen since the last one which was 48% I think.

The 20% of enduring marriages being unhappy is just my educated guess on what I read here and see in rl. It could be lower or maybe even higher!

I just think it is sad that we are pressured into just one way of enjoying human contact when I think there are many worth exploring. And I think the positives about ltr are trumpeted way too loudly over the potential downsides.

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