Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

35 and never been in a relationship

(98 Posts)
neverthebride Sun 27-Oct-13 17:09:03

Have n/c for this as frankly, I'm embarassed. I'm 35 and I've never been in a relationship. I've never even been close. I've had sexual or dating-type things but they've always ended fairly quickly. I'm ok confidence-wise and I get male attention when I go out so it's not that I can't meet men or even get dates; it just never leads to anything. Its becoming more and more likely that I'll never experience someone really loving me and that makes me really sad. Everyone always says 'you never know what's around the next corner' and although that's true, I've been hearing that for 15 years so don't hold out much hope anymore!. I spend the years seeing friends fall in and out of love, get married and have children while always staying single. I think most people would think there must be something wrong with me but I can't figure out what it is and my friend's can't seem to suggest anything either. I don't need to be in a relationship at all, I manage perfectly fine on my own but i'd like to love someone and be loved in return. I'm a Nurse so spend all my working time looking after others and it would be nice to have someone to look after me if I needed it, just once. Living on my own and paying all my own bills means i'm often in debt and never have spare cash for holidays etc so feel like I literally work to live. I know FB isn't necessarily a genuine picture of people's lives but all I see is friends holidays, weddings and children and I can't help but feel like a loser. I'm going through a bad bout of depression (unrelated to singledom I think) and although I have friends that care; they're busy with their own lives. I feel exhausted by dealing with everything on my own all the bloody time and just think what's the point?. I've never met someone else my age who's never been loved by a partner. Are there any others out there?.

tinpotted Mon 28-Oct-13 06:51:37

I'm sorry, that must be tough. Have you tried internet dating or have your only experiences been with people you've met when out? Maybe you unconsciously put up barriers from people getting to know you.

I would think that you could try developing a rapport and possibly relationships with people online based around a common interest, which may lead to something. You always hear about people who got together after chatting online for a while. On internet dating sites, there are often forums where people just chat which may be a place to start.

Also, if you can afford it go for a site where you have to pay.

tinpotted Mon 28-Oct-13 06:53:25

Also, I have quite a happy homelife, but also feel a bit inadequate after looking at facebook.

Lweji Mon 28-Oct-13 06:57:03

Considering the twats some of us have been with, not having been in a relationship is not that bad. smile

Yes, I got married, but whether I have actually been loved by my partner, is another question... Feeling supported, maybe at times. I ended up supporting him in fact, more than anything.

Finding the right person is not that easy.
Make sure you don't lower your standards.

reallyhurtz Mon 28-Oct-13 07:06:09

I have had 4 long term relationships, and i have 2 children. ALL of those relationships are tainted by what happened at the end/after.

i feel massively disillusioned. If people that loved me can treat me like that, then i want no more relationships

i feel empty and umloved as you described

' its better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all' is the BIGGEST crock of shit...

VashtaNerada Mon 28-Oct-13 07:12:12

Maybe internet dating is worth considering, even if it's just to get used to the pattern of dating / find out what you don't want! If you're lucky and find someone you like, great. If not you'll have had a few nice meals out and learnt a bit more about who's out there. Probably not much consolation but I have a friend who didn't have a relationship till 34 and is now very happily partnered up.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Mon 28-Oct-13 07:13:22

FB is a load of Keeping-up-with-the-Jones twaddle. when was the last time you saw anyone post, my partner is driving me nuts, why won't they put the washing out/ help with the kids/ stop getting drunk/ give me sex/ stop bothering me for sex etc. You don't because people want to present the best, most sanitised view of their lives.
I am the same age as you and I get heartily sick of the smug posts from people with their perfect baby/ relationship when I know they life is just as much a slog as mine.
Things always look better from the outside, I actually told my husband last night that if he popped his cloggs I wouldn't marry again. Not because he is irreplaceable but because I would like to feel free to travel the world, or even just go to bed when I want without having to consider another's needs. There's a lot to be said for staying single.

VashtaNerada Mon 28-Oct-13 07:13:42

Oh, and my friend who didn't have a relationship till 34 was very nice, attractive and NORMAL. She just hadn't had much luck till that point.

KouignAmann Mon 28-Oct-13 07:16:47

You sound like a nice normal person and having friends who give you honest feedback should rule out the obvious problems like halitosis!
I wonder about barriers you put up. I have been thinking about the spectrum, from those who struggle to form an intimate relationship at one end of the scale, to those who begin affairs despite being married or simply flirt automatically all the time.Is it something inside your head that stops you progressing a relationship or just not meeting the right man or woman for you?

superstarheartbreaker Mon 28-Oct-13 07:23:06

What orangesarethenotonlyfruit said. Im actualky about to embark on therapy due to an early relationship. It was abusive. They are not the be all and end all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Oct-13 08:21:09

If you can make and keep friends you're able to form lasting relationships. However, if you think you're not worthy of affection or love ('they're busy with their own lives') and if your self-confidence is low that can sometimes come across to others as being aloof or stand-offish. I'm sorry you're experiencing depression.

One thing occurs to me which is that, as a qualified nurse, your skills are highly transferrable. NHS pay-rates may not be high enough to give you a decent lifestyle and a healthy social life but have you thought about relocating overseas? A fresh start in a new environment might be just the ticket.

neverthebride Mon 28-Oct-13 08:31:13

Thanks for all the replies. I know it's not the be all and end all to have had a relationship, expecially when so many people have bad ones but it would be nice to try!. Maybe clutching at straws but it's good to hear of at least one person of a similar age who was in the same situation and is no longer single.

peasandlove Mon 28-Oct-13 08:34:25

my friend's sister <shrug> she was about 38 then met a guy at a course she did and they are very happy together. There was nothing 'wrong' with her either, in fact she's an attractive lady

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 08:42:57

OP, I was in your situation in my mid-20s..I think I was just rather afraid of men and I came across as being stand-offish (even though I didn't think I was). However, I consciously made an effort to put myself out there and make male friends etc....and to just become more confident around men. It took time but by the time I was 30 I'd kissed some frogs and moved onto the first serious relationship of my life....(who started off as a friend). I had my heart broken over the next few years but finally met DH with whom I have two DCs! In my 30s I certainly made up for lack of previous relationship action but it did take a lot of perseverence on my part to overcome shyness - I read an awful lot of self-help books too!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you but maybe you just haven't felt confident enough to put yourself out there? Also, if you do have lots of good female friends maybe you hide behind those relationships rather than seeking out a romantic one?

Coro Mon 28-Oct-13 09:04:37

I find FB is awful for my self esteem& try to distance myself from it. I too have struggled to be in a relationship. My standoffish ness due to previous abuse makes me come across as aloof and a good friend described her first impression of me as up myself!shock luckily that first impression didn't last.

I'm not sure what the answer is, I just wanted you to know you're not alone.
I have friends who have just fallen together effortlessly& wonder what the trick is that i've missed.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 28-Oct-13 09:06:29

"fallen together effortlessly"

I think truth is that some people fall together 'thoughtlessly' rather than effortlessly.

Longtallsally Mon 28-Oct-13 09:06:35

OP, I used to work with someone who met her drop dead gorgeous hubby a couple of years after she retired at 63!! Not saying that you will have to wait that long, but just to assure you that it happens. She was single all her life, lived with her single sister, and was a slightly eccentric lady filling her time with odd, but harmless hobbies. She didn't follow the crowd, but was true to herself and her interests.

Then she retired, only to reappear at a works do a couple of years later, looking tanned and glamorous, just having returned from a long cruise with her silver haired and very distinguished hubby, who obviously adored her. smile It was quite an entrance!

Nursing is hard because of the shift work, meaning that it is hard to settle into a regular social life and activities. Single life is hard too - I married late and was sooooo chuffed to have someone to put out the bins!! They were the straw that broke my single back everytime. It was a joy to be able to share that task!

You do sound exhausted. Do you manage to get to go away on holiday? Could you book yourself a weekend away or even a day away, as a Christmas treat, and pamper yourself. If you were in a relationship, you would spend time and money on the other person, to keep them feeling good, so do invest some of that time and money in looking after yourself, and think about how life now can be better for you. You deserve it.

(Married life with the wrong person can also be heartbreakingly hard, and the facebook pictures never tell the whole truth - in fact those who post about how happy they are are often trying to convince themselves. )

Pancakeflipper Mon 28-Oct-13 09:33:44

My colleague was 37 and thinking there was no one. She is lovely, attractive,funny,little timid,had interesting hobbies etc. But she would put up an invisible wall around herself if a man showed interest in her. She didn't mean to and didn't realise. Because she wanted to develop a relationship but up would go barriers.

Then on a course she met a man. They lived in different countries but he was determined, it was total love thing for him, and took a year to 'woo' her. Kept us entertained for a year as he tried to break down her invisible wall. And they have been married for 10yrs now and she moved to his country which was a huge thing for her.

Mapleissweet Mon 28-Oct-13 10:38:42

Never ever compare lives on FB. It is a false reality. I often post pictures online of doing happy family and couple things People must think I have the perfect life, but really it us just a snippet of my life. They don't see my dh bickering because of tiredness or me getting exasperated with the children. FB does not give the full picture.

You sound lovely. It must be hard.
Do men see you as being too independent? I think men like vulnerability a little. They want to protect women and feel needed.
But if I'm honest, I know a lot of single girls your age. And the quality of men just does not match. Most good men j suspect have been 'trained' up by their partners!

neverthebride Mon 28-Oct-13 12:00:26

Thank you for the positive stories everyone!. I really don't know if I have any invisible or subconscious barriers. I just never seem to meet anyone suitable or if they are; it never progresses. When I hear about friends or acquaintances being in new relationships I always think but how do they do it? HOW does the rest of the world manage it and make it look easy when I can't seem to do it?!!.

brokenhearted55a Mon 28-Oct-13 12:10:16

I'm 35, had 2 year dating thing on college when I wad 19-21 and since then nothing serious.

I'm so so sick of being alone.

MooncupGoddess Mon 28-Oct-13 12:15:17

I have a friend who had a couple of short relationships but nothing more until she was 37... at which point she met her now DH via online dating and they are very happy together.

Do you have male friends as well as female friends? If so, could you get drunk with one of them and ask their honest opinion?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 28-Oct-13 13:05:21

You sound like a lovely person and I do know people who've been single for ages then just clicked with that one person. It can feel more satisfying if you give fate a nudge so something alters. If you can't afford to move and don't want to change jobs then look at how you spend your spare time, perhaps?

CynthiaRose Mon 28-Oct-13 13:07:44

I'm the same. 37 now and never been in a serious relationship. Lots of friends and stuff, just never happened for me either.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 13:36:31

I think you might find it's a lot more normal and usual than you might think, particularly if you work in a very female dominated environment and socialise with like-minded friends - it's just not one of those subjects that is necessarily talked about.....

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now