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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?.

Mumpire Fri 01-Nov-13 14:03:12

Well, there is a difference between confidence and arrogance even if you don't understand it!

Leopardprintsock Fri 01-Nov-13 06:54:48

and there we go......... example of why its harder as you get older.......

onlypassing Fri 01-Nov-13 00:28:39

Far too much can be made of the importance of so called 'confidence'. What is it exactly?
In my experience it can often be simply a quiet smugness and rather too much self satisfaction, often for no particularly good reason. It can often merge into arrogance and a sense of superiority over others.
Factors which are actually down to the purest of pure chance and the luck of the genes, such as beauty, handsomeness, intellectual ability, a stable and happy upbringing with loving and successful parents and relatives, and no history of serious medical problems to inherit, are all are hugely important in this respect.
There's a much greater likelihood that a child from such a fortunate background will grow into a confident and happy adult than a child who has not had the luck of the draw. There's just no comparison when you weigh the advantages of one against the other.
Some people who are very proud and pleased with themselves, don't realise that some others might well regard them as smug, selfish twats, far too full of themselves, their opinions and their importance to anyone else but themselves.
The development of confidence in oneself is a great thing, of course, especially if you have struggled to achieve something and succeeded in the end. But, as I said, an air of confidence can often be nothing more than unjustifiable pride and arrogance, i. e. a total turn off to me.
Mo Farah seems to be a great example of a man who is confident but humble with it. That's the ideal, I'd say.

And yes, of course it's lovely to be with people who are happy and have sunny natures. I only said that I wouldn't mind if a woman wasn't happy, say she was lonely, for example. Just as long as I felt I, with the affection and caring I gave her, could make her happy again.
But saying that apparently turns me into 'a creep' acc. to a poster above. I notice that some women never seem to tire of using that term about men.
Now I wonder what term I'll use for selfish women I don't think much of...

ManofMystery Thu 31-Oct-13 22:36:41

Onlypassing, it was a generalisation. Different strokes etc but my point was purely that is the OP appears happy and confident, she will naturally swivel the heads of many men. Course it would be a huge turn off for you!

ToTheTeeth Thu 31-Oct-13 21:44:02

Onlypassing do you realise what a creepy thing that is to say? Your preference is for a shy and insecure woman, and if she's unhappy all the better!

ToTheTeeth Thu 31-Oct-13 21:43:02

Umbrella he'd never kissed a woman? How is that even possible? I don't know how to put this politely, but did you have to overlook a lot of superficial flaws to get with him?

onlypassing Thu 31-Oct-13 21:37:36

every guy is attracted to confident, happy women

I've never needed a woman to be confident or even happy to be attracted to her. In fact, I'd probably feel better if she was shy and a bit unsure of herself.
And if she was unhappy I'd love to try to make her happy and make her life nicer, with me, of course!

WearingAnUmbrellaHat Thu 31-Oct-13 21:35:53

My bf who I have been with for 5 months is 33 and before me had never even been on a date. Never kissed a woman let alone anything else. He had given up home but then he met me and I corrupted him. We have got loads of plans for the future now. Your friends are right, their is a lot of chance that you will meet someone even though it might seem unlikely right now.

ManofMystery Thu 31-Oct-13 20:02:10

OP, you sound utterly lovely so don't think you have anything to worry about. It's all been said but I would focus less on having a relationship and more on taking up some hobbies and being happy. You will naturally meet people and every guy is attracted to confident, happy women!

Mumpire Wed 30-Oct-13 19:23:21

I think that's so true leopardprintsock.

Have no interest in going out with somebody for 5 weeks only to then find myself dumped for no reason other than there are hundreds, no thousands, of other women out there.

Leopardprintsock Wed 30-Oct-13 19:16:01

its a better way of dealing with it than beating yourself up over something you cant really do anything about though, isnt it.....

Theres also a world of difference between men finding you attractive and actually wanting to commit to a relationship. More often than not older, divorced men want to play the field and relish their new found status.

onlypassing Wed 30-Oct-13 19:08:33

Coatlover You may be right in some cases. Didn't think of that!
But I really do think you're wrong about your ability to attract men of your own age. If you look reasonably good for your age I think there are lots of men in their early 40s who would find you attractive and would want you. Lots and lots!
If you can just forget about it and 'get on with life' you must have some fascinating interests to take up your time. (I have some too, but very lazy about pursuing them.)
Because, to many people, what you're 'forgetting' about is a major and crucial part of their life!

CoatLover Wed 30-Oct-13 18:25:42

onlypassing they are looking for younger women though. Maybe I'm being pessimistic about men despite being a positive person in other aspects of life. I am in my early forties and just don't expect men my age to notice me. Despite looking well for my age in my opinion. I just couldn't face going out with a man a decade older than me. I tried it once. He was nice, but just seemed older than me, that was always there. I guess I'd rather be single than be with somebody old. Bah! it's something I just push to the back of my mind now. No point hoping or looking or waiting to meet A Man. There's just no point. Too late. Forget about it and just get on with life.

Leopardprintsock Wed 30-Oct-13 18:12:18

onlypassing - this is true. It depends on how the divorce went/ for what reason... and when they are ready. Lots of men will automatically jump on anything as an ego boost.. they are not great for a relationship.
or lots cheat and thats the reason they are divorced... again, not great.

catameringue Wed 30-Oct-13 18:00:22

I've known a couple of men who found their first partner at that age, after barely having even dating experience. He met his partner on a dating website. Had a lot of dates until they met.

I have a female friend slightly younger who I don't think has had a relationship or met someone yet. I haven't discussed it with her as she never raises it.

I guess I'm just adding examples of people I know in a similar position.

I think it's quite hard meeting people these days without additional efforts such as internet dating etc.

onlypassing Wed 30-Oct-13 17:42:35

Its very hard to meet people as you get older, the avaliable pool of decent men becomes smaller and smaller

Yes, but lots of separated and divorced men constantly emerge from the woodwork (often with baggage, of course).

Purple2012 Wed 30-Oct-13 17:35:20

I could have written your op 5 years ago. I too had sexual/dating or short term relationships and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. The truth was nothing. I just had to meet the right one. 5 weeks after my 35th birthday I got together with someone I had known for years at work. Now I am 40, been married for 2 years and have a stepdaughter. In the main I am happy although had to accept I won't have a child of my own which I struggle with a bit sometimes but I am happy with my life. I never thought it would happen for me and with all my short term relationships I always hoped it was the big one and I would alter my behaviour with my husband I never had to do this. It was just right.

Leopardprintsock Wed 30-Oct-13 17:03:21

Just wanted to add OP, that i dont for one second think its you. I too am 35 and have been single for 5 years. Im aware its not quite the same, but its still a considerable lenght of time. People who know me are baffled by it while people on forums have generally told me it must be my fault in some way.
Its not.

People just like to look for a reason its your fault, that way, if it ever happens to them, they wouldnt end up like you as they would do x.

Its very hard to meet people as you get older, the avaliable pool of decent men becomes smaller and smaller. I dont have any advice but wanted to just show my support.

MadeMan Wed 30-Oct-13 14:55:09

I'm surprised anyone has time for a relationship these days.

In the old days you got up, had breakfast, went to work, came home, had some dinner and went to bed.

Nowadays you get up, check facebook/twitter, have breakfast, go to work, check facebook/twitter, come home, go down the gym, check facebook/twitter, have bath, have dinner, check facebook/twitter, walk dogs/cats, watch telly, eat snacks, check facebook/twitter, read a chapter of book, check facebook/twitter, go to bed.

struggling100 Wed 30-Oct-13 14:48:26

First of all, you are not a loser. You're an extremely successful, independent woman with a career you're devoted to - who has the courage and resilience to go it alone. Hats off to you girl!

Secondly, I do think that relationships come at different times for different people. The fact that you're single isn't a sign that anything is 'wrong' with you! Nor is it a sign that you'll always be independent and living by yourself. It's just where you are right now. And it's not uncommon or 'wrong'!

Thirdly, do not underestimate the way in which depression can make a supermodel feel ugly, a genius feel stupid, and a vibrant, fun nurse feel worthless and alone. It's a horrible illness.

trish5000 Wed 30-Oct-13 11:25:47

I think, broadly speaking, that women have changed attitudes in the last 35 years, men not so much. So there is a mismatch.

MooncupGoddess Wed 30-Oct-13 11:14:13

"Though weirdly enough it's the men who are needy and desperate to meet someone, whereas the women are hardworking and independent and would like to dip their toe in the water, despite what dating stereotypes would have us believe."

Yes, this is my experience too! The statistics show clearly that marriage is better for men than for women in various ways, so it's not really surprising. The popular stereotypes are just very wrong.

trish5000 Wed 30-Oct-13 11:03:56

I have been thinking some more too. The single men I know. I would say that they do have a bit on common with the film Failure to launch. They are a little bit homebirds, a little bit mummys boys. I think they could have been prised out earlier in life, not quite so sure now that they are in their 40s. One of them has elderly ailing parents to care for. Perfectly decent chaps though.

Kernowgal Wed 30-Oct-13 10:16:53

I do worry that even if I did meet someone now, he'd be scared off by my my lack of experience, assuming I had major ishoos. In reality I'm just very low in confidence; always aware that the world is full of better women than me, so why would anyone want me?

My ex used my lack of experience in relationship as a stick to beat me with, as it were. But he was a horrible person, and any decent person would put in the effort with you, because you are worth it, despite what you think. As someone said upthread, so much of it is luck.

I've been thinking about my single friends vs my coupled-up friends, and they are a really mixed bunch. There is no single trait that defines them and provides a reason for their singledom. Though weirdly enough it's the men who are needy and desperate to meet someone, whereas the women are hardworking and independent and would like to dip their toe in the water, despite what dating stereotypes would have us believe.

I'm just not bothered enough to try to find someone at the moment. But I despair of friends who pity me for being single. I'm generally pretty happy with my lot!

trish5000 Wed 30-Oct-13 07:51:48

I agree with most of your post weneed, except for the asking bit. I am a bit bolshy. So yes, I would have started asking past about 28. In this day and age when people are marrying about 3 years later than they were back in my day, probably about 31 I would ask. And ask my friends and acquaintances too. I dont think it hurts to ask. [I gave up pride a long time ago. I realised that having pride was me stopping myself doing things in life I needed or wanted to do. So I try and push through pride as much as I am able. I realise I am not everyone].

Good luck op. It is indeed a bit of a lottery. And fwiw, I sometimes think there are not enough nice men for the nice women. I did come to think that if Iwas in yours and others boat, that I might take a part time job in a garage service station or another suitable man place. Lots of men of all ages use those. Just a thought. And where I am, there always seem to be jobs available at those. Maybe the pay isnt too good. The hours might be evenings, but that is the time that men may be filling their cars up. Just a thought as I say, and may not be at all suitable for you neverthebride.

You sound lovely btw. And I too, and probably others do know single lovely people. And I get a bit stumped as to why they were not snapped up. I know a couple of lovely single men too. They now go round in a group together and I think wouldnt it be lovely if they paired up. Just randomly thinking now, perhaps there are other groups like the one I know in Britain as well. Hmm.

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