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Another friend got engaged and I just had a panic attack at work

(31 Posts)
panicstations1 Tue 28-Jul-15 10:32:46

The last of my single friends just got engaged. I'm 31 and broke up with my ex in January. I've been on dates since, but nothing special. I'm starting to feel disheartened, and worst of all, bitter. I had a lovely life with my exDP - loved our home (rented), and was generally happy. (I ended it for the right reasons and he wasnt the one).

In the week I am fine but when weekends come, I panic and feel very alone. I have hobbies and without this rising fear of being alone for ever more, I would be pretty happy. I can't get rid of the fear and feeling like something is wrong with me.

- At weddings, I get the pitying smiles and questions about if ive met someone and 'you need to catch up.'

- Also, day to day money is tighter for me than it is for my coupled up friends who generally share homes and cars etc. I have started to notice that I am still on a budget (wasnt he case with exdp when home/etc shared)

- At weekends I feel my friends want to see me only when their otherhalf isnt around or they fit me in aroudn their own family life. I understand this because that is what a relationship is, but I still feel left out from time to time...as if my time is so free... one of my friends joked th eothr day that i was 'always flesxible' - said in a catty sort of way, which upset me a bit.

I know the advice will be to make more single friends but it isn't that easy. Most people by my age are with someone else, even if it's not marriage. I wish I coud get rid of this feeling of fear and lonliness. I want to travel and feel I cant even go on holiday as I would have to go on my own...something i never thought i would have to do at age 31. I'm quite sociable and dont like lengthy time alone like a whole holiday.

I feel like my life is passing me by while others buy homes and get married and have kids. While I have had dates, I havet felt that spark... a lovely guy told me they were falling in love with me after 4 dates, but i just didnt feel the spark with him, though i still want to be friends with him. maybe that is where i am going wrong, i'm too picky or something. maybe it's my fault for focusing in work so much in my twenties.

sorry for the self-pity - not attractive...

Feeling a bit rubbish today sad

Moopsboopsmum Tue 28-Jul-15 10:37:59

flowers You have plenty of time! Hold out for love and don't settle.

HolgerDanske Tue 28-Jul-15 10:40:06

Life isn't passing you by. Truly it's not. But I know it's really hard not to feel that way. I hope you find yourself happier very soon.

flowers

Stubbed Tue 28-Jul-15 10:40:56

You are young. I didn't meet my DH until I was nearly 35. By the way I would recommend internet dating. I know it's hard but this was what gave me the confidence to ask him out when we were introduced by friends.

ohthegoats Tue 28-Jul-15 10:45:02

I met my partner/father of my daughter at 37.

At 31 I changed my career, bought a house, went skiing with a group of blokes, went to India, Nepal, Peru... also went to 7 weddings, where NO ONE is ever looked at me with pity as far as I recall, think I might have been out on a couple of dates, I don't remember. Was a brilliant time.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 28-Jul-15 10:55:13

I love travelling alone!!! But if it's not for you, book yourself on a singles holiday - a friend went on one and a group of them (all previously unknown to each other) had such a good time that on their return they checked into a hotel at Gatwick for another night. smile

Also check out meetup.com to see what's going on in your area. Do you have a good - i.e friendly hub of the community - local pub within walking distance or short bus ride of your home? If so, frequent it and start building friendships with people of all ages in your locality.

When it comes to choosing a life partner you can't be too picky and you'll never regret building your career.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 28-Jul-15 10:58:02

Oh Op life is certainly not passing you by.

I didn't meet DP till I was almost 37, was in a shitty relationship before that and it took me a while to find myself and be happy and secure enough to let another person in.

Are you sure people are being catty, or just making chitchat? Is there anything other than a partner that you want to improve in your life, I'd concentrate on that, join a gym, start a hobby go on a course to get ahead in your career do anything that makes you happy.

And I wouldn't settle for fear of being alone, I'd rather be alone than with someone I wasn't happy with.

FredaMayor Tue 28-Jul-15 11:09:02

Self pity is not attractive, OP, stop it instantly!

To be serious, measure what you want in life against your own ideal, not what your friends are doing. Find something bigger than yourself to get involved in and your future will come to you, whatever that might be. Good luck, you're far from past it smile.

LuckyBitches Tue 28-Jul-15 11:17:56

It sounds to me as though you've set yourself a deadline of 30 to have your life sorted. 30 is just a number, enjoy your freedom while you have it! I miss that sense of possibility I had when I was single, which I didn't appreciate at the time.

As for being on a budget. Once your married friends have babies you'll be the rich one!

panicstations1 Tue 28-Jul-15 11:29:22

thank you for all the replies.

any good dating sites you recommend? been on match but doesnt seem all that great...

thank you for making me feel better this morning!!! xx

panicstations1 Tue 28-Jul-15 11:32:43

also what is a singles holiday? how do you do that? never heard of it!

horsewalksintoabar Tue 28-Jul-15 11:35:06

Don't!! Please stop. "It's not a race ."

At 31, I was single and a single mum. I learned never to define my happiness by my relationship status and you should try and get to this place too. Do you really care about what others think? And are you really getting pitiful glances as much as you believe you are? Get off the bus you're on because girl, you are your own worst enemy. I remarried and had two more kids all in my late 30s. Sure, I wish I had done this at 31 but hey, it REALLY is irrelevant, truly. Happiness doesn't come packaged all nicely at a certain age. It com when it comes. I am in my 40s now and do you want to know what makes me sad about the daily stop at the school gates? Honest to God it's the sad mothers who share heartfelt tears over making the wrong match, being stuck in unhappy marriages- not just a rough patch but a total mismatch...rushing into marriage years earlier because they didn't want to be 'left behind'. We live in a box-ticking culture, defined by status. Women have kids because it's on some list. Then they have them and go, "Sh*t! This is hard!" Relationships are beautiful, but they require so much nurturing and commitment. And HE/SHE has GOT to be the one who can go the distance, stretch across miles of difficult terrain (yes, marriages are bumpy at times and don't believe otherwise...I am going through an incredibly tough patch myself so forgive my lecturing overtones). grin
I sound like I am not honouring your anxiety. I do! I had it at 35...the panic attacks, the fear of growing old alone or just spending my 30s and 40s alone. I had been single since 30 and 5 years later, still alone with my child, I was scared. But I really had gotten a handle on being happy with me, myself, and I. And I fell back on that. Get that relationship on track because this will attract others. 31 is young. I so wish I could put my mid 40s head on your shoulders so that you could truly know that you will be ok and you will find that one love. But you have to live it to learn it. Just trust in time and in yourself.

Crosbybeach Tue 28-Jul-15 11:42:48

I was single well into my late 30s, got married at 42 to someone I met at work.

I remember that feeling that it would never happen, and had a fair few unfortunate dates, that were great fodder for discussing with girly friends.

I had a mix of single and 'together friends', and cracked on with hobbies and stuff.

I have to admit the hardest bit about meeting someone was the compromise involved in giving up my single life!

It's such a cliche - but I got together with someone when I was at my happiest being single.

Had lots of friends who went on 'singles holidays' but they were the walking/cycling kind of holidays rather than beach holidays. So it's good fun and a great confidence boost. www.exodus.co.uk/types-of-holiday/solo-travellers-holidays

LitreOfTea Tue 28-Jul-15 11:43:26

You are SO young.

I wish I could go back to where you are now. I was dumped by somebody I loved when I was 29 and I rushed in a new relationship. I wish I'd had a bit of psychotherapy to bolster my self-esteem, I wish I'd allowed myself to ditch weddings if I didn't fancy them, and maybe do something once-in-a-life-time that you can't do when you've got kids. Go to Tanzania or Uganda and help villages build schools. I don't know! That was a suggestion, no more.

There's a lot of pressure on women and I realise now that I would have attracted more people if I'd genuinely felt stronger, and more confident. I was scared that year after year would pass by.

Give yourself a blast and go and do something that will give you confidence and take your mind off being single.

LitreOfTea Tue 28-Jul-15 11:44:43

The singles holiday is a great idea. Own it! be single.

LurcioAgain Tue 28-Jul-15 11:55:21

I'm still single at nearly 50, and when I look back on what I've done since the age of 18 (travelling, interesting jobs, not to mention the fab decision to have a child when I realised relationships just weren't working for me) and I have had a fantastic time and done so much. Yes, you may meet someone (most people do), but even if you don't, you can still have a really interesting and fulfilling life.

But I agree weddings can be traumatic. I find it's about 50-50 as to whether they are an absolute blast or utterly miserable. (The worst in my experience are the ones where the bride and groom, usually with the best of intentions, quarantine all the sad singletons on one table rather than simply sitting everyone with their mates. Any brides/grooms to be out there - please take note: I want to enjoy your wedding in the company of people I have known for years, not be forced into some hideous simulacrum of all the worst aspects of on-line dating).

pocketsaviour Tue 28-Jul-15 12:03:25

You've only been single for 6 months - you can't expect to have the man for you just fall straight into your lap right away smile

It's good that you're going on dates - you're doing the right things, but you don't want to rush into a relationship just because you're afraid of being alone.

You might want to try OKCupid as well as match (it's free) or if you're in a large city Guardian Soulmates might be a good option.

I would also try a few groups/activities from meetup.com as well because honestly it sounds like you could do with a new friendship group - some of your "friends" don't sound very nice TBH.

SinglePringle Tue 28-Jul-15 12:14:11

In the nicest possible way, so what if you're single for the rest of your life? There are worse fates! I'm single, 45 and happy. Yes, if a cracking guy came along then Happy Days! But it ain't my focus. My friends, social life, spending time alone, my job, the gym - these are all things that fill my life.

Your post reads like you think you should be in a relationship. They are great - if they're right!

Stop putting pressure on yourself. Relax, enjoy the quiet and be open to a relationship happening as and when.

mochindu Tue 28-Jul-15 13:04:19

horsewalks l love your post. All very true.

OP, at 31, I was one of your happily married friends with the perfect life - now, at 38, I'm out of that not-so-perfect-after-all life, through a rough patch, and together with a man I think finally understands and loves me. Life never stops showing you opportunities. We don't get shown them all at the same time, is the reality of it. Who knows what incredible things are just round the corner for you? Be open to them, and I promise you they'll come.

If you're in London, try Guardian Soulmates - it's not bad for interesting 30somethings, and at the very least, filling in the search forms and preparing your own profile will make you look with fresh eyes at what it is YOU want from a partner, not what you can change about yourself to make you fit in with whoever asks you out next, iykwim.

good luck. This is a really exciting time, just in disguise, honest. flowers

ImperialBlether Tue 28-Jul-15 13:11:39

Be realistic, how many weddings have you been to since January? You are seeing insults and pity where they don't exist, I think.

What sort of holiday would you like? Let us know and we can have a search for something that would suit you.

If your friend is being catty, then distance yourself from her. If she thinks you're free at any time (ie to suit her) then prove her wrong.

NoImSpartacus Tue 28-Jul-15 13:14:52

If i was single I wouldn't want to go on a 'singles' holiday, too contrived, but I would do a yoga retreat, or a bootcamp style holiday, where the focus isn't so much on you being 'single' and there is likely to be a mix of sexes and many of them may happen to be 'single'.

Don't despair, OP, I'm 41. I've had to long term relationships, both were difficult in many aspects and not right for me in many ways.

However, I have met a gorgeous, amazing guy on tinder, blv it or not, he is the most compatible guy I have ever dated, and I have had a LOT of dates / relationships! It took me this long because before meeting him I was really enjoying my single life, grabbing it with both hands, and I guess I attracted someone who was actually my match, for once in my life, because I was genuinely fulfilled and didn't 'need' a man, nor feel 'desperate', which will always either attract the wrong guy, or repel the right ones!

NoImSpartacus Tue 28-Jul-15 13:17:28

oh yeah and drop your bitchy 'friend'. You don't need that toxicity in your life.

SuperFlyHigh Tue 28-Jul-15 13:20:08

OP some singles holidays can be dire... Solos I went on one years ago for a singles holiday and people kept trying to pair me off...

Barcelona, Budapest - they are nice cities to go to alone with relaxation and beach (Barcelona) and lots to do and there are so many people you don't feel 'single'.

SuperFlyHigh Tue 28-Jul-15 13:21:33

PS I'm 43 still not settled yet (woe is me!) but trying but I am also of the opinion that just if I was coupled up it would make my life complete.

I spent a few years in unhappy relationships or not right ones so am perfectly happy now dating.

It will come to you eventually but have fun being you for now and enjoy being single.

Didntseethiscominghelpplease Tue 28-Jul-15 13:27:50

Seriously, and please do not think this is fake sympathy, I think you should embrace your freedom. It's a bloody roller coaster once you get engaged etc then planning the wedding etc etc. you are still young. If you can afford it get a trip booked somewhere. I'm married but have done a few solo trips to places the family weren't fussed about going and it was super liberating. Did Rome and sitting having a coffee of glass of wine people watching alone saw me speak to more people than if I'd been in a couple. Look confident order a drink and relax. Also please remind yourself how many totally miserable relationships there are!!!

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