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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.

DukeSilver Mon 18-Mar-13 08:45:01

I don't think you should give up. Online dating is hard, its a bloody minefield! I'm sorry about your crap weekend, that would be hard.

I suppose the cliche would be to say you never know what is around the corner but it is actually true. This time next year your situation could be completely different.

<manly back slap and hug>

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 08:48:29

Ive been living by that mantra for the last 4 or so years.

I dont often complain about it, but when i do, thats what friends tell me. Except nothing happens. I go on dates that lead nowhere. I get flirted with when i go out, which also leads to nothing.

And ive been on my own for a long long time. If it were a year or so, yeah, i wouldnt feel bad. This will be my sixth summer on my own. Im planning a holiday with my DS, but yet again, it will be just me and him. With me sat on my own in the evening when hes alseep. Same as it is every night sad

bulletproofgerbil Mon 18-Mar-13 09:28:56

I don't think you can ever give up and say 'this is how it's going to be'. My neighbour met the love of her life in her 80's (the widower next door). My aunt in her 70's. Neither were looking for anything.

I've been divorced 7 years and only recently thought about whether I want a relationship again. The other week I got chatting to a guy walking his dog in the park'. He asked for my number. I wasn't interested but he seemed nice and it just shows how things can happen randomly. I've also had a FWB relationship with my neighbour for 3 years. I'm nothing special and am early 50's and up to the last few weeks, haven't even considered looking for someone special. I don't go out much and am not on any internet dating sites.

Duke says you never know what's round the corner. I'm not religious and I don't believe in fate etc but I have seen too many examples of incredible randomness, to know that is really true.

I would get on with life, doing what you like doing, looking for someone but not 'over' looking, and be open to new people, activities, and see what happens. You are only young still.

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 09:39:58

Ive not even had a fwb thing, i think if i had had that i wouldnt mind so much.

Buts its a long time to be on my own. I had hoped for more children, which isnt going to happen now.

And im heartily sick of being on my own all the time.

carameldecaflatte Mon 18-Mar-13 10:00:57

Don't give up! I met my dh at 40 after being single for years and didn't even realise he was interested (we worked together) until he stuttered it out! And don't give up on more children either; (after 2 losses) we have a lovely 9 month old boy. I'm 45 now.

You never know what or who is around the corner.

struwelpeter Mon 18-Mar-13 10:07:02

I do want to say don't be downhearted. You are only 35 smile.
How old is DS? I know it's a cliche but do get out and try something else - my mantra is as long as it's legal and doesn't hurt anyone I'll give it a go (this is after being ground down by abusive relationship in which I was trapped by him and my destroyed self-esteem).
How much me time do you have? Are there any single parents' groups near you? There are some single parent's holiday organisations. Don't pin all your hopes on a man to make a huge difference, think of the possibility that one could enhance your life not be the centre of it.

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 10:12:20

Oh, i get out and about. I holiday, i have a social circle ( in my childfree time) i have hobbies and things.

Im not idilly sitting by waiting for a man to come and save me and man aside, im happy with my life.

I just cant pretend that i dont want one anymore and that its not getting me down, because, it is.

NicknameTaken Mon 18-Mar-13 10:38:59

No advice, just sympathy. DD was with her dad this weekend and what with the bleak weather, I found I wasn't enjoying my own company as much as usual. I'm 38, divorced nearly 4 years (also an abusive relationship - once bitten, twice shy). I tried online dating but it kind of petered out.

Mostly I don't mind, but there are times when all those solitary evenings kind of get to me.

comingintomyown Mon 18-Mar-13 11:53:28

No advice either but I sympathise but cant add to whats been said.

I dread a time where I feel as you do but so far (3.5 years) I am very happy single and wouldnt consider a relationship.

I guess persevere with online dating ? My cousin does it tons and has had some semi LT relationships and a few laughs.

By the way at 35 you still have ages to have another child !

issey6cats Mon 18-Mar-13 12:15:59

i think i will probably be single forever split with ex 18 months ago due to his cheating on me and since then have dated, not led anywhere serious as men my age in thier mid fifties dont want to commit to anything serious, i have now gone down the FWB route at least this way i get one night a week of good company, lots of laughs and someone who is amazing in bed (a girl has needs lol) and the rest of the week he does whatever he does and i do whatever i want to do, but yes sitting on my own 6 nights a week and going to bed on my own does get me down sometimes and i miss that couple thing

sarahseashell Mon 18-Mar-13 15:02:49

Join some kind of group/class where you can get out of the house once a week and interact with a group on a regular basis. I'd take a break from OD and focus on meeting people (not men) locally - meetup groups/gym whatever ie get a new hobby and something new to get excited about. Also get a babysitter now and again just for a 'date' with yourself, cinema or shopping. Agree with bulletproofgerbil - be 'open to it' but stop looking IYSWIM.

If someone guaranteed you'd meet a man in say 18 months, you'd enjoy it a lot more I think, so act like that if possible - you're young and you will meet someone wink

JustinBsMum Mon 18-Mar-13 15:15:47

Has anyone said that it is often at the point you say - I'm not going to find anyone round here- that you come across someone you like.

When I met my DH I was working abroad and had come to the conclusion there was no one around that wasn't already married (wife often back home). But met him two weeks later (recently separated).

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 16:55:06

Ive had many periods of not dating and not looking. They havent thrown up anything.

Babysitters are an issue but i do get out and about in my childfree time. A regular babysitter is not something that is realistic on a weeknight for me.

Im open to things. Nothing has happened..

Just been told by a man that id been talking to for a few weeks that although im very attractive and have a great personality he no longer wants to chat as he didnt realise i had a child. I expect this is more of an issue than i hoped it would be.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 17:09:52

Im grappling with this. im too nice to be alone!!! but it looks like this is what is mapped out for me. i could join a million cluvs and not meet anybody who i liked who actually wanted a relationship. im not very girly twirly laughy but.... i am healthy happy funny and strong. it will sound arrogant but i cant believe it is so hard. i guess i will have to do internet dating. bleurgh!

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 17:15:09

Leslie. Indeed. Im not girly girly. But i am attractive, interesting, funny and apparently ooze sex.
smile

I live a full life.

I cant believe its so hard nor that ive beenon my own as long as i have been.

Men like me. I know this. They just dont want more than a date or two. I dont understand it.

I just want a boyfriend. I dont even want to get married, just someone to see regulary. You wouldnt have thought it to be such a tall order.

Spiritedwolf Mon 18-Mar-13 18:15:53

DH had given up on love when he met me, 10 years ago. We are now married and have a wonderful son.

You know how you say that you meet people and go on dates but it doesn't go anywhere. Are you taking the initiative? Asking people you meet for their number, and arranging a first date. At the end of a good second date arranging the next meet up?

Sorry if you're already doing all this. Do you meet single people you are interested in? If you do, its probably just a matter of time till you find someone who clicks with you too. If not, you maybe need to look elsewhere?

If you really want more children, would it be worth freezing some eggs, or even having a baby with donated sperm? It would be a shame to miss out on more children just because you hadn't bumped into mr. right. Though of course its not unusual to meet someone and start a family in late 30s.

Hmm... maybe you need a 'no timewasters' message on your dating accounts wink

AverageJoe40 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:17:36

I feel your pain - even as an average male rapidly approaching 40 and single for around a year following a mutual split from a 5 year relationship.

I've got a great life and I've tried it all over the last few months - bars, speed-dating, singles clubs, social clubs, the lot! Meeting a potential is easyish but meeting 'THE ONE' - not so!

What keeps me motivated is the thought of meeting someone special, hopefully making a great family and then dying old and happy surrounded by those I love! Not too much to ask I hope?!

You're not alone, my advice would be to enjoy what you've got but never give up hoping for more...

At any point if you want to.

If you don't want to, when you're dead grin
The rates of gonorrhoea in the over 80's is increasing..,

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 18:43:13

average - yep. done the same.

its harder than people i think i think. Its not like when you are 20, you go down the pub, have a few drinks and a snog and then you are a couple. It just doesnt work like that anymore.

Whereabouts in the country are you wink

Helltotheno Mon 18-Mar-13 19:14:58

Is it possible you're coming across a bit desperate too early on? Maybe if you properly stopped caring about meeting someone, it might happen?

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 19:24:37

No.

BettySuarez Mon 18-Mar-13 19:28:52

singlesupplement and averagejo I don't suppose you happen to live near each other ?wink

Sorry to hear this OP, I don't suppose it is much comfort right now but I am a firm believer in things happening when you least expect them to.

As my Dad would say 'chin up' smile

greendental Mon 18-Mar-13 19:29:42

So glad you started this thread op. Absolutely nothing helpful to add as in the same boat but with the added bonus of 5 years on you!

I actually feel that I'm so busy trying to survive; work, kids, paying the bills that I've forgotten how to slip into sexy siren mode and have that horrible feeling that life's just slipping me by! Even finding the energy to take some pics for internet dating profile seems such a huge effort.

Where do all these other posters find these fwb' s? They make it sound so easy!

Good luck op

Helltotheno Mon 18-Mar-13 19:30:07

Well look on the positives...sounds like you have a good life smile

ZolaBuddleia Mon 18-Mar-13 19:31:21

I was single for years before I met DP. I was having the occasional shag, and got stuck in a long term FWB situation that was really demoralising.

I felt like you, bewildered as to why I wasn't with anyone, when I'm not bad looking (although a size 16), intelligent and funny. You have my sympathy.

I actively changed what I was looking for when I met my DP, was proactive about not dismissing someone I didn't instantly have chemistry with (although we got on like a house on fire straight away), and decided I had to break the cycle of being with wankers who didn't want a relationship.

Do you have any friends who could set you up?

BettySuarez Mon 18-Mar-13 19:34:21

Could that be the problem OP? Do you feel that you are stuck in a daily routine? It would be totally understandable given that you have a DC.

Do you feel able to break out of your comfort zone a little? I have no idea what is possible and would be dependent on childcare but could you get away for a few days doing something like an organised charity challenge?

It would involve fundraising which might take you out of your normal circles?

This is probably a crap idea - so forgive me.

How old is your DC? Do you have family around?

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 19:42:37

betty, lovely idea. I already do. I do everything from camping to segway racing and vintage markets though to pubs and even clubs. Ive just joined a singing group. I go out for meals, round friends, dog walking, shopping. I do festivals, theatre ( Am thinking about joining am dram when the child is older) cinema... i DO lots of stuff.

Ive just spent 5 years working for various charities.... smile

I have family around. I get every other weekend off plus half school holidays. i can get a babysitter on a fri or sat if i needed to, but dont like to often when its my weekend....

Zole - ive done that too. I pretty much have an open mind. Last advice from friends was to be more picky, not less.

Ive done trying to find just casual, to being more serious. I just dont get anywhere no matter what way i go about it.

Yep, me too! I have gone through periods of not looking, have tried online dating, with no joy, and if you ever mention it to anyone they tell you to join a book club or Zumba! grin

I like being on my own but I do find it hard having no one to go on holiday with, weekends away or even out for a meal.

I think I just left it waaay too late to look for someone; when I did the good ones had all been taken!

ZolaBuddleia Mon 18-Mar-13 19:47:21

Zumba?! Are they mad?! How are you supposed to pull when you're pouring with sweat and on the verge of a heart attack?

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 19:49:32

porridge, tell me about it.

5 years ago i thought i was just too early. everyone decent had just got married. i assumed/persuaded myself that the divorces would happen mid 30's. well, they have, but it means the men arent interested in a relationship, they are all just interested in behaving like 18 year olds, shagging anything that moves and being bitter about what happened.

i always get told to join and evening class!!! smile

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 19:50:27

do many men zumba??? ive never had anyone say men zumba.

plus, id look like i was having some kind of fit. so possibly it wouldnt be good... ;)

louderthanbombs Mon 18-Mar-13 19:53:44

OP, I realised today that I will have been single for 15 years in June! I've only just turned 40. You've got a long way to go to catch up with me grin. Actually, the realisation has made me a bit sad..

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 19:58:35

Oh my goodness. Im sorry.Wow, thats a really long time.

That would make me feel more than sad. How did that happen? or are you just the same as me.....

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Mon 18-Mar-13 20:00:39

I'm starting to feel like you. I'm around the same age, about to be divorced, and the only men who ask me out are married with kids hmm.

louderthanbombs Mon 18-Mar-13 20:11:13

I think I'm the same as you, I've got a good job, work full time, brought up 2 dds on my own, got friends and a social lie ( although that's dwindling a bit these days). I don't really know where the time went if I'm honest, but I've come to the conclusion that it must be me. The longer I'm single, the fussier I've become blush. And Internet dating seems worse since I've turned 40, 50 year olds seem to think I'll be interested, I'm really not. I'm sure you won't be like me, keep positive, I'm trying smile

louderthanbombs Mon 18-Mar-13 20:15:29

Yes MyChild, the married men are the worst. I don't know where the decent ones are.

Hahaha, me too! I think that, for whatever reason, people just don't like hearing that you can't find anyone you want to spend your life with or vice versa. Family, I can understand as they (should) think you're great and don't see why others don't see it. Acquaintances, I'm not so sure ... I sometimes wonder if it's fear of being alone, that there MUST be something, some reason, as otherwise, it could happen to them too.

The problem is that any discontent you express, no matter how mildly or infrequently, leads to (I have found) people really being quite aggressive and refusing to accept that "Mr Right" just isn't out there. "Put yourself out there!" people half-shout. Well, OK hmm how, precisely, do I do that?

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 20:18:58

You can give up at any point - but at 35 I think that would be a shame. I would keep on with the online stuff, if you can bear it. Most people I have spoken to who met someone nice said they had to wade through a lot of chaff to get their wheat, but it was worth it.

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 20:22:14

yep. thats what i get.

Along with the ' join a club'
' do internet dating'
and ' be patient, it will happen when you least expect it'

hasnt happened in 5 years. despite the same ' advice' being trotted out for the same lenght of time.

OR, you get told to be content with your lot, to be happy with yourself. Which i am. But i miss sex, and love, and compaionship, which are all just human needs. I am not a robot, you know.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 20:27:45

I don't think I want a fwb greendental. IF i like somebody enough to sleep with him, then I like him enough to spend time with him, and want to look forward to the next time I see him. I just can't imagine wanting to sleep with somebody if I didn't like them or didn't respect them confused HOW do other people make it work?! How do they like people just enough to shag them, but not so much that they care that that person doesn't like them that much. confused

I wish I was a man. Seriously!

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 20:28:38

Obviously a lot of women manage it easy peasy. I just mean, I think of myself as being very typically female in that respect.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 20:31:02

@ singlesupplement, I've also heard "the way to meet people is through friends". Well, my friends (and they're good friends, I do value them) are mostly all married. I've met nobody through friends in 5 or 6 years. Not one single candidate. I know a few of the dhs might have single friends, but I've never been introduced. Now I know life is not that simple, or that neat, and I get that, but I hate hearing the way to meet people is through friends.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 20:34:35

@porridge, lol. I'm in a book club, it's all women (all married women except me). My mother said recently "some people aren't the marrying kind" and I think she was trying to make me feel better. Or make herself feel better. I couldn't allow that though. I said 'Actually, I AM the marrying kind'. Because I feel in a parallel universe I am happily married to a normal but cheerful decent man. I sound nuts now!

maleview70 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:36:03

Unfortunately a lot of blokes in their late 30's, 40's Who got married young and are now divorced see the Internet as one big shagfest opportunity. I know a couple of blokes who have no intention of settling down. They date loads of women and see how many they can get in bed only to then let them down the minute any get serious.

Sadly I think you will find the genuine ones heavily outnumbered by these types.

orangeandlemons Mon 18-Mar-13 20:38:07

I met dh after 5 years on my own. When I met him, I had accepted that I was on my own, and this is how it was always going to be. It was a tough thing to accept.

About 3 months after reaching this mindset I met dh. I had stopped even looking or trying....

orangeandlemons Mon 18-Mar-13 20:38:45

I was 36 when I met him. Have a 6 year old dd now.

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 20:41:52

maleview, you arent telling me anything i dont already know smile

I joined a ' social group' once... guess what, it was full of women all hoping men had joined.

i just get the ' how come you are STILL single' thing. like there is something wrong with me. Or people assume im not interested in men at all, which is so far from reality, i love men.

TweedSlacks Mon 18-Mar-13 20:44:26

15 years single for me
10 years IC sad

Not sure I miss it anymore tbh . Its harder in the winter when its dark and cold and raining . The internet is full of liars basically , who can say what they want and get away with it.

At 35 you should be OK though . For Online dating tips and advice get onto the dating thread , lots of dating shinanigans over there .

Its easy for people on the outside to say , 'Just go out and meet people' or 'Join a club ' yeah sure . IM going to walk into a pub on my own and start talking to people , they would think i was mental.

Llareggub Mon 18-Mar-13 20:45:36

I am in my late 30s and find that any single men without children aren't interested in becoming a stepfather to my two boys. I'm not looking for that, like you I just want a boyfriend.

That said, I do have a few male friends I knock around with. I enjoy their company and one of them could be classed as a FWB type thing, although we are very close. Another male friend describes his dating life as fairly soul destroying, as he finds that increasingly,people have a tick list of the perfect partner and won't settle for anything less. He is 40 this year and getting fed-up too.

I don't know what the answer is, but I find the older I get the less time I seem to have for new people. Is there something in your life that might put someone off - could you be too busy?

greendental Mon 18-Mar-13 20:52:58

Now you see a fwb' s would suit me at the moment - they require no effort, just a thoroughly enjoyable shag every now and then grin

But, I do get what you mean Leslie. I had many a fwb set up when I was younger but I wonder if I would be able to stay quite so detached now.

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 20:53:41

I can make time for people, easily. So i dont think its that.

The internet is full of liars, ive been doing it for a while so im pretty good at knowing how it works.

I've tried the internet. I tried guardian soulmates and mysinglefriend: no joy whatsoever. I went on one date after the latter. I do find online dating quite contrived and by no means the panacea people think that it is.

I think in terms of 'it may happen when you least expect it' - well yes, it may, but equally, it may not, and I don't think it does any harm to acknowledge that.

ThePskettiIncident Mon 18-Mar-13 21:18:13

I feel the same as you OP. I can only empathise. I'm the same age and haven't met anyone since I had my Ds 2.5 years ago. I was single through pregnancy (Ds dad is nowhere to be found) and before that I'd only had one long relationship of 18 months. I'm a dating wreck. Never ever used to bother me as fun and freedom were more important. Now, I'm just lonely.

No babysitters and no free time as it's just me and Ds 24/7. How in that scenario do you ever meet anyone?

Good luck to you! You sound confident and capable.

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 21:22:05

Well if you are not happy being single, keep trying. The same old advice gets trotted out because, er that's all there is. You need to meet someone you click with. So you internet date, you join clubs, you ask your friends to set you up.

If that is too dreary, don't do it. But accept that it is unlikely you will just bump into your soulmate on the street. Although some people claim that has happened, so who knows?

I appreciate it can be very difficult at times. But either try or give up. Don't sit on the fence grumbling about it.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 21:24:30

Maleview70, how do you compile a profile which makes it clear that you won't shag somebody who's still making up his mind? if that sounds a bit 'uptight' i'd live with that. tbh would rather only have a profile garner 6 dates in one year than be bombarded with jackasses looking for free prostitutes.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 21:26:18

Spero 'grumbling'? can we not just discuss it!? Afterall, this is the sort of thing I never discuss in rl. I just wouldn't dream of it. nice to be able to let it out a bit here, especially with other people who understand.

piratecat Mon 18-Mar-13 21:30:18

op, i don't think i will accept i will always be single, that's too depressing, but it's how it is right now.

I find it hard to imagine i will meet anyone as each yr alone goes by (that's 8 of them now). Yet i am not giving up or accepting. Am 44 so the child thing is prob out the window.

This makes me the saddest.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 21:31:23

porridge, the only good thing about internet dating is that it might make you more confident with the people you meet in real life. my friend was telling me that her sister had had about 8 disastrous dates in a row, and then she met a guy in real life, in a situation where a bit of banter and chit chat was acceptable, but moving it beyond banter to the next stage, asking the other out, that is always the impasse isn't it? Well her sister ended up getting a date with this guy.

I'm not sure that you should ever really give up.

I am always telling people that I don't mind being single, ad that I have accepted that this is it for me, but I don't really believe it if i'm honest.

I've been single for 7 years. I did have one very brief relationship last year but it was crap. I do have a fwb though.

I am 34 btw, and don't really do online dating, or have much of a social life, and I know that this is my biggest problem.

I would hate to think that I will be single forever, but I do actually think that could happen.

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 21:44:14

Discussion is fine. I am just getting a sense of grumpiness that is all.

Yes internet dating can be shit. But wait until you cross the 40 barrier, then you can moan! In my brief and not to be repeated efforts on Internet dating, I discovered I was irresistible to men over 55 who posed in ill fitting shorts in their profile pics.

I am 42 and I have now officially 'given up' in that I am not looking, it would be too soul destroying to meet up with these men.

But if I didn't want to give up I would just grit my teeth and keep plugging away. There is no magic wand. I think you have to accept a lot of the decent ones will have been snapped up, most of us on the market into our 30s will have baggage, issues, children etc.

piratecat Mon 18-Mar-13 21:47:03

nut!!!!! waves

piratecat Mon 18-Mar-13 21:47:46

oh i'm deffo grumpy, I'm lovely and i should not be on my own. grin

Spero, I wouldn't say I was grumpy exactly, but just as people in marriages are entitled to a whinge and a moan so too are single people. I think I have "given up" insofar as I am no longer on any dating sites and I am planning to have a baby alone. However, I do sometimes feel a little sad at weddings for example. I think I would have liked to have got married and been in a couple with somebody - it wasn't to be and I can live with that, but I do just sometimes feel a little sad about it.

I am sure many married people feel sad sometimes they no longer have 'freedom' - just the way it goes isn't it? grin

SorrelForbes Mon 18-Mar-13 21:48:57

After I split from my ex-H, I was single for 9 years, basically all through my 30s. I met my DH three days before my 40th. Well, I say met, we actually knew each other from childhood but hasn't seen each other for nearly 20 years. Sadly it's probably too late for me to have children now.

During that 9 years on my own, I only had one 5 month relationship and a few dates. Friends were useless at setting me up so I tried Internet dating, but to no avail.

I wish I knew what the answer was. I know I got lucky and I do count my blessings. Don't give up just yet. Am-dram is meant to be a great place to meet people. However, I am an am-drammer and have never met anyone that way!

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 21:49:39

oh, there is a sense of grumpiness. Im not going to say that at this momment in time i am grumpy about it. I think im ALLOWED to be grumpy about it.

Its a shit thing to be single for so long. And to be continually putting yourself out there takes a lot of effort.

I was stood up this weekend on a 4th date. Thats rubbish.

Piatecat sad Sorry. me too, i just have one child. I never planned it to be that way. the child would love a sibbling, asks all the time, its never going to happen. That makes me sad.

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 21:52:42

Of course everyone is allowed a moan and a whinge. But shit happens. Being lovely and nice doesn't necessarily get you what you want.

The question was 'when should I give up' - my answer would be, when your grumpiness overwhelms you. You won't be giving out very attractive vibes.

VelvetSpoon Mon 18-Mar-13 21:53:49

Thinking about it in forever terms is pretty bleak, personally I have to try not to look that far ahead, if all I see in my future is lonely middle age followed by lonely old age it's too sad for words.

I do think the current era is a horrible one to be single in. Those of us who are in our 30s/40s probably met our XPs/XHs 10/15/20 years ago at work, or college, or in a pub, or through friends, because those were all the opportunities that existed then. Go back another 30 years and there were even less opportunities. Now though we have the internet, and OD, and it's all wonderful because there's so much choice but in reality it's turned a huge proportion of single men into entitled shagmonkeys who basically use women as wank fodder, or for the occasional ONS. Not to mention all the non-single blokes pretending to be unattached.

I do think there are A FEW nice men who OD. But there are so many utter tosspots doing it that you may never meet a nice one, or if you do there might not be a spark.

I've done it on and off since 2009 with virtually no success. There's no obvious reason for that, I'm clever, attractive, I have a very good job, financial independence, my own home, secondary school age children - and I've only met 1 man who didn't lose interest the moment he met me (and the jurys still out on him tbh!). I go out a lot, I am often approached by men, but again, nothing ever comes of it.

Conversely I have a friend who is a lovely person, but a lot less attractive than me, not as clever and in a low paying job. She has had several long term relationships from OD, lots more short term ones, has never been stood up, experienced the vanisher, and only had 1 first date where the guy didnt contact her after and ask to see her again. The main reason I can come up with as to why her experience is almost the polar opposite of mine is that she has no DC.

Single, one of the hardest things is staying positive. You can't. You DO give up sort of within you I think, only people never want to hear it and if you dare verbalise it grin you are either bombarded with stories about their aunt's neighbour's best friend's cousin meeting HER husband at 45 and then having triplets or told off for being too negative.

Well, we're allowed to be negative, just like our married counterparts grin single people aren't a separate breed of the human race!

Velvet I have no DCs and my experiences echo yours so maybe it's just luck?

Or <don't want to sound conceited> are men put off by women with very well paid jobs? hmm

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 21:59:31

But I think you have got to distinguish between letting off steam and having a moan as opposed to adopting this bleak mindset of I will be alone forever, its all too hard etc etc.

Having seen a lot of shit relationships both personally and professionally I am not so bothered as I was 10 years ago.

It would be lovely if it happened, but as I am making zero effort, it probably won't. But I will make sure I cherish my friendships and my family and I am looking forward to an interesting and hopefully active old age.

Spero - I don't think anyone has said it is too hard, I think just the opposite in fact: people are and have been willing to invest time, money and emotions into finding a partner.

However, the problem with relationships is that unlike other areas of life where input = output, this doesn't ring true for finding a partner. After all, with the best will in the world, you can't MAKE someone find you attractive, want to spend time with you or love/care for you. You can increase the chances of that happening, but when you've tried various avenues and met with dead-ends, this does not mean it's lack of effort on your part, it is just (nine times out of ten) circumstances.

I cherish my friends dearly but they are almost all married. I love my family, yet we are not a large family and I only have my dad and an aunt left both of whom are in their early 70s and won't be around forever. I do think I'll probably grow to be quite a lonely old lady, I will stillbe me of course, I will have interests and friends and hobbies and will probably do some good in the world, but I'll still go home to an empty house and that hurts a bit.

I think I'm entitled to say that smile

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 22:12:01

Of course you are entitled to say that!

But op is 35 and basically saying I am about to give up because I haven't got anywhere in 5 years.

That is disheartening but if you want it, you have to keep trying. Op seems to have the attitude - I have put in the effort, now where is my reward. As you say, it doesn't work like that.

I can think of much worse things than coming home to an empty house. Coming home to a man so bores you witless or worse, hat ou stay with because you are too scared to leave.

Relationships are no guarantee of a happy life.i think the danger is we tend to idealise what we haven't got.

VelvetSpoon Mon 18-Mar-13 22:13:01

Porridge there may be some truth in the job thing...thinking of a few of the men I have been interested in over the last couple of years, all the ones who are now in relationships of one kind or another, are with women in much less well paid/lower status jobs than mine, despite those same men when they first knew I was a lawyer, waxing lyrically about my job, how great it was, how much more intelligent I was than the women they usually met, and so on. But, talks cheap and all that!

I also worry about a lonely old age, I do have 2 DSs, but chances are both will go off to uni in the next few years, and by 50 (I am 40 now) both may well have moved out. I am an only child, my parents died many years ago and I have no other family. Looking at it like that it does seem a bit bleak...

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 22:14:21

porridge - i agree with everything you have just written.

if it was effort out, equals the results, then i would be remarried. im not.
Ive done everything i can. I repeadley do everything i can. I will continue to do it.

But its a fuck lot of effort for literally no reward. 5 years worth of effort for no reward. There will, by human nature, become a point where you go ' for gods sake cut me abreak' and then you just get up and carry on, because what other option is there?

I have family, i have friends. It is NOT the same as the love of a partner. And i want sex too. My friends, lovely as they are are not going to do that for me.
smile

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 22:14:56

Then we all club together and buy a nice big house and pay for servants. And gigolos. The future doesn't have to be bleak, just because there might not be a man in it.

VelvetSpoon Mon 18-Mar-13 22:21:41

This may make me sound pathetic, but I wouldn't mind someone a bit dull and boring, I'd take that if it also got me regular sex and (for want of a better word) companionship.

My ExP wasn't too bright and bored me shitless, but I'd have stayed with him if he wasn't also a verbally and physically abusive arsehole.

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 22:35:52

I would far rather be on my own than be with someone I found boring. For companionship I have my dog. What kind of 'companionship' can you have with someone who is dull and boring?

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 22:47:48
Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 23:06:09

No. Because i want a relationship

That guy was happy on his own and people were trying to convince him otherwise.

Noone is trying to convince me of anything ive just been on my own for ages and want to be with someone.

Thats just as valid as not wanting to

Spero Mon 18-Mar-13 23:10:14

I think he was saying a little more than that - he wanted a relationship, but a good one. He didn't want to accept any old relationship just to avoid being alone. He doesn't accept that the only valid or worthwhile life was as one half of a couple.

If you want a relationship, go for it. Don't give up. I would say you have a least ten years before the internet dating statistics get really bleak. But maybe you need a break for a few months to recharge your batteries. If you are going on dates thinking like Charlotte in Sex and the City - where IS he? Where IS he? - you might not be giving off the best vibes.

Singlesupplement Mon 18-Mar-13 23:13:23

Out of curosity i just set up a ' for sex only' profile on the site im on. No picture .Bare bones of info.

Ive been contacted by so many men who have down ' long term' and wanting a relationship.men ive chatted to and who have asked me out.

Its a joke . No wonder online dating is difficult.

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 23:41:39

Would you recommend having two profiles then? i might set up one bimbo one, and one real one, and knowing who'd applied to both could be a weeding out process!

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 23:42:28

oh I see. Yes. That is what happened. How disappointing. I don't want to be disappointed. I want to have Faith!!

LeslieWink1e Mon 18-Mar-13 23:46:43

Velvetspoon, I dated a man for a while who bordered on boring. That'd be a little unfair as he was wise and pretty astute generally but not as talkative as I would have liked. I liked the sex, for a while. And then, it just felt not as exciting as it had to begin with.

It is hard to find somebody who is good company.

Spero, I really think you're being quite unfair. We have all tried to do something about it, and we haven't, for whatever reason, been successful.

This is, I find, the problem with being single in a modern setting. People will sympathise with an inconsiderate husband or a workaholic boyfriend but if you dare to mention being single has its downfalls, there is always someone who wants to give you a hard time about it and tell you that no matter what you say to the contrary it is YOUR fault, and you need to keep trying and blah blah.

Being single is preferable to being in a bad relationship. It does not mean it isn't very, very lonely. particularly weekends, where friends are with their husbands and families, or holidays, when everyone is abroad, or weddings where everyone else cozies up together. I am sure some people reading this will say we/I have an ideal of marriage which is probably a fair point but I don't know why they can't accept by the same token they probably have an ideal of being single as well.

In other words, I don't go on bad relationship threads and have a go at the OP telling them they are negative and lucky to be married or whatever so why do it here? hmm

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 07:12:07

Porridge. Agree with what you have just said.

I never understand why people say thingslike that. Ive been married. I dont have an idealised view. And without a doubt i would rather be single than in a rubbish relationship. However. I am lonely. I want some male compaionship ( not from pets or children) i want love andsex.

Theres nothing wrong with wanting these things.

datingnamechange Tue 19-Mar-13 08:14:39

Hello

I've been more or less single for last 2.5 years (with a now 5 year old - no more children for me either sob! as I'm 42).

I think the problem with being single at more or less this age (although OP you are a Spring Chicken) is the following <obviously based on scientific study of errm my own observations>

1. Men are much more likely to leave partner for an OW = not that many single men that have been in relationships
2. If men leave a long term relationship with no OW or have been dumped = shag around like its 1999 with people born in 1989 <but hopefully then want to settle down with someone born closer to them?>
3. Normal single men likely to want to date people with no kids/have more kids <hope for you possibly OP as time is on your side>
4. Abnormal single men. Well. We have all had the hideous date

So. Slim pickings. But there ARE some and I think maybe come a bit later in mid-40's when the divorced ones with kids stop shagging 21 year olds and look for a relationship. Plus of course the magical 'good guys'.

I am currently single and have met up with 7 men during that time (70 - 30% internet to real life split). I have also been contacted my a gazillion illiterate 60+ year olds looking for a partner in crime and wanting that spacial lady in a red dress to be proud of on the dance floor if they can be dragged away from their Dan Brown <shudder/boak>.

However:

2 = nice no spark so nothing after coffee (good for someone maybe?) 1 = internet dating shagger arounder window shopper (fortunately weeded out before I had sex with him)

1 = RL met ended up seeing him for about 2 months when at low ebb and whilst he wasn't awful proof positive ladies that you do not WANT to be with someone for sake of it. Sex wasn't depressing in itself but it was depressing having sex with someone I was essentially sleeping with because he was there

1 = OK (but ishoos with his ex wife who was am minor TV person in the country in which I live and his divorce was over newspapers - and they were in war or the roses so backed off + he was a bit not quite odd but borderline_

BUT

2 = FABULOUS. Sadly, both of them <hey ho> ended things after a few months but they were VERY nice men, both now married/getting married having had previous marriages, ended it nicely, still have coffee now and then (twice a year type thing). Not that this was the attraction (and did not know when met) but one was super duper gazillionaire <but ethically so with smartcar and creative projects - wistfully wishes he hadn't got away>....

SO. Despite NOT working out I cling onto the fact that there ARE nice men out there both of whom went onto marry a similar 40/nearly 40 something who had never married before....yes, they were not right for me but there are some out there. I hope. Because even though I'm 42 I've not thrown in towel. That said, I DO feel your pain. I've stopped internet dating as I was not feeling mentally robust enough to be contacted my survivalists who wrote in text speak......

...not sure what my next approach will be. I am a bit of the hmmm someone will come along, but until they do you of course feel they won't as evidence is on your side as they have yet to appear. I think the key is to set up your life so you are self sufficient and not waiting for someone to come along and save/complete you/change the light bulb on the landing......I also <meany that I am> take a bit of comfort in knowing that not all my married friends are super happy. I had a very messy break up/divorce and so people tend to share things with me that they might not have done before. Jaysus is all i'm saying. At times when I have put son to bed and having glass of wine on balcony instead of cooking dinner for husband I feel pretty content. ...

....good luck every one x

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 08:21:02

I haven't criticised anyone for trying and failing. The op asked when she should give up. I have given my view about that. If at the age of 35 you are bleak and unhappy about the only ways that exist to meet people then maybe you should give up, or at least for a little while, to regroup and recharge. Because I can bet those attitudes are coming across when you do meet people on dates.

The op seemed rejecting and a bit scornful of people's advice - but what else is there to do? A relationship is not a 'right' or a 'reward'. If you put all your emotional energy into being angry, I cant see that as constructive.

Sorry if you think I am being unfair but the whole point of a discussion is to take on board other view points. If this op was intended to simply be support for those fed up of Internet dating then it needs to be worded differently.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 08:49:26

It not just about internet dating though, is it.

Its just all round disheartnedment at being single for a fair amount of time.

I can assure you any ' attitude' is not coming off on dates. Im a positive person, but im just having a few days where im a bit fed up with it all. Thats allowed, i am but human.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 08:50:40

The sex only profile has been interesting to say the least. The man who stood me up on the weekend, after we had had sex, has messaged me, not knowing its me.
Saying hes not after anything heavy so a fwb thing would be perfect for him.

Could have fooled me....

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 08:53:09

I think its perfectly normal to wonder what you have to do to meet someone normal, and why it hasn't happened when it seems to happen for others at the drop of a hat, and indeed whether it ever will.

The only thing I can draw from my experiences is that I seem to be far too good for every man I have dated (as all those now in relationships are with women my considerable inferior) so where do I meet men who I'm not going to be too good for?! I have no idea. Or maybe (as was once suggested - seriously) I need to dumb down in terms of job, intelligence and looks....hmm

I think porridge speaks an awful lot of sense.

I tried online dating for 18 months and only met two women. In real life I belong to umpteen clubs of various types, socialise a lot, huge group of friends (including plenty of women) but NEVER in the last three years have I met any single women in their 30s.

I conclude, therefore, that it is hugely down to luck and where you live, together with age. I think the 30s is probably the WORST age to be dating in.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 08:58:40

i think its normal to wonder. I see other people getting into relationships, it makes me think what do they have that i dont, how come its easy for them, yet not for me?

i do think its something that dating name change says....

'1. Men are much more likely to leave partner for an OW = not that many single men that have been in relationships
2. If men leave a long term relationship with no OW or have been dumped = shag around like its 1999 with people born in 1989 <but hopefully then want to settle down with someone born closer to them?>
3. Normal single men likely to want to date people with no kids/have more kids <hope for you possibly OP as time is on your side>
4. Abnormal single men. Well. We have all had the hideous date

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 09:03:43

I think there may be something in that. The men I am thinking of have all been dumped by, or cheated on, by their exs. Might be why they are choosing women who they feel are less likely to do so...

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 09:10:59

oooohh you might have something there.

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 09:30:25

Well I have recently become a single mother to one, and I dread the thought of being back on the scene and I am only 26! I have always known that men dont want women with children, so I do feel insecure about that. Although, I am glad that I have only ever wanted one, so if I do end up being single forever I will never feel that yearning for another child, whilst being in a position where I cant do a great deal about it! However, I can appreciate how upsetting and isolating that must be for someone who still wants more children.

From looking at the dating thread, there does seem to be a lot of no-hopers on the scene as well as there being illiterate chancers and just generally men that I wouldn't dream of talking to in my everyday life (sounds snobby, I know!) A lot of them also seem to want this NSA sex thing, and I will NEVER sign up to that. Cant think of anything worse. I just think having casual sex with someone, and seeing that they have now chosen to move on and get married would be like a thorn in my back! No thank you.

Rose - I think there are men out there who will date single mothers. I know friends who have not had a problem on that score, honestly.

I'm always surprised how many women are apparently OK with the whole FWB thing. MN opened my eyes on that front, because most of my female friends (well, the single ones) resolutely refuse to entertain that idea (not that I have suggested it myself, I hasten to add).

MavisGrind Tue 19-Mar-13 09:46:11

Hello all, just come to this thread - interesting reading. I'm 42, single for 4 years and have 2dcs <thread credentials out of the way>

I've sort of assumed I'm single from here on in and am about 80% happy with that as long as I don't think forward to old age too much!

One thing that doesn't help single women is that difference of perception towards single men. The care-free bachelor stereotype still exists IMO and that's butted up agains the notion of cat-loving spinster. I think we're still suspicious of women who have successful lives on their own and like to put the pressure on to make them 'complete' (i.e. be in a relationship with a man). So even though I say I'm happy being single to friends and colleagues there's that slight 'well it's only because you haven't met someone yet, you're being so brave about it all' attitude that I get in return.

I know that doesn't address any personal want for sex or a relationship however I can't help but think that a wider social construct of what it's like to be a single woman just doesn't help.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 09:47:36

There are men out there that will., there are also men that will run a mile ( like the one ive just been talking to, who had no worries telling me that was the reason) and the ones that will just see it as being an easy lay because they think shes desperate.

maddy68 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:48:30

Perhaps instead of online dating you could try joining a club ie ramblers or a night class where you might get to know people before dating them?
Not that there is anything wrong with online dating but you get to meet a lot of frogs in the way smile

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 09:55:19

What disturbs me is the level of hatred out there for single women, especially as we get over 40. I have been reading the plankton blog and I foolishly googled some of the stuff being said about it on the private man site - do NOT go there if you are feeling fragile about being single and over 30.

I do think there is a general view in society that single women are sad lonely cat lovers and single men are happy go lucky players - I think this contributes to a lot of the misery of dating into your 30s and beyond.

DoingItForMyself Tue 19-Mar-13 09:55:29

I think its inevitable that men will want to play the field after the break-up of a LTR so I wouldn't immediately write off any man who replies to a sex-only profile. Plenty of women on here looking for FWB or would happily have sex with someone they met and then decide he's not for them, I don't think that makes anyone a player or somehow morally corrupt.

FWIW my DP was looking to spend a year or so playing the field when he met me, it took him by surprise and he was a bit disappointed I think, that he had met someone special so soon and had to change his plans!

What I'm saying I suppose is that any of these men, if they fall for someone special, will stop messing around and settle down. Men are just as capable of love and commitment as women.

Most men in their late 30s/40s will have children or will want them, so ruling out a woman because she's a mum is unlikely (especially as that makes seeing each other more difficult i.e. he won't be pressured into seeing you every night) Personally I wouldn't have wanted to meet someone without children because until you have them I don't think you can ever appreciate how much they change your life, so that would be a huge incompatibility for me.

DoingItForMyself Tue 19-Mar-13 10:02:23

...and I meant to add that whatever their requirements may be on their profile (or whatever dodgy blog they are commenting on) it may not accurately reflect what they actually want or need. I am a long way from my DP's original vision of the person he was looking for, but he now says that he didn't realise how important humour and intelligence were in a woman until he met me. He'd thought he wanted no complications (but I have kids/am still technically married), he'd imagined someone younger (I am older) and probably "hot as fuck" (I am to him, but in fairness probably not what he'd envisaged!)

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 10:10:00

This is good from the plankton and pretty much bang on point

planktonlife.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/whyfore-plankton-whyfore-wives/

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 10:15:09

doing it, no, its not unlikely. Ive had several men say the reason they wont date me seriously is because i already have a child.
That im great but that they just dont want that, it happens.

The ones playing the field, good for them. Whats no on is when they say thats not what they want, they want to date you. sleep with you, then run off and you never hear from them again.

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:06

I know several men with kids of their own who won't date women with children for various reasons. Likewise men without children. Its not uncommon.

Can I also say how much I hate the well meaning advice to join clubs etc? Fine if you have time to do so, or are interested in hill walking or cycling or whatever, but I for one have no interest in all that stuff.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 10:31:18

I hate the join clubs advice too.
Bearing in mind if we are single, we are lone parents, therefore with, normally, a lower income and thus maybe not able to afford a regular babysitter.

I have no interest in rambling either. Ive joined a local social group, it was just full of women looking for men. Lots of clubs in my area are also only attended by pensioners, which isnt going to be great either, and not something that im going to beg for babysitters for.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 10:34:30

Then don't join a club! People are trying to be helpful. If you want a relationship you have to actually meet a real person. As we aren't at college anymore, it is a lot harder to meet nice, single people. So I struggle to see what else you can do but internet date, join clubs/classes or ask your friends for help.

If you have 'no interest in all that stuff' what do you like? What does interest you? Follow that interest. If you meet someone, great, if you don't at least you are doing something you like.

MinkyWinky Tue 19-Mar-13 10:42:39

I sympathise OP. Internet dating, accepting invitations in case you might meet someone, joining clubs etc etc, can feel like a real slog especially when you wake up on the weekend just want a hug. And the well meaning advice just gets repetitive.

But I wanted to say it can work out after 35 grin. I met my OP (via internet dating - I was about to give up!) when I was 41. Two years later, we're engaged and I'm pregnant.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 10:44:56

i DO meet people all the time.

I expect lots of us meet people all the time.

Its not meeting people that is the issue here.
I do things that interest me, again, as im sure others do too, and so enjoy them.

Its the ' join a club' advice, like its going to magically solve the problem. its not. it wont.

Its frustration at that.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 10:46:27

minky, thats lovely to hear smile congrats smile

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 10:53:32

My friend (who has two kids) says that most mens profiles on online dating will say that their ideal partner 'will not have kids' or something to that effect. Sigh. I mean, dont get me wrong I can see why someone would be wary. I am also very wary of men who has lots of children for multiple women. Just smacks of irresponsibility if I am honest. When a man without children considers a mother with a child/children, they don't know if your ex husband/ ex bf is going to make things difficult, or give them aggro everytime they see them about with you and the kids etc. Most men will NOT want to physically see who went there before him, call it male territory! Organising childcare factors into everything unless your children are teenagers, so spontaneity may be pretty much non existent depending on how many kids you have. Spontaneity is the spice of life! And then there is the finances, most men will want to know if the ex is paying maintenance, if not, why not? That coupled with a woman who may be on benefits and has no intention of ever working, can make a man suddenly make a seemingly good deal feel complicated, and under pressure to provide!

Although, I appreciate that a lot of women do have their 'stuff' together, and thus, it is a matter of not settling and waiting for the right person.

Women need independence first and foremost. That's why I am pursuing my own career, and will have my own money. I will never want a man to feel like he has to 'keep' me ever.

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 10:55:05

Ahhh last post full of typos! Wish MN had an edit button..

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 10:56:08

My interests are shopping, clothes, going to the pub, reality tv...I'm as deep as a puddle. I have no interests that lend themseves to clubs or groups and I can't pretend otherwise. To be fair though nor do most people I know, the only difference is they are married/ in LTRs.

Helltotheno Tue 19-Mar-13 10:59:14

What does interest you? Follow that interest.

Exactly. If you're doing stuff that motivates you, fascinates you, that you love spending your time on, at least that would serve to keep you from thinking about finding a man, which in turn, would project less of the 'finding a man' obsession outwards and help you come across as a more multidimensional person. If it's not clubs, fine, but it must be something!

In answer to the question in your OP, yes, maybe just accept that you are single, throw your full undivided energies into something else and just see where life brings you.

FantasticDay Tue 19-Mar-13 10:59:41

Sounds like you have a full life, and it's absolutely not compulsory to be in a couple. Having said that, if you are careful, then online dating is a great way to meet new people. Met my dh there when I was 36 (after several years single). He'd had loads of dates and had more or less given up when I contacted him.

LadyWidmerpool Tue 19-Mar-13 11:00:06

Lots of people meet someone at work. New job??

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 11:01:22

Velvet You are clearly no fool considering you are a lawyer. I was just reading something on the plankton blog about men wanting women with independence etc. Well you are proof that it doesn't always work out that way, and some men just prefer 'needy' women because it makes them feel secure. I have no desire to be that woman though..

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 11:04:57

There is a lot of frustration that there is no 'magic' solution ... But there isn't. Life isn't fair. We don't always get what we want. Bit we can still keep on trying if it is important.

I have given up because I have so many strikes against me I know it would be a long, hard slog to find anyone who wasn't younger than 55. I don't have the mental toughness to go through that and I don't really care now anyway.

But if I was still keen on sex and companionship, I would go for it. If my interests were only shopping and reality TV and pubs I think I would try to broaden my interests a bit.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 11:05:50

I mean WAS younger than 55. Dammit.

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 11:14:33

I think frustration is natural though? I'm a high achiever, I have got everything I ever set my mind to, I expect to be successful - not winning at this, or seeing people who are my inferior doing better than me, is irritating.

Should I really have to invent interests?! And really all that stuff seems to be sports/outdoor based - I am crap at sports, and hate the outdoors, can't think of anything worse than getting muddy. That appears to leave me rather nowhere!

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 11:15:23

OP I understand your frustration. I've had those furious/heart-broken/just seriously getting fucked off now, ok?! years. You are totally allowed to rant and feel the frustration of all the disappointment and crap that goes with dating. And MN is the perfect place for that grin

But I am glad that you say you'll continue. Have a break maybe though? To recharge.

And the one thing you haven't spoken about much is musings in terms of how you might be coming across to others (other than mentioning that you're sure your anger doesn't translate on the dates). We all benefit from really questioning our own behaviour with an open mind. I'm sure you're a gorgeous woman and you come across as spirited, sparky and sharp as a knife on this thread. Someone understandably fucked off with a procession of inadequates. But maybe there are some issues that are skewing who you are attracted to/your decisions/how you come across?

I'm not saying its your 'fault' btw in any way or that the idiot men haven't been idiots. Just that, if you've done the same thing for five years (dated, been proactive, engaged with life, involved socially) you may as well look at every factor closely, including yourself.

I did and it helped. By the time I eventually met DH I was in a much better place, just within myself. I realised that I had sole responsibility for my emotions and wasn't going to disempower myself in my previously slightly wild, booze-fuelled, abandoned search for love.

Not saying my experience reflects yours. Just a thought.

Helltotheno Tue 19-Mar-13 11:23:57

VelvetSpoon nobody is your inferior because they aren't a high achiever...that's an exceptionally dodgy comment. perhaps you come across too superior?

great post lemon..

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 11:30:03

I dont think its fair to call it an ' obession'

Its not. Far from it. However, i am in my sexual prime. Its our human imprint to mate. I cant help what my body and sub conscience is screaming out at me.

Inventing interests... load of rubbish. Ive a list a mile long and its not got me anywhere. Else i get advice that its intimidating. Just be yourself, that is good enough smile

I have looked at my actions, how i am, what i look for and want. How i might behave. Its all good smile the only thing is i could play more hard to get as ive not done that. But then again thats not really me. Im an open, straight talking person, so playing games isnt my style. Jury is out on that.

datingnamechange Tue 19-Mar-13 11:37:02

Hello Again

Totally get 'venting' - online forums are great for dumping that which you can't do so much in real life - I do it quite a bit about issues with my cunty cuntofferson ex husband ; )

I think that the essense of the things is that it is all a bit of a crap shoot. You can put yourself out there till the end of time and meet fuckwits/not the ones or you can be waiting in the rain outside the supermarket and bump into THE one. There isn't rhyme or reason to it sadly. But the hope that there is has made a lot of matchmaking/dating site owners very rich as we'd all like to solve the problem.

I guess the key is (and I'm not being patronising as I am stone cold single) is that you can be damn sure you won't meet anyone sitting in your house. So despite not having yet met anyone it sounds like you are doing the best thing in getting out and about. I am with you on the zumba/salsa/french lessons thing (unless you actually want to learn these things) but I HAVE met interesting people (not the one self evidently although hot gazillionaire met at one such thing) at the type of things I DO like - writing seminars and sort of ideas type things - I live in a major City so the TED talks organisation happens every year, as does a film festival etc - as I say I would have gone if I was still married and have met a couple of friends (male and female as a result).

The thing is until I met my ex-husband (and yes we all know how that went but at the time madly in love) at the age of 34 I was 100% sure I would never meet anyone. I went to a corporate sports thing and wham bam whirlwind, a year later engaged, a year later married, a year later a baby and emigration (and yes sadly a few years later he buggers off with OW at work when I was in middle of IVF and turned out to be a 'baddun') BUT I had no idea I would meet him that day and until then would have sworn that I would be childless and be eaten by my alsation.

So. On a good day I think this will happen again. And you know what I think that if you are single with children in mid-late 30's then in a way the pressure is off...ie if you can let things unfold. I think that whilst most people have an 'ideal' (as do I let me say) when you do fall for someone all that goes out the window. Back to hot gazillionaire. He had 3 children from 9-22. Adamant that he did not want anymore, adamant that he wanted a certain type of life. The woman he is now with is childless and late 30's and I think they will have children and he will have a different lifestyle that that he believed he wanted. Why? Because he fell in love....so yes, having kids does narrow the field but it also opens it up to divorcees (and ex partners) who have children and don't wish to have any but are looking for people with the same values/on the same path.

Here's hoping anyway.....Not being too Pollyannish. The reality is that single women at a certain age have less 'currency' than a single man with the same age/children etc. That does indeed suck. But there are nice men out there too. At least I hope so...

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 11:39:19

Maybe give that a whirl then? As an experiment! See how it feels to be less open about whether you're into someone or not. Don't shag them until date five, or whatever. In all other ways be yourself, just hold back in terms of contacting them less swiftly, being a little less effusive, less available?

Might be interesting.

The times I've looked back and thought, sheesh, I made myself so available to that loser!

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 11:51:04

Yeah. Thats my new tactic. Nothing to lose.

Datingname change- brilliant post smile

ZolaBuddleia Tue 19-Mar-13 12:01:47

Absolutely yes to being open and casting off preconceptions etc. I met DP because I had moved, didn't know anyone, therefore out of necessity had to try to meet more people. As I said upthread, I totally threw out my previous ideas of what I wanted, and when I met a bloke who was fab company and went with the flow, regardless of the lack of instant chemistry.

Is a big shake up of life possible? A new job? Or a job where you come into contact with ever changing new faces? Moving house to a new town? Are their any new dating that might offer fresh meat a more targeted selection?

I think Americans have the right idea (or they do in films, anyway!), there seems to be a much more casual dating culture, you can meet someone at a supermarket etc, and ask them for their number without it being the declaration of undying love it is here.

Sorry if you've thought of all these things, or tried most of them grin. I really do sympathise, being single when you don't want to be is shit.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 12:04:42

Cool. Do come back and tell us if it made any difference!

Dating arf at cunty cuntofferson. Unusual name, what's his heritage? grin

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 12:06:41

I have just moved house and started a new job.
smile

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 12:09:04

And i was new to the area 4 years ago.
smile

ZolaBuddleia Tue 19-Mar-13 12:09:05

there. Ashamed. Was so excited about your new life I took my eye off my spelling. blush

I've never been able to not shag someone I fancy, unfortunately, but I'm certain that if you don't and it goes belly up, then at least there is less to feel bad about.

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 12:10:11

Helltothe, I don't come across in RL as superior, quite the opposite. However I can't help (or hide) being intelligent and having a good career, which apparemtly puts off many (inadequate) men.

I think accepting it is all a lottery is made all the more difficult because people are always waiting to tell you how you haven't tried hard enough/need to make more effort. When the reality is that you can't make it happen, much as I would want that to be the case.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 12:16:12

TOTALLY agree with perceptions of single men and single women being part of the problem, even down to some of the comments on this thread! i am not coming accross as desperate! I know that, I just have no interest in somebody who isn't good company. I have enough friends who are good company to save me from clinging to any rafts. So, definitely, definitely not desperate. ANd now somebody will tell me I'm too fussy. But it's not that either. I am not fussy about shallow things. I just want a decent, loyal, good humoured man who is good company and my equal. 90% of the time I just get on with it. I was in a family environment with my kids at the weekend, and I was thinking how five years ago it would have upset me, but as it is now, off I set, the three of us, used to it being the three of us, no buggies, no nappies, just three people, one big one and two middle sized ones, to have some fun. I know we'll be fine. I think it's a shame though.
Some of the comments on here are a bit patronising, and all wrapped up in the problem I guess. Just because you choose carefully where and who to vent to does NOT mean that you're not positive!

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 12:19:30

So, if you're 42, do you just have to accept that the only men who'd be interested in you are a decade older?! Not sure I want that either. I run, I work out, I am in good shape. I'm not prematurely grey, I don't wear reading glasses, I don't know, Maybe I need to accept reality but I just don't want a man that reminds me of my dad.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 12:24:26

At Dating, yes, I often think well, I have kids, I ticked that box, so if I could see my future and somebody said, yes, you do meet somebody in between 2-5 years, even that would send me off with a smile to be honest. I have friends a couple of years ago staring down the barrel of forty without having become a mother (and I knwo they wanted a child but were watchign that option disappear in the rear view mirror)

datingnamechange Tue 19-Mar-13 12:27:58

Lemon - He is an unusual hybrid of arsetastic entitled cheating cunt. Sadly, there are many in his tribe smile

Velvet - no apologies. I think the key is to maintain your own self-worth. That isn't being 'up' yourself. It is being true to yourself. It is important not to be too wedded to pre-conceived ideas but that is entirely different to 'lowering' your standards and accepting something or someone that is wrong for you.

I ended up (as I think I said in my first post) someone who wasn't a terrible person but frankly not good enough for me as I was vunerable and felt like a bit of company and the idea of being found attractive was enough for a while. It was actually worse than being along (which I rectified when I woke up to myself). On the otherhand a local guy - not my 'type' - but on the surface very very nice and interesting - is possibly expressing interest in me. I say 'possibly' as I have known him for 2 years as a friend of a friend, thought he may ask me out a few years ago - didn't eventuate - see him handful of times through his business and chat happily - now has asked me out for dinner but not sure if it is as friends or not....he is single/no kids - not quite sure what I will 'do' about it as I use his 'business' several times a year with my son and don't want to have to not if things get awkward (his business is transport - boats - and no other provider)....we will see....

Single - you sound articulate, funny and sorted. If I was an annoying sort I would say it is a matter of time. But I'm not. So I won't wink

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 12:34:01

At 40, I wouldn't have a problem with dating someone who is in their 50's. I have only ever liked older men so I don't know where that puts me really. I like men in their mid thirties to early 40's and I am only in my twenties. Men in that age range are just physically more attractive to me hmm. Men my age often look very, very, young and want to just have no strings attached sex, sex, sex and play the field, no substance to it at all. Hell, you only have to watch Geordie shore to see that! I could never go out with someone 21! We are all different in that respect I guess.

Leslie, I actually agree with you on everything you have said on this thread to be honest. Especially regarding the whole FWB thing..

I have to say though, I get bored of men very, very, quickly. They have to be intelligent, or have 'something' about them. Would hate to be one of those couples that sits in a restuarant not saying a word to each other over fine dining. Oh wait, I may have done that before....

Single Supplement - I have never really played hard to get, but it is most definitely difficult to weed out the ones who are insincere if you look very sexy...

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 12:44:48

Who advised 'inventing' interests? I didn't.

I advised 'broadening' your interests if they are limited to shopping, telly and pub. Surely, in this whole wide world there is something beyond that to try and enjoy?

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 19-Mar-13 12:54:38

dating - ah yes, the cuntersson tribe. They are legion grin

datingnamechange Tue 19-Mar-13 13:06:08

Lemon - one born every minute according to the Relationships board on Mumsnet shock

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:07:09

leslie -im with you on the older man thing. I recently, as an experiment, had a few dates with a man 12 years older than me. It was awful, it felt like i was kissing my dad. He felt like an old person and he was SO sleezy and asked me to suck his cock as he could tell i would like it. Thats the end of doing that again.

Eternal, i dont look sexy. I dont dress sexily. I just, and its been said to me many times, but this is a quote from a lesbian friend ' you just have to look at you and you know you would have the best and filthiest time with you'
I dont know why.

leslie - may i applaud you on some very good posts there. I have accepted it it, its just me and the boy, and i dont think twice about it. But then i get an odd momment, like you, and just think its such a shame. Im young, Im damn lovely, and i shouldnt be on my own ( ALL the time).

Spero - i think if velvet is happy with what shes interested in, then thats just fine. It is her life, afterall. Im happy with what im interested in ( which is a lot more) and again, its not actually got me anywhere, other than people telling me its too many interests and it could be intimidating. Fuck that smile

DukeSilver Tue 19-Mar-13 13:13:32

Rose I am in the same situation as you, same age and one child.

I thought no body would be interested because I had a child but I have actually been surprised by the fact that no body has been bothered so far. I had a 6 month relationship last year which I ended and I have had a few dates which I have chosen not to persue, not the other way around.

Obviously it makes things a bit more difficult and complicated but it definitely doesn't have to mean the end of your love life smile

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 13:20:08

Singlesupplement - shock at your friends comment, she was definitely being honest!

Interests are all well and good, but are they realistic? Snowboarding after a 13 hour shift anyone? confused

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 13:22:09

Duke - It's good to know you have had good experiences, has this been with men your age or older?

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 13:22:48

Of course, if Lemon is happy that is great. Shopping pub and telly sounds fine to me!

But I thought the complaint was not meeting anyone worth while. So I thought the solution to that would be to meet more people? Ergo, branch out a bit.

Art classes? Volunteer work? Dog? <clutches at straws>

But since getting a dog I am amazed at how willing dog owners are to stop and chat.

Not wishing to depress Lemon further but I agree that the education/achievement issue is probably an issue for quite a lot of men.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:24:34

ah, its fine smile ive had it a lot. Like i said, i dont know why, its just one of those things. Lady at work said it the other day too me too.

Snowboarding after a 13 hour shift is possible if you are a single man with no committments. As is going out drinking all weekend and not coming home till 5 in the morning. Another common ' hobby'

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:25:49

I have a dog. He is old now, hes never got me a date, he has got me lots of random conversations. But no romance, Clearly hes not going his job.. im off to call battersea ......

smile

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 13:26:26

Spero, because i DO have my life to be getting on with, I can't join millions of classes. I may (when I've sorted out a few other more important things, not romantic) get down to that. A dog is a good idea actually.
I'm clever but not educated and that doesn't seem to appeal to men either. I find people presume I have a degree, so you can't win. I don't want a man who is relieved that actually I don't confused .

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 13:27:24

ha ha singlesupplement!

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 13:32:22

You don't have to join millions of classes. But if your life is work, home, sleep then the consequences of that are obvious. Just something once a month could be worthwhile.

I have Officially Given Up but were I 10 years younger I would be aiming for one internet date a month and maybe some other activity once a month - choir, pub quiz, art class. Etc.

So twice a month I would 'do' something. And after 10 years I would give up with no regrets and me and dog will sail off into sunset.

DukeSilver Tue 19-Mar-13 13:34:15

All men in their late 20s rose.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 13:34:37

Bizarrely the only men online interested in me were generally 15 years older - but looked a lot, lot more,and did not have degrees. I don't know what they thought they would be gettingmoutmof a relationship with me!

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:36:56

1 internet date a month. hahahahaha, i can do, and do, one a week. I could do one daily should i so wish,

Ive been out with friends,the 3 fridays in a row, thats in an evening, to a pub/ club ( shocking to go out so much when you are a parent)

ive also been to the cinema with friends, once with my child. And im in a singing group which ive been to twice.

And i work, and i have a dog.

Like i said, i DO stuff, my life IS full.

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 13:37:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:38:21

and i expect its the same for many other people, hence the ' join a club' advice is no frustrating.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:39:47

leslie - i also have no degree, though circumstance, not though lack of intelligence. This either puts people off because they dont tihnk im clever.... OR, they are put out that i am clever but shouldnt be because i dont have one.

EternalRose Tue 19-Mar-13 13:43:49

Singlesupplement & Leslie - Trust me when I say I have met several people that had Masters degrees that got me scratching my head....it's not a big deal really it isn't.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 13:43:51

And like I said, there is no magic wand, no reward. There isn't anything else you can be doing.

I think a rest and a recharge is in order. You are confident your frustration and fed up ness isnt leaking out in rl, but that might or be true.

That isn't to say your frustrations are unreasonable because they certainly are not. But it sounds like you are very fed up and need a break from it all.

ZolaBuddleia Tue 19-Mar-13 13:44:46

The answer is staring you in the face, become a lesbian and go out with your lovely friend! smile

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 13:46:46

If you have four children, you work full time and you have no support then you are in a very difficult position. But the children will grow and not need babysitters for ever.

All you can do is try. That's all anyone can ever do.

Meglet Tue 19-Mar-13 13:46:47

I've kind of accepted I'll be single for another 10+ yrs or so, basically until the kids are old-ish teenagers.

If I'm not at work then I'm almost always with the kids or running errands. If I'm lucky I can go to the gym 3 times a week but it's dependant on when my family can help. No one ever has them overnight, or would be willing to. It sucks but until then I shall just pootle along with life on my own.

1 date a month? Jesus, I'd KILL to have one date a month. Two in 18 months was not exactly encouraging via online dating.

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 13:51:31

Honestly most 'interests' don't interest me. And nor would men who were involved in them. I like football but that's never got me anywhere except into arguments with men who hate my team!

I am out of the house for 12 hours a day so I certainly can't get a dog.

This thread has made me realise if the man I am currently dating turns out to be a dud (and its quite possible) I am up shit creek!

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:51:52

meglet, but do you not miss companionship? sex? flirting? love?

GGGRR, i can feel a rant about women being left with the children while errant husbands get no responsibilty anf frequent dating sites, coming on...

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 13:55:10

voice, why so little, dates are easy. dates of quality are not.

velvet, im sure anyone who didnt know better might say an interest in football would almost guarantee you a man....... its as useful as the join a club advice smile

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 14:04:33

I would AIM for one a month. I would try. Try again, fail again. Fail again, fail better. Then I would give up.

single - you want to try living where I am. And I'm a man. Women (apparently) get messaged by loads of guys so unless you stand out by being at least an 8 or 9 out of 10, you don't even get a reply. I'm realistic and would never message someone obviously out of my league to begin with but over the 18 months I did OD I only found a handful who I felt either were attractive or interesting. Without sounding shallow, you have to find someone attractive. Interestingly, both of the women I dated messaged me in the first instance.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 14:24:10

Of course you need to find someone attractive.
If you online dated for that long, and never found more than 2 women attractive, id suggest you might be being a little picky/ unrealistic.
Attraction can come in many forms, people in person can be so much more attrative than a flat 2d picture. Id suggest maybe get chatting, see if you get on in emails and go from there. Dont worry about the looks part so much ( or stick it futher down your list)

Just a though, for getting out of your comfort zone and trying something different smile

Single - I didn't say I hadn't found more than 2 attractive. I said I found a handful attractive - but none of them replied. The 2 I did date messaged ME to begin with, I didn't message them first, and in both cases they weren't people I wouldn't have messaged in the first place (one outside a preferred age range, for instance) so I was prepared to go outside my comfort zone.

As much as women say XYZ about men on OD sites, I think it would help if more women set up a male profile and tried it the other way around. I think it would be fascinating for you all. I mean, until I tried OD, I had no idea that 90% of women seem to be REALLY interested in football or rugby!

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 14:49:53

I agree with single. Some people aren't very photogenic. What have you got to lose other than an hour or so of awkward coffee? And why not try people you think are out of your league? Worst they can do is ignore you.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 14:50:36

its ok, it was just an idea.
I frequently mess around with age ranges, distances and things, because i could be cutting off my nose to spite my face.

i dont think anyones been overly harsh or said anything much about men who online date or date in general. its just been at the frustration of being single.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 14:57:14

yes, some people take terrible pictures but might be lovely.

I dont have much or indeed any of a critera or tick list. Its not worked much better, but it has got me out there and ive had some fun times too. I go by how we get on on emails/ texts. If theres a spark in conversation, its worth a coffee, it is indeed, only an hour and you never know.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 15:08:29

But if its a picture of you in your shorts in your bathroom, its a no from me I'm afraid.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 15:08:47

Join a club. Join a FUCKING club. It's wonderful rot isn't it?! grin And whoever suggested zumba... great if you want to meet other women or the occasional gay man.

I used to get that, along with the belief that at single woman past the age of 30 in London would never meet a man. It's utter BS. The year I turned 30 I never went on so many dates, and met my DH.

Interestingly I did join a club, which had a preponderance of straight, single men in their 30s. It was a surf club, and I joined it because I surfed, not because I wanted to meet men. I ended up marrying a surfer but met him through friends not the club. But if you did want to join a man-filled club I'll pm you the details. You'll have to want to spend a lot of the time in on wind-swept beaches and in the freezing sea however grin so it may not be worth it.

If it helps, statistically you will meet someone, you're only in your 30s. And you only have to get it right once.

And here's my anecdote - Two friends of my mother's got divorced in their 40s. Both are happily married second time round, within 10 years, and one of them to a titled, nice, attractive gazillionaire. It does happen.

(That said the other lady seems very happy but her husband is more rightwing than Mussolini and looks like he's been pickled so horses for courses....)

ZolaBuddleia Tue 19-Mar-13 15:12:18

I'm sure if you joined a fucking club certain aspects of life would improve!

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 15:15:02

i wouldnt mind a fucking club.
smile

surfing, now theres a thing, do you think idilly hanging around surf shops might have the same effect?

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 15:29:02

Fnarr, you witsters you! Isn't Craig's List some kind of informal fucking club anyway?

Yup, idly hanging round surf shops is what surfers seem to do when there's no surf. grin

Meglet Tue 19-Mar-13 15:37:46

single yes, I miss it all. But if I can't leave the house then I'm stuck. I can't date if I could only commit to maybe an hour a month.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 15:39:00

meglet, sorry, utterly, utterly shit.

puts my winge into perspective a little bit

PostBellumBugsy Tue 19-Mar-13 16:02:33

singlesupplement, I have come to the conclusion I'm going to be single for the rest of my life - so I really do understand where you are coming from.
Ex-H left me with 2 DCs in 2003. I've had a year long relationship, some brief relationships, some flings & lots of dates. But I have been single to all extents and purposes since 2007.

I'm attractive, in good shape, friendly etc but I haven't met anyone. I've even joined bloody clubs, but that didn't take me anywhere, other than spending money! My social life is seriously hampered by the cost of babysitters, so I'm probably not getting out as much as I should. My friends do not know any single men.

I don't feel depressed about it, because like you I have a "good" life - I'm employed, I have a home and the DCs are ok - but I do feel resigned. I'm also heartily sick of people telling me that this year will be my lucky year, that you find someone when you least expect it - after 6 years of hearing it, it gets a bit wearing.

The cliche of "it'll happen when you least expect it" is trumped only by "it'll happen when you stop looking". Which is rubbish. You want a new job? You look for one. You want a new house? You look for one. You don't stop looking and, as if by magic, a new job and new house just happen to jump into your path.

All we can do is put ourselves out there by as many means as possible. It's clear on the main dating thread most of us ARE doing that. But that doesn't mean we can't have a bloody good moan about why some people do have all the luck while others don't, despite doing all the things "they" say we should.

Mumpz Tue 19-Mar-13 16:13:41

A friend of mine went on a challenge to one internet date a week, and wrote about it in a blog called 52 First Dates. All in all, it was one loser after another, with a couple of grade A weirdos thrown in. It seems it's easy enough to rack up the internet dates, it's just finding the quality ones that's the trick. She's still single and has sworn the hell off them. She's one of about 12 of my single friends doing online dating who've had nothing but nightmares. I only know one person for whom online dating has yielded a proper partner. Only one. Call me a cynic, but those aren't good odds. I'm just pleased I met my hubby at uni...

PostBellumBugsy Tue 19-Mar-13 16:22:23

I've stopped looking Voice - & it still hasn't happened!!!!! So that really is a crock of shit.

I really did put myself out there - I did internet dating, I even went speed dating - shudder. I wasn't short of offers, but I just couldn't find anyone I clicked with. I did FWB too, but whilst that is good for casual sex, it isn't fulfilling long-term. In the end I got too jaded & it just felt like a numbers game.

Mumpz - I met my husband at Uni too. Sadly no guarantee that they'll always be your husband.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 16:33:05

of course its a crock of shit ;)
its just something people say when they are trying to be helpfull. Its good to blame ' something' because then its your fault.....

muppz, i think my dating numbers tops that, ive lost count a long time ago. Id say my findings match your friends.

Mumpz Tue 19-Mar-13 16:40:20

PostBellumBugsy - I know, we're some of the few lucky ones. I'm 32 and I'm seeing the first round of divorces amongst my friends. Pretty sad. Obviously there is no guarantee, I just count my lucky stars it's worked out for me (so far).

Singlesupplement - I don't envy you one bit. She's totally thrown in the towel on online dating. I couldn't do it. The constant rejection / disappointment / frustration must be soul-destroying.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 16:44:45

it is, hence the thread. lol
thats after being stood up for a 4th date. with a man i slept with last time i saw and now seems to have vanished in a puff of smoke.

I was married at 22..... i had no idea i would end up in this situation, just saying, can happen to any of us.

Be positive, join a club, get some interests.

Widen your search criteria, be more open minded.

Don't exclude people with bad pictures, don't be too picky, give people a chance.

Work on your self esteem to attract people, develop yourself as a well rounded person, know your worth.

But, don't dare say it, don't complain at the constant rejection, head fuckery and generally twattery that OD brings. No one likes a whiner and you won't get a bf that way!

Be realistic, don't expect too much you'll come across as superior. Adjust your expectations and keep going whatever, you just never know what's around the corner.

Look, your friend knows someone that met their perfect man through OD, why can't you? Just be positive, join a club...

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 17:39:45

I don't think anyone on this thread has been blaming people for failing - just trying to help by offering suggestions of what to try if you want to.

There is nothing wrong with being fed up and having a moan but I think there is quite a lot wrong about being so scornful of others suggestions.

If you don't like it, if its not working, don't do it. I just find it odd this sense of entitlement - I am doing everything I can, why don't I have a relationship?

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 17:45:32

spero - why is it odd?

a sense of entitlement?

Im a bit baffled?

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 17:46:13

juliette, that could be some sort of jazz poem, bongos, cigarette smoke...

Spero I never mentioned blaming, I just echoed back what many who are doing OD have heard. Some of it yes, on this thread.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 18:03:36

Oh! I love it! you won't get a bf that way! should only ever be said whilst wagging finger and peering over top of your halfmoon glasses.

spero I'm just not seeing this thread the same way as you are. single's DONE all these things that everyone's suggested and she's just having a moan.

It's like... Having been in employment my entire life, in 2005 I couldn't get hired in my industry for love nor money. Then, 6 months later, still doing the same, identical things, I got a job I loved. I did everything everyone suggested - worked for free, cold-called, honed my CV endlessly etc etc. nothing for 6 months, then the right job came along. It was as much luck and being in the right place as anything else. And I was trying incredibly hard so I did feel like I deserved a job.

It's not entitlement, it's frustration.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 18:13:40

Juliette, what a condescending post.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 18:17:59

it is frustration, thank you panpiper. thats exactly what it is

I know im doing all i can, its not getting me anywhere. I cant DO anymore. But equally am fed up of being on my own, so have to keep on at it.

Its frustrating.

I know im not the only one, as this thread demonstrates... which helps but also makes me feel frustrated for the others in the same situation as me.

i think juliettes post was tongue in cheek and mocking. or at least, i hope so confused

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 18:20:31

pretty sure it was tongue in cheek too... juliette?

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 18:21:35

I dont see a sense of entitlement here.... as somebody else said, love, companionship &sex; all basic human needs apparently, although ive survived without them!

i think some people are taking this thread too serioysly. we're not seeing therapists over it, just letting off steam on a thread. and i agree, some people really need to believe that there is something we are not doing right, or some odd attitude we need to lose.

so true also about the house and the job. you get those by taking measures to bring about change. when i get my new job and house sorted i will internet date but i may be too positive, i belueve i can spot the players, chancers and wankers. ill know a nice guy if i see him.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 18:27:22

And actually juliette, my self esteem is ok! i know im no different to any of the women i know in relationships. i believe it was poor judgement, age, circumstance,bad timing that put me here, single.
i know that it's not because im not worthy confused

Pan wink

sallyfromthealley Tue 19-Mar-13 18:30:25

juliette I can't tell if you are joking, being sarcastic or being serious?! Please don't tell me you mean it when you say 'join a club.'

sallyfromthealley Tue 19-Mar-13 18:33:03

OP, you would probably get further if you lowered your standards, but who would want to do that? By that I mean, have a relationship with someone you're not particularly attracted to or someone who is really not your type. But you have to hold out for what is right for you.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 18:39:04

well, no. I wouldnt.
BUT, and heres the but, its not like im beating them off with a stick, even the really non attractive ones, the muppets, the ones with no jobs, living at home, no car... they STILL dont want me either.

Im not even joking.

Sheila Tue 19-Mar-13 18:39:07

I think you're far too young to give up hope - I met XP at your age and didn't have DS until I was 37.

Having said that, I've been single since i was 40 and I am 50 this year. I haven't had a relationship of any kind for 5 years. In my case I never meet any single men, and Internet dating is pointless when you're over 45.

I'd happily settle for the odd meaningless shag, and I do wonder if I'll ever be in a relationship again hmm

Leslie and Sally for the avoidance of doubt I have taken my cue from some of the advice on this thread. The only club I would advise joining is the fucking club suggested by OP up thread.

Fwiw I have been doing OD for 'some time' now and am familiar with all that has been said, tried most of it, indeed I'm the Queen of 'giving x a chance'. Still single grin

VelvetSpoon Tue 19-Mar-13 18:58:05

This thread is making me a bit sad.

All us bright, fabulous women who are single, for years and years. And not through not trying, or being overly fussy or whatever...

And Pan, your analogy about applying for a job is spot on. I've been in that position of doing EVERYTHING I could to find work, and nothing. Hugely frustrating...and it's that same frustration with relationships. No-one says 'oh don't bother looking for a job it will come along when you least expect it'!!

I'm not convinced about the lowering standards thing either. It's another one of those things people say 'hold out you'll find the right one eventually' but like Single's experience, even the ones who I know are not right for me aren't interested.

I went on 4 or 5 dates last summer with men I knew (deep down) were utterly wrong for me, mainly because they indicated that they wanted a relationship with me. One was telling me to refer to him as my boyfriend before we'd even met hmm. Between them they had more red flags than the Chinese army, despite which every one of them dumped me after the first date!

leCrooSet Tue 19-Mar-13 18:58:24

I met my DP totally by chance when so NOT looking.

I was mid 40's; a bit fat, quite grey and with very dependent children...

he is lovely

dont give up x

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 18:59:32

Oh right. Sorry, I thought you'd waded in without reading our posts, missing the fact that our self-esteems are healthy and that we aren't desperate types to give us the benefit of your humourless wisdom. confused

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 19:03:37

As for 'lowering standards' - well, in many ways my standards are higher than they ever were, I want somebody clever, generous, good humoured, decent, good company, conversationalist, capable of fitting in with my friends and family...... however I no longer think about tall dark and handsome. Anyway, I'm not just looking for somebody for the sake of it, I don't think anybody on this thread is, so what on earth would be the point of lowering standards???

badgeroncaffeine Tue 19-Mar-13 19:03:59

Gyms are good places to find relationships, or a friend with benefits in the meantime. One can even become the other sometimes...

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 19:12:57

I may be seeing this thread differently because I have given up and I am fine about it - like Julie Burchill said, I am never lonely on my own, just with other people sometimes.

I appreciate that others don't feel like that and why should you if you are only in your 30s? I suppose what I don't understand is the rage and the snappy reponse to someone who suggests clubs, activities etc. that to me doesn't seem like a 'moan' but rather anger that you feel like you are being denied something you deserve.

And I am just trying to point out that so much of this is just luck and timing. Nothing to do with your worth as a person. If it is making you angry then I do think you need to take a step back.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 19:21:34

leslie I think the clue was in describing online dating as 'general twattery' but it was pretty close to the edge satire wink

StuffezLaBouche Tue 19-Mar-13 19:25:08

Sorry, i haven't read the thread yet.

i am single and think it will probably stay that way. I'm 28.

I have a complicated sexual history involving abuse, rapes and termination of pregnancy. Quite simply, I can't trust my own judgement when it comes to men. I have had about 30 sexual partners and regret very few of them. Last year I had the (mis?)fortune to have sex with someone I had loved for years. We were immensely sexual compatible and loved each other, but 20 years age gap and other circumstances led me to put a stop to it and I moved away.

I can function totally fine by myself. I love my own company and the freedom to live as I choose. I have worked hard on my career and love in a nice part of a nice city. I feel blessed to have had the sex/relationship experience I have... But it's not important to me now. I was pressured by friends to try online dating, which I have, but it's not for me. My hearts not in it. Why torture myself for being fat, not having nice clothes, not being confident, etc. every time i make a date?

I miss sex and if anything need to find someone to have sex with, in fact i have been looking into sex clubs in my new location, but I'm not looking for anyone to come into my life any more than that.

Uppatreecuppatea Tue 19-Mar-13 20:07:00

I feel so frustrated for you, Single. It's so hard when you've done everything you're supposed to do and it still doesn't happen.

I've got a friend who has been single for too many years to mention. She even took a 2 year "eat pray love" break which included volunteering in India, re-building in Sri Lanka, painting in Italy and wine growing in France. Nothing!

I have a gorgeous friend in London who is 45 and lovely and talented and any man would be lucky to have her. She says she's like plankton - men just don't see and they want someone in their 30's. It sucks!

The only friends I know who have found new partners in their 30's and 40's have been in the armed forces. Bit drastic though.

The only extreme example I can think of is to hire a billboard! You'll get national press and I can only imagine, the pick of the crop. Just brainstorming! Good luck

AverageJoe40 Tue 19-Mar-13 20:14:41

I didn't realise there were so many of us losers smile

Having become a tad disillusioned with it all I'm trying to come up with an alternative.

Until it happens, all we have are hopes, dreams and alcohol [off for a pint/scout around smiley]

Where the blimmin' 'eck are you 'THE ONE'?! WIBU to be all sulky with you if and when I find you for YOU not finding ME earlier?!

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 20:21:10

i dont even believe in ' the one'

I think its overly sentimilist crap, how i feel about it is demonstrated by tim minchins ' if i didnt have you'

except, noone is falling within a bell curve for me.

I have decided to try to find a fwb in the meantime. 450 messages in one afternoon. Men jumping though hoops, declaring how stunning i am. Bollocks to them.
;)

Uppatreecuppatea Tue 19-Mar-13 20:24:40

Single.... are you saying you've had 450 messages today from guys on Mumsnet?

How can they tell if you're stunning? I still haven't quite figured Mumsnet out but is your pic posted here?

Well - good for you! Have fun browsing grin

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 20:27:24

no, not on here. lol.

They dont mean it of course, they are just trying to get their leg over, im not stupid.

smile

Still, means i can chose what i want.

Not totally what im looking for, but will do for now.

Uppatreecuppatea Tue 19-Mar-13 20:29:46

Well, perhaps an enlightened man who reads Mumsnet might send you a private message one day.

Just saying.......

Teahouse Tue 19-Mar-13 20:34:11

Single for 12 years and no relationship for 7. Now 47, been on HRT since 40. Just moving from Single mum to single woman with almost grown-up kids.
Not looking for a relationship but am looking to get a social life.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 20:36:05

I had a guy on here message me once. !! I live in Dublin though. Ah well.. That was about three fucking years ago.

I'd email my picture to a mumsnetter man a lot quicker than I would put one up on a dating site. The fact that a man is comfortable here talking to women is a good sign.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 20:37:25

No, don't believe in the one either, I think there's a number of people I could be happy with! I hope that doesn't sound too indiscriminate!

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 20:39:22

if they did, and were local, id be up for that smile

I do have my pic on dating sites. im not shy.

Uppatreecuppatea Tue 19-Mar-13 20:39:23

Well men on Mumsnet...... you can lead a horse to water.....

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 20:42:08

ps, I was watching dragons den the other day, (irish version) and there was a woman with some stupid app that you download, called Flirtricity {puke} and if you fancy somebody and they have the app too, then, I don't know what happens next, it's only ´€2 wink if you're interested, but I was thinking, what I should do is set up an old fashioned dating agency. With a filing cabinet! There is a shortage of those now. I know the Jewish still have a matchmaker, what do they call that!? My friend was telling me about it. HOw if you get to a certain age you can go to this character and say 'sort me out'. The old fashioned human approach.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 20:47:04

That is true what Julie Burchill says. I am not usually lonely. True loneliness hits me rarely. I don't know why I would still like to have a somebody. Human nature I guess!

I think where being lonely is concerned the issue is that people tend to confuse "I am lonely" with "I am bored" - hence advice, well-meaning certainly, about joining clubs, voluntary work and zumba.

I'm never really bored. I have a demanding full time job, I have a house and garden to maintain, I have a good level of income to indulge my main hobbies of reading, horse-riding and theatre. I can always find SOMETHING to do.

But it would be nice to do those things with somebody.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 21:02:32

Porridge, agreed. rarely bored. In fact, rarely lonely. Im not bothered being on my own.

But in the same respect, i am also very very lonely.

If that makes any sense at all.

Yes, it does. I think for me, the loneliness is something that's always there, it lives in me so I don't notice it generally, in much the same way that someone who was blind since birth wouldn't know what they were missing. Occasionally though I see an insight as to what life could be like, like a door that opens then closes before I get a good chance to look inside.

I wonder if what might help is getting more friends who are single themselves? Not in the sense of turning them into partners, but as a way of having adult company for weekends (when, apparently, it's hard for the non-coupled to find anyone to socialise with) - and also, if you only hang out with mundanes people who are paired off and consider that couplehood is the normal way for an adult to live, you can get tired of being treated like the Weird One.

I am 48 and single: while I have had relationships in the past (the last one was about 10 years ago) I have never married or lived with a romantic partner. I'm not looking, though; I'm not interested. I am on good, friendly terms with my DS' father who is usually willing and able to look after DS when I want to go out, and I have friends who are a mixture of coupled-up, single-and-looking and happily single. Because my interests are not very mainstream, I've always hung out with non-mainstream people, and it was only in the toddler-group era that I found myself in a position of being made aware that I was 'odd'. The idea that a woman who is not In A Relationship is a freak or a failure is pervasive, and it might actually help to remember that this propaganda is actually artificial and harmful. The pressure on women to seek out and stay in relationships with men is for men's benefit, not women's. Being single is terrific

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 21:38:54

Or train with me to be a family lawyer. Having seen the utter devastation wreaked within relationships by cruelty, selfishness and fear I have not idealised relationships for a long time.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 21:45:52

I dont think im odd at all. im quite happy with how i am. I dont feel judged at all. Or anyone that does judge me is not worth my time.

I don't think I do idealise it, Spero, but like I keep saying to you wink being single has its drawbacks and its problems as well as being in relationships sometimes do.

If I idealised being in a relationship, I'd be in a relationship, with someone I didn't <really> care about, for the sake of it. I'm not. I have a nice life, thank you very much smile I am successful, happy and sociable. I am also planning to have a baby as a single lady. But I do wish I had experienced love, sex and marriage as well. That's normal smile

SolidGoldBrass - love reading your posts. I would just alter though that last sentence - being single CAN be terrific. Other times, it can be a bit of a pain in the arse. I'd like to meet more single friends but it isn't just men I find who are taken - it's women too.

But if any of you live in South Staffs and fancy a coffee let me know. I'll even babysit - I love kids grin

WestieMamma Tue 19-Mar-13 21:48:30

I think that fate is cruel because when you do all the right things and try to meet someone, you don't. Well I never did. Of the handful of partners I've had, including my now husband, all of them were met at a time when it was the last thing on my mind and where I'd made no effort at all.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 21:53:17

Agreed again, if it was all about being in a relationship, we would just be with anyone for the sake of it. Its not, so we arent.

Being single is great, i wouldnt swap it for being with someone awful, or even being in a bad relationship, i know the devestation that can cause.

But being with someone can also be a beautiful thing. Its that i want, and theres nothing wrong with wanting that.

Sometimes I do feel a bit judged to be honest. It's hard to say if I am projecting my feelings onto others or whether there is an element of judgement - perhaps the truth is betwixt and between. Certainly being a single, childless woman brings with it challenges that I imagine a single mother might not have (of course there are many more challenges to being a single mum grin) but single mothers do have the status of having been 'wanted' once, while I have never been.

That doesn't massively bother me but as SGB says, the propaganda thing that says a woman needs a man is powerful.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 22:07:07

Porridge - I think you do idealise, just a teeny bit. When you talk about the door closing before you even had got a look - thats a very moving image and I too used to get upset about what I imagined was going on behind that closed door, that I was excluded from.

Bit now I know hat often what is going on behind the closed door can be horrible.

Of course I would love a healthy relationship with a man who was on my Team and My Best Friend and who wished to ravish me on a frequent basis.

But if it doesn't happen, I don't to torture myself that I have missed out on something most others have because I believe that those types of relationships are quite rare.

45% of marriages end in divorce. I bet another 20% of marriages that endure are not happy it people don't split due to fear or money worries. So I do believe ha this social pressure to settle down and accept enduring monogamy is misplaced as it just doesn't work for most people.

But if you want it, keep searching and I wish you luck and resilience!

GreenEyedGirlxxx Tue 19-Mar-13 22:08:01

Have really enjoyed reading this thread. It's weird how sometimes you are totally confident that other people will meet someone and have a great relationship even if you don't have that confidence for yourself. I have a few single friends and a single sister and I just know its only a matter of time (although who the hell knows how much time) before they meet someone. Yet i am a 31 year old mum of one and have been single for just over a year and really worry I will never meet anyone - or i should say, will never meet anyone I'm crazy about who is equally crazy about me.

Singlesupplement Tue 19-Mar-13 22:12:20

Spero i do agree with what you say and out of those people i know in relationships, only a few are happy.

I dont want one of the crappy ones and i supose neither do any of us that have been burnt before.

Maybe that makes us more picky and the whole process take longer? Who knows?

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 22:12:37

Hannah Betts is very good on being single. She is very happy but also admits she wouldn't say no to a life partner. She's interesting too, the same age as Plankton but a lot less angsty about it. www.telegraph.co.uk/health/9872891/When-illness-strikes-living-alone-can-be-dangerous.html

I should disclose - I'm suddenly feeling like an interloper - I am happily married. But I reached the age of 27 without having had a LTR and thought I would never find someone. I still identify as single in a weird way. But here I am, met DH aged 30, got serious aged 31. People will quote shite about the unlikelihood of meeting someone, and some people won't. But a lot will.

Spero I have a friend who does family liaison and she sees all human misery too and it's made her very wary. Of course you would be if you only ever saw the dark side. sad

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 22:16:46

I don't only ever see the dark side! My parents are still together after 40 years and it is lovely how dad will bring mum little treats etc... But she complains bitterly to me about how he hates travelling and ruins holidays for her. Everything is compromise.

I guess I see more of the dark side than others - and I know that relationships which on the outside look shiney and perfect can mask quite horrifying levels of abuse.

As the AA say - never judge your insides on someone else's outsides.

Spero, perhaps it is because I will never have it, and have never had it, even a hint of it.

Oh, I totally get what you're saying - don't get me wrong. All the same, if I died, no one would care. That's a sad thing to say but I don't say it to be sad and "woe is me" - it's just true. Getting through the days when you matter to no-one can be hard!

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 22:22:37

The Hannah Betts article was sobering reading. But why this insistence that we have to couple up to save ourself from this fate? I am very interested in now many single mothers are getting together - I wish I had thought of that a few years ago but I was still brainwashed by the mantra that only acceptable way to live is with male partner.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 22:25:57

Porridge - and neither have I. I have had relationships with horrible people who didn't even seem to like me, let alone love me. I wish I had never bothered but I suppose going through that has made me realise that being single is NOT a shame or a failure.

The shame is living in fear, compromise and boredom.

I know it is very hard and painful to lie awake at night wondering who would even miss you if you died. But you are not alone! I have made peace with it now. I know it helps that I have a daughter - and a dog.

flippinada Tue 19-Mar-13 22:27:59

This is a really thought provoking, interesting thread.

I count myself on the happily single side these days - enjoy being on my own and not looking; but I remember the other side too.

However, I've been a serious relationship which frankly was not that great and also had various dates/fwb/short term relationships. Since not bothering with all that I feel more content than I've ever been!

Spero your last post rings very true for me. Even the good relationships I see are all compromise and constant negotiation. Or maybe I'm just a selfish sod!

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 22:28:14

Spero the point was more that, even the poster girl for being happily single moans sometimes.

There is a very good feature she wrote recently for Stella all about forming a commune and living with friends which I'll try and find.

flippinada Tue 19-Mar-13 22:29:30

I see there's been a few more posts since - was responding to the one at 22.16!

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 22:30:58

What matters in life I think are connections. We all need to feel loved and wanted, that we matter. And I worry we have been sold a big lie that the only connection worth anything is a heterosexual coupling, usually with children.

And I think it is a big lie. Yes, when it works I am sure it is fantastic - but when it doesn't work it can ruin lives.

I wish we were more open to celebrating other kinds of connections and ways of living - so many children need fostering, so many old people have Christmas dinner on their own"

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 22:38:15

I have a good friend who is a single mother and it has helped a lot.

spero, I know about being unhappy in a relationship, I know about being happy single. Before I die, I'd like to experience a happy relationship. And not just to tick off the box! like PPs say, I'm not bored, or lonely, but I want somebody with me. And there is nobody. So, I get on with it. Thank goodness I am mentally independent.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 19-Mar-13 22:40:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 22:43:19

I too would like to know what it is like to be loved by an adult who isn't my mum or dad. I certainly don't criticise people for wanting that.

What worries me is the view that it is a 'need' and if you don't get it, you are lesser. I think there is a danger people idealise the state of relationships and put a lot of time and money chasing it and get more worn down and frustrated.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 22:44:30

Blimey, I wouldn't wish my xh on any of you.

My single friend has no interest in meeting a man. Still, I do find that we understand each other well. It's like there's this whole shorthand, unspoken, and I know she gets my angle on things. Most of my friends are in couples and that's not an issue.

LeslieWink1e Tue 19-Mar-13 22:48:30

yes, spero, I don't want to get burnt out and become cynical, so i'm channelling my energies into new job, new house, going out more, i have a few other projects up my sleeve. i'm afraid i wouldn't have the stamina for years of internet dating. I would bail if it starts to make me cynical or if I feel like I hate men! cos, my xh was an absolute sociopath, but he was only ever one man, nto the ambassador for men, but if I went on thirty dates with thirty chancers, it'd be hard not to let it affect your view of men I think.

theghostinthewashingmachine Tue 19-Mar-13 22:57:35

Can I join this thread? 33 and single since c.2006 for no obvious reason (credentials). Totally agree with whoever commented on the steady loneliness that you only notice from time to time.

It may not be a 'need' per se, but surely love and sex and pair bonding etc is a very strong and basic drive in a lot of people - I know not everyone - and not being able to find it is kind of like starving. Though entirely take spero's point about that relationships can be very bad, it is still wearying.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 23:02:06

I think it is so interesting that when at legal dinners I (drunkenly) quiz elderly judges about their lives, they uniformly tell me how much they value their wives who almost universally of that generation gave up their own careers to support children and husband. When I speak with the (much fewer) numbers of senior female lawyers they tell a different tale. A lot are divorced.

I agree with SGB that long term relationships tend to benefit men much more. I think a lot of compromise is needed from both partners to make it work long term. Why I deal with so many relationships in distress is that one partner - usually the man - wont compromise.

Spero Tue 19-Mar-13 23:04:03

I think humans crave connections. I don't accept this is limited to male/female bonding, but I accept that is a strong example of such a connection.

willyoulistentome Tue 19-Mar-13 23:16:09

Both I and my DB1 are married to very high maintenance spouses and we hsve 2 sons each. All primary school aged. Both our ds1s have SN and although we lkve yhem are bloody tiring. DB2 who is 40 something but single and childless craves our lifestyles. ...and we crave his. Make the most of what you have. The grass is always greener.

allaflutter Wed 20-Mar-13 00:57:12

OP, I really sympathise, and I think the clue may be in what you say about you not having degree yet being clever which confuses people. I find that it's VERY difficult to find a partner if you don't fall into a certain type socially, it's really weird but seems to be true, especially in the UK. When people are baffled as to how to pigeon-hole you, and with this you are also a very strong personality - as you sound to be - they start feeling this irrational caution.

The more straight-forward and predictable, the more men feel brave. By predictable I don't mean boring at all! just that the woman falls into a social group which a man identifies with. It's sad! There are open-minded men but not many, and then you have to also have chemistry.

I genuinely think that men are intimidated by you, OP, while you wouldn't look at submissive ones who may really be attracted. Just a theory of course.

Singlesupplement Wed 20-Mar-13 06:07:35

Flutter, that is entirely possible. And no, i wouldnt look at the more submissive ones. Thats not to say i havent tried, i have. It just doesnt work.

The pigeon hole thing, there might be something in that, though i doubt regarding a degree (.for people know unless they ask) but in the whole ' being a single mother' thing. People do automatically make assumptions then get confused when you dont fit into them.I expect that is true for a lot of people.

Spero, i will always agree a man gets more out of marriage. And i agree with most you say.

However, i dont want to get married,i just want a boyfriend. And someone to care who isnt a blood relation. Its an inate want.

I was going to say need. But need isnt the right word. I would say for a lot of long term singles, its not because of social conditioning, needing a man to feel complete or take the bins out (!!!) . But just because the love of a member of the opposite sex is nice..sex is nice. A cuddle is nice. Someone to talk to about something and nothing, is nice.

Just thinking out loud, i now have a ' less impressive ' job due to a series of unfortunate events. I would say it seems to have had a positive effect on dating, despite me being mildly embarassed. Whether this is to do with pigeon holes,
Pre conceptions or just some mens need to be provider, who knows.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 11:34:36

Totally spero and Singlesupplement. Despite their faux whinging, marriage does benefit men more! All but the most progressive couples, the woman still does more than 50% of the housework, jeopardises, interrupts or winds down her career to suit 'the family' as a whole. If she works, arranging childcare still seems to be the mother's responsibility. I see this over and over. I literally wait to see an exception!

willyoulistentome you misunderstand. I've been in an unhappy marriage, and I've been single for a long time. Now, because I like life and what it has to offer, I want to experience a happy relationship. That is NOT an 'inability' to appreciate what I've got. I do. I'm a happy person. I don't walk around thinking about it all the time either. The only times I think about it really are when I'm on this thread! But yes, I would like to meet somebody.

I do thnk we need to value other relationships as much as couplehood. That's what the whole jon clubs/evening classes thing is really about, for someone who is lacking adult company (ie moved to new area or whatever). People do need to connect with other people, only a very very few can cope with little or no friendly contact on a longterm basis - it's just that we are socialised, particularly women, to prioritise couplehood because it benefits men so much.

I did shudder slightly over the Hannah Betts article, as it brought back my recurring fears of a few years ago when DS was very small - I moved with him to a new area, didn't really know the neighbours and had no friends nearby - I spoke to my mother on the phone about once a week and DS' dad from time to time, though later he started visiting twice a week- and I used to worry that I might fall down the stairs and break my neck or die in my sleep, and then what would become of my baby? Would a neighbour hear his screams before he starved to death?
Now DS is 8 and knows that if ever there is an emergency he should either phone his dad or knock on neighbours' doors for help so I don't have those nightmares any more. I still have no interest in dating and don't feel that my singleness is any kind of lack or fault; for about 20 years I have considered myself single though had some casual FWB arrangements during the time.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 20-Mar-13 11:56:27

It never ceases to amaze me that people think that single mums must be somehow doing something "wrong" if they are not finding a bloke. They should join clubs, get out more, lower their standards, not judge minging photos, be more cheerful, have better self-esteem etc etc etc. What a load of rubbish. The bit that particularly grates is the lowering of standards.

Most single mums are hugely competent. In many cases they have been left high & dry by their partners & have worked their butts off to ensure that the children they had together are well looked after, educated, well fed, happy etc. Many hold down jobs too & do the work of two parents all by them selves without constant whining & whinging. Why the hell should amazing women lower their standards? I would never say to either of my children - "darlings, lower your standards when seeking a partner - being with someone rubbish, is better than being alone".

Bloody hell!!!!!!

I would much rather my friends said "do you know what, it is really hard to find someone you want to be with, but in the meantime we're here for you" - fortunately, I have good friends and most of them do say that.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 12:06:11

Yes, I really value my family and my friends. I only have a couple of close friends though, luckily one is single too.

I left one tosser, I'm not taking on somebody else's. However, the tosser I left is six foot one, dark, handsome, successful, he has a degree and an masters and if you meet him on line, you will think all your christmases have come at once. I am so canny this time around. I will not let bullshit like 'tall' or 'professional' cloud my judgement.

I did go out with one man for a short while and he was a nice man. All my friends kept telling me (basically) that I didn't fancy him. Or when I expressed doubts, they would put words into my mouth to the effect of my not fancying him. I never said that. The problem was that he wasn't good enough company for me, that compatability wasn't there in the end.

So, on other threads I'm sure I've seen lots of tall girls saying that so and so was lovely but far too short for them. Well tall ladies, I will take those short men off your hands!! As long as they're not bitter from years of having been ignored by women (tall and short) confused

I have every reason to be bitter but I'm not! I want the male equivalent of me! how farking arrogant is that!?!?

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 12:10:38

SGB, I think it's also the way the week is structured that makes me want company at the weekend. Not much I can do about that though. I am fine monday to friday, and then when everybody cheerily says 'see you Monday' on Friday. That's when I feel a bit isolated. I do socialise with friends but it's not every weekend.

LeslieWink1e Wed 20-Mar-13 17:37:41

Spero jyst thinking about those stats that 45% of marriages end in divorce and 20% of the marriages left are endured rather than enjoyed.... but i think most people on this thread arent focused on marriage only, and two crucially we are not the types to endure a miserable relationship. hope that makes sense of why we want a relationship despite the stats!! apologies for saying "we" and talking on behalf of other posters!

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.

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 18:50:18

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...

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!

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 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 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!

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.

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

Miserable gits not to go out on your birthday.

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 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.

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