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A thread for and about the chronically single

(96 Posts)
Yika Fri 26-Apr-13 20:18:31

I'm in awe of people who just jump from one relationship to the next and are never alone. I just can't seem to get it together to form a meaningful relationship. I'm in my mid 40s now and I've never had a serious long term relationship. Mostly I've been on my own or had 1-2 year relationships that were doomed from the start. I had one 5 year massively dysfunctional and semi-detached arrangement. My whole family are like this too, and I'm pretty certain my problem originates from the family attitudes and beliefs I grew up with, because otherwise there just is no rhyme or reason to it. I'm blardy gorgeous reasonably attractive, personable and outgoing.

Is there a cure? Does it matter? Are you happy being chronically single? I want to hear your stories!

Sadgits Fri 26-Apr-13 20:47:04

I'm no expert BUT... sometimes our early interactions with important people like our family members can colour how we enact with others in the future. People who 'jump' from one relationship to the next may not be the best role model. It infers that they are not necessarily happy on their own (generalised statement I know). People who have found the person they have a happy supportive and fulfilling relationship with are probably better examples. It worries me when you say you had relationships that were doomed from the start- if they were doomed why did you continue with them or are you saying this in hindsight.
You may have to take a long, hard look at your past relationships and how you relate to men (or women if you are gay- you have not said). It may be that issues around self esteem need to be addressed. It may be helpful for you to look around for a counsellor who specialises in relationship issues. It may not be cheap but some have sliding fee scales or you can go through your doctor I think. Otherwise I'm sure there must be lots of help on the Internet.
I hope you find happiness.

LightAFire Fri 26-Apr-13 20:53:39

I have read a bunch of stuff about more and more people nowadays choosing to stay single, now that women can earn enough alone, and given high rate of divorce etc. I know two women who are single and perfectly happy in their late 30s and not bothered - both have great careers and own their own property.

The real question is - are you happy as you are? If yes, then I don't think it matters a jot.

If you're not, then sadgit's advice was wise! Good luck whatever you choose for yourself smile

Yika Fri 26-Apr-13 21:13:34

Thanks for your responses! No I'm not happy to be chronically single but I'm very happy in every other dimension of life. I've had lots of therapy, counselling etc, not all helpful, but I think I've worked put whats behind my situation (and am much better placed to have a good relationship now, should a suitable candidate happen along).

What I'm mainly after here is just to hear the stories of others who've been single most of their adult lives, and hear their take on it. just to get some fresh perspective on the topic really.

Oh, and I'm straight.

LightAFire Fri 26-Apr-13 21:32:45

It sounds very positive Yika - I think you're right and you're in a good place! Good luck!

I'm 48, and the longest couple-relationship I ever had was about 2.5 years. I have never married or lived with a partner. I haven't dated (well I never really did dating, more a case of having a few shags with the same person and knocking around together for a while and sometimes considering ourselves in love for a while) or had regular sex with the same person for at least 10 years. And that's totally fine with me.

I consider myself lucky and yes actually superior as well that this is how my life has turned out so far. I don't think couple-relationships or heteromonogamous relationships are a bad thing, they're just not something I want, like, need or have any aptitude for.

I have a very amicable co-parent relationship with my DS' dad, but we haven't had sex with each other since we concieved DS (who's 8); DS Dad has an on-off GF and occasional forays into online dating, but he and I also go on family days out with DS from time to time.

OP, don't overlook the fact that there is social pressure on women not to be single - a woman without a male owner is threatening to a society based on men's ownership of women. If you have good friends and a full life, there's no need to hunt out a couple-relationship. If you don't have good friends and a full life, fix those before you start looking for a couple-relationship, or you will end up with a loser or an abuser.

MooncupGoddess Fri 26-Apr-13 22:18:34

I am 35 and chronically single - have had a few short-term relationships but nothing at all for three years. I am pretty independent and being single suits me very well. I've never fantasised about finding lurve and am baffled by society's obsession with romantic monogamy.

But I do have lots of nice friends, a nice family and an interesting job... without those things I think it might get a bit lonely.

ohtobecleo Fri 26-Apr-13 22:27:42

I empathise OP. While I do have a relationship history (8 year marriage, 2 year subsequent relationship) I've been single for nearly 3 years with little prospect of that changing (single parent 100% of time and little support network). And I hate it.
While I don't need to be part of a couple (I've spent more of my adult life out of relationships than in them) I do miss companionship and am most happy when I'm in a true partnership. I'm 42 btw.

SingleMama Fri 26-Apr-13 23:14:17

SolidGoldBrass VERY Solid advice!

SingleMama Fri 26-Apr-13 23:22:36

*OP, don't overlook the fact that there is social pressure on women not to be single - a woman without a male owner is threatening to a society based on men's ownership of women. If you have good friends and a full life, there's no need to hunt out a couple-relationship. If you don't have good friends and a full life, fix those before you start looking for a couple-relationship, or you will end up with a loser or an abuser.*

This is so true SolidGoldBrass! I wish I'd read this a year ago! And how very irritating that society is organised like this.

Selks Fri 26-Apr-13 23:29:16

Very well said, SolidGoldBrass.

OP, I am single but not 'chronically' so, as that implies that it is a bad thing. For me it's a largely pleasant state of being.

springyhappychick Sat 27-Apr-13 00:48:42

I've been single for a very, very long time. I won't say how long because, well, some people find it depressing...

I married a very abusive man and, although I left him, he didn't get off my case for decades years. Despite my extensive efforts, it only stopped when he dropped down dead.

My relationships before that were not good. I come from a toxic family. I've had a lot of therapy and I'd say I'm in quite a good place now.

I enjoy my life and enjoy my time. I like getting on with my own thing. I'm astonished I have been single for so long - I feel a lot of shame about it, though I'd rather not. It's a touchy subject. I honestly don't meet available men - or I do, but they're too young = no point, except for a shag; and it's not only a shag I want. Now and again I think I ought to do the internet dating thing and then I forget. I really like men and they clearly like me but <honesty alert> I privately take most of what they say with a massive pinch of salt. It's what they do that I listen to and, I'm sorry to say, the good ones have been nonexistent thin on the ground. It seems to me that the 'best' ones are taken - and they're only 'best' because of the civilising effect of a woman steady relationship.

I assume I'll be analysed to the hilt for this post lol.

niceupthedance Sat 27-Apr-13 06:29:24

I'm 39 and have only had one serious relationship of 4 years, which was a total drain, emotionally and financially. I do not wish to share a house with a man ever again as a result of that. I am a very giving person and need to be careful of people who just take and take... Men and women.

I also have an arrangement like SGB, I have a son (unplanned) with a very casual fwb. We have no interest in each other romantically or sexually but we hang out as a family sometimes.

After 3 celibate years I have met someone I would consider for a NS arrangement - and that's more than enough for me.

OP I hope you can see from the positive responses here that being single is not a curse that others try and persuade you it is...

pantson Sat 27-Apr-13 08:53:29

Im cronically single and have been for 4.5 years.
Im happy with my life but cant say that i miss a loving relationship. I date, it never gets me anywhere and ive pretty much given up now.
Its a shame, im mid 30's, but its how it seems to be.

Dahlen Sat 27-Apr-13 09:08:20

I am currently dating someone (though not living together) so am not technically single any more although the relationship is still quite casual.

However, I was single for many years and absolutely loved it! I know some people find it lonely or hard for practical reasons, but I found it immensely liberating and confidence forming.

The only downside to being single that I've been able to come up with is that one salary obviously doesn't stretch as far as two, especially when there is a child involved and no maintenance forthcoming.

I've been 'single' for five years now after spending 7 years (5 married) with a shitbag.

Whilst it's definitely true that the hideous experience with that man has made me wholly distrustful of men generally, I have now settled well into being very happily on my own.

I love being a mum to my ds (5) and have a decent network of friends which I have worked hard to build up. I make sure that ds and I get out and do stuff, and we are very close. I invite friends round regularly for barbecues or suppers, arrange pub lunches at the weekends, often have ds's little mates home for tea after school and have a lodger to help financially and to give ds the sense that the house is 'fuller'. We have a dog too.

It seems to me that other people have a problem with, or are curious about, me remaining single - but it's usually those who are in happy relationships. Those who are not, tend to be a little envious sometimes?

Op, do you have children? I think if I had not had ds then being permanently single would have been much harder/lonelier. As it is, I'm not lonely; I enjoy my own company, like cooking whatever I want, and after ds is in bed enjoy being able to sit around smoking fags, watching crap on the telly, surfing the internet, going on the swing in the garden at midnight, eating garlic curries and skyping friends.

Oh and I don't miss sex at all which is a BIG bonus - but I accept that lots of others would do, and this is what they would loathe about being single.

I must admit I am not sure how I would feel about my life now if I didn't have DS. I suppose I might have gone through a spell of frantic man-hunting a few years ago driven by a last-ditch longing for DC before it was too late rather than for an actual couple-relationship - but then again, I might just as easily have made some amazing career leap as I would have had the time and energy to do so.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 27-Apr-13 12:39:14

I'm dead happy being single or - as I prefer - 'independent'. 18 years and counting. I have a great sex-life, a lovely DS, a good social life and plenty of cash in the bank. smile All my mates that have long-term partners seem to spend all their time bitching about them. I don't think I'm missing out at all.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Sat 27-Apr-13 14:30:23


Can I come & swing on your garden swing at midnight sometime?

PimpMyHippo Sat 27-Apr-13 14:44:02

I've had a grand total of one "relationship", which lasted for just four months, most of which were shit. I'm only in my early 20's so I'm not writing anything off just yet, but I can't see myself wanting to be part of a couple again for quite some time. The only really annoying thing about being single is that it's impossible to rent a nice house on just my income, and my only friends that I would trust enough to consider house sharing with all have partners. If I could find a housemate (or a better paid job!) there would be no downside at all...

ALittleStranger Sat 27-Apr-13 15:19:38

Why be in awe of people who jump from one relationship to the next? It's really not healthy.

I regret not spending more time by myself when I was younger. Being single definitely has its downsides (especially if you're approaching the point where you want babies and a mortgage) but I agree with the poster who says it does wonders for your confidence.

I'm single now and have wobbles and would like to meet someone, but I also wonder how I would go back to not being allowed to be utterly selfish with my time.

hairtearing Sat 27-Apr-13 15:41:35

I spent my teen years chronically single, basically because I was as ugly as shit,fat, as a result no confidence what so ever, so self esteem self worth and then I met my now DH when I was 18 been together ever since,

Now I love my DH, and wouldn't want to be without but I do have those 'is the grass greener' moments I.e not having experienced a variety,having no saucy stories, romantic spontaneous whirlwind memories,and I do ponder sometimes, But...I think having to learn to be on my own so long was a good thing tbh, I was lonely and longed for a bf but was never desperate, IYSWIM, and I think partners can suck up alot of your time selfishly,and I think you do drift from your mates too,

I do sometimes wonder how different my life had been had I been prettier, but my 'pretty mates' struggle to settle or bounce from one to another.

SilverOldie Sat 27-Apr-13 16:14:20

I'm in my late 60's and single. I had a couple of long term relationships as well as the usual shorter ones but the men eventually moved on to meet someone else who could give them children which I was not able to do and IVF wasn't available when I was young.

It has made me very independent and self reliant. I worked all my life, bought my own house and quite honestly would not want a man now, especially reading some of the horror stories on this forum.

Friends are important - I have one who I've known for 50 years - going to send her a golden anniversary card this year. grin

meddie Sat 27-Apr-13 16:34:50

Was married but been divorced 20 years now, had a few semi long term relationships since, but for the past 6 years have been single. because tbh I,m happier that way. I find it very hard to put up with any man shite so my tolerance is pretty low. I can spot red flags a mile off and dont even bother going there.
I look around and can count on 1 hand the number of really good relationships within my social circle. the majority are not that great, but are tolerated (usually by the women) because of the fear of going it alone. I actually feel sorry for people who jump from one relationship to another without barely a breath, They are so scared of not being part of a couple, they don't even really know what they want.
I love my own time and having my own space. I love being single and not having to consider someone else and their 'ishooo's'
The only thing I miss is a really close female friend after my friend of 30 years passed. I have plenty of social friends but miss that confidante who I could truly tell anything to, knowing I wouldnt be judged or thought less of.

Lizzabadger Sat 27-Apr-13 16:42:09


"I spent my teen years chronically single... then I met my now DH when I was 18 been together ever since. I think having to learn to be on my own so long was a good thing tbh"


It tickles me that anyone thinks doing something till the age of 18 is doing it "chronically" and "for so long" !!!

I'm mid-40s and single - it's great!!

Lovingfreedom Sat 27-Apr-13 16:49:27

What's the trick to maintaining a good sex life and staying single?

Lovingfreedom Sat 27-Apr-13 16:51:26

And...yeah....I never get invited to couple nights anymore...better things to do though these days!

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Sat 27-Apr-13 16:55:57

i haven't read the thread yet (will do after i post this) but i just wanted to say OP i hear ya! i feel the same. i cant seem to even meet anyone i want to go past 1 date with never mind form a relationship with but all around me i know people who leave one relationship and within a few weeks or months are in another. i split with exp 2.5 years ago and have had 2 flings (not relationships at all) meanwhile he is engaged and has bought a house with his fiancee. he started seeing her 3/4 months after we split. how do people find it so easy?

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Sat 27-Apr-13 17:01:08

for me being an LP and having very little to no spare cash seems to be a big factor in me not having the sort of lifetstyle that has me meeting people regularly. most people i meet are through DC related things and i think men tend to assume i'm married or 'with' their father. obviously i'm not going to wear a sign saying i'm single.

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Sat 27-Apr-13 17:02:11

or maybe all the men i meet are coupled up too as it's all dc related stuff. confused

Kernowgal Sat 27-Apr-13 18:43:24

I went through my teens and twenties having flings but nothing lasted longer than a few weeks. I was very shy and unsure around blokes and found the idea of committing to someone pretty scary. I think I didn't want to hurt their feelings if it turned out I wasn't that into them after all.

It has always seemed like the people I fancy don't fancy me, and vice versa. So I was always astonished at friends who were serial monogamists, and even more astonished at those friends who managed to have several relationships with people from the same friendship group. To me it seemed like laziness or just not really caring who you were with, as long as you were with someone. And that never appealed, because I would have hated someone to have been with me just because it was easy or they didn't want to be alone.

I'm now single again after a disastrous abusive relationship lasting nearly two years. And quite frankly I'm as happy as a sandboy with being single, because the alternative seems to be dealing with a narky manchild who expected a skivvy/whore. And hell will freeze over before I sign myself up for that again.

The only thing I would change is having someone to generally hang out with and go exploring with. I'm in a new area and haven't had time to meet people to socialise with yet, and it can be a bit lonely. But again, that's no reason to get into a relationship. Patience is required methinks!

hairtearing Sat 27-Apr-13 19:51:14

Lol most of my friends were s. Active from about 13 always with a bf, it felt an eternity to me grin

Yika Sat 27-Apr-13 20:01:32

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

I also feel shame about my long-term singledom, springyhappy. I feel like I've failed at one of the major success-defining areas of adult life. I think that feeling of failure is there because, unlike some other posters, being single really isn't my choice or preference (although it clearly is at some unwanted subconcious level), and doesn't fit with my life-long goal of having a family, preferably a big family.

That said, I do have a lovely, wonderful DD aged 2.5, who I now (after a rocky start) co-parent amicably with her dad (another of those failed relationships) and I do feel very fulfilled as a mum.

I expressed myself badly when I said that I was in awe of those who jump from one relationship to the next. Being needy or incomplete without a relationship isn't what I meant. I think I was thinking of how natural it seems to many/most people to be in a relationship. For me it feels like hard work to meet someone or to establish or maintain a relationship; not natural at all. I guess this is down to my conditioning, and that my instincts are all askew and my feelings not clear-cut.

The rest of my life is very fulfilling. I have an interesting and well-paid job and nice lifestyle, a rich social and cultural life, and good relationships with friends and family.

I can't exactly say that I'm lonely. But I feel I'm missing out.

50shadesofgreyhair Sat 27-Apr-13 20:05:18

Hi OP, I don't like the word 'chronically' because it suggests something negative, like 'terminal' (the nurse coming out in me perhaps!) I do really agree with a lot Amazon says. I split from ex after 22 years of marriage two years ago. Before my marriage, I had 3 long term relationships - so for most of my late teens, early twenties I was in a relationship. Then married late twenties. I absolutely love being single! I love the freedom it gives me. I love doing what I want, when I want. I love being able to go with the flow. Yes, I have four kids, and lots of friends. I also work in a busy A&E department, so am on the go a lot. But I love knowing I can do things on the spur of the moment - I often go out at the last minute, and do far more than I did when I was married. My circle of friends has grown and I have so many more interests than I did before. I think society is a bit wary of us single women - they can't put us in a safe little pigeon hole. Its a bit like people who drink a lot, then give up, and their friends are like, why don't you drink any more? makes them uncomfortable, and crucially it makes them look at themselves. Friends say that I've been on my own for two years, and I should meet someone...well, I have lots of male friends, and have had lots of interest...but I am determined that I want to stay single. I'm happier this way!

mcmooncup Sat 27-Apr-13 20:27:54

I've been single for 2 years after a hideous 15 year marriage/relationship, and am 38.

I genuinely enjoy being single........I have had various FWB's, lots of sex, lots of dates, but no love. I have so many good female friends I feel blessed, we really have such amazing connections and such great trusting genuine fun, it makes me thankful everyday. I have found it so fulfilling to develop these female relationships over the last few years - I never thought it possible to get such satisfaction from female relationships.
I trust females.

And I have not been let down.

I have been let down by men and I'm afraid I am hyper sensitive to bad male behaviour, and I also (probably wrongly) see so much bad behaviour from men. Whatever really though, I do love being single. I know myself better than I ever have, and get great satisfaction from my work, friends and children. I don't see how a monogamous male partner would enhance my life, my experience of the men I have 'dated' is that they wouldn't, they would actually diminish this.

TurnipCake Sat 27-Apr-13 20:47:31

I've been single for almost a year after a relationship with a vile guy, and was in another abusive relationship before then.

I really love the place I'm in at the moment, the friendship and connection with my female friends is wonderful and so fulfilling, I can travel, I live alone and enjoy my own company as well as socialising.

My fear is that the older I get, the less I'm willing to compromise. I've done the skivvy thing, never again, just the thought of living with someone gives me the willies. But who knows what the future holds, but I'm not actively out there looking to date anyone or meet people.

mcmooncup Sat 27-Apr-13 20:55:05

It gives me the willies too Turnip. I don't get it anymore - what is the point? Why is it required?

I need reminding/telling

HaventGotAStitchToWear Sun 28-Apr-13 17:30:51

Mc moon cup/ turnip cake

I feel the same and am also 2 years single after 11 yr unhealthy relationship. Would HATE to live with a man. Having zero sex. But it's true that I'd like to meet someone nice- with their own place!!!- and have some physical stuff... I'm also seriously fussy though and on red alert for negative behaviour ha!

TurnipCake Sun 28-Apr-13 19:26:25

I'm glad it's not just me. grin

For me, it's also the little stuff, like the lotions and potions I use in the evening as a little ritual. I can hear all the smart arse comments from old boyfriends and I think, no, I'd rather have my peer-unreviewed face mask all alone than you very much!

I also ordered an art print today, something I like and I didn't have to agree on something with someone else.

Dating's going to be a nightmare, innit?

springyhappychick Sun 28-Apr-13 20:35:58

If I had a relationship now I'd expect us to lead our own lives, as well as being a 'couple'. After so long being single I can't imagine melding with someone else to a high level. it would just be so weird.

I have a male lodger at the mo and, although he's fab, tidy etc., I still get irritated that eg he has to be told to eg get the bins in (so I don't have to get out of the car, leaving it in the middle of the street, so I can move the bins to get into my drive). He also doesn't notice stuff that needs taking up the stairs (that old saw!) and it gets on my nerves.

But I think I'm straining at gnats. I could put up with that shit if a partner brought stuff to the relationship - and I mean practical stuff!

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sun 28-Apr-13 20:40:57

I used to be in a big rush to have a family and settle down. I jumped from one relationship to another and even went back to a couple, just to check I hadn't missed something or they hadn't grown up and changed...
It was a complete waste of time. Searching for the Happy Ever After just made me cynical. While I was running about like a headless chicken, people who had either stayed with the same guy or waited for someone for ages started to get married. I got engaged 3 times before realising that none of the men I had met were not right for me. It took a lot to walk away from that and realise that I am better on my own. I feel liberated and am now completely confused as to why I wasted so much of my youth on MEN. Being alone is much better IMO. And I feel qualified to say that as someone who never met (and now can't be arsed to) the right man. It may happen but I certainly am not looking for it and only go out every 6 months so unless he is camping out on my doorstep or at the swings at the park, it is highly unlikely!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 28-Apr-13 20:46:27

I have only been single for almost a year now after being in a relationship (also with a shit bag) for around 5 years.

I do miss male companionship, however I want this without the whole relationship aspect of it. I also don't think I would ever want to share my house with a man (or woman for that matter) again.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder why we expect people to stay with the same person 'for life'. To me it seems slightly unrealistic and unnatural.

I would like to get married, but purely because I found a really nice wedding dress. Needless to say I won't be doing that grin

Maybe one day a man (or woman) will come into my life and I will want to live with them, marry them and be with them forever, but at the moment single is the way forward for me.

I want to carve out a career for myself, own my home and have my own car. Then if I meet a man who can cope with a strong, independent woman (this is what I aim to be) then maybe there will be a place for him at my beautiful handcrafted table.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sun 28-Apr-13 20:47:22

WTF I raise you your 3/4 months - my ex met someone 2 weeks after we split and proposed to her! They married 4 months later! IMO I was better off out of it, he was desperate to have someone look after him and didn't care who!

springyhappychick Sun 28-Apr-13 21:02:25

My wedding was fabulous!

Shame about the groom.

Been single 3 years. Brief 'fling' five months after split for a few weeks, nothing since. Didn't mind being single for first year but absolutely hate it now as almost all my friends atre coupled. Have very little family, and an only child, which I don't think helps. I don't necessarily NEED a partner but am much happier when not alone.

PurpleThing Sun 28-Apr-13 23:26:09

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni <cough> 3 days - how about that? They moved in after 2 months and he keeps hassling me about getting our divorce "ASAP, it's really important".

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Sun 28-Apr-13 23:30:45

I have an only child too voice and it can be a bit sad when they do things you want to share with someone (I am a nightmare on FB blush ) but generally I could do without the extra work!
Purple OK you win! Anyone beat that?

ThePskettiIncident Sun 28-Apr-13 23:33:20

I turned all the nice guys down and went with the mad, bad and dangerous to know types. Never had a relationship last more than 18 months and never lived with a boyfriend. Mid thirties now with a Ds (no involvement with the father) and feel confident in every way except I want a relationship with a nice guy now!

I feel like I made this situation and have to work on myself first, especially to lose weight and build a better social life. It's hard going, but Ds keeps me sane!

Thing is, couplehood is pushed at women so hard because couplehood benefits MEN, not women. Yes, of course, there are lots of people who are in happy couple-relationships which enhance both partners' lives, blah blah, fair enough, but really the whole of society is built on the idea that every man is entitled to own a woman who will service him domestically, emotionally and sexually. This isn't actually a good deal for women, so they have to be convinced that it's their destiny and that if there isn't A Man In Your Life you are missing out on something indefinably special.

arsenaltilidie Mon 29-Apr-13 02:41:09

Instead of putting yourself down about being single, do things that make you happy.

SGB i call it BS.
Single women are not pushed by 'society' to couple up.
But loneliness seems to affect women more than men because women speak 3 times as much as men
From this thread so far, no one seems to have been pushed into a relationship, but people do genuinely get lonely.
That's why women will stay with unsuitable partners because they are afraid to be lonely.
Also to add, the 'biological clock' may make some women jump/stay with unsuitable partners or even feel lonely.

But a woman without a male owner is threatening
Have you just reffered to women in relationships as being owned by their partners. hmm

HaventGotAStitchToWear Mon 29-Apr-13 13:48:12

SolidGoldBrass you're right again! (And you're making me feel great about being single so don't stop!)

Of course some women do seem to manage to have 'equal' relationships where partner actually does childcare, housework, cooking etc without having to be asked and that's great.

If anyone has any tips on how to find these kinds of men, do share but in the mmeantime I am OFFICIALLY happy about being single. Yays!!!

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 18:45:21

SGB yup! You are right from my point of view - I felt massive pressure to be 'settled' with a man to advance my career (even at 19!) as otherwise I was just 'the young filly' in the office and not taken seriously. I probably never was, as it was that kind of office, but it felt as though unless I proved I could do the whole housewife as well as my job, they would assume I was out until the wee hours drinking my life away.
Wish I had.
Well I did a bit wink
I decided enough was enough and found a donor to have a child on my own. Recently had some 'therapy' (more due to my mother than anything else) and she actually said "to be honest I don't know why more women don't do that after all of the things I have heard". Now obvs she is only going to hear bad stories but it did really make me happy that she could see where I was coming from, whereas a lot of my friend still think I secretly want a partner and that I am bonkers. None of them are at ease with the fact I am managing perfectly well and don't have all of the complaints about someone messing up the loo/not cooking dinner/picking their feet at the table, etc that they do...

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 18:48:37

Actually I lied a bit there - a friend (who is funny, gorgeous, clever AND has huge boobs - I know envy ) actually said to me 2 days ago that she is seriously considering doing it my way (as in donor) as she is fed up of meeting useless men and wasting her life trying to find 'the one'. I think society just sometimes needs a bit of a prod for people to see that the rules can be broken, and sometimes it works better than the conventional way.

ALittleStranger Mon 29-Apr-13 19:05:20

Hull I'm glad it's worked for you. Personally the idea of planned single parenthood doesn't appeal to me at all. My biological clock would have to be going like the clappers for me to look into it. I broke up with my long-term partner last year and found the number of people who suggested donor sperm really, really annoying.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 19:28:21

ALittle it's not for everyone and I wasn't trying to convince anyone, just saying my experience. Hope you find what you are looking for smile

comingintomyown Mon 29-Apr-13 20:49:38

I just turned 47 and am three and a bit years single after spending my whole life in a relationship.

I had the long marriage and have my teen DC so maybe thats why I feel happy that I can leave all that behind and live life proudly on my own

I was talking to my Dad earlier though about how much more expensive life is when you have to pay for everything out of one salary but I'd still prefer to be frugal and single any day

Too much compromise and emotional upheaval around men and ime I do all the giving and making an effort while they see to themselves

Yika Mon 29-Apr-13 21:16:31

I can understand why people would be happy to be single as a liberating change - perhaps a permanent one. Equally, I'd like to embark on a new phase trying everything that settled coupledom has to offer.

(To which end I'd probably be better off spending my time on dating sites rather than mumsnet! smile)

I'm not saying that women are owned by their partners, but there is still a deep-level cultural belief in some people that women are property, not people because this used to be true. Women belonged to their fathers (or if their fathers died, they belonged to their brothers or uncled) until married, then they were their husbands' property.
It's the idea that women are property that's behind the behaviour of those men who pester women who are out in public with female friends and no sign of a man - to these men, the women are available property. They have no owner, so the man can 'have' them - the idea that they might have some say in the matter is incomprehensible.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Mon 29-Apr-13 21:58:23

Yeah I never really wanted to get married as a child. I always saw myself becoming some amazing bohemian intellectual...

Then I had kids and got a partner (well... the other way around) and now honestly a lot of people can't handle the fact that I've tired of my ex - a man baby- and decided I'd rather do without him. Well there were other issues too...

And a lot of people have lost respect for me, which is quite funny because I have gained so much more self-respect and like so many other ppl on here say- so much more self esteem etc on my own. Maybe it's that that ppl can't bear. The idea that they too left their real selves behind somewhere to look after a man baby...

neverumind Mon 29-Apr-13 22:52:30

Hear, hear, haventgotastitch, I'm in a similar position just had yet another text disagreement with my ex "man child" as I was financially supporting him and he can't cope now, but I'm probably a bit sadder as I'm looking at another "man child" with some desire, lol, he's immature but really rather gorgeous and like some other posters I'm missing the physical side of a relationship. How do u get any sex/ intimacy when ure a LP with limited support? I could not go on like this!

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Mon 29-Apr-13 22:55:16

Don't confuse sex with having to adopt a man!

arsenaltilidie Mon 29-Apr-13 23:12:13

What I find most of the times is women waste their years with the 'exciting' guy whilst ignoring the nice but 'boring' person. Then they realise when it's too late (nice boring guy has coupled up) that life with the 'exciting' partner isnt so great afterall.

SGB What about a woman that approaches a man if she thinks he is single?
A man will approach a woman if he thinks she is single because he has more of a chance with her than a woman in a relationship. Simple..
Certainly not because he has a chance of making her his "property"

There is no point really because clearly you have your own negative views on men.

Its a bit ironic also that people slagging off people in couples are complaining about how people in couples slag single people off.

deliasmithy Mon 29-Apr-13 23:47:03

Just to weigh in on the discussion, isnt it often the case people can end up "missing out" on something but have lots of other good things going on? Does anyone really have it all?

I had only short relationships until I met OH. I was independent, financially and confidence wise, was starting out on a career but felt incomplete.
Then I met OH.
I changed careers twice and so took a step back. OH is main bread winner and he had debts so finances took a hit. V happy in relationship but ttc is not going well. That in itself leaves a hole for me.

I never envisaged being in this position.
I thought I wanted a high flying career and no ties to any one or any thing. I had short relationships that either fell apart or I ended them.

I feel that if you want to change something about your current situation and you can then go do it. But if its a case of wondering whether the grass is greener and all that then generally it isn't, it's just a different type of grass.

I could tell you all the good things about having a decent OH and then equally all the things that would make you go 'bloomin 'eck that sounds a pain'.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 10:51:51

NeverUMind haha! Me too! I seem to be surrounded by sexy man babies!!!

I know better than to consider them as potential partners now though... Once bitten, twice shy!

I doubt they'd even be any good in bed. I don't want to have to do all the work in that department either ;-)

So... I'm happy to be single. I'm planning on becoming happier & happier about it in fact. And like some people above have said focusing on me and my kids & female friendships, social life, work etc.

I'm sure I'll get some sex at some point... [she says hopefully]

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 12:09:39

Anyway, as everybody knows, being happily single is very attractive. Men can't stand seeing a woman happy without a man. They'll be falling into my craftily constructed net... I'm really not ready for a relationship again. What is the alternative though? I'm not going to do anything sordid. A lover of some sort? A friend with benefits? But seriously, the idea of COOKING for another man... Or having someone COMMENT on my own personal choices again!!! HONESTLY I think I would rather have each of my toes burnt off one by one!

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 12:48:12

I have just started to think about sex, a little bit. I used to have a very high drive, but now I just remember all of the sweaty ball sacks and hairy backs and that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you don't really know whether they want more or not after the deed.

Nah, I am putting myself off it again. I have my imagination, it is a lot better than the reality I have tested so far!

As an aside - why do you think men can't use their imagination rather than using porn? I'm not one of those women who refuse to let partners watch it, but not being able to use your imagination is surely a bit of a human defect?

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 15:41:10

Wow OhHull it sounds like you didn't have a very satisfying sex life! The part when you talk about the feeling in your stomach quite frankly reminds me of the kind of story about sexual abuse that you might hear on women's hour. ( I may be getting the wrong impression.) Poor you!!!

Actually the sex in my very long relationship with ex was mainly good. It was just the other part. Not much affection to go with it! You know I longed for someone to reach out for me when the morning came- you know, a hug in the morning to start the day on a nice note. It's not much to bloody ask! He did do it in the early days of our relationship. My ex also only ever really told me he loved me right after sex. Almost like a reward for my effort. Eeeuuuggghhh!

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 15:43:07

P.S I think guys do use their imaginations. Some aren't big porn watchers. I would dump a boyfriend pronto for watching weird porn!

Wilding Tue 30-Apr-13 16:18:52

I'm 30, have been single for about 5 years. Longest relationship to date is 3 years.

I really love being single most of the time - I have a great, large group of friends and lovely family. I really don't relish the thought of living with a man again as I love sharing a house with friends and not having to share my bed, but then I do really want children at some point...

Dahlen Tue 30-Apr-13 16:23:38

deliasmithy - that's the thing isn't it. Being single isn't better than being coupled up and vice versa. So much depends on the people involved. And sometimes our relationship status changes through life and at each stage they are what's right for us at that point in time.

I would say the only time to be concerned about not being part of a healthy relationship is if you have a problem with relationships generally (e.g. with friends as well as lovers). In that case you may need help to learn to relate to people. But if you generally have happy fulfilling relationships with friends particularly and usually (but not always) with family, chances are you are just fine as you are.

The marriage ceremony itself shows that women were regarded as property - given away by their father or some other male in the family. Why not the mother giving a daughter away? Why is a son not given away? Think about it - it may not be as significant in today's ceremony but the ownership of women is where these customs sprang from.

It was only a just over a hundred or so years ago that women were not even entitled to their own property so if married to an abuser they were stuffed basically as everything belonged to the man. Things have changed but some men still think they own a woman or that they need to look after her (ever wonder where they got these ideas from?) - both forms of control causing problems in relationships even today - not surprising some women have decided they prefer being single.

ALittleStranger Tue 30-Apr-13 19:35:39

"What I find most of the times is women waste their years with the 'exciting' guy whilst ignoring the nice but 'boring' person. Then they realise when it's too late (nice boring guy has coupled up) that life with the 'exciting' partner isnt so great afterall."

I hate statements like this, they are oddly woman-hating. They imply women should be grateful for any boring fucker that comes along and give up on passion, mistakes and learning who you are and what you like.

I also think it's hard on those apparently nice boring guys, chances are their partners do think more of them than that.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 19:36:29

Dahlen- I don't think that ppl with difficulties in relationships necessarily need to relate to ppl better. I think that although some people have early damaging behaviour or just plain old selfish streaks, sometimes personalities just clash/ people drift apart/ people have different expectations or there is unacceptable behaviour.

springykitsch Tue 30-Apr-13 19:46:59

to this day, when you get married a woman automatically gets her husband's last name, unless she makes an application to ensure this doesn't happen - ie it is default procedure. Absolutely shocking!

Lueji Tue 30-Apr-13 20:47:43

Being boring, like beauty, is on the eye of the beholder.

I might find geeky types exciting, whilst the next woman may find them boring.

However, it's easy to confuse exciting and roller coaster.

Arsenaltilidie: I think you've misunderstood. I'm not talking about people who are attracted to one another and trying to find out if the other person is single/available to date them (which is of course perfectly reasonable). I mean the way in which women out in public socialising with other women* are pestered by a certain type of man, who doesn't believe that women are people who can engage ^with each other (just in terms of having a drink and a gossip with a good friend) and that, because there is no man present 'in charge of them' then a man who wants to can interrupt their evening and demand their attention in a way that he wouldn't do to a mixed group or a male-female couple.

A similar annoying attitude is that of the man who won't accept a woman's refusal to go on a date with him/give him her phone number/have a conversation with him unless she tells him she belongs to another man. The fact that the woman herself doesn't want to interact with this man is not acceptable if she is single.

SGB perhaps men would accept a refusal earlier if they hadn't been conditioned to accept the nonsense that women want a man that will chase after them wink

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 09:45:39

HaventGot - exactly. If a romantic relationship goes wrong but you generally have happy fulfilling relationships with other people, then the chances are that the relationship has run its course, rather than there being anything wrong with you. That's what I meant. Sorry if I didn't make it clearer.

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Wed 01-May-13 09:57:28

I think location has a lot to do with it as well. It shouldn't but it does. I live in a town and most of the single men here don't own their own car or house, have a decent job, can cook a boiled egg at a push and don't understand women who don't clean the house as they go about their daily business - it is the woman's place. Recently seen a rise in men pushing buggies, but even this was beyond the male role just a couple of years ago.
If I meet a man from London it is like meeting a prize poodle. They can cook, hold an intelligent conversation, happy to 'do' something on the weekends and usually earn over £20k AND have the ability to do housework. It is like a different species.

skaboy Wed 01-May-13 10:12:27

Is it possible to have relationship fatigue? I've recently come out of a 15 year relationship, think I'm over the worst of the break-up blues, but I just have no inclination whatsoever to have to be in a position where I have to give so much of myself to someone....for a long time. In fact I feel pretty selfish that way at the moment. So yes, I'm quite looking forward to a period of chronic singledom - it sounds like the cool option to me at the moment.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 10:33:47

skaboy - yes definitely. I felt like that for a long time after my last relationship died. The thought of going through the effort of getting to know someone, making inevitable compromises, etc, made me feel slightly nauseous!

That feeling passed eventually, as I realised that some people manage to have relationships that enhance their lives rather than stifle them, but by then I also realised that I loved being on my own with all the freedom that entailed so I didn't care anyway. smile

HaventGotAStitchToWear Wed 01-May-13 10:45:45

OhHull- A prize poodle! Haha! I think I need to move to London! Only mongrels around my neck of the woods too...

HaventGotAStitchToWear Wed 01-May-13 10:48:47

Yeah I've got relationship fatigue at the moment too! Big time!

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Wed 01-May-13 11:14:27

Same here - as you said, I feel too selfish atm to share my life with anyone. I have DD to have fun with and fawn over. It would feel weird having to make time and effort for someone else as we have a pretty fun and full packed schedule as it is! I wouldn't want to feel I was putting her second to spend time and effort on someone else, IYSWIM.
I couldn't have them living with me either. I am fed up with men telling me I don't know how to load the dishwasher properly or moving everything into 'sensible' places I can't find. The thought of all the extra cleaning/cooking/washing....urgh.
I do know not all men are like this and I have had a bad run, but unless I move to a better 'catchment area' I won't be trying again for the foreseeable!

skaboy Wed 01-May-13 13:23:44

I definitely agree with the putting kids before new partner but that seems to only work for some people for some reason? It might be people who are the main carer of their kids or something. I can't see myself in a proper relationship with anyone in future unless they're in the same position as me (ie main carer of kids) or else it would have to be very casual.

Its all academic as I think I'm in love with my new bike anyway

EternalRose Wed 01-May-13 13:59:03

This may be a little long...

I am about to become a single mum after being in a relationship with a 'loser' for 5 years, (it still feels strange admitting that the father of my daughter is a loser but unfortunately that is what he is). Although I am already a single mum, just sorting out the logistics - the ex wont leave unless I leave the house, but I am working on that right now!

All I hear from my single mum friends is what a drain it is financially to be on your own if you have children. Well I have one child, and if the last 5 years are anything to go by, I actually think I will be better off. I know I wont be worse off one bit because my ex has never provided for the family anyway. Living with a man who doesn't pull his weight financially is the biggest, biggest turn off and I have learnt this to my detriment. My ex doesn't want to work, but he likes the high life, and he also likes spending.

My ex also recently got the sack on purpose (he lasted 6 weeks in his new job) and came home almost proud about it. He was so pleased, and spent the whole day whistling and laughing and joking etc.

I will NEVER date a man who will not look after himself first and foremost, and I will NEVER let a man live off me again. I really should have listened to my mum when she told me that a man who is past 35 who doesn't have a pot to piss in will never have anything! Harsh words from my mother I know, but so far she has been right.

I think the day I get the keys to my new place, and I dont have to see a pile of mail (bills) unopened in his name, and I dont have to worry about another man turning the heating on full blast without making any consideration for how that particular bill would be paid, or eats all of the food in the fridge and doesn't think about how that would affect the weekly food budget etc etc and this is just 1% of the BS I have had to deal with it will be bliss, it really will. Can't wait.

The only thing I am worried about is whether I will be able to maintain a healthy sex life as I miss sex really badly at the moment. Unfortunately I can see myself being celibate for years. I need to feel like I can trust someone before I go there, I need to know instinctively that they are not going to disappear once I have done it. So it will come as no surprise that I just cannot do fwb, casual sex, flings, or intimate encounter, I really cant. For me, I think I am worth more than just a shag. And I need to have a connection with someone to enjoy sex. I would also feel really used if my fwb told me one day he had 'met the one, see ya' sort of thing. ..

OhHullitsOnlyMeYoni Wed 01-May-13 18:25:07

I'm with you Eternal re sex needing to be with someone you care about; sex without strings usually ends up with some regardless of the initial agreement.
I don't think there really is an answer - men would love to be used for sex, but at the moment I can't see the point in encouraging them when I haven't found one I like much yet. Maybe find some good erotic novels wink .

Yika Wed 01-May-13 20:48:44

Dahlen, if someone has happy, fulfilling relationships in other areas but difficulty having any kind of meaningful romantic relationship at all (but they would like to), then I think they DO have a problem.

Yika Wed 01-May-13 20:52:55

deliasmithy good point about whether it is possible to 'have it all'. Probably not all at once, as you say you may have to make sacrifices for a relationship. But not necessarily! Good luck with ttc.

Dahlen Wed 01-May-13 21:54:26

Yika - depends on what you define as a problem really. It's certainly a problem in that they want something that they're not getting, but the fact that they haven't been able to solve that dilemma doesn't mean that the problem is with them.

Sometimes you can do all the socialising/hobbies/dating you like and still not meet the right person. It doesn't mean your standards are too high or anything, it just means that you haven't met the right person. I think a lot of coupled up people are with the wrong person too, when you consider that 50+% of cohabiting and 45% of marriages fail. A successful relationship is a minority thing IMO, not a majority one. Which is only a cynical view if you happen to believe that being single is a poor second. I don't. For women particularly being single may start off lonely because it is unfamiliar, but it often heralds the start of a voyage of self-discovery that can be profound and positive in its effects.

Yika: No, if someone always has 'a partner' in terms of a romantic relationship but has no friends and can't get on with workmates/family etc that's when the person has a problem. The romantic couple-relationship is actually the least important of human relationships. The continous cultural propaganda about prioritizing romantic heteromonogamy really is driven by the idea that men need to own a woman for domestic and emotional service; that's all.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 10:42:02

Well last night was out celebrating a work-related success with colleagues. Had a conversation with a woman I get on well with about guys and I joked that no men would want me because I'm a 'fallen woman.'
She replied, seriously, 'Yes that's true.'
What century are we living in?
Would like to hear your thoughts on this!

arsenaltilidie Fri 03-May-13 11:58:38

SGB what you are describing is a certain type of man who is just a twunt.
Romance is not driven by the idea of men needing a woman for domestic and emotional service.
Actually probably women want men for emotional support more than men want women for emotional service.

Romance is driven by the idea of 2 people falling in love with one another and living happily ever after because they have the same goals in life.
Now if it doesn't happen or the persons turns out to be a twunt, move on.
Yes it's nice to be in a relationship but its also nice to be single too. Both have their pros and cons.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 12:38:01

Sorry ArsenaltilIdie but I'm with SolidGoldBrass on this one and I think a lot of us get sucked in to the idea of romance and love. It's all promised as part of the 'sales package' and women fall for it- and the guy- over and over again.

I really don't see why you think that women seek emotional support more than men either!

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 12:39:41

And honestly... happily ever after??
This ain't Disney and pumpkins don't turn into golden carriages. They're just pumpkins.

BeCool Thu 16-May-13 12:13:28

OMG I think I have found my spiritual home!!!
I'll catch up with a proper read of this thread tonight.

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