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Being single

(336 Posts)
blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 08:37:42

This is a spin off from another thread on here which made me realise several of us were in the same boat.

When you split up with a partner, or express anxiety about the years ahead, either because you want a baby or just worry about being alone, one of two responses tends to be made.

The first response is that you WILL meet somebody, it is easy, the person you're talking to has and they know an aunts friends neighbour who did. If you've been alone some time the response becomes accusatory and tells you that you haven't made the effort and you need to 'put yourself out there.' For most people this means online dating or 'clubs'.

The second response is that you should be happy for beng single - grateful in fact, because they had an abusive partner some years ago and are happier without him and if you're lonely maybe you should join a club.

grin

This thread is for single women in the real world. To take the first response, you may meet somebody, that is true. However, for some of us we know its unlikely. In my case it is my age. I am mid-thirties, most men my age are settled with a marriage, a mortgage and children. Younger men want younger women. I joined mysinglefriend last year (online dating site) and the numbers of hugely attractive, professional women in their thirties was significant. I got nowhere with that, one date grin and we had little in common. I have since spoken to many women who have admitted online dating wasn't for them, and nor was it for me. I am a slow burner and can't feign affection for somebody on the basis of one meeting. That leaves meeting someone in 'real life' which is not easy. Certainly all (I'm really not exaggerating) the men I meet are attached.

While you can be happy alone, and I am, it doesn't mean it isn't hard sometimes. My social life is restricted and I spend a lot of time alone because my friends are married with babies/small children. Holidays are difficult. I don't get to enjoy any intimacy (I wouldn't like one night stands) and while I've taken the step of deciding to have a child alone, for other women accepting single hood means accepting being childless which would break my heart.

The advice to 'put yourself out there' and join clubs is well meaning but doesn't account for the lack of 'clubs' - certainly around here the clubs are for young mothers and for retired people! Not quite what I am looking for!

'Get a pet' is also advice that can be very upsetting. I have two cats, they are much loved animals but they are not a people substitute and should not be viewed as such.

Sme people assume you are single because on some subconscious level you are damaged and shy fom intimate relations. There was perhaps some truth in that for me once, but in the last seven years I have worked with men who I found attractive and who I was drawn to. If they'd asked, I'd have said yes - but they didn't - why, because of their girlfriends.

So I am starting this thread in an attempt to:

dispel the myths about why women are single
to give us a safe place to moan without being ordered to join clubs!
discuss matters pertaining to single women.

I hope someone else posts now! grin

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 19-Jun-13 08:45:33

Amen. But I know many men who would say precisely the same things, too. They get fed exactly the same drivel and there are men on this here site.

I have heard all of the above and plenty more. My favourite was "Being single's great, you should enjoy it, marriage is hard work" to which I replied "Fine, so how come you're married? How about you leave your DH if being single is so fab and marriage is hard work?"

MadBusLady Wed 19-Jun-13 09:03:53

I often wonder what the "clubs" advice is about. It's not the 1950s, what clubs are these people talking about? I've been looking around for stuff to do - not single, but we've moved to a new area - and there really isn't anything aimed at people in their 30s that isn't specialised sports. If we wanted to sing in a church choir, play bridge or take our non-existent children on bat walks we're sorted. Actual honest-to-god fun doesn't seem to be catered for.

I suppose you could start a club grin

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 09:25:02

I'm single - but I do have children.

I have to say that as time goes by, I am coming to enjoy being single more. I have come to the conclusion that I'm not going to meet anyone in the forseeable future (if ever) that I find attractive or want to be with, so I might as well enjoy the good things about being single and in my view there are quite alot of things!

I am the boss of me
I have the whole double bed to myself
I do what I want with the decor & contents of my house
I decide where we go on holiday
I decide what car I drive (on a very small budget though)
I don't have to go to tedious dinner parties (because no one wants a single woman) where everyone boasts about their new kitchen / holiday / children / nanny / blah blah blah
I don't have any in-laws (and my goodness that is a big plus)
I can let the fanjo grooming & leg waxing slip a bit and no one cares
I can watch whatever I want on TV

I miss sex - but if I get really desperate for a shag, there is always internet dating.

I very occasionally miss an extra pair of hands at weekends to help drive the DCs to their activities.

What I miss most of all, is a good social life. However, I'm hoping to reclaim that a bit when the DCs are a little bit older & I'm not forking out for a babysitter every time I leave the house.

squashedbanana Wed 19-Jun-13 09:38:50

Agree with all you've said.

Will add that it's particularly patronising when people say you should get out more when they know you have kids. First of all, there's childcare to consider, secondly, I wonder if those same people would turn their noses up at you for 'getting out more' and leaving your children all the time with a sitter

msshapelybottom Wed 19-Jun-13 09:40:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dahlen Wed 19-Jun-13 10:54:45

I met my current DP after more than 6 years being single, at a point in my life where I loved being single and had no intention of giving it up.

There are numerous things that I think came together to create that situation, and of course, just sheer random luck that we both happened to be single at the time of meeting. There's a lot of luck involved in meeting people I think, moreso when people are older and there tends to be only a short 'window' between most people separating from one partner before moving on to the next. I don't think enough credence is given to that.

When my DC were very small, I couldn't afford much of a social life or babysitting. I got round this by carefully cultivating a network of other single mothers. There are enough of them in all walks of life for this to not be a problem no matter what circles you move in. Because they don't have partners, they are often more prepared to come over, with DC and a bottle of wine or two, and make a social evening of it. Kids all share beds or can sleep with mum on a room basis. Get creative with sleeping arrangements basically.

There are two massive advantages to this - firstly the friendship network you will establish (you will have fun and shoulders to cry on), and a readymade circle of babysitters that don't require paying because you can return the favour also for free.

That's how I did it. It took me a couple of years, but it paid off.

Having built my network of babysitters, I then took up some new hobbies. I live in a rural area where the only clubs seem to be needlework or sport related, none of which appealed to me, so I looked into voluntary work - there is always a demand for voluntary work, in many different fields and involving many different roles, no matter where you live.

Through this I have made many more friends and established an even greater social life. In fact, so much so that when I started dating DP I had serious concerns about my ability to fit him into my schedule. He much preferred this as had been put off by the speed at which most of his previous casual GFs had tried to progress the relationship.

I hope my way of doing it provides some ideas to help others get out there a bit more. I know I nearly went stir crazy in those early years of being single when I was stuck at home every evening after the DC were in bed with no money to do anything. I empathise for everyone stuck in that situation.

Lweji Wed 19-Jun-13 11:02:01

Divorced and currently single here.

It depends.

A year ago, I got into OD one year after leaving ex, and ended up dating a single man, my age, with no children. He was ok and I quite liked him, but not enough for further commitment and there were a few yellow flags. I ended up ending it a couple of months ago, particularly because I didn't want him getting too close to DS and then having to dump him later on, thus causing DS more upset.
(I left ex because of DV, which was witnessed by DS after the break up, so I don't want to bring further mess into his life)

Right now I'm perfectly happy being single and can't be much bothered about a man in my life.
I'm happier to reinforce friendships and dedicate time to DS and my things.

Things may change, but I think I'll enter any new relationships more carefully.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 11:06:22

Other than casual dating & casual sex, I have been single since October 2005! grin

Single for a year and half. I'm 22. In that year and half I had one 6 week 'relationship' but just FWB mainly grin

I have my friends in relationships saying 'get a cat' or 'you dont want a relationship my partner does my head in'

Well if he annoys you that much why are you with him?

I have pulled a few times but once the toddler pops up they don't want to know.

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Jun-13 11:15:52

I think a lot of people don't understand, though, that there's a huge difference between being single with young children around and being single and childless.

If you have children you don't spend huge amounts of time alone. You don't have to worry whether you will ever have a family of your own because you already have it. If you don't have children you can spend a hell of a lot of time alone - it's completely different and quite unnerving to think you won't speak to anyone for several days at a time. The fear of being childless can be overwhelming and the race against time is terrifying.

The OP's situation is different and I do think she deserves special consideration.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 11:21:24

Imperial, that's a good point. Maybe the thread title should change a bit to reflect that, as I can only comment on being single as a parent, which probably is not the same at all.

Dahlen Wed 19-Jun-13 11:21:53

If you are childless, however, the opportunities to get out there and meet people are so much more. Granted, they still come with no guarantees, but they certainly tip the odds.

Maybe it's a case of grass being greener. I certainly never took a lot of the opportunities available to me when I was childless, but it is only now I have children that I can see how many opportunities I wasted.

I do understand the ticking clock feeling though, and socialisation and culture being what they are, it is unsurprising that most women feel they can only have a child within the context of a relationship. I don't know what the answer to that is. If a woman doesn't feel the desire or ability to be a single parent by choice, then she will remain childless if she doesn't meet anyone.

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Jun-13 11:27:35

Dahlen, there really aren't that many places to go to, unless you live in a huge city.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Jun-13 11:29:19

"The advice to 'put yourself out there' and join clubs is well meaning but doesn't account for the lack of 'clubs' - certainly around here the clubs are for young mothers and for retired people! Not quite what I am looking for!"

This all sounds a little whiney to me... .sorry. Yes, it's difficult to have a social life or meet people or even just manage day to day life solo but what's the realistic alternative? Do nothing at all? If a club for young mothers or retired people isn't what you're looking for (and assuming you want to be sociable) then you have to be a little more creative... often comes attached to more effort or expense (like booking babysitters) but that's life.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 11:36:52

Hmmm, not so sure about the lack of places to go. I live in a fairly sleepy small town or big village (not sure which it actually is) and these are the things I would do if I didn't have the DCs:

Go for drinks after work
Join the local am dram club
Join forces fitness or military fit or whatever my local one is called
Join the ramblers (yes I know a bit beardy, but I love walking)
Join the choir (if they'd have me. I'm not very good, but I think it would be fun)
Quite fancy an evening class on painting too & wouldn't mind seeing if I could play badminton somewhere as well.

If I didn't have to pay for babysitting each & every time - that's what I'd be doing. Not really to meet Mr Right but because sitting at home in front of the TV would do my head in.

Dahlen Wed 19-Jun-13 11:37:34

I agree with Cogito. The clubs are not all about mothers and retired people. I live in the middle of nowhere and there are still a lot of clubs around, and, as I said earlier, certainly lots of volunteering opportunities - everything from working in a charity, food banks, special constables and first aid responders in the community, local art projects - it's there, you just have to look.

MadBusLady Wed 19-Jun-13 11:41:59

<passes gin to the OP>

mcmooncup Wed 19-Jun-13 11:53:13

Some people see the difficulties in every opportunity.
Some people see the opportunity in every difficulty.
That's the divide as I see it.
I'm single. But really don't let that define me. It's just a small part of who I am. Who cares what your 'status' is?!!

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 11:56:22

I'm the same as OP (divorced, no dc, been single for 2.5 yrs since last BF), and I agree with Imperial that women with dc are not really lonely, even though they are romantically lonely. On the othger hand tey do have to cope with more by themlselves and have more financial pressures. I'm now out of the time-pressure as I won't have dc (past 40 now, and when I was married we postponed and then r-ship didn't work anyway). If I was very maternal, I'd go for single motherhood but withour family nearby or a P, it'd have been a very tough choice.

I was just going to say that it's NOT easier to find a man just because you have a lot of free time on eves and w/ends, and what's worse, it's extremely hard to find women of your own age to go out with - and I mean low key stuff like going to a cafe and chatting, going to exhibitions/walks etc - not clubs/bars! Once you are in your mid-30s/40s, most women and men of your age aer in couples and many completely absorbed with small dc so you have to adapt to them which is fine but it's so rare that they can and want to get a break from the family.

You know, I wouldn't that fussed about finding a man and dating if I had a few friends who wre actually available for things! Never thought I'd say that as I've always been in r-ships up to 2.5yrs ago, BFs after divorce.

I really do try to find new friends but it's hard and sometimes very dispiriting when your efforts are not going anywhere much as people aer busy with their private lives - I've bee nthe same whe nwith BFs and now regret that I haven't devoted more time to female friendships. Few old friends are either abroad, or have babies and don't live locally either.
I've managed to find a couple of women who work locally and at least we chat and go out sometimes at lunch, but again not evenings, and not that often. I've offreed to a couple of women on the short art courses that I do, to go to exhibitrions together, mainly in london, and although they've agreed in principle and we were friendly when on the course, I haven't heard from them so far though still hoping that one of them will get in touch - it seems like they respond but don't initiate, again both women I ;liked and got on with have partners. They would gladly chat on a course but to actually arrange someone specioally - so far hasn't happened.

As for men, it's exactly that, OP and others - ther aer ALL attached. I mean the onrs I actually meet (and like!) through work or study, I don't eve nknow they are attached when I think 'he's attarctive/interesting', but inevitable it turns out to be so. One guy I get on with is gay altogether grin. But seriously, yes, there are some single men here and there but out of those I never met anyone I fancy, they are usually too old or not attractive physically to me, or just no vibe at all. I'm quite fussy (aern't we all) in that I wouldn't go for something lukewarm, tto me, I'm completely uninterested in just sex. I've been approached by two married men who would be interested in r-ship/affair rather than just sex, but no thanks! I'm not friends with both, at least I can occasionally go to events with them and generally chat about life, but again it's all sporadic and I still feel that one of then has hopes for more (yawn).

I've done some OD (been on for ages but only had maybe 8 dates over few yrs). Guess what, lots of men in their 50s-60s contact me, or younger men who are after casual. Once you get to your 50s it seems it becomes a lot easier! First a number of divorced men around then, with grown kids, and second, women willing to socialise! mid-30s-40s are bloody tough to be single in! I did go to meet some older men through OD, and I'm not against it, but so far haven't found anyone I'm attracted to, as a whole person. I find younger men easily attractive physically but they still want kids if they write on OD, or it's about casual sex. Again, I want a real connection bot just physical fancying.

Sorry for the epic, but it's tough sometimes, and you do feel like no one cares or wants to make an effort even if they are friendly with you - I have many people with the mutual liking but all busy for regular meetings and friendship, and where else to moan than on this thread. I'm trying though, what else is there to do.
I also think for a 35 woman there is still interest from younger or slightly older age guys who want kids - online they often say the want kids in their profile and state the age of woman up to 37ish. But obviously it's not just about being approached, he has to be right. I'm just saying I've lost a whole swathe of potential men of 35-45 who still do want kids, so women before 35 have a better chance meeting one.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:02:23

PostBellum, the thing is I'm really not interested or not suited to all of these, apart from walking - and I am thinking of joining a walking group! have to find one though. Also walking is not so regular, more like monthly. I do go on art courses but most women there aer much older and although willing to chat, won't really be friends with younger women, and those my age again usually with partners so don't have much time to go out as weel as doing course, though I think I've found one potential friend but still remains to be seen if she gets in contact.

Also not all of us are mad extroverts, I'm quite chatty but also sensitive and don't have bags of energy to socialise , don't like big groups. For me it has to be small group of people or one to one. Doesn't mean I'm a bad friend or a bad person. I can't face bars on my own that's for sure.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:05:13

Dahlen, so did you meet your DP through volunteering or online?

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 12:19:22

allaflutter - understand that my list wouldn't be your list, but I'm sure you must have some things that you'd like to do.

Also, I'd rather walk around with my skirt tucked into my knickers than go to a bar on my own - but I can't help feeling that you've got to actually meet people to meet someone - if that makes sense. So, I've walked into a bar on my own to meet dates on plenty of occasions.

I think we can delude ourselves the grass is greener. Due to finances, I'm forced to remain inside the 4 walls of my house most evenings - so I long to get out & have my list of things I can't wait to get started on as soon as I don't have to pay for a babysitter (within the next 2 years - hurrah) but if you have lots of time on your hands, then you probably feel more conscious of being alone or maybe feel less bothered because you have all the time in the world to do these things, so they lose that sense of urgency or desire to be done.

The older I get the more I think 'seize the day' and get the most out of it, as life is short, precious and over before we know it.

Sorry - not really sure where I'm going with all of that! grin

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:29:56

Post, yes I'm very much 'seize the day' now then I've ever been. As I say, I love and I do short history of art (of all types) courses but they are quite expensive so I can't do as many as I'd like. Also my work takes me around the UK and I do chat to people (it's not a formal type job, my own business) - I've met a few nice men through that but all attached. Financial pressures aer there as well, if you aer single, things are more expensive in the household (as you know I'm sure), and I have no one to bail me out so must save a bit. That's one side of being married dthat was nice - having security (at least while married).
Oh, i've defimitely met dates in bars, though mainly cafes, but these were all from OD, I wouldn't go on my own to meet new men even though it's not a bad way to meet.
Could you swap babysitting with a local mum? the good point with single mums is that they support each other, and more likel to form friendships than a mum with a non-mum.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:30:36

than I've ever been

Dahlen Wed 19-Jun-13 12:30:39

allaflutter - through volunteering. I can really recommend it. It opened up a whole new social group for me, quite independent of meeting my DP, which included several single women over 35 with no DC.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:34:36

I'd actually be more than happy to be friend with a mum, as far as she could occasionally get away from the house on her own, but I'd be happy also to go for a walk or cafe when she's with kids, of course. I think some women with dc kind of avoid just single women, which is a shame, unless the single woman is very selfish.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 12:36:10

Dahlen - what sort of volunteering though? all I'm aware of locally is charity shop work easily available, but they stay empty for a lot of the time. I've tried museums - all spaces gone as only a few museums here. Anything else to look for?

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 13:50:44

allaflutter - I did think about babysitting swaps but one of my DCs is autistic spectrum and it was a bit too much of an ask of another mum to be honest.

Also, I only know one other single mum & she and I have about as much in common as a fish & a bear! wink

I don't mind - I've only got about another 18 months to go, maybe less, before I can do a couple of hours out of the house locally in the evening without worrying that I'll be referred to social services if anyone knows that I'm leaving them home alone.

With regard to volunteering - try www.do-it.org.uk and see what comes up.

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 15:55:26

Well, that's the last time I start a support thread! grin

Sorry everyone but I wasn't looking for advice (and nor was I whining!) - I was hoping others in similar situations could maybe come on and we could share a bit!

I do loads of stuff. Loads. You still end up with a lot of time on your own. Nor do I meet a man through any of them - it could be that I'm actually a hideous bog trotting beast but I don't think it is.

I am fine with being single but it can be a pain at times - that's all this thread was meant to be, not a "hurrah I get the bed to myself" or a "how can I meet a man" or even "well clubs you CAN join are ..."

Black I shared mine! I didn't give advice grin

I'm shit at advice giving so I should be a great help to you grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Jun-13 16:04:07

But isn't it stating the obvious to say that a single person spends a lot of time on their own? I don't see how that's supportive really...

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 16:07:29

It's nice to know you're not alone cognito.

You could say that about any problem on here - 'isn't it obvious mums with babies have little sleep and are tired?' - it is still nice to have a chat about it!

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 16:08:28

Sorry OP. There's alot of good bits for me - so I shared them. Don't think I gave any advice, although I accept that I may have got a bit carried away with the sieze the moment stuff! grin

Don't get put off - tell us more about what it is you were looking to get out of this?

MadBusLady Wed 19-Jun-13 16:12:55

I sympathise OP, I really do. God, what else is the internet for if not the kind of thread you asked for? You could read all this Little Miss Positivity schtick in a magazine any day of the week.

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 16:16:23

Post - I wasn't really looking for anything other than to have a chat.

Why does anybody post anything at all, actually? grin What are they hoping to get out of it?

Advice, support, friendliness, camaraderie, anything really - but not being told I was whining when I patently wasn't hmm

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:29:56

well, I'm in your shoes OP (bar considering becoming a single mother) but I really don't mind advice, I really deep down would like to meet the right man so if I'm missing something (like volunteering options) I would want to hear it. And would want to hear how to meet other single women. Yes, none of the advice guarantees anything, but to me this IS support and someone taking time to help, and may be worth adding to my other activities (which I do a lot too). I also found it good to just share (sorry it was very long). If you see support as something else, can you be more specific - chat about what?

I mean, we can't just all repeat the same phrase 'I'm single and it's a pain at times', and I've mentioned that already anyway grin.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 16:31:29

Chat and support are good things - but this is MN and someone will nearly always call you on something! I've been around for eons & even the most non-contentious threads can end up being a big debate about whether or not the tone of "should I wear trousers to meet my friend on thursday?" was passive aggressive!!!! wink

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:34:07

Post - thanks, will have a look. You are funny about 'bear and fish' grin, are you in a vrey small place, with no MN local mums? Yes, it's good to plan, maybe do a bit of studying at home meanwhile. But I admire your patience.

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 16:34:19

No one's saying advice isn't a good thing, flutter, but all the same, being accused of being "whiny"? hmm Anyway, doesn't really matter, I have had a shit day and could have done without coming home to that.

Feeling much the same at the minute. It's shit, it's lonely, but due to childcare and finances, you're stuck where you are. Hey ho. Just have to get on with it.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:36:08

yes, Post, I've also learned to tread on eggshells a bit on MN, but it's still a good place overall.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:37:35

OP, if it was just one person who mentioned being whiney, it's easier to dismiss it rather than get upset, as the rest of posters were quite nice.

LurkingBeagle Wed 19-Jun-13 16:38:42

Blackbird - I am glad you started this thread. I am single and childless, and nearly 40. (No idea how that happened!)

I don't expect to meet anyone now, and I have found that quite liberating in itself. I have never had much luck with men even when younger - not much of a looker tbh, although I know some very ugly people who are married so maybe it's not that! grin I have known for some time that I will not have any kids, for medical reasons, but the reason I gave up OD was because the men who contacted me were usually in their 50's or 60's. Younger men just tended to think I was desperate for a baybee because of my age, but I wasn't prepared to give them my medical history when most of them acted like I was asking for the moon when I suggested coffee!

Oh and I <do> a lot of clubs - horse riding, voluntary work, sailing, and work in an exceptionally male-dominated industry and go to lots of do's, some of them quite swanky ones! I have not been asked out in 7 years. My only dates have been through OD and all 3 were disastrous - although they gave me some useful dinner party anecdotes.

You are not alone!

SummersHere Wed 19-Jun-13 16:39:22

The only thing that bothers me about being single is other peoples perception of me, actually that does'nt really bother me that much. As you say op people seem to think you must be 'damaged' in some way or abnormal because you choose to be single and enjoy it.
I was single and childless for a long time and now I'm a single parent and I've never been bothered by it, quite the opposite. I just don't really want a partner and certainly not a live in one. I like my life how it is, free from complication.
I don't understand people who jump from one relationship to the next, same as they probably don't understand my choices.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 16:41:37

Aw, blackbird - have a wine & take yourself over to the relationships threads. A few minutes browsing through the car crashes over there & you'll feel really glad you're single. smile

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 16:41:46

I've NEVER been asked out! grin

I ride horses as well! Also row (as in boats.)

I like the fact my life is free from complications. I do find though that I'd like to go away a bit more, for weekends/holidays.

Selba Wed 19-Jun-13 16:48:42

Genuine question here.
For those of you, now single, who were previously married ( or in LTR ) which makes you happier?

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:52:22

Hi Lurking, well you are similar to me in age (and no dc), I'm still doing a little OD but I have put on my profile 'no' to dc exactly because some men would think i'm trying to grab my last chance - some think that 40ish isn't too late for the first dc!shock So if you still were to do the OD, just make it clear.
I'm also contacted mainly by 50s/60s men but that's because there are more in this age range who are divorced! When I tried a more 'fun' site couple of years ago, I was inundated by young men's messages for sex, so it's nothing to do with your attractiveness level, purely that younger men looking to have dc look for younger women. Unfortunately very few well-adjusted older men online, or indeed divorced in RL, women who 'get' them are those who became an OW first. I must say, my dates were not bad but just not my type/no spark, I'm also fed up with the whole 'decide fast' culture of OD, so now trying to meet people in rl more. I'm starting to come round to the pint of view that actively looking is reaaly bad for morale, and agree it's liberating not to, so I've now shifted my focus to friendships.

bestsonever Wed 19-Jun-13 16:54:51

As a single parent, you are not on your own but you are missing adult company still - don't start me on the physical side, really miss that. I work shifts, full-time so free time is limited and not always at social hours. Given OD a go over the years but notice that once you get past 40 similar aged men are looking for 10 years younger so it's rare to get a look-in, given that up as a bad job now.
So, next up activity club, turns out average age of members is age I am at and 85% are single, but that's not the sole point as I've always fancied paragliding and so I'm off doing it with the club soon. I'm quite active, with a life's too short attitude, so this is me grabbing it, who knows!

PostBellumBugsy Wed 19-Jun-13 16:56:02

Hmmm, Selba - that is an interesting question.

I was really happy when I was first with ex-H & really miserable by the time we split up. I am happier now than I was for the last year or so of our relationship, but probably not as happy as I was during the good times.

LurkingBeagle Wed 19-Jun-13 16:56:26

Summers - I totally agree. Embarrassed to say my family are the worst for negative perceptions, especially the men. My uncle actually used the words "nobody will have you now" when I was 31, so goodness knows what he'd say now! arsehole

Blackbird - maybe it's a horsey thing? ;-) Seriously though, I love my stress-free uncomplicated life. I have been going on holiday alone for years, or I go trekking or do outdoors stuff with a group, which is not as geeky as it sounds (honest grin) I went away with a group of 4 girlfriends recently - none are single excpet me - and much as I love them I just wanted my own space! The holiday thing is easier if you want to do spa-related stuff. If you turn up for a pampering-type holiday, nobody bats an eyelid if you are alone. Disneyland? Not so much. wink

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 16:57:43

Well, yes, quite! Not that I do want to go to Disneyland, but all the same, spas aren't really my thing.

allaflutter Wed 19-Jun-13 16:57:52

I've been asked out twice by MARRIED men shock, and by some on od, but not by a simgle man in rl in the last few years, I just don't meet them, not a party goer. Or those I do meet are attached and not looking.

Selba, it's not really a question you should base anything on. You have to qualify what kind of relationship. I'm happier on my own then in relationships with a)a loser with no brain, b)someone who tried to dominate me, c)my exH who was too closed-in emotionally and we had a communnication breakdown. But with the right man, I'd rather ne in r-ship than single. And it does happen , read some happy MN reports!

I'm learning how to make better choices, reading those MN threads!

Happymum22 Wed 19-Jun-13 16:58:58

Great thread. I've been single nearly 12 years after my exH had a horrific affair and treated both me and the children very badly. After lots of court cases and trauma with the children trying to have a relationship with their father, 10 years on and none of them see him.

We live in a relatively affluent area and, for some reason, at that time I only knew one friend who had split from her husband. Those around me were less than helpful, but tried, and it was hard not to feel immediately below all these happy couples and that they were desperate for you to meet someone else... maybe to reduce 'awkwardness' of dinner parties etc.

After we split I was in no place to start seeing anyone else due to the shock and everything else going on. A few years later I 'got myself out there' and went on a few dates (old friend). I honestly just feel after my experiences and with my life now, I can't I can re-enter a relationship. I'd love to, but I'm not wanting someone to be let into my life, and my (now mostly adult) children's lives -unless they are really 100% the right person. I completely accept and feel OK with that. I am now 50. I can also assure you it is bloody hard for a woman to 'get back out there'.
I have great children who are always about, including three teenage-early20s daughters who are incredible company and between them keep me busy plus a son who REALLY knows how to treat woman. I have great friends, a busy work life and am very content. My life happiness isn't dependent on a partner, but not saying 'I don't need a man' but more 'I do just fine without'.

True believer everyone is different and any comment on whether someone should 'get back out there' or 'enjoy the single life' is unnecessary and rarely going to help them. Some woman may be confident and need to 'get back out there', others may not.
If anything it is patronising and forgets the often traumatic experiences they have had. Supporting them to get through the break up and be as strong and resilient as they can is far more important than 'cheerful' comments about the next bloke or singlehood!

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 17:08:18

I really sympathise Happymum. I work with a lady who came home last year to find her husband of 22 years had gone. She had to sell their home and move to a flat and adjust really quickly. She's done really well but is constantly being asked "so have you found yourself a fella?" hmm

She's not even divorced yet!

LurkingBeagle Wed 19-Jun-13 17:24:24

Allaflutter - I once inadvertently went on a date with a married man. He texted me 5 mins before the date saying the venue where we'd agreed to meet was closed. (I knew it wasn't - I had just been in there to stake it out, find the loo's etc - I am short sighted and anally retentive! grin)

STUPIDLY I didn't realise he was lying. He had seemed so nice in emails.... so I saw his car in the car park, wandered up, said hello and he went into complete meltdown. The truth came out and his wife's parents were in the bar. I called him a rude name, turned on my heel and stomped off.

That was 1 of 3 internet dates in about 5 years online....

Anyway, it made me less inclined to find any old man, who might turn out to be a toad like that. Sometimes it's lonely, sometimes it feels like a damned lucky escape.

LurkingBeagle Wed 19-Jun-13 17:42:24

You are right flutter - it makes sense to put "no kids" on the profile section, but in all honesty I have just given up OD as a bad job.

I think maybe there is a bit of mutual envy between singles and marrieds/LTR's....you know, I have greater freedom and probably more disposable income than some of them, especially those with young kids. Appreciate this wouldn't necessarily apply to single parents. I think they envy me that. Equally, I sometimes desperately wish I had someone to give me a cuddle at the end of the day, or make me a G&T, or even just sympathise about my crap day!

Blackbird - I have a friend who has just got pregnant with her second child - the first one she also had "alone". The clinic were great about making sure the siblings would look alike. Am so happy for her. Best of luck with your baby-to-be. :-)

Great thread.

I am not single, but have spent big chunks of time in my twenties and thirties single

I totally relate to a lot of the issues in this thread. I don't have dc (want them) and I am in a new ish relationship.

I was about to embark on single motherhood before I met my dp

I think advice would be better given to those people in relationships to be kinder to their single friends :-)

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 20:13:06

Hear hear and bravo for saying it Blackbird.

For the record count me into the band of single women who

1) socialises when she can and makes efforts to expand her social circle when it is reasonable
2) is not desperate, who is content single (largely content)
3) does not believe that a cat or a dog is quiiiiite what she is looking for
4) does not have barriers up around herself!
5) is normal, attractive a decent person........... who may or may not ever meet somebody, but I suspect I won't because of my age. (42

I feel sad when people say I don't think I will meet someone because of my age.

Obviously it's harder to meet people once you are out of your twenties but people of all ages for meet people

I think you can meet someone at any age. A lot of it is down to luck - right place, right time, right person :-)

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 20:20:47

Yes,the OP's situation is different. I feel for her. Because I think when you're still young enough to have children it's like all eyes are still on you and you feel the weight of their expectations and hopes for you.

I know it's kind of like confirmation I'm on the shelf now but none of my relatives ever asks me if I've met somebody. It's just now taken for granted that i have not, that I won't.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 20:22:56

Well, six years have passed and I didn't meet a man in a rl situation in all that time. I have had one relationship actually and he was a very decent, attractive man actually, but I didn't enjoy his company as much as I should have. I didn't look forward to seeing him enough. I met him on line. So is that what you have to do now? Do men EVER ask you out? if you're not 25 and beautiful.

MadBusLady Wed 19-Jun-13 20:43:21

Another I was 25 and beautiful nine years ago and no-one asked me out. Not sure whether that's comforting or nit grin

MadBusLady Wed 19-Jun-13 20:44:42

*not!

Lweji Wed 19-Jun-13 20:54:53

I was once asked out when I was already with then DP (now twat ex).

And once, just before I started dating him, by this random guy on the street. I agreed on a date, had to wait over an hour for him (before mobiles were everywhere), and I just enjoyed the date, then phoned him breaking off. In fairness, I think he was just after an European passport. grin

velvetspoon Wed 19-Jun-13 21:19:29

Great thread OP, I think we have been on a previous thread recently where I entirely agreed with your sentiments and thought you expressed them really well smile

What grinds my gears is that when you're single, your life somehow becomes public property. I remember reading Bridget Jones' Diary when it first came out (I was in my mid20s) and being horrified that the SmugMarrieds would ask why Bridge was still single, tell her she had find herself a man etc. But fast forward 15 years and I get this crap everywhere I go.

If it's not work colleagues telling me I really need to put myself out there and make an effort hmm, it's other friends offering to set me up with lame ducks ('Oh, what about DH's cousin John. Nice bloke. Good with kids. Does a bit of charlie at weekends, would that bother you? shock). I don't sit around weeping and wailing about being single, I might make the odd dissatisfied comment - I am only human after all! - but I really don't ask for any of the advice or help, and I am using both terms as loosely as possible!, that gets foisted on me.

I have tried OD. It is full of 50x more losers than I have ever met in RL. I did meet one decent bloke (after an awful lot of duff ones) however he has a lot of issues and is not in the right place for a relationship. But you know there are loads of people who tell me it's MY fault I can't meet anyone decent online.

Because of course OD sites are packed with single, attractive, intelligent, solvent men with great personalities, any woman would be spoilt for choice....!

Not to mention all the people who bang on about how WONDERFUL it is to be single, or how they miss it (the latter ones always make me laugh).

Or the ones who say get a dog. Despite the fact I'm out of the house for 12 hours a day!

Or the ones who, if you say you miss being in a relationship, suggest a trip to Anne Summers or Love Honey. How incredibly patronising.

I've been single for 4.5 years (apart from the last 8 months when I was seeing the aforementioned man with issues). If I dropped my standards I'm sure I could meet someone, but I don't want just anyone. I see too many awful relationships around me to want to go down that route!

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 21:19:33

Mad - me too! grin

I am OK with not meeting anyone, I've sort of made my peace with it. it seems to bother others more than it does me, anyway!

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 21:21:12

Right on there, vs. It is so frustrating being asked why you haven't met anyone and the assumption is always that you are desperate!

velvetspoon Wed 19-Jun-13 21:24:25

Sorry that turned into a bit of a rant! blush

Dahlen Wed 19-Jun-13 21:26:28

My boss (who is otherwise really lovely) actually told me that it was high time "you found yourself a nice man to look after you."

Six months later, he tried to set me up with a member of his family!

My family have regularly come up with comments such as "you're not getting any younger you know".

I think they are all rather relieved I am dating again, though I suspect that as long as it was human, male and alive, they would be happy.

The one thing in common with all these however is that they are all over 60. I've never had disparaging comments about my single status or matchmaking suggestions from anyone from those younger.

The only thing I would point out to people though is that if there's one thing people feel more qualified to comment on than a single woman's status, its the state of a married/partnered person's relationship. wink Ultimately, people are just gossips and it's all about fuelling their need for that than any real philosophy on singledom or anything

MadBusLady Wed 19-Jun-13 21:32:12

A while back I had an email from an old friend who I hadn't seen for a couple of years and who I used to really fancy asking how I was. It included the phrase "How are you? Are you married?"

confused

It's like Bridget Jones never lampooned all this stuff. No, I am not married, nor have I visited Minsk or played the accordion in a professional capacity since we last spoke. Are there any other random questions that have no bearing whatsoever on the state of my life that you wish to pitch at me? (I didn't say.)

UptheChimney Wed 19-Jun-13 21:49:03

* My favourite was "Being single's great, you should enjoy it, marriage is hard work" to which I replied "Fine, so how come you're married? How about you leave your DH if being single is so fab and marriage is hard work?"*

Love this. I have said to smug marrieds of my acquaintance when they say how lucky I am being single "Well, divorce [husband's name] then. Why don't you?" and they are shocked. And mumble ...

Then when I say I've pretty much given up, they say "Oh yo shouldn't give up. There'll be someone because you're so lovely" So I challenge them to name one single, straight, non-bonkers/single-for-a-reason man of our acquaintance, and mostly, they cannot.

My friends are lovely, but if they are married They. Do. No. Get. It.

I can probably give most of you at least 15 years, and it can get better if you can have a fabulous life in other ways: if I were a man at my age with looks still very much intact, well-off, very successful career, DS now flown the nest, lovely lifestyle -- well, if I were a bloke, I would have 35 year olds at my feet. But as a woman -- well, not so much ...

So I make a virtue of necessity. As Gloria Steinem said once (I think) I've become the husband I once wanted to marry.

[although for me, I was married, but he died]

I like this blog, although sometimes it is very depressing:

http://planktonlife.wordpress.com/

ALittleStranger Wed 19-Jun-13 21:54:04

I love being single at the moment.

But I know that I don't want this forever and it does worry me that I just don't seem to come across many possibilities.

Plus love and sex with someone you love is great. I can meet a lot of my needs through myself, my friends or casual sex but there are somethings that only somone you have the deep and meaningfuls for can hit.

I have strong enough foundations to be confident in admitting that yes I do need a man to complete me.

UptheChimney Wed 19-Jun-13 22:04:01

Sorry everyone but I wasn't looking for advice (and nor was I whining!) - I was hoping others in similar situations could maybe come on and we could share a bit!

Blackbird, I really DO get what you're sayig. You could be describing quite a bit of my life, and what you say in your OP and elsewhere about the responses to single woman -- because f course it's our fault if we're single, we're just not trying hard enough -- really gets me sometimes.

And if you talk about it, as you have, then you're bittter & not making the most of your opportunities blah blah blah.

Interestig tat when married people post about the difficulties of marriage here, people don't question their very character or give the equivalent of "advice" that you've received in this thread.

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 19-Jun-13 22:31:42

Yes, absolutely, and it does get tiring having your character assassinated when you just want a bit of support and understanding from your fellow (wo)man.

Dahlen Wed 19-Jun-13 22:38:30

It's all a matter of perspective though.

Take a trawl through relationships this evening. In among the nigella threads and the usual porn/OD threads, you'll see plenty of comments blaming the woman for whatever misfortune has befallen her in her relationship or telling her she's overreacting. On MN they are fortunately in the minority, but IRL it's pretty mainstream.

brokenhearted55 Thu 20-Jun-13 09:13:51

Someone at a work garden party last night asked me why I wasn't married sad

comingintomyown Thu 20-Jun-13 10:02:51

I like the posts on this thread and its a subject much on my mind at the moment

As said upthread I think there is a difference between being single having not married/had DC (assuming that was what you wanted) and being single post divorce with DC. Each scenario brings its own issues.

I am heading towards 4 years single post divorce with 2 teens and am 47 and havent had any kind of date. I have made zero moves to meet men and havent been approached either. A question asked earlier was had people been happier married or single and I think thats where I have been wondering.

This is my first time ever being single and its surprised me how much I was giving up of myself to be living with someone and from experience and what I see around me women do far more compromising and work in a relationship. For me now, tasting the basic concept of do as you please in all areas of your life, I prefer being single.

I have always invested a lot in friendships and am fortunate to have a wide circle of friends who happily come over or go out with me. I enjoy being around friends and doing things with them far more than doing the same things with a man. I am myself, relaxed and happy or not happy with friends without the drama or agenda of a partner. I think the other thing is I am very happy in my own company and enjoy solitude which helps not feeling lonely.

I miss sex and compliments and the feel good factors of relationships but not enough to give up my freedom. My DC have an OW and her family to deal with so dont need me bringing all that into their lives either. I do wish sometimes I had more single people of my age in my life , those I do have want to meet someone .

I imagine if and when the time comes I want a relationship it will be very difficult and may never happen not least because I am not interested in compromising on anything. The one thing that did pull me up short though was how my long term financial future would be far rosier with another wage earner in the house !!

Goneinapuffofsmoke Thu 20-Jun-13 10:13:31

Blackbird

Great thread.

Im single and I hate it. Absolutely hate it. I do have children, but as much as I love them, they do not take up the space that I would like filled by a partner.

I have been married, I remember being envious of single friends at that time, wishing I could have a big bed to myself or watch what I like on TV.

The reality of being single (for me) is :

The bed is cold and lonely with just me in it
I would like to discuss what im watching on TV with someone and would love to fight over the remote with someone
I wish I could cook a nice adult meal for 2 every now and then, rather than just me
I miss sex so much it almost physically hurts. A vibrator doesnt put his arms around me or tell me I am beautiful
Nobody tells me they 'love' me. Of course the kids do, but they kind of HAVE to love me, they didnt choose me.
When I do something I dont have another adult to support me (I recently found a lump in my breast, all was fine, but oh how I would have loved for a partner to support me through the worry leading up to it)

I am attractive, outgoing, frienddly, I volunteer and I work full time and people say to me all the time 'why are you single?' Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

I also find it very patronising when people suggest getting a pet! why?!!!! I alway imagine sitting down for a romantic meal with a dog, then seductively taking him to bed afterwards ... (joke before anyone accuses me of beasiality!)

velvetspoon Thu 20-Jun-13 10:49:21

Picking up on what Dahlen said upthread, I've actually seen a disappointingly large number of threads on here blaming single women for being single. That its their fault, that they're doing 'something' wrong. And I'd bet that in 99.99% of cases that isn't true, and its just the crappy pool of men they're fishing from.

The only difference with RL is that there I (and others) get blamed for being single because we're not making enough effort or being fussy.

Either way the general attitude is if you're single it's your fault!

UptheChimney Thu 20-Jun-13 10:55:48

Yes, velvertspoon -- and if you dare to suggest to married friends that it's just good luck they "found" someone, well, it can lead to frostiness, I find.

It's interesting that men are rarely criticised for being single. And yet, we deal with now 2 generations of "Peter Pan" men who prefer not to grow up. I sometimes wonder what they do for affection, love, sex ...

Goneinapuffofsmoke Thu 20-Jun-13 11:00:25

I agree velvetspoon and even if we were 'being fussy' why on earth wouldnt we?

Goneinapuffofsmoke Thu 20-Jun-13 11:03:28

Upthechimney I have a few single male friends, I know exactly what they do for affaction and sex !! generally they seem to go for younger women who are not ready for a relationship, or they are on dating sites and the pick out the women who are obviously up for a good time.

I am also fed up with people suggesting that I hook up with these said male friends!! I wouldnt touch any of them with a barge pole! they are either fucked up emotionally or they shag anything that walks !!

drfayray Thu 20-Jun-13 11:05:57

Excellent topic, thanks OP. Something I have been pondering too.

I am single, divorced with 2 teenagers; DS17 and DD15. I have been single for nearly two years...just had an odd THING with a bloke I met online I call the WolfMan. He was odd but sweet and we lasted about 3/4 months but are friends now.

I have done OD and in the last 2 weeks met 9 men for coffee grin and only one I have bothered to see again. This one I hope to meet again as only man in the 2 years that I actually quite fancy, and seems ok (but who knows, eh?). He is also keen but we are both rather busy so meeting is not as easy. Plus he works shifts in Brisbane and lives on the Sunny Coast and on off days is building a boat hmm. But we keep in touch so quite nice.

BUT I do enjoy being single. I like having my bed to myself although I miss sex but since the thing with the WolfMan (he was odd but awesome in bed and we rooted like rabbits) I don't seem that fussed. This time I would like a relationship. But not keen to just go with any old man...

I do a fair number of things; dance tango, go out, etc etc but rarely meet men in REAL LIFE. My friends are either single or married. Some of the married ones says shite like oh you are so lucky to have bed to yourself etc etc. Let's swap then...

Single ones are also trying to find men too but without any success. We get together and moan grin.

I think at my age, quite difficult to meet a man I want to date. And well, I do get tired of people saying stuff like, oh he is round the corner....and when you are ready he will be there... Shite like that!

I make sure I have a full life. I have many dear friends and dancing certainly gives me physical contact.

I am trying to live my life as best I can. If I meet this man (round the corner...) well, that would be great. If not, well I am still doing stuff I enjoy.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Thu 20-Jun-13 12:59:03

It's true, two generations of peter pan men.

I think a thread just to chat about this stuff is a great idea. It's so nice that other people get it. The weird things people say to you. The fact that there are just so few decent sane men who would date women my age. That married people should show more kindness to their single friends.

AnotherLovelyCupOfCoffee Thu 20-Jun-13 13:03:46

upinapuffofsmoke, that is true, a lot of married people found their partner through sheer luck. I had a friend who got married at 22! and we all thought It was a huge mistake, they spend most of their 20s fighting, well from 23 to 29 (ish) and then suddenly they seemed to accept their differences and work around them and now in their 40s I know they do have a good marriage but that was a BIG mistake which worked out well in the end, it wasn't testimony to their superior characters or devastating good looks or anything else. I wouldn't say anything, but I know the big mistake has been re-written. And I'm hapy for them. But I know what you mean. to remind them that it was sheer good luck ..........

UptheChimney Thu 20-Jun-13 13:40:44

Try being my age! (although I pass for a lot younger than I am, the number 5 has been passed) And a bit of an alpha female ... I get on really well wit male colleagues, and am not above flirting with various blokes as I meet them. Even started to see someone a couple of years ago; I thought there was a spark, but he didn't seem to want to touch me. That's the other thing I've noticed -- quite the reverse of the post above about shagging anything that walks. A sort of "new abstinence" -- compared with the early 80s when I was at university at least -- men who don't seem at all interested in sex. Oh dear, maybe it really is me.

Goneinapuffofsmoke Thu 20-Jun-13 13:41:31

I also hate the 'you need to be happy being single, learn to love yourself'

Fuck off. I do bloody love myself! im great! still not happy being single though!!

UptheChimney Thu 20-Jun-13 13:42:28

Yes, it's as if just by being married, people are somehow better people.

drfayray Thu 20-Jun-13 13:55:27

I am 51 but look younger but it doesn't matter. A lot of men here look older than their age grin Australian weather - harsh.

But yeah, some men don't seem to want sexshock! Wolfman is now celibate (waste) as he cannot handle relationships.

It is luck - pure and simple- meeting a single man who is compatible.

Sometimes I get mad with the Smug Marrieds.

Ah I don't know... Sometimes I am happy to be single... Other times I am lonely for male company.

Goneinapuffofsmoke Thu 20-Jun-13 14:07:33

Yes, it's as if just by being married, people are somehow better people.

I know can you imagine giving a married person the advice that they 'should just be happy with what they have' if they were to say that they were unhappy, or lonely in their marriage!!

Sorry I am ranting now, but I also find they are the ones that suggest you visit LoveHoney if you admit you need some sex!! I didnt like sex when I was married either, doesnt mean that singlies dont need it!

LonelyThirties Thu 20-Jun-13 14:54:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

comingintomyown Thu 20-Jun-13 15:20:50

That is hard if you want DC , I suppose people will say things like "It will happen for you" or the classic "It'll happen when you least expect it you will meet someone"

My well meaning step Mum said that the other day and I laughed and said well I havent expected it for all this time and nor has it happened !

MadBusLady Thu 20-Jun-13 15:24:03

grin at "when you least expect it". Also at "round the corner". Whenever you see a corner, ladies, edge nonchalantly towards it trying not to look as if you're expecting anything.

LurkingBeagle Thu 20-Jun-13 15:30:26

Lonely thirties - we are the same age and you could have been talking about my life! I also find socialising with younger people also helps, and like you I get sick of the whole platitudes thing

"It won't happen while you're looking"
"Nobody will love you until you love yourself"
"Just when you're really happy with your life, Mr Right will come along"
"He won't come floating into the living room while you're glued to [whatever I happen to be watching] - you need to get yourself out there."

I feel like screaming. I AM out there! I am out there so bloody much it's exhausting and if I did any more social or networking activities I would have to give up my job to find the time!

The only time I feel sad is when I am out with my younger friends and they all get flirted with or chatted up. It never happens to me anymore - I guess I am too old. (It has only ever happened occasionally.) Once a bloke sidled up and for a fleeting second I thought "I hope I remember how to do this" and then he asked for my friend's number grin I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!

I wish I had known in my 20's that it would get so hard to meet someone as I aged. I think the advice I would give my daughter is to marry young if she wants kids, and the feminist bit of me hates that. The irony is that I will never have a daughter because I (stupidly) thought I could have it all.

LonelyThirties Thu 20-Jun-13 15:37:25

Ditto LurkingBeagle....and LOL at edging nonchantly towards that corner MadLady.

It's like when the Daily Fail prints another article on women's declining fertility....I feel ike screaming. No-one told me! No-one told me that I should make a huge effort to get married and have kids before 35 if that is what I wanted. It just seemed to happen so easily for all my friends.

Boopear Thu 20-Jun-13 15:44:29

Blackbird you are speaking my mind. Am mid-forties, mother of 1, been single for, oooooh, 6 years and love, love, love it. I can't imagine being with a partner now actually.

I have a great relationship with my son, even a decent one (at last) with his dad, have lots of friends who, like me, have been single for years and, tbh, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am very aware that I am an exception, but I LIKE being able to do what I want without considering anyone but my son. I love coming down in the evening and having that time to myself. I make holiday decisions, I can have whatever I like for tea and I'm just about to move towns..all considered, decided and managed by me.

The main gripe I have is that I can't get out on a regular basis on weekday evenings without a babysitter, but this is fairly minimal in the great scheme of things, as I get every other weekend off to plan adventures :-) (and every other weekend to plan adventures with DS!)

Every so often I do get a twinge of guilt about being horribly selfish - if I ever did happen to meet someone that I fell in love with (BTW My mum did this at 54, so, it can happen!) then I'd be completely rubbish. But in the meantime, it is pretty fab..

LurkingBeagle Thu 20-Jun-13 16:08:21

I know - the Wail is awful for that.....and the readers' comments are equally disturbing, like "God intended women to have babies in their teens/twenties and anything else is UNNATURAL". Yup, who needs an education when we could be barefoot and pregnant? grin

I also think it exposes a huge difference between what men and women look for in relationships. My profession is reasonably well-paid, and most of the men my age are settled, many with much younger "trophy" wives. I suspect that few are single because women find financial security and solvency attractive. (I know some couples where the woman only stays for this reason - which is sad imho.)

Men don't seem to be attracted by this - I think they prefer youth and good looks. I don't think they necessarily find career success or highly paid women intimidating (which I know some feminists think) I just think they are not bothered.

<all sweeping generalisations, before I get flamed!> :-)

Dahlen Thu 20-Jun-13 16:19:47

I am fascinated reading this thread. Thank you to posters who have been very articulate explaining things.

I am definitely guilty of the 'being single is wonderful' stance, so if I've ever made anyone feel patronised or inadequate by trotting that out I'm apologising now.

I'll also apologise for a long post. Some of what you say really makes sense and I'm taking it on board. Other parts less so, so I'm hoping someone can explain it to me.

I have spent considerable parts of my life as a single person. As a single, childless person I was in my 20s and so not staring down the barrel of a permanently childless future. I loved this time in my life and had a lot of fun. I had my DC in my early 30s. I recognise that already having children probably has more to do with my happiness at being single as an older woman than I'd realised. I never experienced my ticking clock as a single woman so that's something I will definitely show more sensitivity about in the future.

I still struggle with how people are unable to fill their time though. Even before I had children I struggled with not having enough time. Between work, family, friends, the usual mundane tasks involved in keeping a house, and then hobbies and interests, I often found myself having to cut back on enough sleep. Nights in on the sofa were a form of sanctuary for me, not a lonely experience. I don't mean to sound judgy, but for anyone working full time, I can't see how you can be making an effort to get out there and lead a full life if you have so much time on your hands that every evening is marked by hours and hours stretching endlessly ahead of you unfilled.

I also don't see how loneliness is related to having children. Many single mothers will tell you that they get lonely in the evenings because the DC are in bed and in their case they have an additional practical barrier to meeting people to avoid loneliness in that they need a sitter. Furthermore, time spent with small children is not comparable to adult company, and just as being in a bad relationship can be far lonelier than being single, so can being stuck in with a toddler who has driven you mad for the last week. I appreciate that to someone who wants a child but may never have one, moaning about being stuck at home with your child may appear insensitive, but to a single mother who hasn't had a night out in 2 years, so is a childless person moaning about the fact they get lonely. Neither position is better or worse; they are just different and equally deserving of compassion.

You may never meet a man. It's not guaranteed and I agree that as you get older the pool of suitable men becomes smaller. Many are single for a damn good reason. There's not a lot anyone can do about that though apart from try to tip the scales in your favour by getting out there more, and even that doesn't come with any guarantees as we all know. There is a huge amount of luck and good timing involved. But if you can't have what you want, you have to learn to cope with what you have, and that means filling the loneliness gap with other things.

I agree that as you get older it is harder to make new friends simply because many friendship groups are already well established and it can feel quite daunting to break into them. As someone who has moved lots, the only thing that has worked for me is to take a deep breath and muscle in. If you wait to be asked, you'll stay lonely. You'll soon be able to tell if people are enjoying you being around or if they're just tolerating you, so don't worry about being pushy. If you think that would be a hard thing to do, then yes it will be, but so are many things in life worth having. You get out what you put in. Treat it as you would an unpleasant work requirement - only instead of a cash bonus you get a new circle of friends. There are no easy solutions or magic wands to this I know, but if you don't have enough friends or the right kind of friends, you need to make more, and, unlike meeting a suitable man, that is possible even though it may not be easy and for some people downright terrifying. I sympathise with those who are in that situation, but the fact remains that if you remain scared of trying and do nothing, nothing will change.

MarmiteNotVegemite Thu 20-Jun-13 16:35:25

I'm one of the single and childless (oh dear what am I doing on mumsnet?! will I be hounded off?)

I'm very successful in my job, and its an absorbing one. I suspect I'm border line workoholic -- my job certainly brings satisfaction and a vocation. I'm in my 40s so i will probably remain single and childless now. I did think of doing it on my own but I have no family support nearer than several thusand miles away and as the daughter of an emotionally needy mother I have ethical worries about bringing a child into the world for my own emotional satisfaction.

Let me try to explain about the loneliness, Dahlen . I live a life & face a future of no-one loving me. Yes, friends and family love me, but there is no-one in this world who has said publicly that they will put me first. And no-one for whom I have permission/agreement to say that about. And no child who, for a short few years (I'm a doting aunt, I know how quickly they grow independent!) will be all in all.

Of course when people are in their 20s they generally don't feel this, because it's not inevitable then. Single childlessness can be potentially only temporary (except for those who are infertile) -- but 20 years on it is more or less one's state.

And this is in a society where the pair bond and the 'normality' of reproduction are central in all sorts of ways you don't notice if you are married, have been married, or have children. No matter that a third of marriages end in divorce, the idea of the exclusive pair bond is what our society is organised around. Even if I just totted it up economically, that is clear. I thought it was telling that when Gordon Brown got rid of the 10% tax rate, the only group he did NOT compensate were adult single low earners. They lost a cxgunk of income they could ill afford & no compensation in terms of in-work benefits. Everyone else got an increase in for example, child tax credits, housing benefit etc. Being single & low-earning is seen very much as temporary, or unimportant.

And at every election, I have to listen to the rubbish about "hard working families" -- I could go on. If I think about it, I get angry & bitter, but that is such an attractive state of mind, so it's obvious why I'm single & childless ....

Dahlen Thu 20-Jun-13 16:50:21

Marmite - I totally agree with your last two paragraphs. Society definitely IS structured around the pair bond and anyone who fails to conform is immediately held slightly outside it.

The plight of the working poor, particularly the single working poor, is a much overlooked problem in this country, I couldn't agree more. I've been there in the past and will admit to sometimes feeling angry and bitter about it myself back then. Now the boot is on the other foot I've reassessed things, that's all.

It's about time we accepted that families come in all shapes and forms, and that they don't necessarily involve bonds of blood. My friends really are my family and I would walk over hot coals for them, just as they have really supported me when I've needed it. Those relationships matter more to me than any of the romantic ones I've had.

I've never been loved truly by a man either (my DCs father was abusive so not really capable of it), but I don't feel like I've never been loved. I get that it's a human need to want to be loved, but I really don't understand why that has to be by a romantic partner.

ANother long term single here, but I'm a happy one. I never much enjoyed being in couple-relationships, because I really like to have a lot of time to myself. Mind you, there have been times, since having DS (got PG unexpectedly by an old drinking mate who is a great dad and a good friend, but we are not and never will be a couple)when I have felt lonely. THough that's mainly been down to no babysitter/no cash, because I've always had a mix of friends ie some single, some not. Perhaps because I'm sort of 'non-mainstream' and most of my friends are similar (as someone else once said, it's all pagans, perverts and morris dancers) there's less of an emphasis on a romantic couple-relationship being the most important thing. Though that was what made things harder for me when DS was little - I had so little in common with the other mums at toddler group that I really couldn't make friends with them, and the majority of my longterm friends remain childfree even now, which lessened the chances of that 'Oh come over for lunch, bring DC, we'll all go to the park together'.

LurkingBeagle Thu 20-Jun-13 17:48:03

And at every election, I have to listen to the rubbish about "hard working families" -- I could go on. If I think about it, I get angry & bitter, but that is such an attractive state of mind, so it's obvious why I'm single & childless ....

This makes me howl with rage too. They could simply say "hard working people" and it would mean the same thing. It's the subtle endorsement of the (nuclear) family as the optimum state that I despise, as though the rest of us don't pay tax, or our hard work is omehow of less intrinsic value.

I left the UK a couple of years ago (and the men are no more eligible here! grin) but I now live in a country where taxi drivers and other random strangers will openly ask you if you are married. I used to say "no, not yet, no-ones asked <awkward laugh>" Then I tried "none of your damn business!" <insolent glare> but the reactions I got were the same. Basically, they asked what was wrong with me. Now I ashamed to say that I lie and tell them my husband is working on an oil rig/in the army/a commercial pilot etc and that seems to satisfy them. Another way in which I have disappointed the 18 year old feminist that I used to be!!

joblot Thu 20-Jun-13 17:52:43

Single and 47 here. It is different when you have kids, thats inevitable. I think marmite has it spot on. You aren't number one to any other human. One of my best friendd moved city a few years ago and another is going soon. Friends are invaluable but they cannot prioritize your needs ahead of their own or oh's. It can feel seriously lonely. Try being a single lesbian- my online dating experiences beggar belief. For a start many women still behave passively and don't initiate contact. It's hard work and thin pickings. Whining? Yeah too right. Why not? We all do it, we all have our issues. But not unlike real life struggling with some aspect of singledom is frowned on. How sad

MarmiteNotVegemite Thu 20-Jun-13 18:03:04

but I don't feel like I've never been loved. I get that it's a human need to want to be loved, but I really don't understand why that has to be by a romantic partner

Dahlen, it still drives me crazy that I feel this way, that friends & be;loved family (siblings & nephews/nieces) are not enough. From a feminist perspective, it annoys me that I am emotionally invested in romantic love.

But I try to be kind to myself and say that I'm just as shaped by socialisation as any other woman (or man) that feminist theory (I've read alot of it) explains. That's the economic but also emotional sort of infrastructure we live in IYSWIM.

And yes, the evidence on mn (where I lurk far more than I should) is that marriage isn't always happy, but it's the way the world is organised.

Maybe I need to learn how most men seem to be able to be so emotionally detached? But my feelings are a big part of me, and its annoying that sometimes I feel I have to apologise for them

MarmiteNotVegemite Thu 20-Jun-13 18:05:23

And also, its not just being loved -- its having that other person to put first, as you put them first -- that person for whom you can save stuff up to tell them, and so on. So it's loving someone else, as much as being loved. More maybe

blackbirdatglanmore Thu 20-Jun-13 18:19:25

Let me try to explain about the loneliness, Dahlen . I live a life & face a future of no-one loving me. Yes, friends and family love me, but there is no-one in this world who has said publicly that they will put me first. And no-one for whom I have permission/agreement to say that about. And no child who, for a short few years (I'm a doting aunt, I know how quickly they grow independent!) will be all in all.

This is my life. And it is hard, because if you try to express it and get the well meaning advice about aerobics or book groups, then it makes me want to cry and feel like saying, "I just told you I could die and no one would care and you suggest fucking ZUMBA?"

They don't, and I don't, but it's knowing that even if I wanted to confide in somebody I couldn't that makes it all the more lonely.

I think another problem Dahlen if I may touch on it is that you mentioned something about having stuff to do. I have things to do; there is always something. But I am not bored. I am lonely (sometimes.)

V good point about hard-working families.

SGB, I love your posts grin just thought I'd chuck that in!

bobblehead Thu 20-Jun-13 18:25:16

This is a very interesting thread! I'm not single, but was actually discussing with a friend the challenges of meeting/making new friends at different stages of life, which ultimately finding a bf is, but harder due to the fact they have to be single, open to a relationship and you have to find each other attractive!
In terms of just friendship, the opportunities change as you get older. at school you're surrounded by same age peers so chances of finding people with common interests is good, same goes for college/university.
When I was late twenties I moved abroad (just married) and it was difficult to make good friends. I went to the gym/yoga/met dh's collegues and their partners but the people I met had families, plenty friends, etc. When I started work I made some superficial friendships, but they were with people a decade younger than me with totally different interests. It wasn't until I had children I made connections with women similar to me that turned to real lasting friendship. Now if we move again in the future when the children are grown I think how on earth would I meet other women to form a bond with, never mind a man should dh and I not be together for any reason!

Sorry for the ramble, and imposing given I'm not even single! But despite that I can totally get where you are coming from, and quite frankly I think finding anyone "special" in your life (platonic or otherwise) is totally down to luck/fate call it what you will!

Dahlen Thu 20-Jun-13 19:00:48

I don't mean to imply that I think you are 'wrong' or 'weak' to want romantic love Marmite. I think it's a very normal, human need and I agree that it is culturally reinforced at every opportunity.

Also, I'm writing this from the viewpoint of someone who is in a relationship, so it would be completely hypocritical of me to say romantic love doesn't or 'shouldn't' matter.

Feelings are feelings, and entitled to their expression even if they can't be resolved.

I just take issue with the idea that only a romantic relationship can provide that feeling of being loved and considered important, of someone putting your needs at the top of their list of priorities. May be I am just incredibly fortunate, but I have had that feeling from friends and family; never from a romantic partner. And if I were in the position of thinking that finding romantic love was an increasingly hopeless prospect, I'd be doing everything I could to nurture those friendship and family relationships. There is nothing I can't confide about to my friends, no question of my being left alone at 3am if I needed someone. And that is much more reliable love than romantic love because the latter comes with attached strings far more than does friendship or family.

I suspect I am lucky with my friends. I went through a terrible time and asked for help and was astounded at the level of support I got. I would never have asked for that had I not been desperate, so I would never have realised the potential of my friendships. I always say that the worst time in my life has led to the best because it showed me what I did have at the exact same time what I thought I needed was taken away. But maybe it's not luck. Maybe we underestimate our worth to others and sometimes all you have to do is ask.

blackbird - I didn't mean to undermine your feelings about loneliness as distinct from boredom. I was commenting on LonelyThirties posts above, where she said she went to bed at 7.30 some nights because she had far too much time to fill.

AdiosMuffinTop Thu 20-Jun-13 19:37:33

oh such a relief to read these posts!

"nobody will love you til you love yourself". I do love my self. That doesn't put more decent single men in my path though.

And

"I've just told you that no other human being puts me first and I might die alone and you suggest ZUMBA" grin

i love this thread smile

As a long term, ( almost 5 years single), ive head all those things.... clubs, getting out there, stopping looking, makeovers, makeunders, doing 1001 different things... must say i have got to the point where i get cross when someone comes out with such banal things.

I pretty much like being single, actually i now cant think of living my life any other way. DD and i are happy, i Do love myself, and we have a full life. Ever so occasionally something happens that makes me incredibly aware that no one puts me first and i am, in fact, on my own.

Im 35 in sept, im also fully aware its getting harder and harder to meet people, online dating has killed my soul so im just taking a chance on meeting people in real life, which in the last 5 or so years, hasnt worked smile

siezethenight Thu 20-Jun-13 20:18:38

Single and happy here. I don't want a partner, I don't look for one. It never crosses my mind to have one. I do not want another person in my home, I would resent it. I like my personal space and I like the dynamics of my life with my dc's. I like making my mind up about everything all by myself. Having my life to live just as I want to live it and dc's aside - never having to compromise, talk about 'issues', discuss things and make joint decisions.

I do have sex though. And its great! Its on my terms and I walk away after it. Oh, well, I don't mean I am off out every weekend sh***ing the pants off every strange man I happen across... Just, you know, if I feel the urge I will go find it - it is out there and as long as you slip a glove on it, well, why not? And mind your behaviour as far as dc's are concerned. I am the utmost of discretion!
What irritates me the most is all my friends, even my neighbours, try to palm me off with any male with a pulse that sets foot in the near vicinity 'Oh, here's Sieze, she's single you know, take her out for a nice meal...'
They seem to think I ought to be with somebody - they also seem to think I am fibbing when I say, hell no thanks, I am absolutely uninterested....

ALittleStranger Thu 20-Jun-13 20:49:14

I love this thread. I also think it's very important to have a space where single childless women can express their concerns.

Dahlen's post has given me food for thought, and I don't for a moment imagine that single parenthood doesn't have it's many challenges. But the poster who referred to "waves of panic" really summed it up for me. I don't even want children now but I also feel this deep and almost primal fear at the thought it may never happen. It's not just a Daily Mail plot, I do only have a narrowish window left in which I can have children and that does change the dynamic.

I'm not lonely, I'm not unhappy, I'm not insecure, but I'm very aware that if something doesn't come together in the next five years I will be facing a very different future than the one I kind of always assumed would be there.

VenusStarr Thu 20-Jun-13 21:55:08

I can really relate to this. I am single and have been (mostly- bar a brief relationship at the end of last year) single for over 3 years.

I want children and as I am getting older am realising that I may have to do it on my own. My deadline is 35, am 30 in a couple of months. It does make me sad but not having children isn't an option. I am an auntie and I love it and when I see my sister and her little family I do get pangs of I won't have that if I do it alone, but the other option is never being a mom.

I absolutely HATE it when someone says 'oh you'll meet someone..' and other variants, they don't get it at all. My best friend is about 10 years older, she married young, had children and then left her husband as she wanted more. We grew close due to mutual singledom, BUT we are not the same. She has a family. Her husband still loves her and wants her back. She said the other day that she left as she thought the grass would be greener and it isn't.

I generally am happy with my life, I have a good job, am studying to improve my career prospects, I own my home and yes I have cats! But I feel like I've been single for so long that I don't know how to be in a relationship. It scares me.

In the nicest possible way, it is good to know that there are others out there in the same position as me and who feel the same as me.

OP, you mention that you are doing the children thing alone, I think this is a really brave thing to do. Good luck smile

blackbirdatglanmore Thu 20-Jun-13 22:13:53

Thanks. I'm feeling a bit like the odds are stacked against me at the moment; we shall see.

Like you I knew not having children wasn't an option. In many ways, I prefer the idea of having children alone. I do feel sad I won't be able to find a dad for them, though.

drfayray Thu 20-Jun-13 22:36:55

I didn't realise this thread was for only single childless people.

Sigh...

I apologise for posting.

ALittleStranger Thu 20-Jun-13 22:42:04

It's not, but what some of us are saying is that the experience is different and it can get drowned out elsewhere.

comingintomyown Fri 21-Jun-13 09:16:35

I agree how deeply ingrained it is that we should all be married with children and it wasnt until divorcing I really realised that. I also admit to hating the word "family" now eg friends saying Oh we are going to go out for a meal as a family. I partly hate the twee factor but also that when I am low I dont feel I have my family anymore and I know my DD sees it like that.

I understand the concept of not being anyones priority too. A close friend had a 50th party last week and her lovely DH had done a surprise photoboard for her including pictures of them getting engaged and married. I had a moment of self pity - who would do that for me when I am 50 and who loves me enough to take that sort of trouble in the first place ?

The thing is though when I was 40 and had a party XH just nipped out to Messages and bought a load of 40 paraphenalia and didnt say you look nice when I had been brushing up for weeks ! We could have limped along until I was 50 and by then he probably wouldnt even have bothered coming to any party !

I just try and accept that it is a downside of being single that you could die and nobody would care as it were. I know that I do a lot more instigating of meet ups and having people over because I know if I didnt I wouldnt see anyone outside work whereas when married you have a default of company/something to do.

I suppose for me having been shabbily treated as a wife I still see the upsides of being single as far outweighing the down. I have reflected in the past though that I am glad I got married and had DC and I think in the shoes of posters on here who are younger talking about being childless I would feel the same.

I hope the thread can accommodate all of us smile

UptheChimney Fri 21-Jun-13 09:29:31

It does get easier ...

A close friend had a 50th party last week and her lovely DH had done a surprise photoboard for her including pictures of them getting engaged and married. I had a moment of self pity - who would do that for me when I am 50 and who loves me enough to take that sort of trouble in the first place ?

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt ... What I do now is make darned sure that I do that for myself. I try very much to create the kind of things for myself that I wish someone else would do for me.

Yes, there is the hump of feeling that I have to get over, feeling sad that there's no-one else there for me. But then I think, well, if I don't do this, I'll be even more miserable. Although I'm not sure I'd do a photoboard for myself!

UptheChimney Fri 21-Jun-13 09:34:39

I just take issue with the idea that only a romantic relationship can provide that feeling of being loved and considered important, of someone putting your needs at the top of their list of priorities

Dahlen, you say yourself that you're in a relationship ... so -- with respect -- I think that that's why you maybe you don't understand what others are saying. You're in a relationship which offers the primacy that others say they don't have. So of course you can look beyond that to see all the other forms of support. It's easy to do that from the kind of position you occupy.

lubeybooby Fri 21-Jun-13 09:51:16

I am extraordinarily happy single and can't see it changing for a few years yet.

I left me exh 6 years ago and I've been through various stages to get to this point though, including not wanting anything serious, then desperately, desperately wanting a proper relationship and to be loved, various failed dates and short relationships, a 14 month relationship, a horrible break up and then a year long casual relationship. My happiness at being single clicked into place just before the year long casual relationship. Then when he moved abroad things clicked even more for me and my single life.

Now my life is absolutely packed with work and DD and the social life I am beginning to carve out

I'm in quite an unusual situation. 33, with just one child, a 17 yr old DD... I am now experiencing freedom that I've never had as an adult.

I find the issue of potentially settling down and having more kids etc just too confusing. I don't know if I want to do it all over again. I find that thought rather scary because it's a real crossroads to deal with if I ever do meet someone worth a proper relationship with.

That probably contributes to how happy I am, just as I am. No complications, no fuss, sorting my life out and planning for it to just be me, relying on myself alone, long term. Enjoying the freedom I have never had!

I find lack of sex difficult to deal with but I have a few FWB I can call on if it all gets too much.

I wouldn't change a thing right now grin

Dahlen Fri 21-Jun-13 10:07:20

UptheChimney - did you miss the bit where I said I was single for years beforehand, and that this relationship is very recent? TBH, lovely as he is, he's still not the first person I would call if I needed someone at 3am.

UptheChimney Fri 21-Jun-13 10:09:06

Oh sorry, Dahlen Reading here when I shd be working!

Dahlen Fri 21-Jun-13 10:09:25

Also, I've had the photoboard thing done for me, a surprise party organised for me - again, all by friends.

dollyindub Fri 21-Jun-13 10:50:16

Very interesting thread - thanks OP!
I'm a single mother of a baby (and I'm 45)
I spent my 20s and half of my 30s in 2 relationships and wish that I had done things so differently!
Agree with posters above re finding a decent bloke in your 20s (when they are plentiful!) as although when I split with my ex at 36, and knew I could be single for a while, I had no idea what it was like for single women of a certain age...

Luckily I never had a burning desire for children, and find it ironic that I'm now a mother! However I would not have missed this for the world, despite the loneliness and other challenges of single parenthood.

Although I'm not looking for a relationship at the moment, I would like one in the future, although sadly this will probably not happen if I'm honest.

I do find it frustrating that most men seem to want to date younger women - my ex (baby's father) always took the mickey out of my age (he's 2 years younger than me) and I found out the OW he was seeing since before I was pregnant is his prerequisite 10 years younger... hmm

Any look at on line dating sites seem to evidence this. I'm not really interested in much older men due to my interests and will not be looking for shag buddies either.

I have my son and very good friends thankfully. I'm moving to be nearer to them.
I have actually advised a couple of younger single friends (mid thirties) who want kids to think about getting their eggs frozen. And one of them is doing it - she said it will take the pressure off and she can then go the doner route if she doesn't meet someone.

Sorry for the ramble, some really good points on this thread, and like others have said, it's nice to know you're not alone. Despite our different circumstances with/without kids, happy single or not, it's really interesting reading others' perspectives on singledom.

comingintomyown Fri 21-Jun-13 11:43:51

I agree its good to hear others who are single talking about it

I know so few people in RL who arent married and that is one thing I would like to change

I was single and childless for quite a few years, but I didn't particularly want DC. I had sort of come to the conclusion that I wouldn't be having any, because I liked my life as it was (own flat, lots of mates, could do what I wanted). Though I have thought, since having DS, that I was lucky in that I missed out on the 'OMG got to find the father of my kids-to-be' business.

And, for the younger ones on here: I got PG accidentally at the age of 39. So it is not completely impossible to have babies after you turn 35, you probably do have a bit longer than you think.

Latara Fri 21-Jun-13 19:00:06

Blackbird i totally relate to this thread - i'm 36 and every 'normal' (ie. non-addicted, non-weird) man i meet of any age group is married or has a girlfriend!!!

I'm lonely and sick of getting the ''you will meet someone'' advice i've been given since i was 16! I never do ''meet someone'' - i've had dates, flings, very short-term boyfriends...and no-one at all since the last 4 years.

I desperately want children and i'm very aware that time is running out too.

I have the added complication of recovering from serious mental health problems.
Sometimes i just want to give up and i've had enough.

AdiosMuffinTop Fri 21-Jun-13 19:47:03

Different issues for those of us with/without children but still there is room for all single people on this thread! the more the merrier, literally, I'm sick of being the lone freaky single person.

blackbirdatglanmore Fri 21-Jun-13 22:00:51

Me too. I certainly didn't say the thread was 'only' for the single and childless - it isn't only for the single for that matter, rather it is about issues single people face.

I do feel lonely at the moment. Had a meal out with friends but the weekend looms a bit ...

joblot Fri 21-Jun-13 23:18:31

Tonight I was out with work colleagues and surprised how many of us were single. Even the long married woman who suddenly disclosed to me he'd left her. But yep weekends are hard. As long as I've got at least one friend to see I cope. Have you got anything arranged blackbird ? I try to take pleasure even in cleaning. And a pot of tea. Sad but true

Notcontent Fri 21-Jun-13 23:19:14

Good thread OP. I can really relate to this. I became single in my early 30s and have now been single for 7 years. Initially I wasn't ready to meet anyone but then went through a stage when I thought that of course I would - because everyone does... Except that I haven't even though I am ok looking, etc. And so now I don't think I ever will. I am ok with that most of the time, and I have a lovely DC. But gosh, sometimes I do feel like I am some sort of alien creature... The time I wasn't single feels like a different lifetime.

Notcontent Fri 21-Jun-13 23:23:07

Joblot -me too - I try to take pleasure in small things and actually my life if pretty good in many ways. But yes, it would be fabulous to have someone to hold my hand and make weekend plans with. I try not to dwell on it, but those feelings do well up at least once every weekend.

happybubblebrain Fri 21-Jun-13 23:29:32

There are two main reasons why I'm single:

1. I love being single, I much prefer it to being in a relationship. I love my freedom and being able to do exactly what I want when I want and I can devote my life to doing the things I love and following my passions. I feel more comfortable and more myself as a single person.

2. Men are always a big disappointment.

I think I would feel differently and possibly consider looking for a relationship if I didn't have a child and good friends. I think loneliness drives women into crappy relationships.

drfayray Sat 22-Jun-13 07:07:11

I think whether we have children or not being single in a world where it is expected that we must have a partner is the challenge. I agree that not having DC and wanting them knowing that having them may never happen is a different kettle of fish.

This weekend is the first one where I have nothing planned - I have a bad head cold and am in bed feeling sorry for myself. I think if I had a man in my life he could at least look after me? Then I remember ex and how shit he was if I was illgrin.

So my dog is playing nursemaid by giving me her company and the odd lick from time to time. Useless in getting me a cup of tea, mind...

I am tired of married friends saying that I need to be happy alone before this magical man will appear ( he is just round the corner dontcha know!) and be the man I have been waiting for all my life! I am quite happy in myself, thanks!

I am meeting another new bloke on Monday. Still in touch with another who seems ok but I need to see him more before I decide.
I am meeting a fair number of men anywhere so at least being proactive.
Activities don't cut it for me. OD it is.

SquidgyMummy Sat 22-Jun-13 07:40:32

I was single for a long time, between the ages of 27 and 37. did have the odd boyfriend, a few months at a time and also lived in London, where there was no shortage of men, but none of them right.

I met DP through a family friend, but he lived in France. To make it work, I gave up everything and moved to France. Was extremely tough initially and we have DS who is almost 3 and 5 years later, it was worth it, even though we have our moments.

The point(s) i am trying to make are, do not expect to do the same thing and have a different result (in my case living in a big city and trying to meet men)

A lot of my friends were actually quite focused on marrying and had found their future husbands by about 28 / 30 at the latest even if they didn't marry for a few years.

It is completely sexist, but your 20s are the best time for the widest selection of men. I wish someone had warned me. 2nd time around (as in my DP's case) there is always "baggage" ex-wives, DSC's to consider.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 22-Jun-13 10:02:14

I know what you mean, Squidgy. My mum died when I was doing my A levels and at university I was quite unhappy and comfort ate a lot, with the result I gained 4 stone in the three years I was there! Unsurprisingly I didn't get much male interest but to be honest my confidence was so low that if someone did try to talk to me I thought it was a wind up. Then, as now, I had no shortage of female friends but as they all got boyfriends I ended up waiting patiently and listening to their tales of woe.

I lost the weight after leaving, and had a strange two years doing an MA and then my teacher training, living a pretty unconventional lifestyle while doing so! I certainly met some 'characters' while doing this but no one suitable for a relationship and my focus was survival, getting through on a day to day basis. I then started my first teaching job but it wasn't in a sociable sort of school and I was the only younger member of staff. After that year I bought a house, got a new job as I hated mine and gradually (very gradually) carved a semblance of a life for myself - but by then I was 25 and already men were starting to be 'claimed'. I would describe my life as settled at 28 but by then relationships were the done thing and marriage in many cases.

It hasn't been easy. I wish I could go back and do it all again differently but I can't.

VenusStarr Sat 22-Jun-13 10:13:47

I was chatting with my friend yesterday. She is engaged but she is my one friend who I know 'gets' it. She was single for a about 4 years and turned 30 whilst she was single. She said it was quite liberating to know that she hadn't achieved what society expected. And I think it is society, we feel pressured because the 'norm' is to be in a couple. We also talked about soulmates and she agreed that it was crap and really it's about who you meet and think you're quite nice, I think I could tolerate you grin

Hrrrm Sat 22-Jun-13 10:19:20

This is a great thread.

I've been single for 3 years and have a DD. I've found the split with her dad really hard primarily because I want more DC. Had my first (unsuccessful) date since him this week (OD).

I wish someone would try to set me up with their neighbour's cousin/BIL's friend or whatever. No one has ever said anything to me about how I ought to find someone, although I do of course get the platitudes about how I'll meet someone when I least expect it, I just have to be happy on my own first.

I have now come to the realisation that my friends, family and people from work just don't seem to think I should meet someone. Because my DD is still quite small and I'm quite boring calm and introverted, plus the breakup was quite traumatic, I think they somehow see me as a mum and nothing else.

Even the guy I met this week seemed to think this way. When I told him about DD he said that she should be a big part of my life, and his life wasn't in the right place for that. Well, duh - of course she is a big part of my life, I have no problem with that and I love it. But somehow people don't seem to think I should date. As if I wouldn't be capable of being a mother AND having a relationship or even just meaningless sex.

Not sure I've explained that very well. It's as if people think it would be morally wrong for me to go out with someone.

Has anyone else encountered this?

VenusStarr Sat 22-Jun-13 10:25:10

Just reading your update blackbird try not to have regrets, I don't think that you have done anything wrong. We are very similar, I bought my house and focused on my career and saw that my friends were settling down, having babies etc. but I'm happy that I've done this on my own, yes it would have been nice to share it with someone but I'd rather do it alone than with the wrong person. A couple of friends who settled with a guy and had a baby are now experiencing awful situations - one's boyfriend was abusive and she recently found out that he was cheating and planning in moving the new woman into her home. So she is a single mom now. The other is with a partner who drinks to excess and she is quite isolated with the baby as she doesn't drive. Neither are fully happy, but they had / have a relationship and a baby, so to them that was all that mattered, but I wouldn't want to be I that situation, I'd rather have lived my life the way I have and be single but knowing that I'm independent and can make my own rules. Sometimes I think seeing bad relationships has put me off and made me more adamant that I don't want a relationship.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 22-Jun-13 10:34:23

I know what you mean there, Venus.

Certainly on the surface of it, my friends have very happy relationships and have DHs who worship them sad In some ways, I feel I have so much to offer a relationship but the interest just isn't there - not sure why.

comingintomyown Sat 22-Jun-13 10:35:28

Agree dont think about going back and how you would do things differently

Yes I think the combination of my own experiences with men, closer inspection of relationships around me and MN play a bit part in my keeping to myself and single.

I wonder if I met someone though who I fancied if all that would all fly out the window. It seems like another lifetime thinking about men and dressing up,flirting etc and all the drama of love.

MarmiteNotVegemite Sat 22-Jun-13 11:13:34

It's as if people think it would be morally wrong for me to go out with someone

Yes I get that, although for different reasons. I dont have DCs and I'm the 'career' person in the family. I think Im oversensitive probably, but its almost as if people around me assume I don't need or have the right to have "normal" needs for affection etc.

Although I lurked on the thread which started this one(If Im right about that!) and agreed with opsters who were getting cross about THAT OP saying her "want" for affection was a need which justified an affair with a married man. I've never stooped that low thank goodness.

If nothing else I hope it's helping the unhappily-single to see how many other single women there are. If all your friends are in couples it can be pretty isolating and make you feel like you're 'abnormal' when actually you're not.

BNut do bear in mind that this is a feminist issue, that it's men who need a female partner to service them domestically, and that is why the propaganda insists that women are the ones who can't be alone and have somehow failed if they are not owned 'loved' by a man. The myth of the single man being so desperately desirable and sought after and frisking around refusing to be 'caught' doesn't really stand up when you think of all the men living in smelly bedsits eating Pot Noodles in their underpants and whining bitterly about women who put them 'in the Friend Zone', while the perennial complaint from swingers clubs is always that there are too many single men wandering around with their dicks in their hands, creeping people out. Whereas most single women have friends, careers, nice homes, full lives etc.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 22-Jun-13 11:56:22

I couldn't agree with you more SGB; I find myself nodding along with most of your posts.

It is massively helpful for me to "meet" (in the online sense at any rate) other ladies in my position, because as most of us have said on this thread, it's something you simply CAN'T talk about in real life and that is perhaps the most isolating aspect of it. Either you are single and thrilled to be so, it's an active choice, or you are not and therefore aren't trying hard enough.

I have accepted being single, but I'm not sure I'm "thrilled" to be so; like anything else, I'm making the best out of my circumstances but it doesn't mean I wouldn't change the circumstances themselves if I could.

MadBusLady Sat 22-Jun-13 12:32:38

This is turning out to be such an interesting thread.

Totally agree people tell each other very unhelpful "stories" about being single, as in "Afraid of dying alone? Try Zumba!", "Haven't met a man? You don't love yourself enough!" People tell each other very unhelpful stories about being in relationships too - "Man grumpy, moody and unpleasant to you? Work on communicating better with him and helping him de-stress!" The common theme to all of them is that the woman should be doing something better and then she wouldn't have this problem. It can never be just that her situation sucks through no fault of her own.

Sorry if I sound a bit "wot about the marriedz" there, I'm not trying to do that, I'm just following on SGB's point about feminism I guess.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 22-Jun-13 12:53:14

No, I agree, and hadn't really made that link before! It's all about the woman, it's the woman's fault and the woman should be doing something about it! Never the man!

VenusStarr Sat 22-Jun-13 13:09:19

Yes! Why is it the woman's fault?

whitesugar Sat 22-Jun-13 13:20:28

Everything is the whole wide world is the woman's fault ever since Eve tempted Adam.

mcmooncup Sat 22-Jun-13 13:28:14

SGB genuinely inspired me to be happy being single and question any initial thoughts I had about being a 'failure' when I first became single and 'needing a man'.

It is so liberating and I agree with whoever said you can get immense satisfaction, reassurance, love, fun, validation and pretty much any thing else you require from friendships and family.

The only thing is sex. And surely we can all agree that everyone can get a shag if they really want to. Maybe there is a notion that sex is better in a trusting relationship. I'm not sure that is entirely true either........

velvetspoon Sat 22-Jun-13 14:00:01

It's all very well to say you can get what you need from friends and family, but that's not true for everyone. Many people have no family - I'm an only child, my grandparents died before I was born/under 10, my parents both died before I was 25. My family extends as far as my 2 DCs (who are now 12 and 14 and will soon have lives of their own). I am grateful I have them of course, but I feel both of them miss out on having a large family like others do - they have said as much to me in the past, that (aside from me) there was no-one to come and watch them play football, take part in sports day, school plays etc. Being the only single parent at those events was always a great joy...

As for friends, most of my friends are in relationships, and whilst we get together and 'do' things quite often, their priority is their husband/partner and family. Of my single friends, they are split into 2 camps - either have loads of friends/work commitments and are always busy so I rarely see them, or always free, but so set in their ways I have to move heaven and earth to visit them, and then end up getting put down about the fact I'm trying to meet a man hmm. Friends are NEVER going to fill the space in my life where a relationship should be, much as it would be nice if that were the case.

I'll admit I really do want a relationship, even if at times it seems hugely unlikely to happen. I miss company, companionship. I like sharing my bed. I miss regular sex - and whilst yes, anyone can go out and just have a ONS, I don't want to have to do that every time I want sex, who would?

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 22-Jun-13 14:10:10

Like velvetspoon I don't have a large family. I have my dad but truth be told he isn't really very interested in me - he keeps in touch but in a hearty "update every month" sort of way.

If you have a supportive family then they can 'step in' where a partner may not but if you don't you are relying on friends. I have lots of friends but they have boyfriends, husbands and young children and their time is therefore hugely limited.

Latara Sat 22-Jun-13 16:18:14

I have some good friends but they aren't always interested in doing the same things as me and have all but one stopped wanting to go out at night more than once a month.

I should maybe find some more friends but that's hard as finding a boyfriend...

mcmooncup Sat 22-Jun-13 18:37:53

I only have my mum for family too.

It really is possible to have intimacy with friends. I promise.

I go away with friends, I go to events with friends, I have friends where we call one another 'wife', tell each other everything, moan, laugh, call in the middle of the night, trust and so on. I think this is easily dismissed as "not being good enough" before you have even actually tried it.

Mc, I agree. But it becomes harder to have those relationships with friends once circumstances change i.e. they get married and have DC

I have those types of friendships, which did make single life easier. But - it's not the same (imo anyway).

velvetspoon Sat 22-Jun-13 19:00:20

I have lots of friends, some I have known since primary school, so well over 30 years BUT I really don't think however close friends we are it can take the place of a relationship.

I've asked various friends over the last 4 years (of singledom) if they want to go on holiday together, or even just a weekend away - they're all too busy, can't afford it or (as far as the holiday was concerned) didn't want to go away with my children.

I do meet new people, make new friends but all the new ones I meet are either through work (who are all much younger than me, no children and living a v different lifestyle) or are friends of my existing school mum friends and are all happily married...

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 22-Jun-13 19:02:27

I don't think anyone has dismissed friends as not being good enough! Rather, that pinning down friends with husbands and small children is difficult and that when you can, you aren't their priority - their families are.

Latara Sun 23-Jun-13 19:06:43

I certainly haven't said friends and family aren't good enough.

My friends and family (parents, sister, nan, cousin etc) are lovely and i wouldn't be without them.

But family can't always be there and neither can friends; my friends all live at least 10 miles away and have their own partners / families / work committments.

I would love to come home to a partner; or at least to a phone call or even a text from a boyfriend to make me smile.
I finish work late often when friends are in bed but hopefully a boyfriend would at least bother to text. I know men aren't perfect but i'd like the kind of affection you just can't get from female friends IYKWIM!

blackbirdatglanmore Tue 25-Jun-13 23:08:44

I am really feeling it lately, not sure why. Possibly because friends seem to be busier than ever and I've got the long summer holidays looming. I've got some plans but they are pretty much all solo plans and I'm finding it hard to feel particularly excited about them.

VelvetSpoon Tue 25-Jun-13 23:49:06

blackbird did you say you were a teacher? I imagine the summer must seem a very long gap to fill, several weeks off in one go is much harder than every weekend.

I'm struggling a bit at the moment too - I seem to be surrounded by couples - every time I go onto facebook someone else has changed their relationship status, or are moving in together, or getting married. And I keep wondering when, if ever, it will be my turn. Or in fact if my turn has been and gone, and I missed it without realising.

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 26-Jun-13 00:28:16

Yes, it can be difficult - and believe me nothing enrages people like admitting the summer can be tough! But it is; my main social interaction comes from work. Out of 36 days last summer I think I had company for around nine of them,and two of them were results days.

Lots of weddings here as well. It doesn't get any easier. Sorry for the woe is me post; I'm normally quite upbeat. I'm just questioning what my life has come to really. I feel fat and frumpy and far removed from the person I was even just a few years ago.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 26-Jun-13 00:49:31

For me (18 years essentially single after being a deserted wife, raising 3 DCs) it's the frustration of having to be ok single when I'd rather have a 'significant other'. At 50+, I've had an OD profile on various sites on & off, and repeatedly experienced the disillusionment of being ignored - I get no mesages, I send messages to likely-looking guys, I see that they've read them and looked at my profile, and - zilch. Ignored. I keep busy, I have friends, but there seems to be absolutely nothing more I can do. It's so dis-spiriting. I hear you, sisters!

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 26-Jun-13 07:26:56

You're not alone! I have experienced the same with online dating. Conversely, I have friends who in all honesty on paper seem to be a harder match than me find someone immediately, weird isn't it?

Bumping this thread...in hope of drumming up more contributors

blackbird OD is a parallel universe full of strange happeningsconfused one should approach it with equal amounts of bemusement, disdain and good humour.

TurnipCake Thu 27-Jun-13 10:01:59

I feel a bit 'meh' about dating at the moment. Online just doesn't do it for me at all, I've tried setting up a profile but I just don't have that motivation to get stuck in as it were.

I also feel like I've missed the boat.. twice. I was on a 6 year degree course, so after 3 years when some of my friends graduated, I thought, "I'm still a student, no rush" etc while those friends settle down. Now my friends who were on the 6 year course have also started to settle down. The lovely guys I meet via mutual friends or at work are already married or in relationships. Feels like slim pickings out there at the moment!

Latara Thu 27-Jun-13 11:57:10

I like one guy who is a trainer at the local gym; he's nice and friendly but i think he just feels sorry for me (I had a female trainer, then was very ill with MH problems so i had to cancel sessions; she guessed and i think told people at the gym).

So i don't know if he's friendly because of that or if he actually likes me; but i think he's out of my league probably.

comingintomyown Thu 27-Jun-13 12:42:26

Nice to see this thread back on the first page smile

I am sorry you are feeling low blackbird I wish I knew the answer

I have been thinking how nice having a lovely relationship would be but I keep coming back to the fact that I feel so cynical that it could exist. I know theres a bit of the "If you dont try then you cant fail" going on with me too.

blackbirdatglanmore Thu 27-Jun-13 20:36:55

Yes, I've got to be far too cynical for my own good!

bigstrongmama Thu 27-Jun-13 22:36:01

I know you are just saying it like it is, and that's fine, but this thread makes grim reading for a newly single lady! This week I have discovered that a great long chat with a good friend can make me feel all loved and cared for, something I never realised before. I guess I didn't know how much I needed people. The main problem is making time for lovely chats... It is so much easier with a live in partner. And they are obliged to listen to you everyday, can't expect friends to have that much time. I need to make more friends!

blackbirdatglanmore Thu 27-Jun-13 22:41:00

I went for a drink with friends after work mama and it was great. I laughed my head off; really big belly-laughs which I needed.

You can make more friends but there's a limit. It isn't so much the timing as when - the times you badly need friends are when unfortunately they aren't there. Weekends and holidays. Sunday evenings when there's a tough week ahead. After work following a tough day.

There are pluses to being single as well. It's the endless, endless hours alone that get to me.

dollyindub Fri 28-Jun-13 00:13:42

We're pretty much all in the same boat (though granted some of us have kids) but maybe there could be people in similar areas who may want to meet up?
When I was single before, I ended up actively seeking new single girlfriends to go out with as I was so sick of spending endless weekends in on my own.
I also thought about starting a kind of group for single women just to go out for drinks, cinema etc.
Never got further than the thinking about it stage though!

comingintomyown Fri 28-Jun-13 17:37:30

It would be nice to have more single friends who think the same way I do , the only times I ever question how content I am as I am is when I've been with my friend who is desperate to meet someone and I think am I ok single ?

The kind of thing for me though that keeps me firmly on my own is things like today. My lovely boss was chatting about her second DH who she has never talked about (we arent close) before. She was laughing saying he is massively tight and OCD about money and a few other things . Not a big deal on the face of it but I am just not prepared to give an inch on anything in my life.

In my relationships I have always thought about my partners needs from trivia to the big stuff and I maintain through experience and observation that men just dont do this.

I know I have to fix my own broken toilet seat , do without sex , spend Bank Holidays on my own etc but to me its worth it to have complete freedom of choice and a "clean" life.

I think this is because I do have DC , I have been in several relationships and a fairly long marriage and its like OK I have done all that time for something different.

In the shoes of people like OP I wonder if I would do things differently if I had my time again (am 47). Its that old thing of if I knew what I know now then ...

I hope you have some bits lined for the weekend blackbird

Latara Fri 28-Jun-13 19:17:20

Well one of my patients offered to marry me today. Bless him he's 87.

Latara Fri 28-Jun-13 19:19:24

(Obviously i turned him down so he asked the HCA stood next to me as well.... and the volunteer tea lady... and the domestic etc etc)

blackbirdatglanmore Fri 28-Jun-13 20:07:15

Few things, thanks. Meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow then getting my hair done. No plans for Sunday, though.

maleview70 Fri 28-Jun-13 20:27:50

Think it is easier being single as a bloke.

Most lads grow up spending their lives involved with sport and drinking in pubs.

When I was single I knew I could walk to the pub and there would be 3/4 people in their who I knew.

joblot Fri 28-Jun-13 20:47:48

I have a date on Sunday. I'm going because it's a trip out, I'm not over keen on the prospect. But like you blackbird there's only so much time I need on my own. In fact I really shouldn't bother with the date but it's something to do and the dog gets a walk. Ever the pragmatist...

I wonder if one is more vulnerable to crap relationships as a result of loneliness?

ALittleStranger Fri 28-Jun-13 22:05:56

MaleView how old are you? Consensus seems to be that older single women fare much, much better than older single men. Although younger single women get a much tougher time of it, so maybe that's just our revenge.

maleview70 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:42:50

When I was single I was early 30's

I think much older single men ie late 50's and 60's come from a generation where they married young and often had everything done for them by their wives and therefore struggle when they become single later in life.

There is an element of truth in men your age going for much younge women though which leaves women in their late 30's and 40's being contacted by much older guys as described by many on here. I know a single bloke in his early 40's who only dates women aged 25-35. Not sure why that is but it seems to be common.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 29-Jun-13 00:13:10

Stranger that is reassuring, as I do sometimes find myself worrying a bit about long decades ahead spent alone!

ALittleStranger Sat 29-Jun-13 00:17:41

I should admit that I have no first hand experience of that (despite the amusing assumption maleview has made about my age) but it's what everyone says...

Latara Sat 29-Jun-13 09:10:11

I've decided that if i internet date then i may lie about my age as i get mistaken for a 20s aged woman all the time in RL.

I tried OD once and gave my real age then (34 - i'm 36 now) but looked younger in my photo - 60 year old men contacted me!
Gross. I don't want to date men my dad's age ffs.

Blackbird i also worry about the future if i am alone.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 29-Jun-13 09:32:51

I wonder if it will get easier, if friends divorce and children grow and more of us are in the same boat, or harder, as I know is many couples in their fifties/sixties where they are practically one person and come as a unit!

I don't know, I suppose I will manage then, as now really.

ALittleStranger Sat 29-Jun-13 10:16:37

Blackbird things may, and probably will, change as well. Everyone has periods, often long periods, of being single. Many of your friends probably will divorce/seperate, but you might spend your 50s blissfully coupled up.

maleview70 Sat 29-Jun-13 10:58:13

It wasn't an assumption about your age littlestranger, I meant generally the people posting on here who were saying they were being contacted by older men.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 29-Jun-13 17:31:11

Little; I won't, I think I have always known on some level I won't but thought my fairy-tale would emerge but it hasn't and it won't. I don't actually mind being single as such, I just wish my friends were around a bit more and my family were more involved. sad

Blackbird, sorry you are having a bit of a down time, happens to us all. I dont think people fully appreciate how hard it is sometimes ( and of course, sometimes its great too)

Im having a terrible week..I was meant to have a date for friday evening, with this guy id chatted to on okcupid earlier this year, he vanished and then came back, we got chatting for a few weeks and set a date. he then vanished off the face of the earth. I sent a general hi text and i got a reply 3 days later saying he had changed his mind. Never mind thought i.... I had joined match on a 3 day , free, subscription last weekend, had winked and emailed like my life depended on it and had given 10 or so men my email address for when the sub ran out. One really stood out, quickly moved onto texting and had a date, at a cheese farm!!!! set for yesterday. Unfortunately as i chatted with him more it became clear he was a complete loon. with something like 7 fb profiles, one of which he was listed as married in.... an overdosing ex girlfriend, out of work, ghosthunting, keyboard warrior. So, i cancelled. and then had to block him when he started begging....
Onwards and upwards and determined to make the most of my childfree weekend i upped the contact with another from the site who sent the loveliest messages... seemed really nice, he chased lots, and tied me down to a coffee friday morning. I text to confirm first thing friday as he had said he was going to email me somethign thur evening and hadnt... and ive done dating enough to know that things can change.. i didnt want to get stood up, so i sent a ' we still on for coffee' an hour later and 20 mins before the date i still hadnt heard.... so sent a ' i guess not, in any case i wont be there, manners cost nothing' text
One guy ive known for 4 years and dont want anything with took this weekend as the weekend to email me abuse for not wanting to be with him...
and its just exhausting, totally and utterly exhausting.

My mother rescued me from my pit of despair and took me to lunch before trotting out the old ' it will happen' line. I did ask her if she had ever been single anywhere near as long as i had, and of course, her answer was no, maybe 6 months once, nowhere near my five years.

Ive taken the decision to stop online dating for a while, I think most people would be reeling from the above, but of course its a double edged sword because at least while im dating i feel like im trying to do something, whereas if i just do nothing i know full well nothing will happen.

Its just all very hard sometimes.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 09:29:47

It is hard, and I really sympathise. I stopped online dating as I only got interest from strange people, bar one oh I went on a date with. Nice enough guy but we had little in common.

I think parents and friends think it will happen for us because they think we are lovely and can't see why others can't see it! I honestly feel though its an age thing: most successful relationships are forged before the age of 25 so that people 'grow up' with their partner and they practically become one person. I know a lot of people like this who rarely do anything independently; they just come as a pair.

I do have one more date line up for next monday, we have been chatting for a week, google has thrown up no warning signs and we have lots in common, however, as these things go, and being that the date is a whole week away, it could all change.

I swear its because its harder to meet people when you are over your early 20's. Then you are all going out in groups, and there is lots of going out happening. I rarely go out somewhere like that, dont get me wrong , i do leave the house a lot, but i dont end up in situations were people can freely talk or might end up in a snogging nor number swapping situation. Married people ( and i was once married) just say ' oh, go down the pub, thats what i did' but they forget they were 20 and you are now 35 and its all different.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 09:52:01

So true! Unfortunately I completely missed out on the happy-go-lucky social life in my late teens/early twenties and now like you say you don't just get the same opportunities to meet people and even when you do they are married!

i go out with work people who are younger sometimes, in big groups, of course that doesnt ever do me any good, because what man would be interested in a dumpy 35 year old with a child, then there is a lithe, childless 24 standing next to her. lol. I still go out course, and have fun, but that is always the outcome.

Sat with my mother having lunch yesterday saw 3 men i fancied, all closely followed byt their families.... i do wonder where these kind of men are, because sure as hell they arent on any dating sites.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 10:25:11

Some are out there of course (before anyone chips in telling me about how they met their DH at 31!) but it just isn't easy.

Also, I do think that when you've just split with someone a lot of people perhaps try to set you up while for me I think people just see me as 'the single one.'

It's strange sometimes thinking it is very highly probable I'll never have sex again. I don't miss it really, but it's still a daunting thought! shock

I think lots of people think they will never have sex again when the future is unknown.

You probably will though :-)

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Sun 30-Jun-13 11:35:21

Of course you will have sex again, just when you feel you want too, I think, that's what most dating sites are for ime. I get asked all the time why am I still single, I don't have an answer, maybe because I am not actively seeking anyone and have the DC so can only go out at weekends, I suppose I could arrange for during the week but I just cbarsed.

I have DC and the only time I feel lonely is when they go away for 2/3 weeks in July, Ive been single for almost 3 yrs - dating here and there ( mostly when DC go away in July and @ weekends) but I have not dated in 7 months (longest for me) and I don't miss it tbh.

This year when the DC go away I will go to my friends, get one of those little cross stitch things, walk the dog, read books and get in some DVDs and sleep a lot!!

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 13:59:07

Why are you so sure I will wink Seriously, I don't think I will. I haven't come out of a relationship; I've never been in a relationship, and I don't think I will ever be in a relationship. Since ONSs aren't for me, it's unlikely I'll have sex again.

ChattyKa Sun 30-Jun-13 14:10:32

This has been an incredibly interesting thread thanks for starting it. I have been single for two years now divorced and just thinking whether to start getting out there or just not bother and this has really made me think. Thanks!

I said you probably will ;-)

If you want to that is. If you do then you probably will.

What were the circumstances around your previous partners? Friends that lead to more?

I came out of a hideous relationship last year. I hadn't had sex for over two years. And I was convinced I never would again :-o so I took the first opportunity I got (with someone attractive ;-) to have a one night stand just to prove to myself my sex life wasn't over I think

It was crap anyway and although I am not bothered really I wish I hadn't done that. Panic made me do it! :-)

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 16:07:08

Patience, I don't have any previous partners confused I've never been in a relationship. I would like to be in a relationship but I don't get any offers, therefore, since one night stands aren't really for me, I don't think I will ever have sex again.

Sorry, I thought because you said you didn't do ONS but said sex 'again' that you had previously had a partner in some form. That's why I mentioned the friends thing.

Anyway, I wasn't prying, was just wondering ways in which you'd previously met people and whether they were still an option

It's a shame you feel despondent because life can massively change direction at any point.

If you do want a relationship, do stay open to having one because there is always hope.

I think regarding sex, its there if you want it. Its just how much you want it v your standards.

So, if you do want sex there is nothing wrong with going on a date or two with someone wildly unsuitable and attractive and having a good time, enjoying it for what it is. if it scratches an itch, then great smile

If you only want sex within the confines of relationship, then yes it might possibly mean waiting a very long time.....

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 16:30:54

There is always hope, but it's very, very unlikely at this stage as I have been single for years and I don't really get much any interest.

I do appreciate it looks an easy, simple, straightforward thing - "I probably won't have sex again!" - "you will, go out and shag someone!" but it's a) not what I want and b) not really the point grin I don't mind not having sex but all the same, it is strange thinking that that is it, that I won't have it again!

at work today i was talking to a lady who had been single for 6 years. In november she had her first date with this guy she had met as a customer at work, in march, they married.

It can and does happen.

I think, if you dont mind not having sex, then thats fine,but if you do miss it, there is nothing wrong with getting out there and having sex... Its only been about a month ish for me, at the momment i dont care much, but im sure when it gets a few more months in my view will change and ill go for something casual smile

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 16:43:07

Watch, I honestly don't want to sound like a complete tit here, but have you read the thread? grin One of the major recurring themes in it is how much single women are patronised (sorry, I did wince a bit typing that!) with platitudes about their best friend's neighbour's cousin who was single for ages and then went to a ball and lost her shoe and you know the rest.

Of course, people can and do meet other people all the time but that's not what this thread is about.

I've already said one night stands aren't for me wink I agree there's nothing wrong with having sex if you fancy it, but I don't, I just find it weird I won't be having it again!

:-(

I have been in a similar place to you. I drove my family and friends mad with my negative talk and resignation but similarly they drove me mad with platitudes when they had no idea what it was like - so I won't say much more in case I come across as patronising (would hate to, I really can empathise)

But my parting shot is, if a relationship is something you really want, don't give up. Keep yourself open to it and do the best you can to give yourself the best opportunities possible to meet someone.

Ps I hope it does happen for you in the future blackbird :-)

yes, i have read the thread and am a long term single myself.

I wasnt being patronising in the slightest, its just a nice story i though, this lady had been on here own for years, a man came in for an eye test, she was the receptionist, and boom, married less than 6 months later. It was lovely and so romantic and i ended up with a lump in my throat.

I also feel like its not going to happen, but this story, today, was a nice kick up the backside to remind me that things can literally change in seconds.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 16:57:18

Patience; thank you. I appreciate the kind thoughts, but please, please read the thread. It's about being single - it's about the reality of it.

I have been giving myself "the best opportunities" for YEARS, quite literally, and nothing has come of it. I don't know why but I do know, thanks to this thread, I am not alone. But let me sum up.

Many people believe that life is like a book or a film, and that is where "it will happen when you least expect it" comes from, I suspect, because it's such a common plot device. In real life it probably does happen but it assumes the woman has been flinging herself at available men which most of us do not!

Back in the real word, Myths About Being Single Are:

it will happen when you least expect it - well no, actually, it won't. I don't expect to meet somebody now. At one time, I did - I thought, like most of my friends, I would meet someone one day and we'd fall in love and get married. It happens for some people, certainly, but not because of some sort of law of nature - because of sheer dumb luck!

you've got to put yourself out there - most of us have. We have spent time trying to meet a partner, we have jobs, friends, social lives, hobbies. Most of us have at least dabbled with online dating and spent money on joining sites but nothing has come of it.

I don't get the problem, I LOVE being single! being single in-between partners is like going on a holiday. You get to experience the freedom and fun whilst knowing you will probably meet someone in near future. Just as if I went to London on a trip I'd love it and visit galleries, museums, enjoy the night life, but the reality of living there would be very different. For those of us facing being single for a long time, that's the position we're in.

Join clubs, get some hobbies. We have, but there aren't necessarily a huge amount of them around, and being single doesn't mean you automatically have a great interest in canal restoration or hiking up mountains grin we are normal people who do normal things and want to meet someone normal.

you never know what is around the corner - of course you don't but you can make fair estimates based on your life.

Please, don't throw myths and sayings around - they DO come across as patronising and they don't help! My life, and that of others, is fine, it's OK, but I would like to know what being loved romantically by a partner is like - that is all!

Ok, ill just leave you to it then....

I do know what its like, i am a long term single myself, but im not going to be angry if someone throws me a tiny bit of hope.

Just a tiny glimmer, that actually, things do change, and its not down to any of those things you have listen, but down to a bit of luck.

id rather hold onto that, tiny as it might be.

Erm. I have read the WHOLE thread

Also, I have spent MANY years single in my twenties and thirties. I know first hand what being single and childless at 35 feels like. The only single and childless person in my family and friendship groups.

I have had all the platitudes chucked at me a thousand times. My biggest pdppmmaj bug bear was 'join a club'.

So I haven't thrown any myths or sayings around as platitudes.

What I didn't realise was this thread was about being eternally single with no hope of that changing. I wasn't implying that you haven't already been doing everything 'right'. I was simply saying, don't give up.

*personal

Thats all i was saying too.

Or, just be open to stuff happening maybe.

i wouldnt write anything off, however unlikey it seems at this point in time.

ShinyBlackShoes Sun 30-Jun-13 17:12:44

Blackbird...I am with you. Have been single for well over a decade. On the odd dating sites I have been on, I have been contacted by guys at least 10 years older than me, or ones I am just not attracted to. Some middle age guys look great, but some just don't care, and whilst I am not that shallow to go just on looks, I don't want someone who I am not attracted to. Saying that hardly anyone contacts me anyway...I am just not the type guys for and like you, get the, why has no one snapped you up' comments. But the don't.

I have now been single so long it just sounds terrible.

I am Ok alone although am very soon to be an empty nester so alone will be totally alone, as my circle of friends is minute and most of them have a proper life having not to have spent the last 13 years bringing up kids alone and on very little money.

I don't need anyone to feel sorry for me as I can do that for myself, but society is youth focused, and men know the can date younger women as they enjoy the advantages of dating an older man with money, and status.

What I would like is a social life...but finding that is hard as most people have their social circles already formed and are not often that welcoming to new members.

All the cliches are just that. But the are more women than men and many of us will remain single for the rest of our lives. I just wish it could be more like sex in the city single than bag lady with cats ;0)

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:18:26

I kind of think that 'giving up' can be a positive though. I don't want to be clinging to a tiny bit of hope for the next couple of decades before I die alone, but not necessarily lonely!

Since I gave up I have ticked a lot of other boxes. (I've name-changed a few times since this thread started, so I'd be repeating myself with a different name but I really agree with blackbird) the whole 'you'll meet somebody!...' is a bit annoying and in my case, unlikely. I was given out to recently for turning down one social occasion that I didn't want to go to. I haven't mentioned being single to my friends recently. What's the point.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 17:19:23

Ok ladies, but since one of the things the thread has identified as being unhelpful to single people is 'it will happen one day' I did assume perhaps you didn't see it. It isn't a competition of who has been single for longer but it is possible to be realistic. That does mean giving up hope. Someone suffering from an illness might recognise the odds are against her and make plans to that effect whilst simultaneously hoping a cure will be found - it's a bit like that for long term singles as well! grin

Sorry but it doesn't help to be told about people who were single for years and then ... because that's their reality and this is mine.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 17:21:15

Zynia - yep, you get sternly told that you need to make an effort! I honestly think some people think meeting a partner is like passing an exam; put this effort in and this will be the result. The more effort, the better the partner. But emotions, attraction and desire don't work in that way.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:21:27

I just want to be allowed to accept it. I don't want to think that for the rest of my single life people will be pitying me. If I have accepted it for the very simple reason that there are more women than men and men date younger women and I'm in my early 40s now, then what can I do? that's the way it is.

sorry, my reality is a long term single, and no it doesnt mean giving up hope.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:24:21

I agree wrt ten year thing too. the only man I have dated since splitting from children's father was ten years older than I am. he was keen on me, but sure why wouldn't he be? I was a decade younger and I look after myself, exercise, eat healthily, dress well, don't smoke, drink moderately............. this guy was a nice guy but a bit overweight and frankly, I was in better shape for my age than he was but but but but I know when he puts himself out there on the internet he'll have more success than I will. This is not something I can just shrug over. I don't want to date men who are more than a decade older than I am. I would just rather be single (and so, I AM smile )

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 17:24:48

Watch; we're not talking, necessarily, about giving up hope. We're talking about making a life for ourselves that does not assume we will one day be a part of a couple.

I haven't completely given up hope. I think it is unlikely I will meet someone but it could happen, in the same way that anything could happen. But I don't think it will, so I am currently trying for a baby as a single lady and looking to the future, accepting there are some advantages to spending my life like this but recognising there are downsides as well. Same as anybody, really wink but the big difference is, when you try to talk about the downsides with anybody, you get told off. You get told you don't make the effort, or told to join clubs, or told you don't know what's around the corner.

THAT'S what this thread is for!

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:30:40

ps, even the notion of getting out there for some casual sex is so ridiculous for a lot of women. That group of people that I like ENOUGH to have sex with , but not enough to go OUT with, that' be a very small group. And I wouldn't fancy being used. It sounds so fun and independent when you type it, and when you've only been single a MONTH, anything must seem possible. I think if you're particularly attractive perhaps, and young, then you're in a good drivingseat in the 'casual sex market'. I wouldn't be the choice of any typical adonises. The sort of man who would 'go for me' would of course be the sort of man who'd have to grow on you. The whole casual sex idea just doesn't really come together for me.

I didn't say it will happen one day :-) I said, don't give up if it's something you want (which you stated you do). I also said I hope it does happen for you (again because you said that that's what you want)

I only said you 'probably' will have sex again if you want it.

Anyway, I wish you the best and I am now checking out.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:33:43

.. and that is not a moral judgement in any way, it's more practical. It's just, how does it work ??? seriously!? don't you need to LIKE people before you sleep with them? and do you enjoy it if you think he's too boring/stupid/old/entitled to consider seeing more of him.? confused it's the practicalities of casual sex that confuse me.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 17:35:16

I do have a friend who meets men (from the Internet) for sex, which sounds very sordid but it isn't really. It's upfront no-strings attached sex and I admire her guts but I wouldn't enjoy it. I am not that bothered about sex I feel the 'need' for it in that way.

Zynia I am like that with men as well, I'm a slow burner and don't tend to feel an instant attraction, ever.

It sounds strange but I do worry (worry is perhaps OTT, 'wonder' maybe) how I will be perceived by my DCs when they are adults - hopefully I'll be able to be honest with them but I wonder if they'll find it odd I won't have had sex for well over quarter of a century!

arsenaltilidie Sun 30-Jun-13 18:01:25

You cam sit here moaning and being pessimistic about the future (which doesnt help anything) or you can do something about it.
If I'm honest, the advice I would give is lose weight.
There is no 2 ways about it, It will greatly improve your chances of meeting someone.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 18:14:29

You've missed the point of the thread, arse.

It isn't to "moan" or to be "pessimistic" about the future - although if that's how I feel at any one time, I won't apologise for being honest about it here - it is to talk about our lives with other women undergoing the same sort of stuff.

That's always nice, isn't it? Isn't it why pregnancy and parenting forums thrive, because pregnant women and those with young children like to talk to others going through the same thing?

There's nothing wrong with that and I'm not going to let anyone make me feel that there is!

Oh and I have spent most of my life a perfectly normal BMI thanks smile

MadBusLady Sun 30-Jun-13 18:42:44

If I'm honest, the advice I would give is lose weight.

I don't think we need to worry about the "opinions" of this poster much wink

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Sun 30-Jun-13 19:08:29

Umm why on earth would the OP want to lose weight?

he has said she isn't seeking a relationship and is quite happy and we were going to discuss single life and sure enough someone comes on with the good old line:

Just lose some weight?

Why? What will happen then ? Will Op suddenly change her mind and decide she really needs a man in her life?

I don't think so. grin

arsenaltilidie Sun 30-Jun-13 19:52:34

OP didnt mean to be so blunt, im not trying to stop you from expressing yourself but you seem to dismiss anything positive said about the future.

And I find it odd to be in your 30s (I assume) and never been in a relationship.

As for the overweight thing, most women i know that are not happy about being single tend to do with losing a bit of weight.
I don't mean being underweight, i mean could do with bringing their BMI down.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 19:56:02

God, if that was you not being blunt I'd love to see you when you ARE blunt hmm

Yes, it's odd to be in my 30s and not to have had a relationship. But, as I've explained, I had quite a difficult late adolescence and early/mid twenties. By the time I was ready to meet someone I was around 27/28 and most people were paired up.

My BMI is just fine thanks for your 'concern.'

No matter how you dress it up, your post was rude.

I have "dismissed" the sort of "positive" advice that single women get sick of hearing - quite honestly, I could retire early if I had a penny for the number of times I have heard about "I know X who met her DH when she was 38 and then they had triplets at 40!" stories.

arse if I said what I thought of your posts, they would be removed.

Don't make sexist assumptions, your posts are IMO misogynistic.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 20:01:20

Don't the last couple of pages or so show though what we do actually have to put up with?

A number of women come onto a thread and say they like it, they can identify with it and they want to post on it - but a few people are determined to tell us how wrong we are; wrong to give up hope, wrong to be fat (despite the fact none of us have even alluded to our weight) and that we need to put ourselves "out there" on a thread that complains about this treatment in real life

I am trying to imagine any other supportive thread having this!

blackbird, i have also said i like this thread, ive posted several times, once this morning about how hard it can be sometimes.

I havent and i dont think anyone has said anyone is wrong to hope or even give up hope, its an individual thing, surely?

Same as some people are happy single and never want to have sex and some people are less happy single and want a ton of sex, everyone is different and thats ok, you know smile

MsWazowski Sun 30-Jun-13 20:49:27

Blackbird, I'm much more of a lurker than a poster, but I was relieved when you started this thread. It makes me feel much more 'normal'. Having been single for 15 years now, barring the odd fwb, I've finally accepted that its how it will probably always be.

I've just turned 40, not fat (thanks arsenal!) work full time and have brought up two lovely children by myself.

A friend of mine met someone through online dating a few years ago, has moved in with him and had a baby, but IMO, he is an arse and she has lost all of her independence. I would rather be on my own.

I feel sad sometimes that it is how it has to be, but there you go.

Thanks for the thread, not everyone is in a couple smile

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 21:26:00

Oh Arsenal blush that makes more sense; I thought he was called arse! grin

Watch I haven't said it isn't ok for people to be different - in some ways that is the whole point of this thread - I'm not sure what you mean there to be honest.

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:28:48

What! my BMI is 22 and probably lower than most of my married friends. godsakes.

akaWisey Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:37

I've lurked a bit on this thread because I didn't quite know how I wanted to respond but it's made me think quite a bit.

So I'm single now but would rather my long marriage hadn't gone tits up a bit over two years ago although there was no alternative course of action. Back in the days when I bought into the "you're so lovely, he's an arse and you'll meet someone who deserves you" narrative I clung to it.

The "being single isn't a crime and you should embrace it" line always stung tbh. I've got loads of mates who are both living together, married, single, together but not living together and all other permutations possible. These days I like being single. I'm dating but I'm wary of commitment - I've just realised what I want but I don't know what it would look like if I met someone special. I will NEVER tie myself legally to someone again is the only thing I'm sure of.

I often see men I fancy, I meet a lot of people through my job and my social life is pretty good so I don't feel like there's no hope but I DO wonder what the function a relationship would serve for me now I'm able to embrace my early 50's and I can please myself how I spend my time.

I think if I want to put a positive 'spin' on being single I'd say that for me it's more about knowing my own mind, thinking my own thoughts and acting on them. Right now I don't know if I'll have another relationship of any kind but right now I believe that's protecting me from making wrong decisions IYSWIM.

Rambled, sorry and hope this feels like a contribution to the discussion. smile.

arsenaltilidie Sun 30-Jun-13 21:52:09

The old misogynistic card shock
Excluding people who are happily single; the weight issue tend to be generally true in the Men AND Women I know.

However that said men that are 'involuntary celibate' for a long time tend to have something 'odd' about them.
Makes me think of the saying "Men parking are like parking space....."
As for the posts aimed at me, seriously assume whatever, you want I'm allowed to have an opinion (weight hinders your dating pool).

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 22:00:37

Arsenal, no one has even mentioned their weight hmm

For most of us, we do not nearly fit into a box of "happily" or "unhappily" single. I suspect that most of the contributors have been single for so long, it is something that just is, in the same way I am not happily or unhappily 32 years old - I just am. My life has many happy, positive things in it. It also has elements that aren't so happy or that aren't so positive. A normal life, you might say! grin

However, where this does differ is that I don't feel able to talk about sometimes feeling lonely, isolated, worried about the future or sexually frustrated with my friends or family because I end up with the comments listed on this thread. Even seeking support online (as this thread shows!) leads to head shaking and well meant "advice" to "join things."

You are of course allowed to have an opinion but I do have to question why you made it here, when no one mentioned weight and no one even said "I am desperate for a man." We're just talking about our lives!

Maybe start another thread - "AIBU to think fat people are doomed to be single" - go on, I dare you wink

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:05:24

yeh that'd be funny! you have balls if you do!

I am as slim as i'm going to get from eating healthily and working out four times a week. I wouldn't be motivated to step it UP a notch so that I could be hmm lucky enough to maybe date a man ten years my senior lol.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 22:07:51

Why ever not, Zynia wink

I work with a woman who is massive, actually - I mean seriously she would struggle to fit on an aeroplane massive. She is lovely but whenever I give her a lift I have to leave a wide berth on her side when I park next to another car! grin But she is married very happily and is not short of male attention!

I think she just has always had the confidence to be who she is which is in itself attractive (it can't be good for her health, though!)

Zynia41 Sun 30-Jun-13 22:28:03

I believe it! I have an old school friend on my fb list, she is massive too. She is always out internet dating. And she has no problem with the casual sex thing tmi on fb less info would be ok grin

Notcontent Sun 30-Jun-13 22:41:40

Arsenal, the reason people are single is usually not because there is something "wrong" with them.
I am slim, reasonably attractive, educated, have a good job. But guess what? I found myself alone in my early 30s, with a small baby, and just not what most men at that stage in their life were looking for. I have been single for quite some time now and expect that this is how it will be for ever now.

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 30-Jun-13 22:46:00

You're not alone, NotContent; I'd love a 'singles' meet as everyone is so lovely and I bet you're all really gorgeous, too!

Scarletohello Sun 30-Jun-13 22:58:11

Have read this whole thread and tbh find it depressing and reassuring at the same time! On the one hand I hate being single and long for the closeness and intimacy and all the benefits being in a relationship can bring but at the same time I also know how lonely and disappointing they can be at the same time and I'd much rather be single than be in a bad relationship any day. I'm 48 now and I feel guys in their 40s either want younger women, are divorced and just want casual sex or are single because they are dysfunctional in a way. So, what to do..? I really love sex so I meet a lot of guys to have casual sex with, it's fun but its not really what I want and it's a bit depressing how many nice, intelligent attractive guys are out there... But all they want is an occasional shag.

I guess all we can do is try and live our lives to the full and be grateful for what we do have, but yeah, sometimes it just sucks....! Thanks for creating this space where we can talk about this stuff, it is really hard to do in RL

Walkacrossthesand Sun 30-Jun-13 23:57:11

I had a dream last night, in which I had met someone, he liked me, I liked him, we were beginning to be 'together' - I was so sad when I woke up to my ongoing single reality! <Sigh>.

Selba Mon 01-Jul-13 00:07:48

I think arsenal has an entirely valid point if you are overweight . Someone further up DID say they felt fat and frumpy and not like the person they were just a few years ago.
I have felt exactly like that for over two years ( for a variety of personal reasons ) . I am clawing my way back to a more recognisable version of myself, have lost a lot of weight. Lo and behold I am now attracting male attention . But more importantly I feel much much happier

A friend of mine owns a gym. He jokes that the loyal customers in their 20s and 30s drift away and often return ten or 15 years later after getting divorced and fat !

comingintomyown Mon 01-Jul-13 11:35:39

Thank goodness there are people prepared to enlighten us singles with the surprising information that being overweight may hinder our chances of attracting a partner.

MadBusLady Mon 01-Jul-13 11:48:48

When you're on a Self Improvement kick and are gymming/losing weight, for some reason it's impossibly not to tell everyone about it. Repeatedly. No matter what their actual problems are or whether they need to lose weight. I know, I've been that person <cringe>

OhTiger Mon 01-Jul-13 12:29:31

I really like this thread, and I see what you are saying Blackbird! Support and natter and all that, not "there's someone round the sodding corner just for you" nonsense smile

I'm single, have been for a few years, was married, have DC. I've dated a bit over the last 18mths, but they all seems to be single-for-a-very-good-reason. I echo what someone said up there men are so disappointing.

I'm going to be single for the next 9/10 years, as I have no interest in trying to juggle a man and kids and a job and home and a dog and a masters. I just cannot be bothered. So in 9/10 years I'll think about maybe dating again.

I am going to miss sex and my FWB lives in the wrong bloody country. I may get a new one of them at some point. God knows how.

Latara Mon 01-Jul-13 12:36:33

I think my biggest problem is that i keep getting depressed and that is (or could be) offputting to men... except i hear about how XYZ are dating women who are ''manic'' or ''depressive'' so it can't be that can it?

I'm 2 stone overweight trying hard to loose weight but i see lots of fat girls (i mean very fat) with men anyway.

Maybe it's cos i'm quite shy? The more confident women seem to have less trouble meeting men, whatever their age.

When i feel happy and confident i get men starting to try talking to me or acting like they fancy me but i don't feel like that very often right now.

How do you fake that you feel happy and confident when you aren't really?

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 01-Jul-13 17:25:18

Latara, it isn't you. It isn't your weight, depression or lack of confidence, it is luck - there are things you can do to greaten your chances but none are guaranteed to work! I am a very sunny confident happy person (outwardly!) but - no man!

MadBusLady Mon 01-Jul-13 18:34:07

It is luck. I was single for three years in my late twenties - great social life, skinny as bejesus except for the great boobs envy, the most confident I've ever been, life and soul of everything going, up for a relationship but very happy in my daily life too... And single for 3 years. And I don't mean that kind of glamorous twenties singledom where you've got all these men chasing you and you wave them away because you're having too much fun. I truly mean that (with the exception of a few ONS which were never going to be anything else) I didn't meet a single person in that time who I fancied, who fancied me, and was available. And I met quite a lot of people.

And in the end I got together with someone I met on the internet (not even dating, just chatting on forums).

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 01-Jul-13 19:02:06

Mad; same here. Just never met anyone. I do think some people think you should be with someone - you should either be in a relationship, or looking (a month or so after ending a serious relationship is permitted.)

I am not beautiful but like most women, scrub up quite nicely- but hmm I don't know, I wish I did know - I have never met someone who is attracted to me (that I know of.)

BuiltForComfort Mon 01-Jul-13 19:05:59

This thread is awesome! So many things I agree with and so much to say - so sorry this post is somewhat epic.

First up, I don't think it's been said here yet, though apologies if I am repeating, but the sentiment that sums up the disadvantages of long term singledom for me is not about having someone to do something with, but about having someone to do nothing with. It's the lazy Sundays or the weekday evenings or the on-a-whim times when having a person you love and love being with comes into its own. Going out for supper or to the cinema or for a walk without having to arrange stuff weeks in advance, or having someone to split household chores with (or childcare, even if its just for 10 mins so you can run out to the shop or go to the gym or pop round to a friend). Or just to sit in the same room, watch telly, browse the newspapers...

Second - seems like men can (or think they can) pick & choose without making an effort. Join a club you say? Well great, me and every other proactive, energetic, outgoing woman in the neighbourhood will see you there. The single men however will be down the gym, down the pub, in the office or festering at home. I went on a holiday for single people (NOT dating style, just a holiday). Who else went? 10 women, all generally well- presented, interesting, attractive, outgoing. 3 men, all massively overweight and socially inept. The men were surprised they didnt pull any of the women that week! The widowed FIL of a friend of mine is in his 70s and wants to meet a new woman. But she must be in her 40s or 50s at a push, and he thinks that being a companion for him would be enough of a draw, hasn't occurred to him to think about what he brings to the table.

But maybe men can be complacent? I have four single female friends, all attractive, outgoing etc. I don't know one single man, attractive or otherwise. They are all married. There seems to be so much pressure on women to "find" someone, is there the same pressure on men?

OD - it's either your thing or it's not. Identify if you have fun with it asap and if you don't, then drop it - was a massive relief when I did so. A friend of mine is addicted, literally, to OD. She spends a fortune on it. She goes on anything from 1-3 dates a week. Entirely with the aim of meeting someone to marry and have kids with. Keeps saying she will give it up but can't let go of the "happy-ever-after" we're all fed as being our right and our destiny. But, if she gave it up she would have a lot of free time to fill, which must be daunting.

Finally - the issue of married friends and their insensitivities. So tricky. Of course people want their family time, I would not want to intrude. But often I feel it is the male partner who has the say in whether a single friend is included. I have friends who have lovely husbands who are chatty, pleasant company and inclusive. And other lovely friends whose husbands barely give me the time of day. If I go for dinner, they stick talking to the other men, so I can see why I would not be included as they think, unfairly, that to invite me would result in their wife being monopolised, and them being left out! It's a real knife in the ribs to be asked out for a weekend day by a woman "because her husband is away." Like you're only good enough to keep her company and because she can't cope with a bit of time on her own?

Thank you OP for starting this thread and giving me so much to identify with. Childless or not, there are massive ups and downs to being single and coping with the downs is easier when others understand.

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 01-Jul-13 22:24:15

Fabulous post, built, agree with every single word!

Latara Tue 02-Jul-13 11:15:50

Today i'm going to the gym so you never know the nice trainer might be there and talk to me (even if he is just being friendly); i'll go to Tesco at 5pm so lots of guys will be there hopefully, i haven't given up hope of meeting a boyfriend one day just through being out and about - it's happened before!

blackbirdatglanmore Tue 02-Jul-13 17:06:24

You're better than me - it NEVER has happened for me!

Latara Wed 03-Jul-13 21:55:11

I think it's just chance or luck if it happens blackbird - but also I do find that if i'm happier, feeling more confident and also dressed in a brighter outfit then I'm more likely to get chatting to a man, or get an admiring glance, or even have been asked out before.

Also if I forget about wanting a boyfriend and feel more relaxed as a result then maybe I seem more approachable.

All I know is that when i'm feeling depressed no-one looks my way.

Please don't totally give up hope of meeting a man you like; I'm 36 and only had STRs no LTR by the way - mainly because I used to date a certain type of man who was bad for me (but had lots of fun!).

Now i'm more fussy but (to my shame) the last man I really fell in love with was married so that didn't last (we both felt too guilty); also I dated a guy who was separated and went back to his wife.

Hopefully it will all come right in the end and we will all meet decent available men!

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 03-Jul-13 22:31:16

I don't think I will latara, honestly I don't! If I really thought there was a chance I'd meet someone I wouldn't be having a baby alone.

I have some lovely clothes and wear them and I am nice, friendly ... just don't get anywhere!

Ah well, I suppose some people just don't!

itwillgetbettersoon Wed 03-Jul-13 23:22:57

Brilliant post Built. I agree with it all especially the part about being invited out by married friends when their husbands are away!!! I thought I was just being ultra sensitive by being irritated when that happens! Last week I had a friend ask if she could pop round for a drink as her husband was away for the night! Grrrrrrrrr!!!

OnyxGhost Wed 03-Jul-13 23:30:35

Are you having trouble getting any attention from men at all or just have trouble finding men who hit the right buttons?

blackbirdatglanmore Thu 04-Jul-13 07:08:08

Oh, I've never met men who want to be in a relationship with me.

I didn't have a very easy transition from adolescence to adulthood. By the time I was in a position to meet someone, they'd all been claimed! grin just the way it goes. Nice to know I am not alone, though, and to be able to have a whine.

I find I can fill days or evenings after work but it tends to be weekends that are a killer.

Latara Thu 04-Jul-13 08:30:43

Agree about weekends; I work alternate weekends though.

JaceyBee Thu 04-Jul-13 11:10:30

Hi, thought I'd join in as am in a similar position to a lot of you. Am single since separating from my ex h over 2 years ago, he now lives with someone else. I am 34 and have 2 dcs who I had in my 20s.

I have almost no single friends. When I was doing the marriage/dcs thing they were all out partying still and now I'm single and ready to mingle they're all popping out babies! So I've always been out of step iykwim.

I wonder if early/mid 30s is a particularly tough time to be single because so many people are married and have young dcs at this age? I also wonder if in 10 years time a lot of these 1st partnerships will have fallen by the wayside (cynical!) and a new wave of eligible singles will be back on the market? So the men will be single because their relationships have failed for genuine reasons rather than because they are terminally undateable, which seems to be the case currently! I did put a profile on guardian soul mates but I don't think anyone wants a single mum tbh. I took it down fairly quickly anyway, I really don't think OD is for me, plus it's a bit difficult in the line of work I do to be online in that capacity I think.

I am ok though. I enjoy being a single mum and doing what I want with my kids, we've just got back from Glastonbury which we all really enjoyed. I'm glad I can focus on them without having to worry about a partners needs/wants too. I have EOW to myself when they're with their dad and enjoy this time to myself to see friends or whatever. I have an emotionally demanding job and am studying for a masters, after which I hope to do a phd. So I don't know when I'd even have time for a relationship.

I have some amazing friends who I utterly adore and several fwb's so I never go long without sex. To be honest, I would only trade the life I have now for nothing short of perfection, and as I am unlikely to find that I have accepted that this is how things will stay. I may well find myself feeling lonely as I approach middle age, but then by the laws of statistics at least some of my friends will be separated/divorced by then too!

Latara Fri 05-Jul-13 09:32:28

Jaceybee your post is interesting thanks. I wouldn't say i'm so happy because I don't have children; at nearly 37 i'm very concerned that time is running out but I don't want to have children by myself.

I do have a friend who met her fiancé fairly recently and just has had her first baby at 39 so i'm hopeful still!

blackbirdatglanmore Fri 05-Jul-13 16:03:32

My experience is that people who split with a partner tend to pick a new one up very quickly - that's why I realised I was out of the market really. It's a bit like getting a job - easier from the stance of employment!

akaWisey Fri 05-Jul-13 22:11:57

My experience is the longer I'm single (over 2 years now) the less likely I believe I'll have another 'proper' relationship. most days I'm ok with it. Today I'm not, especially as ex dropped DD off from college and he's all bright and bubbly and that just twists the knife. I'm 53 and I know i've had the one and only significant relationship I'm ever going to have.

I'm currently project managing work on my house. I feel really vulnerable because all the firms I've contacted for quotes send blokes out. I feel vulnerable to being charged over the odds because I'm a woman on my own. Yes, I have male friends (all married to friends of mine) but I hate asking for help and I am acutely aware of the 'single woman' syndrome which really does exist.

I've got a date tomorrow actually. I don't fancy him from his OD photo but his messages sound like he's got loads of warmth, confidence and spark and I think I need that in a dating partner.

I don't feel lonely, I'm too busy and make sure I've got a social life. But……I miss having someone who really gets me.

blackbirdatglanmore Fri 05-Jul-13 22:27:02

Aka, I hope your date goes well.

Glad you've bumped this as I see the 'join clubs, make an effort, try online dating' advice is alive and well! grin

Latara Sat 06-Jul-13 09:58:24

Yes good luck on your date Aka

I'm too nervous to try OD for now; may try it when I've lost a little more weight (or am I just putting it off... probably!).

Tonight i'm going out in town to a bar with a good band so I aim to chat to at least one man... maybe, if I don't chicken out of that too.
Either way, I plan to have a good time!

nonresidentalien Sat 06-Jul-13 19:43:09

Hi all – this is my first post on Mumsnet! I tend to lurk, as I’m not a Mum so I feel like a bit of a fraud on here. But this thread I can relate to!

I’m 32, educated, with a job I really love; I’m reasonably attractive, normal BMI wink, and I’ve had three 3 year+ relationships in the last 12 years. Each one has ended because I just… couldn’t imagine marrying the guy. It’s been a few months since the end of the last, and having told myself that this time I won’t go out with someone for longer than a few months if I just don’t see it being a marriage prospect (each of my long relationships I’ve known from near the start that I wouldn’t marry them), suddenly the chances of having a long term relationship again look pretty bleak.

I actually really like my life – I'm fortunate in that I live in a big city with a fair number of thirty-something singles, I meet lots of people through work, I have a good social life, and lots of hobbies. Mostly I’m pretty happy being single.

But. But. I just don’t meet people that I want to date. There is certainly a smaller pool of available people, and less interest in me, now that I’m in my thirties. And when I think that maybe I will never marry, and never have kids, I do feel this rising panic and sense of despair. As though the future I’d always assumed I would have was just a mirage. And I don’t know what I could or should do differently.

I worry that at some point I will just give up, find and marry someone who seems “ok” so that I can have the kids and the conventional package – and it’s really not what I want for myself. Sometimes I even wonder whether some of my friends who have married in the past couple of years have actually done just that, and the appearance of being “so in love” is just a façade. And then I feel awful about myself for wondering.

Anyway, here are my own personal favourite things to hear:

You just need to be open to it. What does this even mean? I’m aware that I’m single, I’d like a relationship, I spend plenty time out meeting people… how do I become “more open”? Please tell me.

You’re too picky. If the attraction’s not there, and it’s not there after a few weeks or months it’s just… not, right? How is a relationship with someone I’m not attracted to, or who sets my teeth on edge, helping anyone?

It’s a relief to find this thread!! Sorry for the long post!

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 07-Jul-13 13:10:33

I have to admit, I felt depressed when I saw another single lady on here being given advice to 'join groups' and 'get out there' and 'try online dating it can be such a laugh.' I must have a strange sense of humour as I don't find ten messages from 44 year olds who live 100 miles away saying 'u have a beautiful smile' particularly funny!

nonresident - have you considered trying for a child alone? I don't mean now, it doesn't sound like you're that desperate yet grin but in years to come? It does really remove that pressure.

Interestingly I was having a chat with my friend on Thursday and her husband has left her and her eight month old DS. She is understandably in pieces but she did say she was quite jealous of my decision to go it alone which surprised me as she and her DH seemed very happy. I suppose you just never know! I went to a party last night in a pub beer garden where, even though must people were coupled up, most hadn't brought their spouses and it was great and lovely not to feel like the third wheel.

micshi Sun 07-Jul-13 15:49:19

I find online dating great to start with, meeting new people, going out to new places. But after a few months of dating f**kwits, you get bored of it!

I rarely ever went on dates with blokes who messaged or wanted to meet me. You have to be proactive & start messaging yourself if you ever want to date someone you're vaguely interested in!

It's been a useful tool to learn about men though after spending my whole adult life with my first boyfriend! grin Now I've learnt more, I'm not sure I'm so keen to have one again!

nonresidentalien Sun 07-Jul-13 20:36:55

blackbird I have thought about having a baby by myself... I still have a bit of sadness though when I realise that I won't have that Mum, Dad and baby happy family tableau that I'd always imagined. It also makes me sad that my baby wouldn't have the same kind of traditional childhood that I had - even though I know kids can have great childhoods in all kinds of settings, I'd always hoped to give my offspring the kind of upbringing my parents gave me. And I (irrationally?) hate the idea of my coworkers pitying me going it alone, and I imagine my Mum and Dad would worry a lot (they live in a different country, so wouldn't be able to help out). I'm embarrassed to admit that I care that much what people might think, and it's something I'd need to get over. I might well be misjudging all of them too - chances are they'd be really supportive. So I have lots of my own prejudices and mental roadblocks that I'd have to work through to have a baby alone. But it's all simmering away in my mind, and I've decided that if I'm still single when I turn 34 I'm going to start taking serious steps down that road.

How far along are you in that process? I'd be fascinated to hear about it!

And I can't quite get my head around internet dating, for some reason I find the idea depressing. And it doesn't sound like the ladies on this thread have found it very helpful!!

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 07-Jul-13 21:14:28

I don't know if this helps or not, nonresidentalien but EVERYTHING you have said sums up how I felt, honestly.

I felt very sad and in a way went through a sort of 'grieving process' that I wasn't going to have the wedding, the family holidays and the fairytale ending. Even though I knew a lot of it was a façade, it was still a façade I craved, if that makes sense.

I asked myself very honestly if I was a foetus (grin) would I want to be born to me, and my answer was yes - I have so much to offer a child, I know they will come first and be so, so loved. I can't give them a Dad, but I can give them so much more.

Only a few people know - I imagine others I am not close to will assume a brief (but evidently passionate!) relationship. Everyone has been incredibly supportive, even my Dad which amazed me in fact.

Personally I hate internet dating but just as it isn't for everyone it isn't not for everyone, if that makes sense. The problem is it gets flung at people as a panacea for all "I would like a boyfriend" musings, often preceded by, "Get yourself out there!" However most of us think of the Internet first! It just doesn't work for me - I HATE it!

nonresidentalien Mon 08-Jul-13 00:32:15

blackbird what you say about the grieving process, and craving the façade, absolutely resonates with me. It has been an unexpected experience, grieving an idea or a dream that I never really knew meant so much to me until I realised it might not happen.

I think I might find it easier if I knew in RL someone who has chosen to have a child alone - but I don't. That's one reason I am so interested to hear about your experience. You know, I'm not sure that many of my couple friends with kids really analysed their situation from the foetal perspective before having children! Maybe that degree of self-scrutiny is an unexpected upside to having a baby in a non-traditional way? Anyway, I'm so glad people in your life have been supportive. Have you found any good online resources? The MN 'Lone Parents' board understandably seems to be mostly aimed at single parents who have separated.

Maybe there's someone else lurking on the thread who has been through this too?!

Zynnia Mon 08-Jul-13 00:41:18

don't fear having a child alone. one child is easy anyway, it's when the second comes along that it all gets really hard. (imo) if you have a child alone from the get go then you're sparing your child all the aggro and the relocation and the division of cds. Everything is calm and stable and it will continue that way.

I'm a single parent and I have been since my DD was 4 wks old - she's 7 next week. I don't really think I could imagine anyone else sharing our little world on an intimate level.
For the most part I'm happy with my world, I work nights so socialising is a bit tricky but I have some good friends who I can text or chat to in the evenings and one single friend who I meet up with occasionally.
The reason I'm posting is that my single friend has just started dating. (last week infact)
Its all shiny and new and while I think its about time, I'm really not that thrilled with the constant updates and questions "why would someone say this??"
Plus it feels like the end of an era...I'm a mean bitch I know, but wouldn't you think someone starting a new relationship would seek advice from someone with some bloody experience in the field??!

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 08-Jul-13 07:36:38

I don't know anyone in real life who is doing what I am. That's probably because all my friends are married though, so don't need to.

Fertility friends do have a single women's section but it's not massively busy, and anyway I tend to find people's experiences differ so wildly. In some ways lesbian parents are your closest allies as they are faced with the same practical difficulties and sometimes the same prejudices.

Finances are probably the main cause of stress. It's expensive trying for and raising a child alone and we won't be able to afford much for a few years.

niceupthedance Mon 08-Jul-13 08:19:41

I'm one of four people I know in my social circle who have had children outside of relationships - admittedly accidentally but the father has not been in the picture since conception. I think going it alone is becoming a more popular choice.

Anyway, of those friends, one has a high-flying career and lots of help, one has just got off income support after nearly three years, I am at university and the other is yet to give birth. Unlike Zynnia I wouldn't agree "one is easy" when you have been through the whole of pregnancy, birth and bringing them up alone. At least, I am not finding it "easy". Maybe I'm not up to the job wink

I hope I am allowed on this thread, been single for 5 years with a DS of 2.5. No intention of getting into a relationship though. I don't believe in monogamy.

Llareggub Mon 08-Jul-13 08:29:30

Hi folks. I am single with 2 DCs aged 5 and 4. I am very happy with my single status. I separated from my alcoholic husband and I am busy focusing on giving me and my children an exceptional life.

I do go out. I moved back to my home town and occasionally pop out on a Friday night to my local pub. I know I will always see people I know there. I have a great job and an interest in politics so get involved in lots of things.

I don't worry about the couples who only want to socialise with couples as I know I'd find them dull.

I had a FWB for a while but it didn't work out as he became too involved in our lives. I don't think I am ready to bring someone into the fold just yet.

I do feel lonely sometimes but I was so much more lonelier trapped in my terrible marriage.

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 08-Jul-13 18:11:04

nice - there is a world of difference between having a child alone and raising a child alone, even if the latter was a one night stand. It is the planning in the former that makes the difference. Sorry if that sounds pedantic - it isn't meant to be - it's just you do get people who say "ooh yes I was a single mother by choice because I went ahead with the pregnancy even knowing that the father wouldn't be involved." They aren't the same things, at all.

Llaregrub - sounds like things are going well for you. It isn't always as straightforward for the rest of us wink

MarmiteNotVegemite Mon 08-Jul-13 18:19:35

blackbird" I do know what you mean. About 4-5 years ago (early 40s) I seriously thought of going it alone from the start. But I chickened out -- I'd been the elder daughter of a quite emotionally needy mother (and emotionally unintelligent father but that's another story) and thought that from that experience, it was unethical to bring a child into the world to serve *my emotional needs. And I knew that my mother wouldn't be around for any sort of support, nor other family -- not malicious, just distance & my mother's dislike of the cold, so she won't visit England. And also, I too, had tat vision of the father and the family ...

Of course, a couple rarely thinks at all about why they want a child/children. They just do it because it's natural blah blah blah.

So I absolutely get what you mean, and I think you're very brave to do it. I wish you all my heartfelt best (whatever value the good wishes of a stranger on the internets has!).

Llareggub Mon 08-Jul-13 18:20:48

Well, I wouldn't say it was going very well today. I am ill (fluey type thing) and have had to crack on with breakfasts, school runs and cooking and general marshalling of two lively boys. It's actually really hard today. I'd like to curl up under the duvet and sleep but obviously I can't.

But I do have a date lined up. I met him on OD and unusually, I haven't had a barrage of suggestive text messages from him. Just nice, chatty texts over a longish period. It's the first time it has happened and it is a sad reflection of OD that I have such a low bar of expectation!

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 08-Jul-13 21:56:25

Marmite, it's worth more than you might think, to be honest.

I know I'm going to stay single now, and that's why I feel fine about doing it 'my' way because it's either have a child alone, or don't have a child at all, and the latter is unbearable.

It could be a long journey, though.

Zynnia Mon 08-Jul-13 22:14:02

niceupthedance sorry didn't mean to offend there! it's my second child who is the "challenging" one as they say with raised eyebrows. Just my experience but I found the first one on her own very manageable! And I got NO help from her dad. NONE.

Maybe it's because I've been on a rollercoaster myself (rather than the white picket fence with 2.4 kids, Volvo, Labrador etc straight path, but I don't understand why it's so much harder for people to understand a woman having a child on her own. I think it scares people when women decide they don't need men. Society and friends and family don't realise that though. It sits right with them if you were abandoned or let down or 'caught out'. If you pro-actively announce that you're taking control of your own fertility and have a baby alone.

Zynnia Mon 08-Jul-13 22:18:02

or, not decide that we don't need men, but take action that is more pro-active than sitting around hoping /waiting for the right man for the job!

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 08-Jul-13 22:29:34

Zynnia - you're absolutely right. It terrifies society, or at least, some streams of society. They accept women who accidentally become pregnant - but a planned and therefore wanted baby elicits unwanted interference and a number of inane questions - "Why don't you just adopt?" "Why don't you try online dating?" "Well if it was me I'd foster." Easy to say when it's NOT you, of course. grin

niceupthedance Tue 09-Jul-13 21:27:31

Blackbird I can see the difference in planning a baby on your own, yes. The end result is the same though.

I've had plenty of people say to me "well, you made your decision" when I'm struggling to parent alone. I imagine that would hurt just as much whether you went through IVF to have a child or not.

Good luck with your plans. smile

nonresidentalien Wed 10-Jul-13 04:40:48

Ugh, nice - people actually say that to you? How horrible, and unhelpful. I can only imagine they'd say it even louder if you'd planned the pregnancy alone.

I do wonder how I'd find it, being a lone parent. Maybe it's one of those things you can't know until you do it. The only thing I'm sure of is that money would definitely be tight for me in that situation, at least in the early years.

And blackbird, I'm also wishing you the very best! smile

Llareggub Wed 10-Jul-13 08:20:31

I am a lone parent. My exH does not see our DCs at all. In many ways it is easier, as we are a cosy little family who please ourselves. When I split with my husband I moved nearer my family. I'd say being close to family or good friends is an essential.

Being organised is another. You can't just pop to the shops when the kids are in bed. I keep bread and milk in the freezer for such emergencies.

I'd say it is easier when they are babies. Babies are portable and if you are not a routine freak your life doesn't need to change that much.

To anyone wondering if they can handle lone parenting, I'd say stop wondering. Children teach you what to do as you go along and people are very supportive.

I'm ill at the moment and obviously struggling on to get the boys off to school etc. I've had offers of help from people I scarcely know. You really do find out who your friends are!

superstarheartbreaker Wed 10-Jul-13 14:48:14

Have been reading this with great interest. When I was with my ex dp I found out he was a regular pot smoker. This greatly upset me as I hate pot. I came on here and everyone told me to dump him. My friends and family in real life told me that pot wasn't that bad and that I should 'work at it.' This is despite none of them smoking pot for good reasons.
In other words they meant it is better to be in a realtionship with someone than noone at all. Bollocks. A real gem from someone was that I shouldn't complain, get mad or shout about the pot; I should be nice and sweet about it. It just demonstrates how deferential we as females are supposed to be.
In the end he dumped me anyway. I was devastated. I now know that I should have dumped him first and saved myself the pain but I was in love. Now I have come to my senses I am looking foward to a man -free summer and a lovely holiday in Ibiza with dd. If I was with a man I would have ummed and aaahed about the holiday and would have had to compromise. My ex worked at Glastonbury festival and was going to get me a job there. As it happened I got myself a job there and had a lovely tiome on my own, met lots of people, had a few snog and generally came back full of it. As it happens ladies I rekon, try not to dwell on being single, get out there and have fun and I bet some of your coupled friends will be envious as their dp won't let them do x, y or z.
My dad and his gf drive me mad as they are joined at the hip and have to have a major discussion about very single little detail. His gf is lovely but can't drive and recently admitted she wouldn't have the guts to go on holiday alone. i'm so glad I can!

Zyn Wed 10-Jul-13 20:47:15

sounds good, enjoy the holiday!

superstarheartbreaker Wed 10-Jul-13 22:58:03

Sorry I am having a little boast but my point is I guess that just look out for yourself and have fun. Many couples I know don't have half the adventures that I do. When dd was very young I had no money to go away on holiday but just being able to go for a walk without some kind of discussion is refreshing.

blackbirdatglanmore Thu 11-Jul-13 12:10:01

I don't think you are boasting, superstar but all the same I don't think you've quite understood what I and others are talking about here. You are (forgive me) 'visiting' the single life, you have a child, and I presume, given you worked at a festival this summer, family to support you.

'Get out there and have fun' makes me want to cry. This week alone i have been to a birthday party, out for a meal, I have been to a Zumba (!) session, I have gone to meet a local author signing his books in our local booksellers. I did all these things with friends. In fact I often think single people tend to have more by way of social occasions than their married counterparts.

But I go home alone, I am ill now and I am wiping my bum on a dishcloth because I ran out of loo roll and am too poorly to go to the shop and stock up. If I died (I won't) I would be fly food. I could go on holiday - alone or for a walk - alone - would there be a point? I'm not so sure there would be. I did I go away alone once and got some really strange looks - obviously this wouldn't be the case if I had a child with me but 'alone' alone does elicit some peculiar glances.

It sounds like you've split with your partner recently and are just now coming round - great BUT bear in mind that at the moment you are visiting the single world, and like all visits you only see the good. It's when you move in permanently some of the real downsides slip in - and you will find you can never, ever voice them, because you will be told you should get out there and have fun.

Zyn Thu 11-Jul-13 14:43:37

yeah, I feel lonely today. I have texted two friends and they're both busy. I don't think I'll see or talk to another adult until the weekend. And only then if I can get a babysitter. I am not continually lonely, far from it, but I am today. Which is weird, cos the sun is shining and everybody is so happy! I love the sun but sometimes it can be like Christmas, it sort of accentuates that you've nobody to go and to things with.

blackbirdatglanmore Sat 13-Jul-13 19:47:45

I feel awful sad Sorry for such a negative post but I need somewhere 'safe' I can have a cry.

I just want to be enjoying the sunshine like a 'normal' person. Everyone is busy doing family stuff this weekend - I have been out quite a lot in the week - so never mind, I thought, I'll go to a beer festival. EVERYONE was in couples or families. I felt like I stood out like a sore thumb (I probably didn't.) Came home and I have to get through tonight and tomorrow. Another weekend without speaking to another fucking living person.

And why is it like this for me - am I so revolting and gross that no one wants to love me or live with me or be with me?

Sorry. Feel like shit!

BloomingRose Sat 13-Jul-13 20:20:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

honey86 Sat 13-Jul-13 20:37:26

hi can i join? im a mum of 3 kids (whos dad passed away a few years ago) and im preg with no.4 but split up with my fw ex seven weeks ago after he became nasty and controlling, and a vile bully. havent heard from him since (not that im complaining), so im trying to just 'get on with it'. im 24 weeks atm. not going to lie its lonely as hell but im a trooper, ive done it before and worn the t-shirt, so on i soldier....

hope everyones ok xx

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 00:45:44

god that's rough honey. I hope your first three kids are a little older. back to square one with a baby. that is tough. you're better on your own than with a bully. I know that from experience.

blackbird I had an 'interesting' discussion with a friend a couple of evenings ago. She is married, very happily I think. Anyway, another friend announced that she is now ready for a relationship, that connection. The married friend gave the advice of making sure she was at peace with herself, accepted herself, etc.... I suggested really gently I thought that that wasn't a cool thing to say. The reaction it provoked was quite extreme! My normally very calm, very sensible, very intelligent friend (who has been through a lot with infertility and ivf and losing pregnancies) just couldn't could not would not acknowledge that I might have a perspective she did not have. The conversation became a bit woolly then, I was no longer certain what was being discussed.

But it was a weird thing. Yes, sadly it is true. Women ARE blamed for being single and if they point that out, they're told to sort out their demons, find peace, accept themselves................... I have just left it. There's nothing I can say. She thought she'd hit a nerve with me confused

She's not normally arroagant but found her complete refusal to accept that it's not the right thing to say quite arrogant and a bit upsetting.

honey86 Sun 14-Jul-13 08:29:59

uh huh.... yeah all three are in full time school in sept so im thankful i have the age gap... i had them 3 close together (7,5 and 4) and that really was hard blush they are quite independent now, all toilet trained, dress themselves etc.

and i agree, as much as there is lonely times im much more settled without him., without the pressure he put me under xx

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 14-Jul-13 08:47:12

blooming thanks for your kind words. I think everyone knows it is 'easier' alone, but all the same, yesterday, I was the only person there alone. I really don't know what the other people who have to spend weekends alone were doing.

Zynda I'm glad you've said that, it's true. Even online, which is normally a good place to voice things you can't in real life, you can't! Honestly, if I name changed and started a thread 'aibu for being upset I'm always on my own' I bet at least 80% of the responses would be that it's my fault for not joining fucking clubs, or whatever. That's the killer at times; not being ale to express any sort of discontentment. I've been ill this week and AF arrived yesterday as well. Sigh! Bit brighter today!

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 08:57:03

blackbird yes 90% would tell you it was your own fault! I feel like that. What is wrong with people? They don't have the perspective.

honey make sure the fwx steps up and does some childcare. I wish I'd pushed for that more at the beginning. Was so afraid he'd take them off me, which now, is such a JOKE. My youngest is 8 and it's still hard. Thank good ness they are spending a week with their father soon. It'll kill him. I could say he will gain newfound resepct for me, but no, he will blame me that they are out of control, always fight, so cheeky, so demanding, always asking for treats........... all.MY.fault

I'll just go and flagellate myself!! it's all my fault, all of it. wink

Flojobunny Sun 14-Jul-13 09:03:49

Only just seen this. All of it rings true.

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 09:11:05

ps and blackbird the happily married friend believes she hit a nerve with me. and now feels that her words were so profound or something... actually, tiz the other way round, I think I hit a nerve with her suggesting to her that she gave inappropriate/hurtful advice to a single person. she was just having none of it. Nothing I say now, nothing, can convince that I am 'at peace'. Ykwim?

MadBusLady Sun 14-Jul-13 09:17:54

Zynda that sounds extremely frustrating. Yes, i'm afraid she will now do head-tilty concern at you every time conversation goes near relationships. Argh.

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 19:31:14

wine o'clock (just the one though, i'm not finding solace in alcohol ) gotta be careful not to give that idea!

blackbirdatglanmore Sun 14-Jul-13 20:21:59

Enjoy your wine!

Zynda, so true. Since starting this thread it has made me realise how crap things are for long term singles - I don't mean people who spend a few months between partners, I mean the years with no hope of a relationship in the future singles. I've had another weekend spent in solitary confinement (grin) and it is wearing, no doubt about it.

Break up for the summer on Friday, and I'm dreading it.

whitesugar Mon 15-Jul-13 09:43:04

Blackboard I know where you are coming from. I have 2 teenage DC so it's bit different. I am sworn off men at the moment but wondered if you would ever ask a man out. You seem to get out a bit so maybe you could try to chat someone up and if you like him ask him to go for a coffee or something. I might do this myself if I ever get back out there.

Trust me I have received every bit of advice to get myself a man. This advice usually comes from women friends who have been married for over twenty years and would not last one minute on the dating scene. I hope you are not offended by my suggestion. At the moment I am happy being single but do get pangs when I see loved up couples. These pangs don't last too long probably because DC keep me occupied chasing around after them.

Zynda Mon 15-Jul-13 19:02:35

That's a thread in itself! maybe I am too cautious. People say "what have you got to lose?!". eh, my dignity? The last time I liked a man, I guess he probably knew it, and I don't know, thought I was too old for him/didn't want a girlfriend/was put off that I had kids. So I'm glad I didn't ask him out!
I got chatting to a man on a train once and he gave me his card and I emailed him but heard nothing from him. So, I was glad I hadn't rung!
I can't think of a single time I went out of MY way to ask a man out or steer him towards asking me out, and later thought Good move !!

whitesugar Mon 15-Jul-13 20:40:59

Zyn you can't snuggle up and watch telly with your dignity! Just asked single male friend (totally hetro) how he would feel if a woman asked him out and he said he would be chuffed and flattered and if he liked the look of her he would definitely say yes. He also thinks most men would feel that way. We, well not me cos I am sworn off men, should do it for a laugh and report back on success rates.

What do you think blackbird?

He said when when single men go out they are attracted to women who look nice, not perfect, seem happy, like a bit of carry on and shouldn't be too loud.

My brother told me once never to take advice about men from women. I was having diffs with boyfriend at the time and he told me only men know what men actually think. So ignore all advice from females.

Zynda Mon 15-Jul-13 20:45:41

True! I guess. I can't relax and kick back if i'm wincing about something excruciatingly humiliating that I did/said though!!

Whenever I ask a man out I think he feels awkward :-/

I'm not sure I want to take advice from men. I don't even know any though!! It's that bad! I do see that there is logic there, in what your brother says - if you want To Get A Man Full Stop. But I don't want to have to jump through hoops and do thngs that don't come naturally, or pretend to be Cool Girl.

Zynda Mon 15-Jul-13 20:51:38

I think taking advice from women reminds women not to lose sight of what women want!! A lot of advice men give out is telling us to be more like the idealised woman, as idealised by men. And life aint like that buddy cos sometimes people are allowed to be women, so I wonder confused if taking advice only from men could work wonders in terms of getting-a-man, the what came next could be stormy. I don't really know though!

Latara Mon 15-Jul-13 21:48:32

I can't imagine asking a man out, and it turning out well!

The man I like is a trainer from the gym, but he's very attractive and probably well out of my league. I don't know if he's single anyway or if he likes women in my age group (similar age to him).

whitesugar Mon 15-Jul-13 22:08:34

I think men just want a best friend who they can hang around with. The reality about relationships isn't anything to do with looking like Barbie. Men just want someone they can talk to about things apart from football, cars and work. Ask him latara, if he says no the world will still keep spinning around. Easy for me to sound brave huh?

Latara Mon 15-Jul-13 22:33:14

But if I ask him and it goes wrong then I can't go to the gym any more.

superstarheartbreaker Mon 15-Jul-13 23:23:39

I think that society needs to be much more supportive of single women. Bridget Jones needs to stop being bandied about as a cringe-worthy role model. I prefer Samantha Jones from Sex and the City who is georgeous, strong and does not need a man but loves sex!
Society needs to acknowledge that no relationship is better than settling or indeed better than abuse. A single women should be seen as a success for coping alone rather than a failure for not putting up with a lot of crap finding a man.
The way I see it is like this; everyone who is interested in me is an ex who now has come crawling back. The thing is , now I am over them I do not want to be them as I have no desire to date drug addicts, alchoholics, dead beat dads, emotional fuckwits, controlling, intellelectually stunted, badboy loosers!

superstarheartbreaker Mon 15-Jul-13 23:24:55

Latara...why don't you get chatting to him and find out more about him rather than asking outright. Do some research! Drop hints and flirt!

blackbirdatglanmore Mon 15-Jul-13 23:25:12

whitesugar I do get out a fair but but only 'cause I live alone. If I didn't get out I wouldn't see people. Unfortunately it really isn't an exaggeration to say I never, ever meet single men. I can't imagine just taking the chance one is single and asking him out - thanks, though. I know I'm not going to meet anyone now and I accept that and I'm ok with it - I think I'll be happier once a child is on the scene - but at times it is very very tough being alone.

Walkacrossthesand Tue 16-Jul-13 00:03:01

I understand, blackbird, I've been single for 18 years contrary to everyone's expectations after my marriage ended. I long to be someone's 'one and only', to be special to someone - you can have friends, go on singles holidays, find company - but it's just not the same, you do wonder what's wrong with you that you can't find what so many of your friends have found. John denvers song 'druthers' says it well - 'Give me somebody to love me, make me feel like the only one....You just need someone to talk to, Something you can share. You don't need no reason for livin', It's already there'. It's tough.

allaflutter Tue 16-Jul-13 00:21:07

Walkacross - it's very wrong to compare yourself to the coupled friends - do you really think all their relationships are close, sharing, understanding?? I think the truth is, they just put up with a lot, and many don't even love their patners anymore and stay out of habit/children even if they don't hate each other, but what I mean - it's not like that romantic song you are quoting! I literally know only a couple of truly happy loving r-ships, the rest of women i know either put up with a lot, or their H's/P's have left for someoneelse after years together.
I'm single too - it's hte first time in life htat it's been solid for 2.5 years, so OP, it's not at all always the case that those who had r-ships are always on the bandwagon. I'm sort of shocjed myself, but if I think about it, it's about preferring to be on my own to someone only slightly suitable. If I find the right man, I will of course go for it, but previously I went for it completely on imulse - that's why I had relationships, not because there was something 'right' with me, and now htere isn't - I just didn't think too much. And guess what, they haven't worked out, even though I had a 6yr marriage.

allaflutter Tue 16-Jul-13 00:28:11

OP, I do wish you best of luck in becoming a mother, I think you will find happines that way, as you want it passionately. Your whole perspective will change to a positive one, at the moment you sound very pessimistic as you focus on lack of company - imo the child will be much more reliable as long tern company than any man can be. Yes, it's touch being single sometimes, but same can be said about being with someone and maintaining love long term - and not being irritated by their bad sides - in majority of cases.

blackbirdatglanmore Tue 16-Jul-13 06:45:54

I'm quite pessimistic at the moment because I have been so unwell, I think. There's nothing like being alone and ill to make you really feel it.

I think we all know that our friends' relationships aren't all hearts and flowers but the point is that being single isn't all high heels and hangovers either, there are enough posts on relationships dispelling the myths about them - we KNOW! Is it not possible to just say that something can be shit without every other post reminding us it could be even more shit!?

Walkacrossthesand Tue 16-Jul-13 06:46:17

No, allaflutter, I don't think all my coupled friends have wonderful close relationships, nor do I compare myself to them - but it is a strong human drive to form a pair bond - the majority of people are in one, and it's hard being single for a long time /forever. The song isn't romantic, incidentally - he's singing about what he'd like to do with a companion (go fishing and enjoy a lazy day). In the end, he decides to go fishing alone - defiantly. I like it.

Walkacrossthesand Tue 16-Jul-13 06:47:50

X-posted! Hope you feel better soon, blackbird brew

blackbirdatglanmore Tue 16-Jul-13 07:16:35

Lots better now thanks! I'm just recovering so tired, sluggish, a bit depressed (always get a mild form of depression after physical illness! No idea why!) flowers

Llareggub Tue 16-Jul-13 08:30:38

Blackbird, I do hear what you are saying. I can go all weekend with speaking to a single adult, and with 2 children under 6 it is hard.

As a single mother I crave company of adults and the best advice was from a friend of mine in the same boat. We have a pact where we try and make social activities happen for us. Last night she took a bottle of wine to her neighbours (they are in their 70s) and she encouraged me to do that this week too. Both of us tend to wait for invites from others as we don't want to impose on what we see as "family time" at weekends.

The reality is that if someone asked me to do something at the weekend I'd move heaven and earth to make it happen. I rarely can though, but I am working on it.

I took the kids to the beach Friday evening and felt moments of sadness when I saw the families with 2 parents and children and the groups of friends, but I know that I am rubbish and inviting people to do stuff. I wish I was better at it. If you had been there on your own I would have snapped your hand off for a bit of adult conversation!

allaflutter Tue 16-Jul-13 20:51:46

Op, I was replying to Walk's post about how great would it be to be loved and be the most important person to someone. As if I don't knnow that! I'm single too and don't really want to be. And no, nothing wrong of saying it's shit, but surely you expect people to try and cheer you up or at least come out with a philosophocal view on things (as I've tried to do) - rather than just repeat 'it's shit' over and over again? Al lI was saying is that lts of relayionships are shit, and the chance is really small to find one where you are cherished for a long time by same partner while also loving him rather than getting bored/irritated/disappointed.
Life gemerally is tough, and all you can do is try but also appreciate what you have just being and enjoying aspects of life - and planning for a baby in your case - meditation is based on it and it does help the morale.
I agree that being ill and alone sucks, but don't feel embarassed to ask a friend. My new (not very close even) friend offered to go the shops when i was unwell (I wasn't that bad so did it myself) - but it was enough to cheer me up.
I just think you are too negative when you say 'I will never find a relationship', why is that hlpful? you don't have to sit and hope, but being so 'final' is just not being open. I think most people don't understand threads where all they are alowed to do is say 'yes, that's shit' - most would not want to wallow in woe is me. Sorry I know I don't have to post, but being single and not too happy too, I still think it's too doom and gloom. Hopefully you are getting well now at least!

blackbirdatglanmore Tue 16-Jul-13 21:34:16

allof - sorry you feel it's negative. Truth is, I have to spend my days smiling and being cheery and sunny and happy, and it is a relief when I can come on here and be honest, and with some of that honesty is sullenness, resentfulness and yes, negativity. I didn't promise a rose garden, after all - or did I? wink

I appreciate everything I have, but again, I didn't start a thread about my lovely home, good job or friends, I started one about being single and truth is I don't appreciate it, I find it hard and I find it lonely. TTC, alone, is despairing at times. The end result will be worth it, certainly, but in the interim the isolation is immense.

I won't find a relationship. I haven't had any interest at all, ever, it isn't going to start now! I know if I was writing a chick-lit novel now would be the point when the main man would waltz in but it isn't a chick-lit novel, it's my life, it will keep ticking on much as it always has. I've had my share of moving homes and jobs and adventures and interests but the one things that is always consistent is my singleness!

I am much better, thank you. Unfortunately most friends work or are with small children during the day so asking them isn't a help.

allaflutter Tue 16-Jul-13 22:28:26

sorry Op, didn't mean to sound harsh, but it probably came out like that. Glad you enjoy your social life. I really emphathise with not liking being single - in my case I'm used to being in r-ship, and it's even harder to get used to being single - but after 2.5 yrs I'm somehow more chilled about it eventhough I do want to meet somone. I'm older than you by 10yrs, so to me it's negative that at only 31 you've given up mentally - all I want to say, never say never! I'm just worried that because you've decided 'that's it' , you ar giving off that vibe that you don't believe in finding a partner and maybe that's why there is no interest? I can't think of any other reason that no one ever shown interest as you are popular with friends and a good person. Someone asked, did you ever ask a man out? Maybe if you have a forbidding type of vibe, they are feeling the 'don't come near' - I've been accused of that at some point so it's nothing unusual (I wasn't ready then anyway). I also srtuggle meeting single men, this IS the biggest problem for women in their 30s-40s. But I'm not negative as I know for a fact that preople find the right partner at 40, 50, anytime - I don't mind an older guy. I think you come across as a very strong confident person, and men assume that if you aer interested, you'll approach them, unlike someone delicate looking/acting. Also, why not ask a man friend for honest feedback - unless you are very proud, that's if you do still want to be open to dating. Try older men too online within reason, some women have excellent partners who are older.

allaflutter Tue 16-Jul-13 22:28:59

empathise, I mean.

Flojobunny Tue 16-Jul-13 23:40:59

I haven't always been single but I can't live with anyone, I'm too stuck in my ways now and find it too stressful.
I used to be confident and aloof, and sometimes a complete bitch, but now I'm needy and desperate and that seems to come across. Being nice and genuine doesn't seem to get me anywhere.
I often wish I was that 18 year old in a bar without a care in the world, what happened to her?

It's my birthday next week. It's one of the worst times of being single for me. Friends get whisked for weekends away, one has a surprise party being planned, another is skint so her husband will send the full day running around after her instead. I need to remember to ring up a family member or two to make sure someone will remember to take DD to buy me a card, she gets upset if not. To me,that just sums up the full crapness of being single. People ask what I'm doing for my birthday. Nothing, as it means planning it myself, paying for it myself, and feeling shitty when my friends already have plans with partners and can't see my anyway. So I'll open my cards with DD, and put on a happy face for the rest of the day.

allaflutter Wed 17-Jul-13 11:56:41

Flojo, but if you don't want to live with someone, what are you desperate about - you mean just with the more casual dating? I do relate to being like that in my youth - how things changed grin.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 17-Jul-13 13:03:53

Breakout - I so hear you on that one. I am blessed in that I have lots of friends but only one who is single. All the others are coupled, some with kids, some without. I don't have a DD or DS or a DH and almost no family, so birthdays (and Xmas to an extent) can be incredibly lonely. I have my 40th next year and I can't see myself suddenly having a partner by then, as I have been single the last 3 years and only 2 dates in all that time. I would love to do something memorable but have no one to do it with and will probably end up doing nothing at all as I would find it more lonely doing something memorable on my own than just staying at home on my own.

blackbirdatglanmore Wed 17-Jul-13 16:14:35

Jessica, you sound like me. I can so relate to "I would find it more lonely doing something memorable on my own than just staying at home on my own" - it is the part people often don't get (in my experience) - yes, it's possible to do stuff but it's rare (in my experience again) that it is particularly pleasurable or enjoyable.

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