Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Why do us girls bother with relationships when they cause so much hassle?

(122 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Wed 10-Jul-13 23:28:35

I think many of us hold out for the ideal love that we see in the films but goodness; this forum has made me wonder 'is it all worth it?''

Things I don't miss about being with a bloke;
Putting up with addictions such as pot.
Having to compromise
Emotional abuse
worrying about being left.
Worrying about unplanned pregnancy.
The bad break-ups.

I don't even miss sex a great deal although I think the intimacy and hugs are nice.

Olyphin Thu 11-Jul-13 00:13:43

I think it's because women are socialised to think they NEED to have a partner, that they are less than others if they are single, and therefore will put up with a hell of a lot more just to have a relationship. Men, realistically, won't put up with as much or tend to have more "deal breakers". If women were encouraged to focus on themselves for value and self esteem rather than their relationships the world would be a very different place.

That being said, there are nice men out there and being in a good relationship is something which can greatly enhance a person's life. It's not surprising that anyone would want that, regardless of the pitfalls.

Diagonally Thu 11-Jul-13 00:17:50

Relationships don't have to be like that at all. Most of mine haven't been, although there was one Prince among Twats. I'm certain he came into my life so that I could see how bad things could be and know never go back there again.

You are not picking the right kind of person!

WafflyVersatile Thu 11-Jul-13 00:43:51

Because long-term singledom is dull and cats are no substitute for sex.

Bogeyface Thu 11-Jul-13 01:00:20

Because sometimes, just sometimes we meet a man who is caring, loving, unselfish but not a doormat, hard working but not a workaholic, a good father but not at the expense of his relationship, supportive but not controlling, generous but not stupid with money and good in bed.

Sadly, they are usually married to someone else, but it gives us hope that there really are some good ones out there.

I had one once. He was wonderful, and he finished with me because he got a crush on my friend and didnt think it was fair to keep seeing me (you see? Honourable too!). I was heartbroken ( we were both very young, he was 20 I was 18), and especially when he did see my friend for a while, with my blessing. She treated him badly and cheated on him. Eventually he got together with someone else. He became a millionaire, they got married and now have the perfect life with a son and a daughter both in private school.

But......if I hadnt been too proud to ask him and he hadnt been too embarrassed to ask me, I think we could have got back together. Lesson learned, never let a good one go! We are still friends in the way that we will have a good long chat and a catch up if we bump into each other but we dont have each others numbers. And his wife is lovely. Bitch grin

Bogeyface Thu 11-Jul-13 01:21:22

Also, I have realised that I see things in men that I would never have seen when I was younger and that has made me much much pickier.

A friend of STBX's is wonderful, I think the absolute world of him and we get on like a house on fire. Whenever he visits we have a great time, and me and his wife clicked within seconds of meeting and became lifelong friends. They are fantastic people. But........I could never be married to him, even though 20 years ago I would have crawled on my knees to date him. He is rich, good looking, funny, charming and a point. He is also very controlling, tends towards OCD in terms of tidiness, and can be tight with money regarding his wife.

Like I say, 20 years ago none of that would have triggered my radar but now I think that while he is an amazing friend who supported both STBX and I through some tough times and happily opened his house to us, I could never live with him. His wife has a fantastic career and has her own money and deals with his arsiness by ignoring it and doing what she wants anyway! But for a laid back person like me, it would be far too much like hard work!

libertine73 Thu 11-Jul-13 01:52:02

I'm in a relationship of 12 years, and the only one of your list that applies to us is the compromise.

you just need to find the right man for you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 06:07:51

Most human relationships have a bit of hassle & compromise attached. Relatives, friends, work colleagues, random strangers... even pets... unless you're planning on becoming a hermit and withdrawing from society, you have to find ways to engage that make the best of it. Same applies to romantic relationships and yes, some men/women are a PITA. Is it worth it? If you find someone you really connect with, it's a risk worth taking.

comingintomyown Thu 11-Jul-13 06:44:05

Asking myself the same question at the moment

I am coming up to 4 years single after a lifetime of always being with someone.

My self esteem is higher, my moods and sense of wellbeing are on an even keel and I run my life as I see fit. I can see the benefits of being with a nice male partner and being in love the trouble is I dont see any men fitting that bill.

If I moved in circles where everyone wasnt married it would be easier but I have the contradiction of being the only single one and seeing the majority of their marriages as flawed/miserable.

I think sensibly I will begin to think if I meet a man I like then yes its worth the risk BUT not overlook those flags in order to be with him and I will never have a live in relationship again !

Ruralninja Thu 11-Jul-13 07:24:23

because humans are social animals, lots of men are lovely, but there's no rush settle with any old Neanderthal!

Vivacia Thu 11-Jul-13 07:34:08

My response is the same as libertine's - the only item in your list I recognise is compromise.

peacefuloptimist Thu 11-Jul-13 07:48:55

I do sometimes think this. Relationships are such hardwork. Anytime you get complacent some other issue crops up that you need to deal with and find a solution/compromise for. I think the problem is essentially humans are flawed. None of us are perfect. So really it's about finding the person who has the sort of flaws you don't mind. grin What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for someone else.

bugsaway Thu 11-Jul-13 07:52:19

i dont know if it is how girls are brought, the society around us or our genetic make up but I think there something that makes us weak within relationships with men. I say this because we seem to have a lot of needs that men dont have. The desire to be close, the desire for that perfect guy, the desire for the guy to do x,y,z and invariably when they dont behave like that we are upset. Its almost like a cruel twist of nature.

I have said to myself for many years why bother with marriage, why bother with men in general. Most of them are useless when left to their own devices. I just look around and I see a lot of man-children. That might sound a bit harsh but women often end up playing a mother like role for men. Women are always tidying up after them. Women always reminding them to fix the shower, mow that lawn. Its a constant nag because they are in fact like children.

Im married but not happily so, for many reasons. I have children and his role as a parent is even disappointing. So much so I feel like mother and father, even though he provides financially very well.

I might sound ungrateful to some but still I think, is this it? a life of this? Constant loggerheads etc. So your post resonates with me OP. I get you completely.

I think your friends wife is doing what most women end up doing - ignoring the husbands behaviour and getting on with it. Isnt that what men do all the time? Theres something in that.

I bother because I like men and really enjoy being in a (good) relationship. I've been very lucky with the men I have had relationships with, so that perhaps colours my opinion.

However, it is much preferable to be alone IMO, than being in a dysfunctional relationship.

peacefuloptimist Thu 11-Jul-13 08:14:40

Sorry for thread hijack but Bugsaway your post resonates with me. I'm one of those losers who made a list of what they wanted their perfect partner to be like so I very much knew what I was looking for. My DH probably was most of if not all the points and at the start of our relationship I felt like I was in a dream and this was too good to be true. However, as time went on I realised that there were a lot of important things I should have put on the stupid list that I didn't think of. For example good father. Since we have had dc my regard for DH has dropped a couple of notches. It's not that he is not a good father he is and loves ds too pieces as well as financially providing him with a brilliant life which I didn't have when I was a child. However good father is so abstract. What does it mean to be a good father? At the time I didn't realise for me that meant someone who wanted to actively engage with the care of their child rather then be bullied in to it. Who didn't need to be reminded that child needs x, y or z and in fact would think about their child needs rather then needing to be told. Who put his child's comfort well ahead of his own etc. I still love my DH and respect him as a person (I wish I was more like him in some respects) but he has definitely disappointed me recently.

burberryqueen Thu 11-Jul-13 08:19:07

sorry to be pedantic/whatever but we are not "girls" any more

superstarheartbreaker Thu 11-Jul-13 08:24:28

Sorry 'women'. I don't mind being called a girl.
I think compromise is good to a point but so many of my friends compromise so much. One woman I know is thinking of giving up her own house to move away from her family etc because her dp refuses to move to her home town. She has children.
Other women are 'not allowed' to go out without their men. confused

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 11-Jul-13 08:27:11

There will, of course, be some men out there thinking the exact same things about women. Women can be addicted to something, be jealous, be emotional abusers, 'oops' their partner into a pregnancy...

There are men out there who are hopeless relationship material and there are women out there who are hopeless relationship material. Occasionally, people can have been completely useless in all previous relationships and suddenly find Mr/Miss Right and totally sort themselves out.

At the end of the day we all CHOOSE who we are in a relationship with. If we're not happy, we can choose to sort it or leave. But if you continually find issues with every single man you date or have a relationship with, there may be something wrong with your radar!

burberryqueen Thu 11-Jul-13 08:27:47

"Sorry 'women'. I don't mind being called a girl"
yes but if you think about it calling women 'us girls' like we all victims of dreadful men together self perpetuates stuff.
I am not a "girl" I am a strong woman who doesn't need an inadequate man to validate myself.

Bogeyface Thu 11-Jul-13 08:29:27

Whats the issue Burberry? Age has nothing to do with what we call ourselves, and "us girls" is a tongue in cheek, inclusive way of describing ourselves. Would you have the same issue with "the boys"?

FFS, there are more important things to get snooty about!

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 11-Jul-13 08:30:09

superstar - people choose to move away from family for a partner a lot of the time. For example, if your friend is a SAHM and not earning while her DP has a good, well paid job which he would struggle to find in the current climate in her home town, it may well be sensible for your friend to move to his town. That seems to me to be a sensible compromise. It doesn't necessarily imply (although it could be in some cases) controlling behaviour.

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 08:30:40

bugsaway I think you have hit the nail bang on the head here! Well done you. Men ARE like children. If left to their own devices they rarely can fend for themselves I have been single 8 years and did not even think to seek out a partner until my son went to school i.e. when he was 4. I was put off men by my son's father and was nowhere near ready.

Since then I have met lots of men for fun casual sex and it has been an interesting phase but now I seek something more deep and meaningful. However I do not feel I need marriage, I have been married 3 times before but it does not suit me, I would like part-time lover and true friend more a soul companion but not controlling - kind and caring.

I would like a relationship but do NOT need one it is a good place to be. It is just more expensive on our own I find and raising a child alone without family support is well hard for me. My lot feels quite unlucky at times.

Fortunately I have found a womens support group to go to to discuss anxiety and depression and this is a real breakthrough. The issues are NOT to do with no boyfriend indeed I had these issues long before I broke up with the ex. I really do feel this route will cheer me up no end.....

Most men feel threatened with independence unless they are a rare 'new man' - unless we are living eg. London where I used to live - I live in Derbyshire noawadays which is quite crippling on the man hunting stakes lol my ideal partner seems more like a distant dream these days!

I think once my son gets less demanding i.e. in his teens and when he needs me less I will just get a dog and make do lol. I have guys' numbers for casual sex that will keep me going until I get a nice one - maybe I will and maybe I won't - besides which all the men I find that I actually like are sick!!!!

Sorry about such a long thread ladies have a great day!!

burberryqueen Thu 11-Jul-13 08:31:37

I have been through phases on this one.
it is about mindset though - like I said the 'us girls' of this post seems to be making us 'victims' of nasty men.
just my opinion.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Thu 11-Jul-13 08:32:46

Equinox - "Men ARE like children"

I call sexist bollocks. SOME men might be. Plenty of women can be like children too.

At least you put the word "most" in front of "men feel threatened with independence". Still sexist bollocks though.

Bogeyface Thu 11-Jul-13 08:34:57

I took "us girls" to mean, you know, us. The point would have been the same had she said women, ladies, females, vagina owners......

burberryqueen Thu 11-Jul-13 08:36:01

Men ARE like children. If left to their own devices they rarely can fend for themselves
well if that is what you have decided no wonder you are 'pulling' the wrong sort of men.
if a man said that about women what would you think?

burberryqueen Thu 11-Jul-13 08:37:57

The point would have been the same had she said women, ladies, females, vagina owners......
no it wouldn't that is the thing, or I would have let it slide, as I do with e.g. "girls night out"

Currently asking myself the very same question.

Not sure it's really worth it at all. Think I was happier living on my own with DS and having a few dates to look forward to every now and then.

I don't know if it's just me..... but I've found the men I've lived with (just two!) far less agreeable to compromise, far less able to adjust to considering the other person, and basically wanting me to fit in around them.

I've found similar traits in those I've dated.

Is it just the men I'm attracted to, or is this a more general trait? Is it possibly something to do with our societal norms and being more used to having a 'man of the house'??

I don't know. I do know that out of the (not too) numerous men I've dated, I'm yet to find someone who knows much about the idea of partnership!!

Think that actually might say more about me than anything else blush

Ezio Thu 11-Jul-13 09:19:48

I've been single for 4 years, tried to get into relationships, but i just cant be arsed.

I used to being single now, dont think i take having a man.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 09:25:50

I've been single for 18 years now and 'CBA' sort of covers it. Yes, I've had a few boyfriends down the centuries & even managed to conceive along the way which worked out better than I expected. I don't mind the odd overnighter and a few have seemed like longer-term prospects but when they start rearranging my towels, leaving cupboard doors open or (shudders at the memory) switching MY television to some football match, then they're asked to leave.

Ezio Thu 11-Jul-13 09:31:57

Thats my bug bear Cognito, the remote control is mine, and only mine, men dont like that.

RestingUnderTheSun Thu 11-Jul-13 09:37:14

I would look at it the other way too. Things I would miss not being with a man:
- Having someone to share things with (discussion, new things you've seen, pleasure you got from x day out etc...).
- Being able to share the load re the dcs
- Having more freedom to do what I really want to do rather than what I have to do (eg I can afford to have my own business and take it easy because we share finances whereas I would never have been able to that dream job otherwise)
- Security that comes with being 2 adults supporting each other rather just one. I think it applies to financial situation, emotional ones etc...

What I don't feel
- worried about being left. I used to. We went through a very bad patch and I have learnt that actually I can function wo a man in my life and I can do well. So staying with him wasn't a 'I can't do anything else. I have no choice' but a choice to be with that man even though I would have chosen not to.
- Emotional abuse. Again, some of it can be 'managed' and handled (ie it looks like emotional abuse but is more of a twat behaviour that can be changed). So I have learnt the art of being assertive instead of putting up with stuff (see above, all coming form the fear of being left). Proper abusive stuff, I would leave.
-Jealousy. Comes from fear again and the feeling that, rightly or wrongly, you can't trust that person. If you really can't, why on earth staying with him?

And the worst thing is that I don't think we have anywhere the 'perfect' relationship that we are so often sold.

RestingUnderTheSun Thu 11-Jul-13 09:38:10

CBA ???

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 09:39:30

Can't Be Arsed.. smile

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 11-Jul-13 10:00:43

I don't think 'girls' makes us sound like victims of men. What it does is make us sound like children, which we're not.

superstarheartbreaker one big problem is the level of compromise expected in some relationships, which is effectively just men expecting everything to happen their way - as per your examples of someone moving to the bloke's town and uprooting their kids, etc.

Having kids is a game changer here too, because in many relationships, as soon a baby arrives all sorts of sacrifices 'compromises' are expected of the woman which totally pass the man by.

Dahlen Thu 11-Jul-13 11:25:10

I think it's mostly social norms. The whole of our society is based around the nuclear family being the building block, so as soon as you step outside that model you are made to feel like an outsider.

That is changing now, of course, which is generally a good thing I think. Family should mean all sorts of set-ups as long as they are healthy ones that meet the needs of those within them, but that is still far from the mainstream.

The nuclear family has traditionally been very good for men and for children. Far less so for women, who, as a result, have been brainwashed into thinking that happiness and fulfilment lies in family. Our roles are defined in relation to others far more so than are mens. We are wives and mothers first, whereas men are <job description> or keen <golfer/football fan> first and husbands and fathers second.

It's only when you've had a taste of what life is like for many men that you realise how different life can be if we were free from those constraints. I have been single for many years and would no longer put up with even a 10th of the crap I have put up with "for the relationship" in the past. So much so that even though I am now in a (not living together) relationship with a lovely man, I still find myself wondering if it's worth it.

RestingUnderTheSun Thu 11-Jul-13 11:49:46

but you see, my DH was exactly like this. His job took precedence above and over everything else, incl family.
but he learnt this wasn't acceptable once I stopped allowing him to do so.
And I also learnt that I could put my own 'needs' work wise first too. ie he is the one who will have to make an effort so that I can develop my own career at this moment in time. I can and should ask as long as it is sustainable for the family as a whole (and good for all of us too).

I think that what is really difficult is that most women think they want to be equal to men. That we should all have the 'rights' etc... but then are happy to pander to their DH in the name of love.
So he goes out for a work dinner, she looks after the dcs, put everything on hold. but she goes out for a work dinner and she prepares the evening meal for him and the dcs as 'poor DH' will be on his own in the evening, looking after his won dcs....

And yes there is the issue of the nuclear family which means that single women are by default the ones to take on most the childcare with very little support available. Either from the dad or from family/friends/bigger community. It doesn't help.

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 14:11:47

burberryqueen I honestly do not know where you have been in life to not have clocked on to the fact that by and large women are more giving than men and are more willing to make adjustments and sacrifices whereas men are generally far more selfish and about their own agenda.

Really I cannot believe you have not noticed this you must have led a very innocent life!!

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 14:12:32

By the way Dahlen well said!!

Bant Thu 11-Jul-13 14:23:04

Things I don't miss about being with a woman;

Putting up with addictions such as online shopping.
Having to compromise
Passive aggressive sulking.
Worrying about unplanned pregnancy.
The bad break-ups.
Cold feet in bed
Nightmare MIL
Unexplained crying jags
Used tea bags in the sink
Having to pay someone else's speeding tickets and parking fines
Having to listen to bloody Santana

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 14:37:28

Bant I can honestly say none of those apply to me out of your list apart from naturally the need to compromise which is only fair of all relationships.

We are not all nasty pieces of work out there trust me there are many fine ladies out there far more than fine men I have been around!

Single men so often have so many insurmountable issues right now I just cannot fathom it and so many other single women agree to this it is not just my perception.


Ezio Thu 11-Jul-13 14:38:07

Bant, im guilty of some of them just not all.

Putting up with addictions such as online shopping. Not Guilty
Jealousy Not Guilty (Unless i have reason to be)
Having to compromise Might be guilty
Passive aggressive sulking. As above
Cold feet in bed Not Guilty
Nightmare MIL Not Guilty
Used tea bags in the sink Not Guilty (Dont drink tea)
Having to pay someone else's speeding tickets and parking fines Not Guilty (Dont Speed or park like a twat)
Having to listen to bloody Santana Not Guilty (Not a fan)

Bant Thu 11-Jul-13 14:44:56

Oh sorry, Equinox - was I overgeneralising?

Silly, silly me..

JeffTracy Thu 11-Jul-13 14:45:08

I think Bant and Equinox sound perfect for each other smile

...but I wish we could get away from the "men are like this, women are like that". CBA to defend my gender - I know some are arses, but not all.

Love a bit of Santana by the way...

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 11-Jul-13 14:48:17

I don't have my copy of "Wifework" to hand, but there are interesting statistics in there that illustrate the general point that relationships benefit men and disadvantage women, emotionally speaking.

One of the more interesting ones, to me, was the percentage of depression in married women (high), versus divorced women (low), which was pretty much inverted for men, who get their emotional needs catered to by another adult when they are in a relationship, but fall into depression when that relationship (and that source of emotional support) ends. While relationships appear to be an emotional drain for women, as a cohort.

We have very screwed up relationship models in this society. It seems insane that 2 adults would fall into the roles of emotional "giver" and "taker", when those roles really only seem appropriate in the parent-child relationship.

Dahlen Thu 11-Jul-13 14:54:21

I'm pleased the world is changing. The constraints on gender in our society are just as restrictive for men as they are for women. There are many men out there who would love, for example, to play the role of primary carer for their DC. There are many men who would be happy for their DWs/Ps to be the primary earner. Society still treats such men as social oddities, although with backhanded praise, although it is improving, while men still find it harder to discover self-esteem if they are not working than do women because male identity remains massively culturally endorsed through work life and experiences rather than family.

This isn't about sex chromosomes. Men are not inherently more selfish than women IMO - I don't think there is much of a gender difference in character traits like that. But society still encourages men to define themselves through work/interests while it encourages women to define themselves through family. That inevitably leads to more women than men making sacrifices for family life.

The best example I can think of to illustrate this is a recent one I saw in a newspaper. Parents had a premature son who spent some time in SBCU. To say thank you, dad goes off on a charity jaunt to raise money. All very laudable, except mum is at home doing the far less glamorous but vital role of caring for newly released child. Who do you think will get the most accolades and the exciting experience?

SummersHere Thu 11-Jul-13 15:14:15

Well I'm one of those rare women who don't bother with the hassle of a relationship. I've been in longterm relationships, short term and spent lengthy periods single, most recently the last 5 years. I don't know a single woman other than myself who prefers the single life and does'nt have that need for a man.
I just prefer not being in a relationship and living my life exactly how I wish.
I don't think I could do compromise anymore and there's no chance I'd ever clean up after another adult
I have a very busy life with family/friends/ds, a house and business to run. I think trying to sustain a relationship on top of that would be exhausting!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 15:18:05

"I don't know a single woman other than myself who prefers the single life "

<Waves from the cheap seats>

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 15:19:33

One area I have noticed since having my son 8 years ago is that men always get far more FREEDOM than the women once the child is born unless we have family support we have kind of had it.

I have scarcely socialised much over these years which has impacted on my wellbeing immensely owing to the cost of childcare although I plan to bring the changes in shortly and just go out on e.g. home improvements (may have to run more of a tip slowly lol) as my mental health cannot stand being a prisoner inside my own home any longer!! The brief reason for no family support is my parents are deceased and I never had any siblings so it is all on my shoulders ....!

I used to quite envy my ex when he left the house those early few months we were still together once our lovely child was born - he was never happier than putting his cap on and getting out there into the big wide world again lucky sod!!

It just seems so fundamentally unfair that women have to overadapt once the child is born and moreover overcompromise with their spouse if they wish to remain wedded/cohabiting. And then certain religious fanatics argue there is a God out there! A patriarchal being who is in charge of us underlings whom we are supposed to look up to. Really it defies all reasoning!

superstarheartbreaker Thu 11-Jul-13 15:34:45

I think I would love the single life more if there wasn't this insiduous pressure from society to be in a couple; everything from marriage tax to holidays being cheaper for couples etc.
Mind you it is quite fun being a rebel and annoying everyone by saying ''I can't be arsed, I'd rather be single at the moment or I don't need a man' and being able to cope alone. People just don't get it with women an dyet for men (generalisation) noone blinks an eyelid if they are single.

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 15:55:08

superstar you have a point however I do think society still assumes single men are somehow 'saddos' lol.

It is stupid how lots of the older generations, albeit perhaps well meaning, assume we are a problem to be fixed and should be immediately coupled up with the nearest suitor!! I think the trend is for increasing numbers of us women to keep our independence indeed men have noticed this too. I have even had this said to me in Derbyshire which as I say I do find supremely backward and out of touch where I now live lol. Perhaps there are more single men who prefer to one day end up cohabiting again than single women....?

Some are great as friends but once it is relationship territory the ball game seems to alter so so much it is just ridiculous!

Think I will just get a dog as stated earlier in a few more years once my son is a bit older and I am sure they will be infinitely easier to cope with than a husband or live in boyfriend!!

I have to say though men are absolutely great as platonic friends.

RestingUnderTheSun Thu 11-Jul-13 16:02:27

But again, you don't have to accept it.

Some men are actually quite able to accept we want to do the same exciting stuff than them. But if we (women) never ask, why on earth would they want to do it?

I much prefer trying to change things at my level than being miserable than society isn't geared to what I want.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 16:06:52

"I think I would love the single life more if there wasn't this insiduous pressure from society to be in a couple"

I've never actually felt that pressure. Probably because I'm not that bothered what anyone else thinks, let alone 'society', or maybe I'm just a bit thick and insular (likely)smile I don't even care that it costs me more to go on holiday alone (with DS) or that I might lose out on a tax-break for couples. To me, anything worth having doesn't come cheap. Independence included.

flippinada Thu 11-Jul-13 16:08:55

Another woman over here who prefers the single life <waves>.

Dahlen Thu 11-Jul-13 16:10:44

Cogito I feel very similarly. My independence is worth paying more for, which I remind myself about whenever I have to pay more for the privilege of living alone and paying everything out of one person's salary.

However, having been horribly poor at one point, I am aware that it was a lot harder to have those principles and live by them in the past. I was well aware that living with a man would have made my life significantly easier financially, even if he was just on NMW. The impact of poverty on single people is often underestimated, and it's often worse for the low-earning childless.

flippinada Thu 11-Jul-13 16:10:52

Being single is pretty awesome actually.

Never say never (might meet somebody) but currently very happy on my own - happier than I ever thought I'd be.

libertine73 Thu 11-Jul-13 16:14:25

I commented earlier upthread to say the only one on your list that we do is the 'compromise' one.

Today I'm seriously contemplating becoming single!! even though the above is absolutely true, we have no real 'ishoos' of sorts, I just don't know if we're making each other truly happy anymore, and life's just too fucking short. even if we have got 2 young DCs sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 16:25:19

"The impact of poverty on single people is often underestimated"

Without trying to turn this into a political discussion, I was thinking only the same thing this morning when there was another kneejerk 'oh the horror!' reaction to the news that 49% of children are born out of wedlock today and calls for the government to promote marriage more. On the one hand, poverty trumps marital status of parents when it comes to children's life-chances. On the other, being married offers a small amount of financial protection (I'm thinking shared assets rather than maintenance) if someone finds them ditched and a lone parent.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Jul-13 16:26:18

'themselves' ditched...

CuChullain Thu 11-Jul-13 16:31:57


In previous relationships I have had to put up with:

Inexplicable silent treatment
Financial incontinence
Emotional blackmail
Double standards.
Physical abuse
Selfish behaviour
Crap bitchy friends

However, good job I did not apply the above traits to all women out there as quite clearly that would amount to narrow minded misogynistic bollocks.

Vivacia Thu 11-Jul-13 16:44:31

I don't think Burberry was saying that women don't have it worse, I think they were saying that it doesn't have to be this way. There's no law saying women have to put up with such behaviour, if it exists. I recognise some of the descriptions of male partners described above but definitely not in my mine.

I also agree that the use of 'girls' when we mean 'women' should be challenged. I'm only just learning why this is important.

burberryqueen Thu 11-Jul-13 16:52:28

*burberryqueen I honestly do not know where you have been in life to not have clocked on to the fact that by and large women are more giving than men and are more willing to make adjustments and sacrifices whereas men are generally far more selfish and about their own agenda.

Really I cannot believe you have not noticed this you must have led a very innocent life!!*
i actually have no idea to what in my posts you are referring to!

SummersHere Thu 11-Jul-13 18:01:37

<waves back to all the sane single ladies>

There's nothing mysogynistic about this thread, it could relate to men as easily as women. The fact of the matter is some of us choose not to bow down to societal pressures and live our lives the way we choose as opposed to how society thinks we should.

peteypiranha Thu 11-Jul-13 18:04:11

I have been out with men, and am niw happily married. Not a single man I have ever been with has done any of those things confused

equinox Thu 11-Jul-13 18:10:15

burberryqueen it is where you did not agree with me about my view that many men act like children. If you scroll up you will soon see!!

peteypiranha Thu 11-Jul-13 18:12:12

I dont think most men act like children. There are way more decent men than horrible ones.

bugsaway Thu 11-Jul-13 18:35:05

when men act like children they are not being horrible per se, they just suddenly are incapable of doing anything properly ... so guess who goes ahead and does the job(s) ... we've all seen it ... its called being bone idle and selfish ... I don't see women acting this way and men picking up the slack

arsenaltilidie Thu 11-Jul-13 18:37:05

Cu not forget nagging about things that don't matter.

Just because your BS radar is a little off
Doesn't mean all men are useless.

Before i met DW, I was happily having one FWB to another when one started to develop feelings.

I'm pretty sure I and most men would still be alive and healthy if our DP had to move away for a while.

legohouse Thu 11-Jul-13 18:43:41

CogitoErgoSometimes What you wrote up thread has really helped me tonight so i wanted to thank you.

peteypiranha Thu 11-Jul-13 18:44:32

Plenty of men dont act like that. If someone repeatedly picks someone with the same faults, its probably because that person is not very good at selecting partners.

legohouse Thu 11-Jul-13 18:48:53

This was what i am refering to - Most human relationships have a bit of hassle & compromise attached. Relatives, friends, work colleagues, random strangers... even pets... unless you're planning on becoming a hermit and withdrawing from society, you have to find ways to engage that make the best of it. Same applies to romantic relationships and yes, some men/women are a PITA. Is it worth it? If you find someone you really connect with, it's a risk worth taking.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 11-Jul-13 20:54:58

Hermitude is sometimes very temptng!
I don't mean this just to apply to women and men are far from always useless. What I am referring to really is the amount of pain that people put each other through in the name of love etc.
I do think if the connection is special then of course it's good to pursue it. I have had this once and it ended in tears so mabe i'm a bit bitter?

superstarheartbreaker Thu 11-Jul-13 20:55:39

I agree that men make terrific platonic friends.

MarianneM Thu 11-Jul-13 21:06:48

Why do "you girls" get together with such men?

How sexist and offensive to say that all men are like that!

Would you like a man to sum up "all women" in similarly offensive terms?

FWIW my DH is

Putting up with addictions such as pot. - not addicted to anything
Jealousy - not jealous, or at the very least does not show it
Having to compromise - I don't have to compromise, it is HE who compromises!
Emotional abuse - never, ever has DH emotionally abused me!!!
worrying about being left. - I have never worried/had to worry about that
Worrying about unplanned pregnancy. - ??? contraception is readily available!
The bad break-ups. - again, depends who you pair up with

I think the question should rather be: why do women fancy/get together with/marry morons?

BrawToken Thu 11-Jul-13 21:09:51

I have no idea OP. Relationships are more down than up in my far too extensive experience ind the experiences of most (but not all) of my female friends. I am now extremely happy with my kids, friends, family, job, vibrator blush, cats and dog. Most of all, what makes me happy is not having to constantly compromise so the other adult in my life can get the cream off the top while I do the hard work.

GreenSkittles Thu 11-Jul-13 23:56:47

I have been single for ten years, from my mid twenties to mid thirties. It took me a long time and a lot of energy to get out of an abusive relationship, and I was in no hurry to get into another one, I just wanted to focus on bringing up my DS.

I didn't trust my judgement as I had thought my ex was a lovely guy, until suddenly he wasn't.

After about five years I changed from being afraid to just being so content with how I live that it would feel like an inconvenience to merge my life with someone else's.

As far as sex goes, I had my first ever orgasm within a year of single life, so I can honestly say my sex life is better alone than it was with a man in my bed!

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 06:28:25

The fact of the matter is some of us choose not to bow down to societal pressures and live our lives the way we choose as opposed to how society thinks we should.

I think this is a very different issue to what the OP was talking about. A list like that one makes me think 'Oh all relationships with men are like this. There is too much to loose to get into that sort of thing so I won't do it'.

Which tbh if you are in a relationship with a man that isn't suitable to you, then it makes perfect sense.

But I think there are lots of ways not to bow down to societal pressure.
Eg: men act like children but not doing things properly..... You can bow down to societal pressure and do it for them instead and then act like a martyr 'Oh look at what I have to put with again. He is so childish/iddle/selfish'.
Or you can refuse to accept it and be assertive about it.
Interestingly enough, I found that once you start refusing to accept these societal pressure that women do this and men don't, a lot (most?) men will raise to it.
Whatever you do in your own home is your problem and should be a place where you can refuse to follow all these norms. And somewhere where you can change things too.

BTW, I do agree that women can be just as much of a pain than men and would imposed all the things described by the OP to their (men) partners. Actually I am pretty sure that homosexual couples would probably say the same thing about their own partners.
It's not an issue about men. It's an issue about the ability of human beings to live together harmoniously.
But we still do it because we are social beings and because being cared for, being touched is something essential to human life and mental/emotional health.

Dahlen Fri 12-Jul-13 06:47:52

Why do people marry/live with fuckwits? Because there's a lot of them around. wink

Half of all relationships break down. Of the half that are left, a good many of them will be unhappy or dysfunctional in some way.

The idea that a happy, functioning, mutually rewarding relationship is out there if you just make better choices is a complete myth. Those relationships exist, sure (I am the product of one), but they are in a small minority - they are not inevitable if you are just a better, wiser person.

peteypiranha Fri 12-Jul-13 07:15:13

I dont think thats true dahlen. I always go for men with similar personalities. I get on with all my exes, and am friends/still speak to most of them. I have never had a controlling, jealous, horrible person, all of them have treated me well. Its the type of men I go for.

peteypiranha Fri 12-Jul-13 07:24:52

Of all the people I know who have a history of poor relationshi. ps they all go for similar personalities in men. They think they can change them, they will change when they are married or have kids blah blah blah, they have a really poor radar for noticing things most people would, and that the whole universe can see except for themselves. Then they take ages to get out the relationship, and 6 months later they are with someone who is showing signs of being exactly the same again but they wilk be different to bob, joe, paul, john and all the other men who were crap boyfriends hmm

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Fri 12-Jul-13 07:51:31

Another happy singleton here <waves>

RestingUnderTheSun Fri 12-Jul-13 07:51:57

Dahlen, maybe maybe, the problem lies with the women in the relationship too?

For a relationship to work, you need the input from both people and for both partners to act in a reasonable way.
It certainly not a question of one person being 'good' and one 'bad'.

Dahlen Fri 12-Jul-13 09:06:11

Resting my last post was deliberately gender free. I don't think men have the monopoly on fuckwittery at all. wink

I think a big part of the problem is that people have totally unrealistic expectations of marriage and relationships. I also feel that the cost of living actually makes this situation worse - lots of people move in together far too quickly because they realise it makes economic sense without asking themselves would this actually be what they want if money was no object.

But all that said, it remains the case that women tend to suffer more than men when it come to bad relationships. This isn't because men are somehow 'worse', it is because society is structured in a way that puts men's needs above a woman's when it comes to the family. It's why, for example, the gender pay gap doesn't really apply before children, but impacts massively so afterwards (because mum nearly always takes the career hit by being primary carer).

equinox Fri 12-Jul-13 10:03:40

Well I have just this morning texted my last potential boyfriend to let him know not to contact me again.

I was feeling so much calmer and slept easier in my bed before I met him this was back in mid June so very recently. I have had to cut off contact today before I get in any deeper.

Not sure why I keep attracting sick men!! The poor man has MS albeit he has full mobility still (he is 48) I had had such high hopes for us too he was into pagan topics just like me and was highly intellectual very well travelled and intelligent just the qualities I like. It was just his story with his wife who he is allegedly separating from did not add up one jot and when probed more on this very recently guess what no word from him for two weeks!! So that's me consigned to singledom for a while longer .....!!

Can the next bloke I meet please please NOT be sick! And have already separated from the wife! Usually I only meet up with single men I had just made an exception in his case.

I will now go and sulk for a few hours lol.

TheSecondComing Fri 12-Jul-13 10:08:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CuChullain Fri 12-Jul-13 10:41:42


Relationships can (and should) enhance your life, not BE your life and not make it worse. I think unless you are 'sorted' in your own life you will struggle to add to anyone else's, and vice versa.

Very well said

Trills Fri 12-Jul-13 10:56:35

I object to your use of "us girls", as if it is only ever men who bring bad behaviour or bad habits to relationships.

jessjessjess Fri 12-Jul-13 17:48:58

What Trills said. This is needlessly sexist. Your issue has been with your choice of partners, not men as an entire gender. This really irks me. I am the career obsessive in my house and DH does most of the housework.

"Having to compromise" is a basic tenet of any relationship.

"Worrying about being left" is an issue with your self-esteem.

I am hiding this thread now as it has irritated me so much.

libertine73 Fri 12-Jul-13 18:12:36

Fair play jess and I have to agree that the 'men are such children, I don't know any women who are so childish in a relationship' comment has boiled my piss a bit, as I'm the immature irresponsible one!My DP is stone cold steady, and although we both work hard in what we do,I'm always the first to crack open the wine, or want to piss off to a festival at the earliest opportunity. Just wanted to say that.

maleview70 Fri 12-Jul-13 18:44:27

Maybe women are not as childish but I've come accross many who are needy, insecure, spoilt, jealous, angry, hurtful possessive and one was physically violent. Like you say it's not just men.

superstarheartbreaker Fri 12-Jul-13 21:59:50

Ok. I didn't like the way I used 'girls' too. I mean this to apply to people of all genders and sexual orientations.
I do agree that it is nice to be cared for and touched etc. Intimacy is lovely but ime many men care about me until they realise that relationships take work and that I don't necessarily agree with everything they say.

Zynda Fri 12-Jul-13 23:19:44

Occasionally i long for a relationship with a good humoured decent clever man who is good company, and not trying to date women decades younger than himself, but the man I want does NOT exist I remind myself, not in single form anyway.

I'm aware that society might judge me as less. But I feel more. I am not one half of something. I'm all of it. I've got through years on my own unsupported, and I'm still sane, good humoured, normal, content..... so, yeh, feel more as a single person. But I know society doesn't share that view.

equinox Sat 13-Jul-13 06:09:38

I agree with the above that half the relationships out there aren't happy and a great deal of women I have observed are to my mind overcompromising. However at my son's school I do witness quite a number of happy relationships and I do envy them that I can honestly say out of the 4 men I have lived with I was not sufficiently happy with any of them.

This was despite the second relationship which involved a lovely man with a good education and great job and lots of common sense he still did not feel 'enough' he was more left brain and I am more right brain shall I say. At least he did not have an evil bone in his body unlike the other 3 who had a nasty side to them.

I think from now on I will only date men who are in a good job and not on the sick as they tend to be happier within and with a good education as a well trained mind as this is a big plus for me and I like the academic type.

Men tend not to be too happy with themselves when they can't hold down a job as they are on the sick e.g. having taken an early pension. I have met so many people unable to work for some unknown reason. I really must mix more evenings and weekends but owing to being short of childcare funds this is sometimes a distant dream!

Selba Sat 13-Jul-13 06:58:46

the problem as I see it is that being in love and having great sex is possibly the best feeling in the world . Sadly it's a rare state to be in and does not often last.

That is also why normally sane people have affairs.
it's like a drug

peteypiranha Sat 13-Jul-13 08:03:34

Of course great sex and being in love can last for the rest of your life.

maleview70 Sat 13-Jul-13 09:05:41

Not for most people.

Selba Sat 13-Jul-13 09:19:26

yes it's chasing the dream of great sex/ being in love forever that keeps us pursuing relationships.

peteypiranha Sat 13-Jul-13 09:24:42

I dont see why it shouldnt stay the same and you stay loved up and having great sex. You only live once.

Dahlen Sat 13-Jul-13 10:43:52

Chemically, it's not possible to retain that initial lust. If you look at the physical chemistry of what happens when we first fall in love/lust, there are different hormones involved compared to those that help us form bonds and stay together long term. Of course it's possible to love someone for the rest of your life and of course it's possible to remain feeling sexually attracted to that same person for the rest of your life, but it's not the same. IMO it can be better for some people, but it's simply the case that our bodies cannot sustain that initial hormone cascade for that long. To do so would result in early death due to hormonal overload putting a strain on various organs.

Add to that the problems that can be faced by children and sleep deprivation, money worries, work stresses, elderly parents, etc., staying loved up is a mean feat for many. IF you can nurture your relationship well then it will certainly sustain you through that, but IME it's actually quite rare for both people to take that approach. What tends to happen more frequently is that one person takes it out on the other, or one person makes all the effort and the other gets into the habit of taking.

I'm not a cynic. I believe in love and I believe in healthy relationships - I've seen them in action. I would stake my mortgage on the fact that they are a minority though and I maintain that it is far better to be on your own than in a bad or merely unhappy (unless transiently only) relationship.

peteypiranha Sat 13-Jul-13 10:48:49

Its easy to stay loved up. If you snog, kiss, touch, hold hands, have lots of sex then you feel lustful towards your partner.

Stresses are easied, and relieved by doing this. Everything seems less stressful when your loved up.

Dahlen Sat 13-Jul-13 10:54:52

I think that's oversimplistic. Yes, the more sex you have the more you tend to want it and it has the added bonus of releasing of oxytocin (the 'bonding' hormone). But it does rather depend on context.

Hard to feel lustful and want to snog if your 'D'P/H/W has just snapped your head off because of tiredness, or left their washing up lying around the living room for you yet again, or even gone off with friends rather than choose to stay in with you?

peteypiranha Sat 13-Jul-13 10:59:05

Why would you dh/dw have to do these things? If you want to go out the one that asks first gets it, unless something important comes up. We take it in turns with chores, but if one night neither of us fancy doing any we just chill out together. Its not like its going anywhere. When your dead whats going to be more important? There arent that many chores in a week, and surely the most important thing is your relationship?

equinox Sat 13-Jul-13 11:05:44

Dahlen I really like the way you write your replies and I do have to say I do agree with all that you say.

peteypiranha Sat 13-Jul-13 11:20:32

The reason why a lot of relationships seem to break up on here is because it seems like a relentless grind for years with no adult time or fun. It doesnt have to be like that there are 168 hours in the week its important there is a good chunk of couple time, and time for each partner individually to see friends/pursue hobbies.

Zynda Sat 13-Jul-13 11:22:57

so much of what passes for love is lust.

it starts of great, the sex is best when you know somebody fairly well, but as soon as you know them well enough to know that they now feel entitled, entitled generally, and hardly see you anymore, want all the old perks they got when they made you feel alive and special, and they think the way to get that back is through sex, without bothering to make any effort!! it's madness. If they LOVED you they'd make the effort and of course sometimes that happens but if it was only ever lust it's the end.

I'm a decent interesting person and nobody 'loves' be because I guess I'm not young and pretty so 'love' it hardly exists I sometimes think. I love my children.

Dahlen Sat 13-Jul-13 15:05:20

Thanks equinox smile

petey - do you honestly think anyone on here is going to disagree with that? Of course they're not. But here's the thing - unless both people put that effort in, it doesn't work. No matter how much effort you make, and no matter how much you try to encourage your partner to do the same, if they don't want to they won't. No matter how hard you try, if only one person makes the effort, the relationship will suffer.

Most people fall somewhere on the spectrum between consideration for others and completely self-absorbed. None of us are perfect, a few are downright selfish. Most of us somewhere between, sliding up and down the scale as different life events affect us. In your world everyone is considerate of the other's feelings and is prepared to put in the same effort as the one they expect from the other partner. That's the ideal, sure, but it's certainly not an accurate reflection of RL relationships.

peteypiranha Sat 13-Jul-13 15:27:56

Of course but then that comes down to who people select in the first place.

Dahlen Sat 13-Jul-13 21:23:01

THe world is full of nice people who thought their partners were similarly minded but turned out not to be.

feelingvunerable Sat 13-Jul-13 21:32:40

Good point Dahleen.

I am struggling at the moment.

Dh and I have recently separated after dh decided he wanted "freedom", and left the family home.

Turns out he is depressed. We only discovered this at my insistence that he see someone over his erratic behaviour.

We have been together a long time and I don't put our problems down to my lack of good selection.
I have tried to make it work, but unless dh puts the effort in, then my choices are this:

Put up with it, or permanently separate.
What I would actually like to happen is that dh puts me and his dcs first. This is what I do.

feelingvunerable Sat 13-Jul-13 21:36:34

Oh yes and when we took our marriage vows, in church, I don't remember it only being me who vowed to forsake all others and to love and to cherish.

My dh has admitted that the vast majority of our problems are entirely down to him. Maybe this is all linked to his depression.

FastLoris Sat 13-Jul-13 22:25:18

Isn't a large part of the answer to the OP, the fact that women need financial support to facilitate having and raising babies?

Dearjackie Sat 13-Jul-13 22:58:08

What is it with men and inexplicable silent treatment?
I have found its usually related to sex

yetanotherstatistic Sun 14-Jul-13 00:04:41

I have had 3 serious relationships. One lasted 2 yrs but he called off the engagement as he had fallen for someone else. Had a period of being happily single then met a great guy who I spent a decade with until we decided that we wanted different things in life. Still friends but would never get back together. Had a few more years happily single until I met someone who I thought was my soulmate.

Rolling on a few years I am now a single parent. The guy I had adored turned out to be a cocklodger, a persistent liar and womanizer. I am surrounded by women who are tolerating faithless husbands for various reasons, mainly financial or not wanting to be single again.

I have provided for myself all my adult life so don't have a financial imperative to be with someone. I miss having someone to share things with, relax with and have fun with. I miss the intimacy.

What I don't miss is the lying, betrayal and contempt. I have never nagged as I hate the idea of forcing someone into doing something - it just lessens my opinion of them. I don't believe in being joined at the hip. I try to treat someone the way I want to be treated myself. I'm definitely not high maintenance.

The older I get the less I think my attitude to relationships ends in a mutually happy and respectful union. The long term relationships that I see all seem to involve either persistent nagging, or demanding to be put on a pedestal or finding ways to live with infidelity. None of this has any appeal.

I can't see me ever wanting to give up the many joys of singledom for what I miss from a relationship which I think are often just an illusion.

Bant Sun 14-Jul-13 01:21:16

I think it's the 'Happily Ever After' which is misleading. Many people on this thread have said that things start out well, then when there is a major life change, or after a certain period of time, things go sour. People fall out of love, get bored, just grow out of the other partner - sometimes it's just one of them, sometimes it's mutual. But often people just keep trying to hold things together because they were expecting to spend the rest of their life with the same person, they'd made vows, it was best for the kids etc..

Wouldn't it be better if people just met, agreed they wanted to spend the next 5, 10 years together, support each other and had kids, and then if they both want to they could renew it at the end of that.

Then they would be prepared for a potential separation, would take honestly about it, go to counseling, whatever, but things wouldn't break down so much and people wouldn't be left adrift and with their world blown apart if things didn't renew.

I think people might be happier that way, overall.

Rummikub Sun 14-Jul-13 01:51:26

Bant, my friend and I had the very same idea. You could just walk away after 10 years, no fault, no blame, see ya! Or you could commit for another 5, 10 years. Sensible I think.

comingintomyown Sun 14-Jul-13 07:45:39

Like a long term lease grin

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 09:16:46

except 7 years is often the point at which there's just no fooling yourself it's working any more. I have noticed on here, so may threads, so many posters left after 7 years together. it can be married for four, lived together for 5, met 7 years ago, but so often it implodes after seven years, so can you shorten that long term lease grin

peteypiranha Sun 14-Jul-13 10:23:41

I cant say I want a long term lease. If you want a divorce people can get one as it is. A long term lease would be no good if you hqve children, as if you have children you are tied together for life anyway.

It shouldnt be any effort, regardless of years together. You shouldnt have to nag, demand or put up with infidelity as yetanotherstatistic states. I think if people want to be single thats fine, but most of these are worlds away from what I have found relationships to be like.

MadeMan Sun 14-Jul-13 12:53:58

I read an article once that likened relationships to starting your own business and that you wouldn't want to go into business with someone who wasn't prepared to put an equal amount of time and effort into it; otherwise the chances are it would be doomed to fail.

I suppose if you wanted to be cynical about relationships and strip away all the lust and romance then the article made a good point. I mean, what is romance anyway? A single red rose sold from a plastic bucket for 2 quid by an eastern european at the traffic lights?? A 10 pounds dine in for two meal offer "only at your M&S"???

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 19:12:10

yeh, if it won't last, and that's a scientific fact, it makes more sense to choose somebody who is as decent, good humoured and as good company as your female friends are.

Zynda Sun 14-Jul-13 19:13:40

Even if he does not resemble Rob Lowe?
My x was very handsome and after I grew to hate him for his selfishness, his laziness, his lack of respect and his meanness, his good looks cancelled themselves out because when I looked at him I just saw the very reason for his sense of entitlement. That's all I saw when I looked at him in the end. Entitlement.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now