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A thread for and about the chronically single

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, and I'm straight.

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

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

SolidGoldBrass Fri 26-Apr-13 22:14:40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SolidGoldBrass VERY Solid advice!

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

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

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

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

Very well said, SolidGoldBrass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UnlikelyAmazonian Sat 27-Apr-13 09:41:31

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

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

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

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

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

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

SolidGoldBrass Sat 27-Apr-13 11:55:54

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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