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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.


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

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?

BreakOutTheKaraoke Wed 17-Jul-13 11:55:06

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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