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.
My life feels empty and I feel so alone - how did this happen(40 Posts)
I just had my 29th Birthday, 4 months after my relationship ended with my ex of 3 years. We had lived together but I rarely saw him over the last year due to him electing to work away a lot. I'm not sure how I feel about it being over - very confused I think. He proclaimed to want his life with me but acted in the opposite way. In the end I think I cared more for his happiness than mine, because there was no room left for me to want anything in the relationship - he always did what he wanted at whatever cost to us (mainly the trips away with work and a reluctance to follow through with any plans we made, big commitments or small practical plans).
The reason I am posting is because I feel desperately alone. This summer I have watched two woman from my group of friends get married, and another 3 are marrying this year as well. I am happy for them, and I love a good wedding! But I feel very left out. Even chatting in a group, it's talk about weddings, engagements, babies, honeymoons, etc. I don't even have a partner. My friends are kind to me, and wouldn't make me feel left out, but I still feel that way. Even my wider circle of friends are all in relationships of some sort.
One thing in particular that I find hard is that I don't want to go out clubbing or to bars. I actually prefer to sit with my coupled up friends over dinner or at their homes discussing new wallpaper, than hanging round a club until 3 am. It worries me that many of my friends met partners while out getting drunk - I have nobody to do that with now and even if I did I feel past it/wouldn't want to.
My other concern is that I recently bought a house in a very small town. I work in a city but commute quite far. This leaves my evenings very short - home, eat, bed! And at the weekends I have felt particularly consumed by loneliness. Literally everyone seems to be with their other half and if they're not, I will be squeezed in (still lovely to see them), but I know I'm just a filler while their partner plays football, sees his own friend etc. That feels hard as well.
My reasoning for living where I do, in the country, is because I lived in cities up until last year. It's not what I like anymore. I used to love it, but now I enjoy having a little garden and some space from city life. I have a deep fear that I am cutting my opportunity to meet someone, however, and then I blame myself for being alone. I feel so conflicted. I was so ready to buy a home with my dp and settle exactly how I am now... I have it all, but the only difference is I am alone.
I feel so sad and miss being with someone. I hate it when people tell me to get a new hobby etc because I do have hobbies. I do try and meet people. I'm chatty and I will go out for a drink and have a laugh. I just feel like out of everyone, I'm the only one who has messed up so they're alone by the time they're 29. It makes me think it's me that's the problem - everyone else is settled and happy and many are married with kids... And I've just started to get over a break up. It's making me feel so downhearted and everyday feels like a struggle to put on a brave face.
I feel lost.
don't worry about the clubbing thing, I was bored with it even when i was a teenager and am now happily married with child - we didn't meet in a club! who does meet anyone in a club? its not really an environment conducive to making meaningful connections!
its not 'messing up' by being 'alone' at 29, don't feel pressure to get in the marriage and babies race, I know it's easy for me to say but it has to be right rather than quick. how many of said friends also felt rushed and didnt want to be alone and are now stuck with fuckwits they hate?
All my friends who are married seem very happy and a few have kids. I'm not sure any felt rushed, though they were around 26 when they married.
I know what you mean and I will take it on board. I just feel so alone.
It is still early days since you split & you need time to heal. Have you looked into joining any clubs locally that would get you occupied at the weekends? Are you into any fitness like running or cycling? They are great ways to meet people.
You need to be comfortable with yourself before you look to bring someone else in.
I think I just don't feel like I can even envisage anyone new in my life at all, and after break ups in the past I have always had a glimmer of optimism that I would move on and find someone else. I don't feel this way anymore...I genuinely feel like I have given up and can't imagine being with anyone new at all. It's like the loneliness will never end.
I've never been through a break up like that but I'm pretty confident you're not on the scrap heap at 29, loads of people get together in their 30s and have kids no problem.
as for your friends, it's early days for them! not that I'm wishing them ill or anything lol but you never know, and often the ones that look the most harmonious on the outside are the ones that come crashing down 'out of the blue'!
keep your chin up!
I feel for you. I think be comfortable with the decision to live in the country but arrange yourself some new hobbies, holidays etc to meet people. I was in the same position as you at that age and just moved forward making opportunities and had loads of adventures. I'm excited for you. Find someone hotter than your ex to shag. Sorry to be blunt but just go for it. Really. He sounds like a drag and you sound like you deserve some fun. Life can be lonely but you can make it less so. You've got some great opportunities. Best of luck
Also...you do need time to heal as another poster said. So maybe leave the hot sex for a while and just focus on meeting new people...getting a new hobby. Could you plan a holiday? That's what I did and it was amazing.
gorgon did you go on holiday alone? I think it's the feeling of being out of touch with friends and also like I no longer have the energy to bounce back and be positive...(thought my ex was the one, it's hit me hard).
I just feel like this is it for me and can't see a way forward. I keep questioning my decision to live in the country as well, as I will naturally meet less people... but then in my heart I know I don't want to be city based, and that's just me. I am so confused.
You're 29, it really is no age. Take some time to be alone & grow comfortable with it, go on holiday (I envy you this as I wish I had prior to DH & DC) My experience is that you will meet someone when you aren't on the lookout & least expect it.
Yes, I went on holiday alone. Every time. Figured I was more likely to meet people. I did volunteering in a post conflict country. A couple of sports adventure holidays. And the city holidays via airbnb. Had a fabulous time. Didn't meet anyone special on any of the trips (but had lots of offers on the city holidays) but it was so liberating and character building. Embrace life. He isn't the one for you because he didn't value you. You are young use this opportunity to build up a bank of incredible experiences and a network of great friends. Some single, some not. Get yourself into the strongest position possible. Don't doubt your move to the countryside. You are being true to yourself. But make sure to network there and In the City you work in so that it alleviates any problems with not meeting people. You could always rent your house out Amd rent in the city for 6 months if you are really doubting the decision in due course.
Don't stagnate. Get out there. You are young. So young. You have loads of time. Don't even fret one little jot about meeting somebody. Use this time to explore yourself and your own life. Such an amazing privilege, I'm excited for you. It will make you a stronger person and the best person for a healthy relationship in the future.
If you are really stagnating then think about going to work abroad for a year. Like in Australia. I don't know what you do for a living but perhaps you have transferable skills.
The world is your oyster.
If you feel you have no energy, get down the gym and eat healthy. Another thing I did was to take up weight lifting. Revolutions listed my fitness and body (not muscly...just toned). I felt so good about myself after 3 months, I wAs unstoppable!
Don't spend any days moping. Get up early. Do a bit of exercise, plan healthy meals, socialise and plan an adventure.
Thanks for all the words of support. How old were you when you met someone? And did you have a family and are you with them now? (If you don't mind me asking).
I am definitely going to look into the trips away - in fact I will do it now.
I had a moment of weakness where I really missed my ex earlier.. trying to remember that someone who loved me wouldn't lie and make me into such an insecure person, who felt like my needs were met probably no more than 10 percent of the time. I want to be stronger.
Yes fuck that. What a nightmare to be in a relationship like that. Really not good enough. Look into Costa rica...or if in the summer a UK break like cornwall doing some kind of activity. Try airbnb, you stay with people in their houses. A good way to meet people. I was 34 when I met someone. No family yet. Still adventuring. Don't focus on people's ages when they met someone, it will happen when it is the right time. Life's a fruit x
I felt the same at your age and resigned myself to a life of spinsterhood and solitude. Going out clubbing etc, eurgh! I ended up taking a few group/backpacking type trips, just to see the world and meet new people in a "safe" environment. A person I met on one trip was a really genuinely nice, totally accepting of everyone type of guy and someone who simply attracted people towards him. We kept in touch and I attended a few BBQs at his place... where I first encountered my now DP. Met him at 29 and met DP when I was 31. So, a new friendship led to my partner. Sometimes the good ones are currently (or potentially in the future) one degree separated from you if you know what I mean. We now have DS and DD and things are good.
Be proud of yourself that you have single-handedly built for yourself the life that you want: the right kind of house for you, job, hobbies, having good friends, being a likeable and outgoing person...
We can't control whether somebody else will want to share our life with us. We can only control what we do with our choices and our time. So you have done very well, and the fact that you are single is no failing on your part.
I get that you would rather be in a couple than not. That's the case for the vast majority of people. Yet everyone has to go through some periods alone. It's just one of those things.
You're allowed to feel down about it and moan from time to time. Just don't ruminate or let it ruin your enjoyment of your life. Which, frankly, sounds like a very full one!
You sound lovely, and very insightful.
I am 43 and I moved out of London 3 years ago. I berate myself every day for not having the sense to get around to it sooner. You can't hang around a place you don't like to meet a man. You are just grinding away at your health, your mental health, you don't enjoy anything.... and you won't meet the kind of man you like there, anyway.
This last relationship really took it out of you. I think you need to take some time to get yourself back to full strength. Don't rush into anything. Take some deep breaths and enjoy being without a tosser.
I met the father of my children in my 30s, lots of people do. (After a long term relationship and a break up and a period of wondering whether I would ever be happy, ever have children.... but unlike you, that period of wondering was while I was with the wrong man and didn't have the sense to leave him as soon as I should have)
Many of your coupled up friends will be split up in 5 years, and more in 10. Not all of them have found the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. Some of them will have married the one that was a bit of a dick but they hadn't realised they could do better, or otherwise couldn't have had a house and children (they thought). that's not a nice thought, none of us want unhappiness for our friends, but that's how you'll see things turn out over the years.
It sounds to me like you have made some tough, correct, decisions, earlier than many people do, and in good time for you to to reap the benefits in your life. For now you need to hold tight, drink tea, and enjoy your friendships and your peace and quiet and alone time. Don't waver about living where you like, or ditching the crap man, or not wanting to go to clubs. Hold tight. you are who you are, you sound like a lovely person, and a lovely man is out there for you, when you are both ready. Trust me.
readysteady goatsdoroam and zoobaby thanks so much for your lovely messages! They have given me some strength. I just feel so alone and like I only have myself to depend on..I know that's not strictly true, but it often feels that way especially at night.
Thank you, your stories have given me hope.
It sounds like you've moved out of the city and stopped going clubbing because those things just don't suit you or provide what you want any more, which is very normal as people reach their late 20s. You have to live the lifestyle that suits you personally as an individual in order to later form a satisfying relationship within that lifestyle. What would be the point of meeting a great guy at 3AM in a club one night and starting a relationship with him, only to later find out that the relationship doesn't survive outside of that environment?
Also, you need to stop thinking of marriage as some kind of finished arrival point that your friends have "achieved" and that will guarantee them happiness forever. It's not like that. Yes, it offers scope for a deep and long term connectedness with someone else and for having children etc, but all of that brings its own challenges - some similar, some different to the challenges of being single. Some of your friends will probably collapse into horrendous divorces in middle age and find themselves asking similar questions to you now but at an age and in a situation where it's far harder to start again. Some will probably just footle along in cold unhappy marriages and wonder if they'd have been happier single. (Not saying anything about them personally, whom I obviously don't know - but just statistically speaking, many marriages end up in one of these two scenarios).
Breaking up sucks big time. It's normal and natural that you feel devastated by it. Only time will help that clear. Make time and space for things that you enjoy and develop a life that is yours and that includes other people.
Thanks. I know that's true, I'm just so scared about how alone I feel. Everyday I wake up and feel lonely and go to bed lonely. I loved being part of a team with someone and although I know my ex was too self involved to have a proper partnership with me, I can't help but think well at least it was somethjng and at least then I had the hope he night change a bit. Now I just feel hopeless and like life is meaningless. Sure, I can mans babe alone. But that's not a happy life in the same way as one that is shared... In my eyes anyway.
29 is still so young - I wish I had known that at the time rather than sticking with a relationship that was going nowhere. I was with the same man for most of my twenties. It ended when I was 31 and I thought I'd never meet anyone else, that I had wasted my youth, and that I was far too old to have children. After a few flings over the next year or so, I met a lovely guy at dinner with friends. We were married two years later and had our first baby a year after that. Many of my single friends also met people, got married and in several cases had children over the same time period - about half through friends/work and the others through online dating.
There is one other major change I made yourstruly. It was my job. I was teaching and, being a "conscientious teacher", it was taking up a lot of my time. I changed to a much easier job which allowed me the scope and opportunity to go out and have a proper relationship (to be irresponsible on school nights, haha).
Think you are far more likely to meet a good guy as you had the self respect to leave a relationship where you were not treated well. That's an attractive quality . Don't let yourself become a victim now..of course you are lonely as you were used to company but continue in the way you have started by deciding what you like to do and doing it. Give yourself a challenge like the holidays. You could still be with your partner feeling horrible . You have achieved a lot. Keep going.
Join the discussion
Please login first.