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Can anyone give me hope that my single 30s may change? I have no hope today.

(38 Posts)
lostandfound12 Sun 14-May-17 11:48:06

Hi Mumsnetters. It's my first post and I've ended up here after googling things such as 'why haven't I met anyone yet' etc. You get the picture...

I'm 32 at the end of this year, and ALL of my close friends are married or at the very least in long term serious relationships. Advice to 'make more single friends' seems so silly at this age. Yes I know that would probably help me feel less alone, but its not that easy to find lots of single people at 32. MOST people ARE in relationships.

I've had two serious relationships, but since the last one ended (3 and a half years ago), I haven't met anyone i've properly fallen for, and i've become resistant to just going along with a relationship that's just ok. I would rather be alone than be with someone who I don't miss or I'm ambivalent as to whether they are around.

When I was first single, I really took hold of my life, bought a house, got a job I enjoyed and pays the bills. Decorated exactly how I liked and did my own thing, cooked for myself and on my own schedule...all things I appreciated because not everyone has that luxury.

But times has passed and I am SO lonely.

My younger sister (27) met her other half at uni, and it's become so awkward at family events. It's my parents and my sister and boyfriend...And then me. They talk about holidays they are going on, good deals for couples, cost of decorating etc... all of which really stings because I can't afford any of these things as I don't have the benefit of an additional income. The last family event I went to, the bill was 'spilt', except it's not, it's 2 couples and me. It makes it sound like they rub it in my face and they don't at all, but it feels that way and it's got to the point where I avoid socialising with them all together, which is sad because I get on with family for the most part.

I can't afford a holiday this year and I know many many people can't. But it still doesn't stop me feeling shit about it.

As time passes, I know I am unlikely to celebrate a silver wedding anniversary. I dread invites to weddings, as I have to go alone. I hate that when I do go alone I have to drive because it's too expensive to stay over or get a taxi on my own (yes I could go with a friend but most people are coupled up and it's awkward to be an 'add on'). I hate that I get home and nobody is there to make a tea for or to make me one. I hate that when I'm poorly it's myself I have to depend on. I hate that I feel weird for being single at this age. I don't think I'm different to most women, but maybe I am and I can't see that. I feel left out of one of the best things in life, to be loved and love back.

I date but my enthusiasm for it is low. Most people I meet I don't have any interest in. It has got to the point where I can't think of a reason to stay on this planet. I could join all sorts of activities and 'do things for myself,' but I've DONE all that. I've enjoyed it. And it doesn't take away loneliness.

Can anyone give me hope that it may all change? Did anyone out there experience this and feel left behind? I have gone from being a confident, independent and happy person to an unhappy mess of ending up on my own forever.

Kittencatkins123 Sun 14-May-17 13:06:28

It can all change. At 32 you still have a lot of time. I'm 40 and met my BF last year after five years of dating, flings, 6-9 monthers, and one lovely relationship that just didn't work out... Had no expectations of this date (and told my friends who I met for a drink beforehand as much) then it was just brilliant from day one.

I think you are right to have standards but you sound so down about everything, do you think some of that is coming across and making it hard for you to meet anyone? It sounds like you have loads of positive things - your own place, good job, lots of interests etc. A lot of people don't have those things so do try to see them as major positives and achievements!

I also think it's a good idea to focus on making new friends. They can be single or single-minded (ie in a relationship but not joined at the hip!) I've always had a mix of single and non-single friends and it definitely helps to be able to spend time with people in the same boat, who can go on nights out to potentially meet guys in the flesh etc. Is work/interests a route to making new friends?

Also I don't like to focus on the misery of others but you never know what's going on in people's relationships. As you'll find out if you read more posts on this board! It's easy to feel like everyone has this perfect life in a couple but it isn't always like that. I've had friends who I thought had the perfect relationship break up and it turns out there were problems for years. So all the comparing and assuming their lives were perfect and mine was a mess wasn't accurate anyway.

It sounds like you're in a really great position to meet someone and honestly, you have definitely got enough time.

WaitingYetAgain Sun 14-May-17 13:55:52

Also I don't like to focus on the misery of others but you never know what's going on in people's relationships. As you'll find out if you read more posts on this board!

So true.

OP - you sound really depressed. You have time to meet someone. All is not lost.

I think perhaps it helps to reframe things so that you find a way to be happy with your life and confident in yourself, then if you happen to meet the right person through dating, through a friend or just an encounter that would make your life even better rather than making you and your life worth something.

Also with regards to meeting someone/dating, shake things up and try a new strategy. If your life isn't working for you now, perhaps look at how you could change it.

I do understand the loneliness and how much it sucks to be around couples and families at times. I'm 36 and have not managed to settle down yet. I have had chronic health problems since a child so have never managed to move into my own place, drive/own a car or be very independent as I am limited income due to only being able to work part-time from bed. I find it can be easy for me to feel left out and like I don't fit in with society in general. I have had relationships, one of which was very long and sadly abusive. I enjoy being part of a couple, but I also see that relationships are hard work and not always plain sailing. I think you can be lonely in a relationship as much as being single can be lonely! So the grass is not always greener and another person won't always help resolve feeling down.

I haven't given up on things working out. I think the best strategy is to just do what you can to socialise, keep dating and chatting to people. If I end up dating again, my strategy will be to date as many men as possible in a set period of time so that I increase the odds of me meeting a good 'un. If that doesn't work, I might try dating women as that's a side of myself I have yet to explore.grin

lostandfound12 Sun 14-May-17 16:27:10

thanks smile such nice comments, i need to focus on the good parts

MegFlyAway Sun 14-May-17 16:34:51

Similar boat to you at 30. Weekends are always the hardest aren't they? Especially on lovely sunny days when social media is full of family/couples days out and holidays.

user1490465531 Sun 14-May-17 16:36:19

Being part of a couple doesn't make bad stuff disappear many women rely on a partner to solve all there problems but it doesn't work like that.

sugarlost Sun 14-May-17 16:42:56

Hi OP,

You wrote my post...try and stay positive and make plans do things you enjoy...even little things that don't cost anything that helps me...Staying busy definitely helps me and what you said about a reason to stay on this planet also pops into my head...I'm sure many people in similar positions struggle but it can be a taboo to actually say how much it affects us emotionally.
Other posters stating people can be just alone in unhappy relationships is also true.
Increasing number of dates is also wise as mentioned.
Sometimes it's better to meet someone when your older as you tend to know exactly what you want and all those things you thought were important when you were younger are sometimes actually not and superficial.
I struggle to put on a happy face some days...I feel like a fraud as it hurts inside so much.
For you flowers

pebbles1976 Sun 14-May-17 17:12:41

I met my husband at 34, married at 36, first child at 39, now at nearly 41 pregnant again. Oh and we had serious inferility issues too. I was told in October that I would need donor eggs to conceive again . Got an amazing surprise BFP 2 months ago. Keep the faith! X

ThreeForAPound Sun 14-May-17 17:17:16

Of course it can all change!

I'm the only one of my group of close friends who 'settled down' in my 20s. My 4 closest friends were all mid-late thirties.

You'll meet someone grin

SleepFreeZone Sun 14-May-17 17:22:44

You do have to actually do something proactive to meet the guy you want to settle down with. Are you on dating sites? I was still single at 34/35 but decided to properly get my arse onto dating sites and met lots of different men and finally my DP at 36. We had our first DS at 37 and our second at 40. We have now been together 5 1/2 years sbdcsre very happy.

You do have time but you do need to change your attitude.

Bumplovin Sun 14-May-17 17:23:22

It can all change like u I was single on my 30th birthday and had come out of a six year relationship I was the last of my friends to get married they all had children and I was single. I used to cry about it and could sometimes finish work on a Friday and see no one until I went to work on a Monday then I chose to do something about it. I joined match and went on about 4 dates just having the dates made me feel like I had something going on. The fourth date was different we chatted for hours and when he said so what are u looking for do u know what I thought I'm going to be honest. I told him I was looking for a husband and a dad and I just wanted to be part of a happy family. I thought he'd run a mile but he didn't we moved in together after 8 months married after 4 years and at 35 I'm sat here with my 5 month old daughter. I promise there is someone out there for you I never thought I'd meet someone as lovely as my husband and believe me I have been where u are. It's not for everyone but I'd recommend internet dating my life has changed so much for the better because of it my husband and daughter are my world

margaritasbythesea Sun 14-May-17 17:24:05

As a friend said to me when I was questioning whether I would meet someone at a similar age, 'Most people do.'

She is right. Most people don't stay single forever.

You are very right not to settle. Very right indeed. I think that if a relatiobship is not great at first, what will happen when it gets tough, as it almost certainly will at some stage.

maggiethemagpie Sun 14-May-17 17:27:10

I was you 8 years ago OP. Actually I'd only ever had one serious relationship, in my 20s and since then an ocean of singledom with the odd uninhabited island of fling.

ALL my friends were coupled up, or if they were single it was not for very long. I felt very much the odd one out, and it actually led to me becoming quite depressed as I could see everyone else in these settled relationships, starting to have babies and getting married, and couldn't ever see it happening for me.

At the age of 32 I kind of gave up and accepted my fate. I moved back to my home town as I thought that would be the only way I could get a house. I genuinely thought I was destined to be a spinster.

But it only takes one!!! A few months later I met him at a party. I didn't think anything would come of it as he lived down south and me up north , but he was sick of where he was living so moved in with me a few months later. 8 years on we are happily married with 2 kids.

If it can happen for me, little miss negativity, it can happen for anyone. Of course there are no guarantees. But please don't give up too soon.

Also - a lot of those friends I envied were in happy relationships but some of them I now know were in abusive relationships, or were being cheated on, or unhappy in another way. Better to be alone than to be in an unhappy partnership I think.

BarbarianMum Sun 14-May-17 17:27:19

Of course it can change. But being part of a couple isn't some sort of universal panacea. You sound very fed up at the moment - disenchanted with your life and with dating. That's not a good place from which to find Mr Right.

maggiethemagpie Sun 14-May-17 17:29:12

As for the holiday thing, we can't afford a holiday either. Once you have school age kids and are restricted to the holidays, the price really shoots up. Far more than the single supplement for holidays which take place during term time.

angstybaby Sun 14-May-17 17:37:38

I get it. Met my DH at 31 (turned 30, unemployed, living with my parents - that was a low point), married at 32, babies at 33, 35 and 37. married life isn't perfect but i'm happy. I know how awful it can be. the fact that other people don't realise how little things can really get to you (and make you feel a bit daft for even being bothered) is tough.

I don't have any useful advice; i just wanted to say that I get it and that i did find mr right (and only want to strangle him occasionally)

soupmaker Sun 14-May-17 17:37:42

I was single for 8 years before meeting my now DH at 34. I enjoyed my single life - had the odd dalliance but that was it - but it was hard being on nights out with couples and always being the odd number on the dinner table. But, I kept positive, made the most of it and over the years various friends ended up being single again so it wasn't all good for those in relationships.

I met DH by chance via an old friend. We lived in different cities and on paper shouldn't have have worked but ...

We have two DC born when I was 37 and 42 and we've been together 12 years.

Hang in there.

Kipperiscool Sun 14-May-17 17:41:02

Me too! I met my husband when I was 31, married at 33 and now have 4 children. Had resigned myself to a single life with no children. Don't give up hope OP. flowers

Sniv Sun 14-May-17 17:47:18

Yes, it can change. You can be single with no options today, and meet someone tomorrow, and wake up to be handed a cup of tea made just how you like it in a month.

It happened for me after a long period of being single while all my friends were coupled up and our big group nights out and weekends away were a thing of the past.

Elcantador Sun 14-May-17 17:48:57

Please dont give up! Im also in my 30s and single. It has been a very long time since i had a ltr. I do feel lonely at times, and most of my friends and siblings are coupled up.
I go to meetup groups, and i also use dating sites. You are not alone smile

beekeeper17 Sun 14-May-17 19:33:22

I find that relationships which start at this age tend to move more quickly to marriage and kids if that's what both of you are looking for. Guess you just don't hang about as much if you find the person you'd like to spend the rest of your life with. I met my now husband when I was 32, I'm now 37 and we're married with one child and another on the way.

What you need to work on is trying to banish the negativity. It is easy to get down about things, but imagine going on a date with 2 different guys - one who is upbeat, seems to love life and boosts your self esteem, and one who is negative and who ends up bringing you down. Which one would you choose?

I know it's a cliche but it is often true that you meet someone when you're enjoying life and not looking for a partner. I split up with an ex and was so glad to be out of the relationship and happy again and I spent the next 6 months genuinely going out and having a great time. That's when I met my now husband.

Good luck. I know lots of friends who have met their partners and settled down in their thirties, even late thirties.

Kittencatkins123 Sun 14-May-17 19:38:11

Also dating really is a numbers game. Just keep trying different ways to meet people, don't take it too seriously or put too much pressure on things and stay positive. I realise that isn't easy - I really have no idea how many dates I went on over the years. But finally someone brilliant turned up! I met him online dating so it does work (eventually!)

JK1773 Sun 14-May-17 19:41:17

I agree with PPs. I was single for 10 years (ish). Met my ex aged 33, binned him aged 40. Thought that was probably it for me. 18 months later met DP. We are 6 months in and all going great. Never ever expected to meet anyone. Met completely by chance too when I was least expecting it. But I also agree you need to be happy yourself, keep your chin up x

Cricrichan Sun 14-May-17 19:48:30

You're still so young!! And many people's relationships are shit. You're completely right on not settling for just anyone as that's a lot more lonely and crap than being on your own. So enjoy your life, carry on dating and meeting people and don't settle until you find someone who positively contributes to your life.

SlB09 Sun 14-May-17 19:58:13

I really feel for you, loneliness is such a difficult emotion to cope with. I do think that it will all work out for you knowing of very many situations exactly like yours who are now in a very different place, it surviving the A-B bit that hard.
I definately dont think your a weak person/woman, we all want friendship and companionship in whatever form that may be on a purely biologically human level.
My advice? Some of your partnered friends might crave some 'girl time' and be lonely themselves, keep reaching out, dont assume they are busy. Even at weekend just a quick cuppa can make all the difference.
One of my single friends I often feel very jelous of! She is single and lonely at times but as strange as it sounds I sometimes look at her carefree 'adventerous' life and crave that for myself. It will happen naturally in time, your still young, if you want children you have plenty of time (my sis 37 was in same boat as you and now expecting with partner).
years of marriage mean nothing if its not a solid loving marriage. You could get more out of 5 wonderful years with someone than 25 rubbish ones!
Dont let go of hope - this too shall pass.
If your abit depressed overall but this is where your concentrating your thoughts then see about cbt or counselling xxxxxx

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