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I don't know how to have a relationship, or if I even want one.

(17 Posts)
Bluebellsarebells Tue 04-Dec-18 22:24:00

Apologies in advance as this will probably be long and rambling.
I went on a date on Saturday, it went OK and he seems like a lovely person.
But he told me he doesn't know what he wants and might be going off travelling.
I told him I do know what I want and that is to settle down, which in an ideal world would be true, I would love to find a good honest man who would love me and wants to be with me.
But on the other hand, I don't know if I do want to live with a man, I've got one 8yo ds and I don't want any more kids, I would have liked more but I would need to be married and I'm running out of time for that to happen.
Ive had a couple of very short term relationships in the last year.
One we connected on an intellectual and sexual level but both knew it wasn't really going anywhere.
We had a good time together but he became a bit condescending in the end and I got the impression he thought he was too good for me.
The other one was a good guy but at a different life stage to me and ultimately decided to take a job abroad. Again I think we both knew deep down it wouldn't progress although we did care for each other.
I don't know if I should just enjoy these things for what they are, a connection with someone on one level or another, for however long it lasts.
Or hold out for what I think I want.
I would like to find someone that loves me enough to choose me over the job or the travelling.
But I am very independent and I wonder if I should just continue to bring my son up alone until he's grown. Maybe have the odd fling that doesn't impact him.
I do have a tenancy to overthink.
I think I'm probably a commitment phobe, for various reasons. And I understand that is maybe feeding into the choices I'm making in men.
Any insight would be welcome if anyone can make any sense of what I'm saying. It is a bit of a mess.
I need to decide if I want to see Saturdays date again.

Weesuzi Wed 05-Dec-18 00:22:52

I’m in the same boat.
Some days I feel horrendously lonely and crave another person to share things with but a few weeks previously have been going out with a lovely person and miss the independence.
I think you may be on the right track, nothing wrong being unmarried, single and taking things as they present themselves as long as body and soul are present.
Good luck

thisusernameisrubbish Wed 05-Dec-18 09:21:23

I think that you have shown what you want and then are back tracking and thinking you should 'make do' with this date.

From the experience of dating someone who told me he wanted to go travelling - months later I am heartbroken at the fact that he chose travelling over me.

Stick to what you want and don't just settle. I think if someone is telling you they're going travelling from the start, they're showing you they have no plans to stick around and they're just going to use you until they hit the road.

Bluebellsarebells Wed 05-Dec-18 10:42:18

I don't really feel lonely, it's not like I'm desperate for a relationship at all, I would be happy to be single until my son is grown.
I think I feel the pressure of what I should be doing, being with someone, having good sex.
I'm early 30s, quite attractive, I get the impression some people think I'm wasting myself being single.
I've been hurt badly before and I don't know if I can be bothered to go through it again.
Maybe I've been kidding myself if I just have these short quite shallow relationships I can protect my feelings.
But I was still hurt when he took the job over me.
I suppose all relationships come with the risk of being hurt. Even long term things go sour, people change their minds, even long marriages are not guaranteed.
I dont want to be the stop gap until something better comes along again.
Which if he's going travelling that's what I will be. There while it suits and then dumped when it doesn't anymore.
That's not fair. It doesn't seem like an honest way to start a relationship.
Thank you both for the replies, getting it down has helped me to see thinks more clearly, I've decided I'm not seeing that date again.

Musti Wed 05-Dec-18 11:46:19

I don't know if I want to live with a man again but I do want love and commitment and to be prioritised (after kids) even if we are not living together.

Fl0w3r Thu 06-Dec-18 17:30:15

Absolutely feel you on this and it feels very puzzling but in honesty I think it’s societies pressure and feeling time pressured too.

I am almost 30, hate living with someone else, love having my own house, my independence and I know I’m happier on my own.

There’s just the problem of missing sex and cuddles every now and then.

Listen to what you truly want rather than societal expectations x

GoblinsAndGhouls Thu 06-Dec-18 19:57:46

I know exactly what you mean!

I'm 44, divorced, have 2 children (teens) and, whilst I do feel lonely on occasion and the thought of being on my own for ever doesn't really appeal, at the same time I really have no interest in a relationship.

You're not 'wasting yourself' being single - you're prioritising and respecting yourself.

Don't 'settle' for a man who is ok; who you met online. If you don't want a relationship at the moment/ever (!) don't have one.

It's fine.

ImNotKitten Thu 06-Dec-18 20:04:54

I don't know if I should just enjoy these things for what they are, a connection with someone on one level or another, for however long it lasts.

I think that’s a great basis to meet and spend time with people, without the expectations and potential consequential heartbreak.

You’re absolutely not ‘wasting yourself’ by being single. I think it’s very admirable to be comfortable and happy single in a society that pressurises us to ‘settle down’ which often translates to simply ‘settling’ for someone who isn’t quite right for the sake of not wanting to be single.

Sally2791 Thu 06-Dec-18 20:09:43

Be honest,be yourself,don't be taken advantage of and be open to whatever might happen.Certainly cherish time with your child and do not fit in with whatever society expects

Thejezebel Thu 06-Dec-18 20:14:57

I wouldn't get involved. You've only had one date, so are not emotionally involved yet. Don't leave it until a few months down the line when you will end up hurt. I'd end it now.
You need to find someone who is singing from the same hymn sheet.

JK1773 Thu 06-Dec-18 20:17:25

I’m another happy single. I sometimes think it would be nice to meet someone and I don’t think I want to be on my own forever. But I can’t see myself living with anyone again. I’m too precious over my spare time and love just answering to nobody and doing what I want to do.
Sometimes I also worry that I’m wasting time. I always wanted a family for example and I don’t have DC. However I’m happy, healthy and have a good social life and (mostly) loving family. I’ve a good job that I enjoy, albeit it’s awfully long hours. I’m lucky in many ways.
I just don’t see myself meeting anyone at 43 and to be honest right now I don’t want to. In the past 10 years I’ve had a 7 year cohabiting emotionally abusive relationship then another year with a flaky, borderline alcoholic mummies boy. Been on my own again just over a year now. I don’t need or want any more pain. It’s probably an element of self survival but I’m happy and that’s all that matters to me at this time in my life. Just enjoy yourself and do what makes you happy. I think there are less social norms these days. I work with 4 other professional ladies in my department. We are all over 35. We are all single!!!

differentstrokesfolks Thu 06-Dec-18 23:21:11

You're not 'wasting yourself' being single - you're prioritising and respecting yourself

And if you're lucky having some fun too. Its not easy with a child, but perhaps makes some plans to do some things you want to do.

Re. the travelling thing, when a man talks about that, and doesn't offer to take you with him, its a non starter. Best to move on quickly and not get your hopes high sad but true.

differentstrokesfolks Thu 06-Dec-18 23:23:05

perhaps makes some plans to do some things you want to do

I wanted to add, with or without your son. These are the best things, the things you will remember with pleasure in the future. Not hanging around waiting for some waste of space messing you about.

Topgirl1 Fri 07-Dec-18 08:58:40

I’m now in my mid forties and I’ve realised I’ve spend far too long “expecting” and trying to achieve what I think we are brought up to want. Husband. two kids. lovely house. Great careers. Happy ever after etc. And have found that mentally it’s had a massive toll as I haven’t achieved what I thought I “should” have.
Three years ago my husband died suddenly. We had “only” the one (not two) child. Friends are separating or getting divorced at an alarming rate.
And what I know now is that achieving the perfect life is mostly down to luck. Even if everything fits together at any point it can all turn to shit pretty much on the turn of a coin.
This may sound negative but it’s really not.
Now I totally believe that you have to do what feels right for now with a view to the future. But tknowing no future is ever guaranteed.
Being early 30s you’ve potentially got shed loads of time to find someone who fits with what you want in life. Just go with the flow - it’ll turn out good I’m sure. Just don’t sweat the small stuff, listen to your gut and do what makes you happy. X

Pinkmonkeybird Fri 07-Dec-18 09:08:55

@Topgirl1 that is excellent advice and so true. I'm so sorry you lost your husband. A good friend of mine lost her husband in her early 40s and it devastated her family (she had 2 DC). She says very much the same thing, that you just don't know what is around the corner as things can change in a split second. She's six years on and her outlook on life is inspiring. So very true to listen to your gut and creating happiness for yourself x

Bluebellsarebells Fri 07-Dec-18 21:50:06

Thank you all for you're thoughtful and insightful replies, they've given me a lot to think about.
I've got no time pressures as I already have my son, like I say I would have liked another but really it's too late for that now and I've resigned myself to having my one and only, he's a lovely kid, I couldn't have wished for a better one so I'm happy with that.
I'm thankful I'm not scrambling around looking for a dad before time runs out, even if things didn't work out perfectly.
In one way although I say some people think I'm wasting myself being single, I think others respect me more for bringing my son up alone. I know I should care less what people think about me.
Maybe a connection is enough for now, if it feels right at the time.. Nobody on the radar at the moment as I've decided against date guy, and don't really have the time or inclination to go looking.
Im wary of bringing anyone into my sons world. We have a nice life together, lots of things planned over Christmas and into the new year. The most important thing is making a happy childhood for him.

Bluebellsarebells Fri 07-Dec-18 21:52:28

But like some of you, I don't want to be alone forever.
I suppose time flies. I will still be young when my son is grown and if the right person comes along in the meantime so be it.
Im a lot more fussy than I used to be.

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