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.
This is a Premium feature
The real reason I’m single(35 Posts)
I have a lot of health issues including gynaecological problems that mean sex is painful, so I avoid it. I have pushed so many decent guys away because of this, and in lockdown as I’m now well into my 30s. I feel like I am worrying about this situation constantly. Everywhere I go (before the lockdown) I dread people’s questions and comments about my love life. I stumbled across an old mumsnet thread when googling “why do people judge single people” and people were being really judgemental and horrible (in response to an OP asking why her friend was constantly single) which I was surprised about as I’ve found everyone on Here really supportive. I just cried myself to sleep thinking this must be what people think of me. I feel like I’m having some kind of nervous breakdown over this situation. Just don’t know what to do.
There's plenty guys out there with low sex drives. I hope you find the right person soon.
OP, you sound lovely, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Is there medical intervention that might help you to be able to have sex more comfortably (assuming this is what you want)?
Step away from the thread!!
There is nothing worse than people projecting their feelings about you choosing to be single onto you. It’s like people that constantly ask couples why they have chosen not to have kids and then don’t believe them when they say it’s their choice or THAT Auntie that always asks you how your love life is at weddings (snore)
I listen to a podcast called ‘You’ll do’ which is about all different types of relationships and includes an episode with Joe Lycette who discusses the reasons he is single and not looking. Brilliant wee episode.
I think there are two things here. Firstly, i doubt many people judge single friends that way. Some may even be envious of your position (you never know what goes on behind closed doors), some will want you to be happy and mistakenly think you need to be in a relationship for that to be the case, most probably think nothing of it at all.
Secondly, have you sought medical advice for your issues? I had a similar issue (don't know exactly what yours is) and spent most of my life single until i met my husband in my 30s. He was the catalyst that made me push myself for different medical opinions and finally got my issue resolved. I thought i'd be single and childless forever. Not the case.
By all means continue to live a single life and be happy if that's what you want. Don't worry about what others think because they probably aren't thinking anything at all. But push for better medical advice and don't avoid treatments if you want something different.
Thank you. I just want to be normal. From a medical perspective, doing all I can. If it wasn’t for this I’d want to be as sexually active as anyone else. It’s the constant feeling like I want a relationship more than anything in the world, but pushing away from it as this is always at the back of my mind. Think I thought I could just put it off and put it off as I just didn’t want to be under pressure to have sex, and now I’ve got to an age where all the good ones have gone and I continue to have gynae problems. Sick of feeling abnormal. I don’t tell people the real reason I’m single and so feel under scrutiny at family events or social situations as I dread the questions about whether I’ve met anyone. This has gone on for years, people must think I’m really weird. It’s like people just assume everyone is physically healthy and sexually confident and that life is like SATC and the only reason someone would be single for a long time, especially past a certain age means something bad about their personality. People are constantly saying “your too picky and just want someone with no flaws” it’s not true... this just keeps going around in my head at the moment 😥
You are normal! I know you want to meet somebody, but so many people out there are such sheep OP.
They just couple up, cos that's what's done, that's what's easiest, they think. Or it avoids questions. Only cowards and sheep judge single people. I"m probably braver and more independent than the women who've judged me (and I'm sure some have). Or if they don't judge you, it's more that they pity you!
I used to feel it was an issue i needed to fix but now I'm looking at my own house and job and security, I find myself relieved that I'm not married or responsible for somebody.
It isn't the ONLY path. It's not necessarily the best one. It might be what you want, still, but perhaps a man with a small penis might not make you feel too much pain after sex? Plenty of men out there with small penises.
@Ceriane people take their cue from you. If you act like you have a problem you need to fix, then they'll tell you that you're too picky because they want you to shack up with anybody half decent so that your problem goes away. No real thought.
If you channel a very contented vibe and say 'it will happen when it's right' people will buy in to your prophecy ykwim.
Have you read or listened to Catherine Gray's book ''joy of being single''.
Even if you don't appreciate every word, it's a very comforting book to read. I read it in a new relationship actually! And it was very comforting. I think I went in to the relationship with more of a comme ci comme ca attitude. Normally I subconsciously acted like it would be a failure if it didn't work out. It was a great read. Every young woman should read it before they start a relationship.
It’s not that I have chosen to be single but rather I’m not actively looking.
The only person whose questioned me being single was a colleague and there was a hint of the ‘There must be something wrong with you’ tone in her voice. I soon shut her up with my top 20 reasons why being single was awesome. What helps, is not giving a flying fig what anyone else thinks.
Thank you. You’re making me feel a lot better. It’s actually good to be able to talk about this as I keep it in my head all the time. The only people who know is a close friend who tells me that a nice guy would understand and if someone dumps you over something like that they aren’t worth having. On a bad day penetrative sex would be completely out of the question, in a previous relationship we kind of worked around it by making our sex life more about non penetrative sex. However I do just want to be normal, this isn’t a choice. I’m not a confident person at all, so I clam up a lot around people likely to ask invasive questions. I think it’s the lockdown and the fact that my age now feels like the loudest ticking clock ever!!! I just want genuine love that doesn’t stress me out and that I don’t have to force, don’t care about stuff like what car they drive or if they have a high flying career or anything like that. I have standards but I don’t have tick boxes. I get the whole thing about being single being a good thing as at the beginning of my 30s I was enjoying it in a for now kind of way (apart from the questions and single shaming) but if I am honest, I don’t want to turn 40 and still be.
@WinnieWonder how would you know if a man had a small penis til it’s erm a bit late?
OP if it’s something like vaginismus then psychosexual counselling can help. Wishing you lots of luck. It’s common and it can improve x
AgentJohnson I agree with you in that I’ve never been actively looking but open to love if it happens naturally (hate dating websites and only tried them recently because I started to panic about potentially being alone forever). I need to be more like you and stop worrying what people think. I’ve found that some people seem to think you should be constantly looking for a partner and that if it’s not happening then there’s a reason they say things like “are they all the wrong ones?” and I’m there thinking, unless you do OLD who is “they all” I go for weeks on end living my life (pre lockdown) without meeting any potential boyfriends and don’t think about it much. They seem to assume you’re surrounded by potential partners that you keep turning down cos you’re “too fussy”. Do people not realise single people say “I’m fussy” to shut people up as they find being asked about their love life really embarrassing!!!
Lol...I’m more bothered about the person attached to it. My sex pain problem is to do with recurring infections (non STD) which have lead to vulvodynia.
I’m sorry to hear you’re in this situation OP. I have similar issues, suffering with what I think is vestibuldynia but have been in a relationship since I was a late teen, I’m in my late 20s now and married and have a baby. It doesn’t have to stop you being in a happy relationship. GPs are generally crap about this kind of stuff - when I was only 20 I plucked up the courage to see one and she told me I had to relax more a few years later I got better help. I think it would definitely be worth seeking medical help again if you feel able to (I know it can be so frustrating), you shouldn’t need to suffer with whatever is causing your discomfort. And the right guy for you should be understanding.
Thank you so much. I think I just need to find someone really patient and understanding who loves me for me, not just as someone to have sex with. I hate it when sex is turned into something you do for the man. I’m having a few investigations at the moment and am in antibiotics for a staph infection (sooo painful and don’t know why I have it) I worry they’ll think it’s an STD. I just need someone who isn’t going to go in a strop and pressurise me when sometimes (like now) I’m out of action. I was once with someone who said “you might be in pain but I have needs. What am I on, rations? You’ve got to learn to compromise in a relationship and not just have sex when you want” He knew I had a gynae problem. Needless to say I ended that relationship but it put me off for a very long time and really messed with my head.
I hope your medical issues are resolved over time. Don't give up on pursuing a solution - consider paying for private, change doctor etc. There absolutely will be lovely men out there who will be understanding. There will also be men out there who have their own medical reasons for not achieving penetrative sex. But how to find them? I don't know! I think it must be a case of dating lots and that is hard.
That’s really hard. Have you seen gynae? If not see your GP and ask xx
Sorry you're facing these problems OP. 💐
I have single friends who would like to be in a relationship, I do hope they don't think I judge them. I do however wish for them to be happy, to love and be loved, to have a family and all the things they want in life. Because they'd make lovely partners and mothers too, but mainly because I care for them. I listen to them, but probably am guilty of saying the wrong thing at times. Thanks for shining a light on it.
The bit that stuck out for me is that you say you have pushed away decent guys because of this. If this is the case then, like PP have said, please do seek both medical and emotional support via your GP to help you. (and if you have the misfortune to encounter a crap GP then ask another, and another!) There are decent guys out there but if you're pushing them away (understandably given your fears, BTW) then you have to get past this block first.
Could you open up to a friend about it for extra support? I don't routinely talk about sex with friends but if one of them had an issue I would hope I'd be receptive to talking about it, or rather listening. You might have to be a bit blunt to get their attention, I know I'm not the best person to pick up on subtle clues. But asking if you can speak in confidence to them about something sensitive would achieve that. They care about you.
I wish you luck. 🍀
Thank you. I think this is actually how some of my friends feel, I just find it hard to open up about personal stuff 😥 I keep beating myself up about decent guys I friend zoned thinking I could put it off until my problem was better but unfortunately it’s recurring/chronic. I’d like to think I wouldn’t push g the e next good guy away, but I know my fear relating to this would be an issue. I sometimes feel like I don’t fancy anyone, but I think it’s because of this. A lot of people assume I’ve been picking the wrong ones and try and involve me in “all men are....” man bashing sessions, but apart from the one not good experience I mentioned in this thread, this hasn’t been the case. There’s lots of good ones that I’m kicking myself for not being with and due to my age, there’s not as much opportunity to meet them naturally which leaves OLD which I hate, and that has opened my eyes to the sleaze balls out there. In real life it seems better. I think the lockdown is making me feel pressure to do OLD cos only way to meet someone atm.
Plus I think aside from the sex problem I’d be a great girlfriend/wife/mum. I hate thinking people might think I’m single cos I’m not a good person and nobody wants to be with me or stay with me....people who don’t really know me, when I know why I’m single and I know I’m the one who has been doing the pushing away or long periods of just not really looking. OLD has made me realise how sexually entitled a lot of men are. You exchange 3 or 4 short messages and they’re straight to asking if you have a high sex drive or if your missing it in lockdown or asking you to go on Whattsapp for naked photos!!!! What happened to getting to know someone and developing a really good relationship based on genuine love first. Sometimes I just wonder if I’m just an old fashioned prude!
@Ceriane you are so right about guys online being sexually entitled. They pretty much all seem to expect that sex is on the cards straight away. If you say you want more than that they arent interested.
Please login first.