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Lone woman - weirdo?
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Fireatseaparks · 04/12/2021 02:44

I'm a single woman without children (undecided but leaning heavily towards not having them as I've never felt 'the urge' or met anyone I could see myself having them with - of course that's assuming I have the choice at all, which I don't know having never tried).

(Before anyone asks, I'm one of the many thousands of Mumsnet users who aren't mums but who use the site for the non-parenting topics!)

My problem is this: I never noticed this when I was younger, but since my late twenties/early thirties, I've started to feel out of place going to cafes, wandering around markets etc. on my own, particularly at weekends when everyone seems to be part of a family.

I do have friends, but they are busy with their own families so things have to be pre-arranged, plus I do enjoy having plenty of time by myself.

Anyway, I was looking through some old family photos, and saw pictures of young me with my parents in some really beautiful places - places that I wouldn't even think to go now.

There was one of me looking into a rock pool somewhere when I was about seven. I'd love to go and look in rock pools now, but I can't shake the feeling that a lone woman A) would look weird peering into rock pools by herself and B) I'd be scared of slipping or getting caught by the tide or something without anyone around to help.

There was another one of me standing on a big rock I'd climbed in a national park somewhere. As above, I'd love to go and do that but same as above, I'd feel completely out of place.

This feeling of being separate from society seems to be growing as I get older. There have been times when I've been sat at a table in a cafe at the weekend and I'm the ONLY one by myself in there. I feel like some sort of deviant, like I'm encroaching on other people's family space. I only go to cafes during the week now, when it's somehow more 'acceptable' and expected for people to be on their own.

I know this is my own problem and people probably don't really look at me and think 'is she alone, what a weirdo, why is she here' and even if they DID I shouldn't let it bother me. In other aspects of my life I'm confident and not overly bothered by opinions, but in this area, I can't seem to shake it.

I don't know, I just sometimes feel like I'm a hanger-on on the outskirts of society. I know i need to get a grip and I appreciate if much rather be in this position than in an unhappy relationship or with children I can't cope with and I do count my blessings.

I'm just wondering if anyone else understands this feeling really?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Barney60 · 06/12/2021 09:24

Totally get you on this.
As a youngish widow, with very small family, not a lot of friends as we had been happy with each other, now find myself wanting to do things but no one to do them with, not the most confident of people, as i get older i realise im on the outside looking in all the time, people tell you about the wonderful nights out they have , visits to the theatre, cinema ,holidays, theyve been on, im happy for them but why dont they invite single friends when their in a group outing.
Ive joined the groups classes, its the same at the end each go on with their busy lives, following week they tell you all about their trips/days out ect
I have noticed single men get invited not single ladies, please dont say its my imagination, its not this has been recognised by a lot of people, this time of year is the worst. I hate it.
So yes i agree with you, sadly no answer.

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DDMAC · 06/12/2021 09:35

@CurtainTroubles

As a parent I would love the freedom to do the things that you describe on my own!

There’s nothing at all unusual or deviant about going to the beach or climbing a mountain on your own. Just do it.

Exactly this! I love going to a cafe on my own and actually I used to love going to the cinema on my own which some people I know would never do they think it’s weird, each to their own and not weird at all for doing all the things you mention, sounds lovely climbing and looking into rock pools 😊
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SSOYS · 06/12/2021 09:54

Whenever I see a woman on her own doing something more often done in a group I feel a bit envious- it comes across as very cool and self-possessed, I think, not weird at all, quite the opposite.

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knackeredcat · 06/12/2021 10:11

Travelled plenty on my own before getting together with my OH in my mid 30s. I never stopped travelling on my own until Covid put a stop to that. And a prop definitely helps, especially a book. Have been in restaurants and pubs on my own and the book is a safe metaphorical barrier. Looking engrossed in it gently says that you don't want to be disturbed Grin

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Tree80fLife99 · 06/12/2021 13:22

Op

Why do you think it is OK for a lone male to go walking/hiking/travelling & not a female?

I would suggest that you educate yourself about the solo travelers in the past & present. There are plenty of people to inspire you. There are lots of people now who have books, blogs, Facebook, Instagram to inspire you.

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Cirmhor13 · 06/12/2021 17:00

Like you i often find it difficult to overcome the self conscious issue.
Im transgender and although my 3 kids ( 2 of whom are now adults) live with me full time still do things with me, i am always of the assumption that people are staring or judging me. I know its mainly in my head but it is very hard to just dismiss.
Totally feel for you.
Maybe you could consider getting a dog as i have found it really helpful in pushing me to go places i wouldnt before.
Hope you get to enjoy the things you want to do whilst you can and kudos for reaching out!
Best of luck

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whataboutbob · 06/12/2021 18:09

@Tree80fLife99

Op

Why do you think it is OK for a lone male to go walking/hiking/travelling & not a female?

I would suggest that you educate yourself about the solo travelers in the past & present. There are plenty of people to inspire you. There are lots of people now who have books, blogs, Facebook, Instagram to inspire you.

I would imagine it’s the hardwired fear we have of being alone in lonely places and the risk of being assaulted/murdered. Although statistically the risk is low, you only have to look at the TV schedules to see how prevalent that trope is in people’s imagination. I hike alone and the toughest hike was the first and the fear of being followed/ ambushed, I don’t let it stop me now.
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BeccaDigest · 06/12/2021 20:44

I know how you feel. I can be hesitant doing some things on my own. Have you tried the meet up app?

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DdraigGoch · 06/12/2021 22:11

[quote psychomath]@DdraigGoch, where did you go that was -10? I'm planning on heading to the Arctic alone next summer - it won't be nearly that cold but still the chilliest place I've ever camped!

It would literally never even occur to me to feel self-conscious about going to a cafe or market on my own - I see people do it all the time Confused Fancy restaurants and bars I can understand more, but honestly once you've done it a few times you realise no-one actually cares.[/quote]
@psychomath Graubunden, Switzerland. Lovely and warm once the sun was up but at first light it was freezing.

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GameofPhones · 06/12/2021 22:39

I do lots of things WITH MY DOG that I wouldn't do alone - gazing in rock pools, sitting on rocks etc. In fact he has opened up the outdoors for me. Plus being a delightful companion.

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Storey1964 · 09/12/2021 09:01

OP. I k ow how you feel but please don’t! People are far too busy with their own lives, most of them are heads down and on phones anyway and really don’t notice a thing going on around them. If we all cared about what other people thought about us we’d never leave the house! Have you ever thought about getting a little rescue dog? So many at the moment after Covid. It would Eva great co panino for you and it would remove that feeling of you being alone. Live your life doing what YOU want to do and to hell with the rest.

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Storey1964 · 09/12/2021 09:02

Typo- it would be a great companion for you..

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