What’s So Bad About Being Alone?

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Name: Sarah D.
:
Question: Hi there,

I’m female, big city urban area, never married, well-connected, overweight but losing it, active, interesting, dog owner, family person, and getting better all the time. I was in a three-year relationship until four months ago (ended in a stressed fizzle of disappointment followed by complete silent treatment from my ex). I’ve been in therapy, I meditate, and I really like who I am, though I can always improve. Basically, I have my shit together in some areas, but now others, like everyone. And I have always wanted to be married or in a committed, live-together relationship but it just never happened. Frankly, I don’t want to hit the dating sites (my single friends on Tinder just get played for sex, it seems, and I am not into casual sex anyway.)

Am I doomed? This is the first time it feels like I might be. I don’t know how to date given what I’m looking for now – the men I know who have never been married and are around my age just don’t seem to be looking for/ready for/interested in what I want.

Yikes?
Age: 47

What you’ve described is the almost universal experience of women in our age range (late-thirties and older).  One thing you have to understand is that you must take your friend’s experiences with online dating/apps with a grain of salt. I guarantee you there are details about those interactions they have with men that they are not telling you. I will also bet in many of the scenarios your friends depict, the man was either upfront about not wanting a relationship/commitment or the women overlooked blatant red flags because the guy was atypically good-looking or successful.

I absolutely believe there is an overage of men utilizing these platforms that just want sex without commitment. That in and of itself is not  a bad thing. However, I don’t think they are the only men on those sites. Granted, the men who want relationships are usually the ones we reject for not being something enough for our liking. I’ve said this before: if you want  a relationship in these times, prepare to settle. Holding out for a hero – while perfectly acceptable – will likely keep you single. That’s the route I’ve take, but I don’t regret it. Does it get lonely at times? Yup, but so does marriage. Does it involve a lot of short-lived casual relationships and sleeping around? Yup. Who cares? You’re not living your life for anybody but yourself. The people who take umbrage with that are dealing with their own shit. Ignore them.

I was in a three-year relationship until four months ago (ended in a stressed fizzle of disappointment followed by complete silent treatment from my ex). I’ve been in therapy, I meditate, and I really like who I am, though I can always improve.

What I hear with this statement is that – once you dropped the dead weight known as your Ex – you became happier. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Hint: It’s not. Maybe the reason why you’re in such a good head space is because you’re living your life your way – unfettered and free of judgment and obligation. You’re free to be whomever you choose. Is that what you consider being “doomed”? Because that’s what I call being happy.

I’ve said this time and again: there comes a point when you have to ask yourself if all the drama and bullshit and flaking and excuses and endlessly texting is worth it. For me, it’s not. In my personal opinion, men are getting weaker and more needy by the day. I matched with someone on Tinder last night. I sent him a message and said, “Hey there. Looks like we matched. How’s your Monday going?”  He replied and said, “It’s going pretty well. Love ur curves.” Unmatch.

I’m over it.

I’m over dealing with these socially incompetent boobs who can’t manage to engage in a simple message exchange without drooling like a horny fourteen year-old.  I’m done with the “all talk no action” guys. I’m done with men thrown for a loop by a woman wanting to skip the pretense and get to the sex. I’m done with men who are too chickenshit to meet for a simple drink but want to keep texting for weeks. I’m. Fucking. Done. I have too many things in my life that bring me pleasure to be brought down by that bullshit. Is it all puppy dogs and rainbows? Of course not. No one’s life – single or not – is. Dating does not make me happy. In fact, it makes me kind of miserable.

So, OP, to answer your question: you’re only doomed if you believe not getting married or being perpetually single is some kind of failure. Maybe you never found that ideal relationship because you preferred being alone over being with someone who didn’t make you happy.  I was never primed for marriage or children. Maybe that’s why I never made being in a relationship a priority.  From a young age women are told to want the safety and security of a relationship and that if they don’t find it, they failed. It’s hogwash. The only reason you should be in a relationship these days is because you want to share your already complete and full life with someone else. Not finding love doesn’t mean you failed. It means you chose a different path. The only people who will take issue with you not running around like a chicken with your head cut off are the ones who covet your confidence and comfort in being alone. Why? Because they aren’t.

My advice to you, OP, is to stop looking and live your life. I’m at the gym five days a week and I’ve started hosting some of our events again. I’ve met a number of people – men and women – who don’t seem dependent on the internet to socialize. Concentrate on those people. Put up profiles on a dating site and a couple of apps, swipe here and there, but do it without any investment in the process. Channel your efforts into meeting people offline and forging connections, platonic or otherwise.

Stay plugged in but pursue things that make you happy. That should be your priority, not finding a man.

Thoughts?

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One comment

  1. It’s normal to worry about being alone forever after a major breakup. Live your life. Now is the time. It’s not the time to dissect the future. You have NO idea what is going to happen a year from now. Who you are going to meet. Where you will be. Sit in the present and stay there. You will be so much more content.

    Like

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