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hm76

Always Being Single

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hm76

Hello,

           Has anybody else been in this situation and if so what advice would you give? I have been feeling under pressure, from myself and others to at least start dating and trying to have a relationship with somebody. A bit of background, in my teens/20s I just didn't care and when friends and family would try to get me to meet someone my response was to just tell them that I wasn't interested until they got the hint or gave up on me. However now I'm in my late 30s and aside from one disastrous on-off relationship that lasted for just over a year have never really been with anyone. It has started to worry me though that staying single forever might not be the best plan  - nearly everyone I know is in a relationship and many of my family live on the opposite side of the world. Sexuality wise I've never really been able to put a definite label on it, I came to the conclusion that asexuality was the closest fit as I just don't have any real desire to have sex. I went to an all girls school and even told some of them (not a good move at the time!) that it just wasn't my cup of tea. One thing I have decided is that I am not wired for relationships from a personality angle - by nature I can be independent, quirky and introverted and after years of being a bit of a social misfit have no issues with just doing things on my own. Also the thought of dating scares the living daylights out of me, I would find it less scary to do a bungy jump or skydive! My Aunt who is very similar to me finally gave in and got married in her 40s after years of speculation from family and friends as to why she was still single, it wasn't a good move and they later divorced. Do you think I should actually try dating or did you find peace/acceptance from accepting being single as your path in life. If you did this, how did you stop the concern that you might regret this when you were older and what did you say to family and friends to stop them from bringing the subject up repeatedly - my Mum is still trying to get me to have a relationship (I do admire her persistence, I would have quit by now!) and last Christmas I had at least 2 conversations with well meaning people as to how it was a waste to not be in a relationship.  Thank you

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WanderingKate
31 minutes ago, hm76 said:

If you did this, how did you stop the concern that you might regret this when you were older

I always find it rather odd that people worry about being lonely decades from now if they aren't currently in a relationship. If you someday end up having regrets and wishing you had a relationship...it's never too late to go for it! My grandfather found love at 88 years old with an oxygen tank, so I think you could too if you decide that's what you want someday. But it's definitely no reason to force yourself to be in a relationship right now if you're simply not interested in having one. 

 

36 minutes ago, hm76 said:

and what did you say to family and friends to stop them from bringing the subject up repeatedly

generally I've found it best to give a quick answer and then change the subject to something else, especially something focused on them...nosy people love to talk about themselves :D I'll say something like, "oh well you know, if the right person comes along I'll definitely pursue it, but right now I'm pretty content being single...but how about you? How's your relationship/wife/husband?" I find usually the types of people who ask nonstop about your dating life and try to be busybodies are usually quite easily distracted if you can get them back to their favorite subject...them :D

 

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Homer van Simpsegem

I fail to grasp what you're looking for tbh. To me it looks like you're actually quite happy with yourself and the way things are. Being single seems to fit your personality and you describe dating as something that scares you - not sure what else you need to know to see that you're on the right track. I don't think that dating for the sake of dating will get you (or the other person involved) anywhere, at least not anywhere desirable. Never touch a running system is what I say.

 

 

41 minutes ago, hm76 said:

It has started to worry me though that staying single forever might not be the best plan

The best plan to achieve what exactly to begin with?

 

 

My only experience with romance stems from a brief relationship (6 months or so) more than 15 years back. I had no idea how to navigate romance and I simply couldn't see anything beneficial in comparison to a close friendship, particularly after that phase of initial infatuation had worn off. So that was that. Tried it, didn't work, drew conclusions. There wasn't really much to accept as being single is my default state anyway. It's my natural habitat. I'd have to find a way to accept not being single :D but that's about as likely as a fish riding a bike.

 

Whenever people bring the subject up, I ask them to name the benefits. I work with people all day and I don't want to come home to somebody, hell no. Sex isn't interesting to me. I don't like children, so procreating is out of the question. There are about 412 other things ranking higher on my priority list than a romantic relationship. A romantic partner simply wouldn't have the importance they probably expect to have. The list goes on. I literally cannot think of any even remotely acceptable reason for me to be in a romantic relationship.

 

I'm aware that there's always a risk of feelings changing at some point and maybe that would make me regret not gaining more experience, but why dwell about this in advance when there's no indication at all whatsoever that my situation and/or mindset is going to change? Also, what kind of experience would I gain if my heart weren't in it? Would this kind of experience even be helpful at all?

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sallimae76

A life with love is always better. I am 43 and I have never been in a relationship. I have fallen in love however, but I was rejected each time. I wish I had a soul mate, who didn't want sex.  

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SiegeDragonfly

Oh, my.  This sounds very familiar.  I'm knocking on 40's door and I haven't been in a relationship since I was 18.  No interest in them whatsoever.  I'm currently the happiest I've ever been in my life now that I understand why I haven't been in a relationship and why I keep saying no to the people who do come onto me.  I haven't come out to my parents and I think my mother is still holding out hope that I'll finally settle down, but she doesn't talk about it anymore.  I can't be sure if my dad even cares about my relationship status and we always steer clear of the topic when we do talk.  And since I live on the opposite side of the country, I think they're just happy to hear that I'm still alive.

 

What advice would I give?  Go with your gut.  If you're having doubts about staying single, try dating.  It'll be hard to find someone compatible, surely it can be done.  If you're loving single life, stick with it and don't let anyone else talk you into something you don't want to do.  You're the one who has to live your life and if you live your life based on someone else's decision, you'll REALLY end up regretting it.

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hm76

Thank you everyone - I was just interested in hearing from people who might have had a similar experience and how they dealt with it, as it can be easy to feel like a misfit at times when virtually everyone is in a relationship. I fell in love once but it didn't last because of the sex issue and if I can avoid that ever happening again I will. Next time someone asks me I will change the subject onto them, good advice WanderingKate. 

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Nowhere Girl

It depends on how much you're set on it, what is your motivation and how far would you be willing to change your life.

Myself, I'm of pretty much the same age - I'll be forty in two years. No relationship experience whatsoever. the number of dates in my life could be counted on the fingers of one hand. I regret that I have never been in a relationship, I do feel a need for some level of emotional intimacy which is just lacking in my life right now. Still, I would be unwilling to change everything in my life - for example, I'm very used to living alone.

The kind of relationship I would want is probably closer to "queerplatonic" than "romantic" - however, I presonally don't perceive this difference as fundamental in any way. There are also other conditions:

1. I just emotionally prefer women, have some distrust for men, couldn't stand being perceived as subordinate to a man. So I only consider dating women.

2. I'm not just "uninterested in sex" (in fact, I could even say I'm pretty much theoretically interested in sex) - I'm actively sex-averse. Given that so far, throughout all my life, there are no circumstances in which my sex aversion and nudity aversion would wane, there's very little chance that I could ever be comfortable with the idea of having sex with someone. In fact I simply don't even want it, I don't want a potential future in which I would have sex to exist. Thought experiment: if I somehow knew beforehand that this or that person could be the only person in the world whom I could desire to the point of this feeling overpowering my sex aversion - I would probably decide to avoid her in order to not allow a situation in which I could have sex.

So, altogether - I feel a longing for a relationship. but it's still not a priority in my life. I vastly prefer no relationship to a relationship entering a zone which makes me feel uncomfortable or worse. I don't really experience familial pressure in this respect - they just know that I have no partner, no marriage plans, as far as they know I don't even date. I have been declaring that I won't marry* since I was much below ten years of age, but I never declared lack of interest in any relationships.

 

*Unsurprisingly, at that age I only knew about the different-sex option. Now, Poland anyway doesn't have marriage equality or even registered partnerships, but it of course doesn't stop people from marrying a same-sex partner abroad or just calling their partner "wife" or "husband" without this relationship having been formally recognised anywhere. But would I want to marry a woman? I don't think so - for example, as I wrote, I can't imagine not living alone. What I desire would be closer to a very deep, intimate friendship than to a "typical" relationship.

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Purple Wanderer

If I stay single so be it. Hopefully I can maintain some friendships instead to prevent lonliness

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SkyenAutowegCaptain

As a "forever single", if you're comfortable with this then just stay as you are. Maybe see if there are ace meets nearby, they're a good place to find friends 

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mokley

I'm 34, forever single, and I just remind myself that I have a very unique perspective on life. Most everyone else is following the same path of pairing up and going through life with someone else, for better or worse. I focus on my relationship with myself instead. I feel like this lets me see things from a very different angle -- I have different struggles and freedoms than most people, and I think I can contribute more because of it.

 

The only issue I've found is that without a partner or a family I don't have the same responsibility to other people, and I think this is what makes me feel kind of childish. I can be reckless and it wouldn't really affect anyone else, and I don't have to think about others before I (don't) do something. No one is depending on me for anything. Maybe the solution is volunteering.

 

Other than that ... no regrets. :)

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SiegeDragonfly
8 hours ago, mokley said:

The only issue I've found is that without a partner or a family I don't have the same responsibility to other people, and I think this is what makes me feel kind of childish. I can be reckless and it wouldn't really affect anyone else, and I don't have to think about others before I (don't) do something. No one is depending on me for anything.

I do have to agree with you there.  Sometimes I do feel a little childish.  I mean, I'm 39 and I basically do WHAT I want WHEN I want with no boundaries.  I do laundry in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night.  I go to bed as early as I want without having to answer to anyone or wait for anyone to join me.  Talk about a wild and carefree life!

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Nick2
20 minutes ago, SiegeDragonfly said:

I do have to agree with you there.  Sometimes I do feel a little childish.  I mean, I'm 39 and I basically do WHAT I want WHEN I want with no boundaries.  I do laundry in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night.  I go to bed as early as I want without having to answer to anyone or wait for anyone to join me.  Talk about a wild and carefree life!

Rebel with a cause.  FREEDOM !!!

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Saphoune
9 hours ago, mokley said:

I'm 34, forever single, and I just remind myself that I have a very unique perspective on life. Most everyone else is following the same path of pairing up and going through life with someone else, for better or worse. I focus on my relationship with myself instead. I feel like this lets me see things from a very different angle -- I have different struggles and freedoms than most people, and I think I can contribute more because of it.

  

The only issue I've found is that without a partner or a family I don't have the same responsibility to other people, and I think this is what makes me feel kind of childish. I can be reckless and it wouldn't really affect anyone else, and I don't have to think about others before I (don't) do something. No one is depending on me for anything. Maybe the solution is volunteering.

 

Other than that ... no regrets. :)

That hits very close to home...

1 hour ago, SiegeDragonfly said:

I do have to agree with you there.  Sometimes I do feel a little childish.  I mean, I'm 39 and I basically do WHAT I want WHEN I want with no boundaries.  I do laundry in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night.  I go to bed as early as I want without having to answer to anyone or wait for anyone to join me.  Talk about a wild and carefree life! 

Full freedom can be a challenge. Sometimes having close people around will fuel your motivation. They can also kick your ass when you are not being constructive.

However, for me, staying true to myself is not as childish as going with the flow and pretend to date.

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anxiousdolphin134
On 7/27/2019 at 3:46 PM, sallimae76 said:

A life with love is always better. I am 43 and I have never been in a relationship. I have fallen in love however, but I was rejected each time. I wish I had a soul mate, who didn't want sex.  

I agree that life with love is always better, but it seems that you are implying that it has to be romantic love, like a soul mate. Love with family or close friends is just as valid as romantic love. Although it might seem that you're missing out, remind yourself that love comes in many forms and that friendships can give you things that romance cannot. 

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sallimae76
7 minutes ago, anxiousdolphin134 said:

I agree that life with love is always better, but it seems that you are implying that it has to be romantic love, like a soul mate. Love with family or close friends is just as valid as romantic love. Although it might seem that you're missing out, remind yourself that love comes in many forms and that friendships can give you things that romance cannot. 

Yes, I agree, and I am lacking in that department also. Once upon a time I had a good career and good friends, and was happy (without a man). Now I have no family, no friends, and no job.

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anxiousdolphin134
23 hours ago, sallimae76 said:

Yes, I agree, and I am lacking in that department also. Once upon a time I had a good career and good friends, and was happy (without a man). Now I have no family, no friends, and no job.

It seems like you might need some advice. Do you think you want to create a separate post and get some advice? I think that might help a lot. 

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RobPal
On 7/29/2019 at 5:01 AM, sallimae76 said:

Yes, I agree, and I am lacking in that department also. Once upon a time I had a good career and good friends, and was happy (without a man). Now I have no family, no friends, and no job.

Yep, I feel like I'm in a very similar position. My friends are few and far between, I don't see them often and my brothers are the same. I see my parents the most but they don't know I'm ace and that part of my life is never discussed anyway.

 

I seem to fall into the same pattern with new friends where I make small changes to my introverted nature in order to build a friendship but then they're easily pulled away from me by more interesting people with more in common, so I'm left on my own again. I have no option but to take responsibility for this outcome as I'm not being myself in order to try and connect with someone in the first place, but if I'm completely myself then people just aren't interested in investing time into being friends with me. I thought I was happy being on my own but at 40 years old it's becoming more and more obvious that there is a limit to how happy I can be on my own.

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sallimae76
39 minutes ago, RobPal said:

Yep, I feel like I'm in a very similar position. My friends are few and far between, I don't see them often and my brothers are the same. I see my parents the most but they don't know I'm ace and that part of my life is never discussed anyway.

 

I seem to fall into the same pattern with new friends where I make small changes to my introverted nature in order to build a friendship but then they're easily pulled away from me by more interesting people with more in common, so I'm left on my own again. I have no option but to take responsibility for this outcome as I'm not being myself in order to try and connect with someone in the first place, but if I'm completely myself then people just aren't interested in investing time into being friends with me. I thought I was happy being on my own but at 40 years old it's becoming more and more obvious that there is a limit to happy I can be on my own.

Yes, I can relate. Life is too lonely. I hope things change for you.

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MochaBaye

Personally I wouldn't concern myself with what someone else wants for me, if I am indeed not interested. But it sounds that you, on some level, are interested. It's understandable, in humans, generally are social beings.

 

I've always been very comfortable with my own company. I've had relationships, and been sexual, but I found I am one who doesn't like that it's some sort of duty required in a relationship. I'm not repulsed, but ex has never been a priority. And I could care less if I ever had that sort of touch again. That said, having been single years now, there were moments I found myself scared that I was becoming so comfortable with my own company, that might become even more awkward with people. I personally seek to have great friendships, and if one happens to be with a man that I get on with, and it becomes committed in a significant way, I welcome that. I think about the practical aspects of being single, as I don't have much family to speak of, and wouldn't want to not have anyone that could assist should I need some help after a major incident.

 

So, yes, if you're interested in having a significant other, great. If not, great. But don't allow others to make you question your desires.

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fooledbysecrecy
On 7/28/2019 at 2:52 PM, mokley said:

I'm 34, forever single, and I just remind myself that I have a very unique perspective on life. Most everyone else is following the same path of pairing up and going through life with someone else, for better or worse. I focus on my relationship with myself instead. I feel like this lets me see things from a very different angle -- I have different struggles and freedoms than most people, and I think I can contribute more because of it.

 

The only issue I've found is that without a partner or a family I don't have the same responsibility to other people, and I think this is what makes me feel kind of childish. I can be reckless and it wouldn't really affect anyone else, and I don't have to think about others before I (don't) do something. No one is depending on me for anything. Maybe the solution is volunteering.

 

Other than that ... no regrets. :)

 

On 7/28/2019 at 11:09 PM, SiegeDragonfly said:

I do have to agree with you there.  Sometimes I do feel a little childish.  I mean, I'm 39 and I basically do WHAT I want WHEN I want with no boundaries.  I do laundry in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night.  I go to bed as early as I want without having to answer to anyone or wait for anyone to join me.  Talk about a wild and carefree life!

agree with these! feel a bit childish now and again but the freedom totally outweighs it. and i've never really understood why are people so invested in other people's relationships or the lack of them, just mind your own business. especially if they've told you they have no interest in such things..

 

can't imagine myself in a relationship, and after realising the pressure to be in one comes from outside and not from me i feel so liberated.

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FindingTheta

I think life is all about finding out who I am, building my own framework(s) in which I interpret the world, and living life in such a way where if I die tomorrow I'll be content with the life I led. It's easy to tell others how to lead fulfilling lives in a way that works for the advice giver (there's a multi-billion dollar self-help industry for that), but really they're often giving advice in order to validate themselves.

 

You, and everything you want to do is valid, OP. Fuck the haters, define success as you see it, and live life the way you want to.

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Andy Roo
On 7/27/2019 at 11:05 PM, hm76 said:

One thing I have decided is that I am not wired for relationships from a personality angle - by nature I can be independent, quirky and introverted and after years of being a bit of a social misfit have no issues with just doing things on my own

Speaking as yet another 40 y/o loner who has never been in a relationship; what makes you so sure that your introverted quirkiness is not relationship material?  What exactly is it about you that means you can't possibly find some happiness in knowing someone as more than just a passing acquaintance?  Why are there so many truly horrible people in the world, war criminals, murderers etc who can manage to have personal relationships which are in some way fulfilling, yet you cannot?

 

These are the questions I ask myself, I don't have any good answers.

 

I would say yes to trying dating, I went on one (first ever) earlier this year, it took a lot to convince myself to do it, I was terrified.  In reality it was just meeting someone I didn't know particularly well for lunch and a chat, had a nice walk in the sunshine, a perfectly nice way to waste an afternoon.  Things didn't go anywhere, but there wasn't any unpleasantness.

 

I haven't yet managed to talk myself into any more dating, but I am glad I had the experience.  

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sallimae76
3 hours ago, Andy Roo said:

Why are there so many truly horrible people in the world, war criminals, murderers etc who can manage to have personal relationships which are in some way fulfilling, yet you cannot?

 

These are the questions I ask myself, I don't have any good answers.

I am a 43 year old never had a relationship girl. I always wonder how these mass murderers that we see on the news have girlfriends. Who are these women?  I accept that I must be made different. Don't understand other girls and the guys they love.

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hm76

'Speaking as yet another 40 y/o loner who has never been in a relationship; what makes you so sure that your introverted quirkiness is not relationship material?  What exactly is it about you that means you can't possibly find some happiness in knowing someone as more than just a passing acquaintance?  Why are there so many truly horrible people in the world, war criminals, murderers etc who can manage to have personal relationships which are in some way fulfilling, yet you cannot?'

 

That's true - guess what I meant is that it does seem much easier to find someone when you fit more easily into society. I'm not being melodramatic about this but someone I dated before described me (in a nice way) as a 'complete nutter' plus my sister said that 'I wasn't like anyone else'. You get the picture.... I've found a way to make it work in many areas of my life - I spend most of my time teaching and playing music, a world that is full of eccentrics plus doing open water swimming (same again). A friend of mine said that a date would either had to be into music or swimming otherwise it simply wouldn't work. I am probably very picky too and having been on my own for most of my life if I have any doubts that something is going to work then I'll probably get out pretty quickly. You're right though, there isn't any harm to trying dating - if it doesn't go anywhere then it's not a big deal. Also I do feel differently than in my 20s, at that stage I really was not interested and my idea of happiness was to chill out on my own. 

 

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œddy

Societal pressure to date and pair up really messed me up for a number of years when I very clearly didn't want it!

All I can recommend is working on getting a good group of close friends, sorted so many things out in my life.

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daveb

I didn't date at all until well past high school. Then I had the rare date from time to time. And didn't get into a relationship until I was nearly 50. It was the experience of that relationship and the aftermath that lead me to finding out about asexuality. Without that I could very well have gone on with the rest of my life thinking I wanted all of the relationship stuff and sex and all that and maybe never discovering asexuality.

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will123

In my 20s I had a couple of female friends. In my 30s I had a couple of 'fix ups'. One didn't go so well and the other resulted in a friendship that lasted a couple of years. I met another girl a couple of years before I found out about asexuality in 2005. I never put a lot of effort into making female friends. Since I identified as asexual, being single hasn't really bothered me.

 

All thru life I've kept myself occupied after working hours with hobbies and recreational pursuits. I've never had any periods where I had 'time on my hands' to worry about things.

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Andy Roo
On 8/8/2019 at 6:34 PM, hm76 said:

That's true - guess what I meant is that it does seem much easier to find someone when you fit more easily into society. I'm not being melodramatic about this but someone I dated before described me (in a nice way) as a 'complete nutter' plus my sister said that 'I wasn't like anyone else'. You get the picture....

Funny, I have had someone describe me as 'not like anyone else' before as well.  There is no such thing as 'normal' and lots of people don't fit in. 

The really weird people are the ones who are convinced they are totally normal.

I think it is actually easier to find someone when you have a clear idea of who you are and what your boundaries are, you won't be wasting time on people who don't get you.

 

I think the point I was trying to make in my previous post is that the narrative we give ourselves about being 'special' is just an attempt at feeling better about not trying things because they are scary or difficult.


 

 

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hm76

'I think the point I was trying to make in my previous post is that the narrative we give ourselves about being 'special' is just an attempt at feeling better about not trying things because they are scary or difficult.'

 

I get what you're saying - I did think the whole 'being different' thing about myself as a teenager and young adult, then after realising that people were using this all the time as an excuse as to why they didn't perform well or didn't do things that challenged them I dropped it. The only problem was that even having dropped this belief people still made similar comments.  I agree with you in the whole knowing who you are thing though - there is very little chance that I'd still be with anyone I met in my early 20s as at that age I had no clue who I was.

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oldgeeza
18 hours ago, Greyman said:

 

I don't know that I could agree with that statement, I've never been well off, when I tried the dating thing, I was working long hours, 7 days a week to keep my family, I never had a long lasting relationship, all of my partners cheated on me, the reason they went with me was to boost their ego, two of my partners, they don't know each other, both replied the same, "you always go out of your way to be helpful, you do your best to look after me, but you're ugly, you're old, you're desperate so I went with you, just to prove I could still pull" I last dated in 1991, I tried, as much as anything else due to wanting to fit in, my longest relationship was my last one, it lasted 28 days, she went with me as I was repairing her car, I guess it was her way of getting the job done cheap, as soon as I finished sorting her car out, she dumped me, that's when I realised, a woman will only try and get into a relationship with someone like me if there's something in it for her, back then, I was paying for my family, divorces, mortgages, kids etc so I never had a wallet let alone cash to put in it.

 

I am blessed with some of the best friends that anyone could wish for, I wouldn't change them for the world, do I need a romantic relationship? not really, I'm in my 50's now, I just answer that I wasn't destined to be in a relationship, if they keep on, I just say "I'm a sterile, impotent, ugly old man" that shuts people up almost instantly

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