Occassionally I read the advice column by Cary Tennis on Salon.com. He can be a little out there and poetic with advice, but I do enjoy him. He had an answer to a middle-aged woman who wrote in essentially asking how she could enjoy the rest of her life because things didn't seem to be working out so well with men. Part of his answer:
Have a regimen and a routine, a thing you do that always works, so that you can always do it when people fail you. It’s something different for everybody. If you don’t have anything that always works, find something and perfect it — a certain drink that never fails, a song that gives you goose bumps, a certain walk on a certain path that always elevates your spirits, a meditation that always calms you, a food you always like to eat.
You need somebody you can always call, too, but people will change and even if they stay the same they die, and then they’re gone. You can’t depend on them. You need more lasting bulwarks. You will find a favorite meeting you always like to go to and then everyone will buy houses and move away. You will find a friend who promises you things and doesn’t come through. So a practice that always works must be solitary or of the earth or of the mind; people will change and let you down. You need something older than people.
So live near a river or a mountain or a stream. Live near something you can walk to where you go, Ah.
I wasn't comforted by this answer. On the one hand he says "you need someone you can call" but then says you can't count on them. And I don't think a favorite drink is going to do it for me, either. But I guess the thing that spoke to me was how you really can't always count on people, and that people die and move away. To me, making meaningful connections that last is the hardest part of being single. And it's not that I expect someone to always be available--it's not their job. But it would certainly be nice to be in a large web of interconnected lives, where you didn't go for very long without meaningful connection.