It's Not You - 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
It's Not You - 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single
14
Sat, 01-18-2014 - 7:55am

Wow, did I like this book. Sara Eckel, a journalist, wrote a wonderful piece in the NY Times a few years ago on this subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/fashion/sometimes-its-not-you-or-the-math-modern-love.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

And now she's written a book. It's not an advice book, it's not self help: she simply tells her story and debunks all the myths of why you are single. She was 38 when she met the man who later became her husband, and she had not been in a relationship for 8 years. She writes about her struggle to figure out how she could fix herself so that she could attract a man, but she discovered: there's nothing wrong with her that needs fixing. She just hadn't met the right man. Even though I am 59, I can relate to everything she writes about. And don't let the fact that she did finally get married turn you off to this book. She's far from "smug" about it, and again, she's not telling you how to meet someone: she admits she has no idea.

A sampling of the myths single women hear:
You have issues
You need to be happy alone
You're too picky
You need to put it out to the universe
You are the constant
You're too old

She doesn't mean to imply that you shouldn't participate in self-growth. She benefited a lot from yoga and meditation...but that's not what attracted her future husband. It was mostly luck. 

She realizes that her life, even though she didn't have a special man, had meaning and happiness. One of my favorite passages:
"Happiness was there the whole time. The problem was, I was so specific about the type of happiness I wanted that I far too often ruined a good thing. I wanted the sort of happiness that made me feel normal. I wanted romantic love, yes, but I also wanted the security and social status that surrounds it. "

And this:
"And I personally have wasted a shocking amount of time making excuses for guys who didn't call me for the simple reason that they didn't want to."

So my fellow singles, stop beating yourself up. Get  this book and feel good about yourself for heaven's sake.


 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008

xxxs, I have to agree with you on many points.  I feel too many people "settle" because of societal pressures.  I would rather stay single, honestly.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  First being single is far better than being in a bad relationship.   It is up to the individual to determine which relationship is for them.  men who do not want to commit are not immature but know what they want in that stage of life.  Women may want to build a career.  And do not want the distraction of a relationship. 

    It really is all about you.  What you want.  Who you truly are.  Not what society,or the magazine say you are supposed to want. 

You must decide for yourself.   Getting older is different from the 20's where one had a environment with many ways to meet people.  But before you do think of what you at this stage of life are willing to put up with.  And who you really are.  Be true to thineself.

war2

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010

floridagirl52 wrote:
<p><em><span style="font-size:13px">"On the first day, there are a lot of bargains to be had, but by the end of the Are you saying then, that the older one gets--and is still unattached--that they are "shoddy merchandise."? Couldn't it just be that they haven't met the right person yet, and they are, in fact, a real gem (to the right person)?</span></p>

Floridagirl-

I am not saying that anyone in particular is shoddy merchandise. A while ago, another poster, luv2breathe, who hasn't been around lately, really took offense with my analogy. However, the truth is, as I saw myself from being single age 40-43 and from acquaintances over 45, is the older one gets, the more difficult the dating pool gets. Meanwhile, looking at the single and divorced people over 45, both male and female, that I know in person, not here on iVillage, is that almost all need some work on themselves, before they can be successful in love and a worthwhile partner to have.

For instance, I know a man who is a 52 year old virgin, who wants a woman 20 years younger and refuses to work on his medicocre dating skills. I know a never married woman, age 46, who is gorgeous, but likely has had some trauma in her past that keeps her from getting too close to anyone. My wife's best friend from high school, a good looking woman now age 50, just has picked unsuitable man after unsuitable man throughout her dating career. I know a divorced man, age 67, that a lot of women are interested in, but since his divorce 17 years ago, hasn't wanted anyone. He still hasn't gotten over his failed marriage that ended in 1996. I can go on with a story about practically everyone else single over 45 I know in person. Of course, there are gems out there, but they aren't easy to find at older ages.

To All-

I was not implying any of you are lazy or haven't been trying to find someone. I was just concerned about where fatalistic thinking can lead.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
Shy-exactly! Marriage does not confer superiority. Anyone can get married any time. Depending upon one's standards and what they will put up with.
Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Gleann- I think about that a lot too. The friend I hang out with the most has been married since she was 19. She's needy, emotional, loud, and attention-seeking. Her husband is chauvinist and rude. I'd never think they'd find someone who'd put up with either personality all day long, but they do. I think it boils down to what you think you deserve in a partner. My most recent guy would probably eventually come around and be willing to commit. He knows my clock is ticking. I was blunt about that. Now, if I were willing to put up with his immaturity and lack of commitment for five years, we could maybe end up married. Heck, I could even go off the pill and have that baby with him if I was dishonest enough to do that. It just all seems wrong. For others, they might be willing to put up with him simply because they don't think they deserve more. I'm just not one of those women.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
That's an especially interesting theory when I think about all of the very undesirable men and women I know who have been married multiple times and had multiple relationships.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
I vacillate between the belief that relationships are either meant to be or not, i.e, fate, and the belief that it is all just random. If you have ever taken General Chemistry, you may remember the discussion of and lab experiment of boiling water in a flask. The hydrogen and oxygen molecules randomly collide in no particular order. I tend to believe human interactions are somewhat like that. I don't think most of us here are passive. We all seem to have interests which get us out of the house, but for various reasons are not meeting dateable men. For Shywon, it seems she is running into quite a few Peter Pans that do not want to grow up, and the rest are married. For those of us that are older, we tend to meet few available men to begin with. The men in our age group that are single and in decent shape tend to want women 10-20 years younger. That leaves us with much younger men, which in most cases is a dead end, or much older. I am 52 and I do not want to be with a man 65+. In fact, I prefer someone within 5 years of my age. With an older man, I'd be taking on his medical problems, which most men have after 60, if not 50. Why would I want to do that when I have a pretty decent life now? I'd argue that it is far different for you as a man. If a man is not hideously ugly and has a decent disposition, he is *always* going to have options. As far as religion, I was raised Catholic, but am now more of a Deist. The God I believe in likely considers it a waste of my time on earth to spend every waking moment looking for a romantic partner, under every rock and stone. I would rather try to be useful, and try to do whatever good I can in a world that is increasingly narcissistic. Not to sound too pious.
Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006

"On the first day, there are a lot of bargains to be had, but by the end of the sale, one has to pick through a lot of shoddy merchandise."

Are you saying then, that the older one gets--and is still unattached--that they are "shoddy merchandise."? Couldn't it just be that they haven't met the right person yet, and they are, in fact, a real gem (to the right person)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008

Point well taken. But, from what I can tell, most of us here are hardly hermits watching "Golden Girls" reruns. I do agree with Music. It seems like a miracle that anyone gets together these days, especially after 40. I think in many ways that our society, as it is today, works against people having long-term relationships.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010

PLEASE DELETE THIS!!! It also takes 2x to change posts. Management needs to look into that.

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