More unwanted advice

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
More unwanted advice
Wed, 04-16-2014 - 6:33pm

I had another lunch with three women I used to work with. All married. All with kids. All of them extroverts. I've not been feeling overly confident lately, and wasn't looking forward to getting together. I dreaded possible questions about my love life. I feel unsettled in my career right now--my business hasn't been very profitable the last two years. I feel I need to be "up" around them. And I know they have no idea what my life is really like. I know they couldn't imagine being single for so long.

One of the women told us about her long-widowed mother who has started seeing someone she ran into at her high school reunion. And I braced myself for what I knew was coming next. One of the other women got a lightbulb over her head and very forcefully told me I should go to my high school reunion because, "A lot of people meet that way!" 

Deep sigh.

I told them that I hated high school and I didn't want to go to any more reunions, which is true. I didn't date in high school, so it's not like I have these old boyfriends I'll run into. Yes, yes, yes, "You never know." But in this case, I think I do. But she was adamant about it, and that's what is so tiring. 

Finally the topic changed, but I felt like I just wanted to cry, really. I know they think they are helping. But it mostly just hurts to be the eternally single woman sitting at a table with three married women. I know they must think I have no clue what to do, sort of like if I were overweight, "But have you considered consuming less calories than you burn?" And I know they don't envy my single life, nor would I want them to. 

I didn't tell them about the guy I really liked who never called me back in October, nor that I'm on two dating sites at the moment. I just don't want to open it up for discussion, because they will start in with all the usual suggestions. Whatever I do, it will never be enough. I'm not trying hard enough.

On most occassions I'm more gracious about it, but today I wasn't. I thought I would probably cry in the car on the way home but I didn't. I just felt sad. So my advice to coupled women who think they have the answer: stop giving single women adivce. They don't want it. And it hurts our feelings.


Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Wed, 04-16-2014 - 7:27pm
I really, really hate unsolicited advice! It's like if you share, people think you're asking. It's not the same thing! At my last reunion, the married guys whose wives didn't come hit on me. Of course, they slipped their rings off so I didn't know they were married. It wasn't really fun. PS Most people looove giving weight loss advice, too, and have no clue what they're talking about! I belong to another forum for weight loss and the misinformation is horrible. I've lost 60 pounds at this point. I'm not gonna ask for advice from someone pushing pills and shakes!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2002
Wed, 04-16-2014 - 8:05pm

Hi there.  I know I don't belong on this thread, but your message came up when I went to the main boards screen.  I am sorry to hear about your silly married friends and their terrible advice. 

I'm separated from my husband, and possibly about to go through a divorce.  Here is what I hear from people and it hurts alot.  Friends, family:

- You two should just try communicating.  (Really?   That simple huh ? You haven't walked in my shoes leave me alone.)

- You obvously don't take your vows seriously.  (Ouch.  From a sibling.  Who just got married.)

- Oh try consuling.  (Ummmm....that made it worse,  and it costs a fortune and now I have lots of debt.  $150-$190 an hour....yup)  And my marriage consuler told me "the ship has sailed on your marriage anyway.)

- From a family member:  Oh I am just so sad to hear this because I like him so much (not sad for me, sad for her.   Gee thanks - like I am thrilled)

The list goes on and on.  So although I am not in your shoes, I am sorry for you to have to hear dumb advice.   Not that you wish them unhappiness, but I bet at least one of them has a marriage that isn't what it appears...but would never let on.  Best of luck to you - and I hope your own personal "Spring" comes to you soon.  PS - when one of them goes through a divorce, tell them one of the items from the above.   ;  ) 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 10:58am

Ugh!  This is why I'm glad I have a group of single friends to hang out with.  Occasionally I'll get together with some of the friends from high school who are mostly married, but they actually never ask me if I'm dating--maybe they have the attitude that since I'm divorced twice, I'm like damaged goods or something so I shouldn't even be looking!  Thankfully I am never really around people who have unsolicited suggestions about how I should meet men.

I'm sure they thought they were just being helpful with the reunion idea.  I think 4  yrs ago we had a high school reunion and we hadn't had one in about 10 yrs so we got a good turnout and it was really fun because we had a small(ish) class that was very close.  however, I had hoped that maybe someone would be single--there were hardly any single guys there.  There was no hitting on anyone like in Shywon's class because I think with a small class it would be just too hard for someone to pretend they were single when they were married.  But right now I can think of 2 single guys who were there--the local one was just someone I would not be interested in at all.  The other guy might have been a prospect except that he lives on the opposite coast now.

The thing is that all the suggestions work for some people some of the time--whether it's OLD, reunions, meetup groups, speed dating, or whatever.  But it doesn't mean that they will have a good success rate for everyone.  so if you're constantly reminded that hey, someone's friend or sister met their DH on OLD, then you start to think maybe there is something wrong with me here--why can't I meet someone on OLD?  But we don't actually know what the total success rate is and there is probably no way to know.  Remember the commercial for, I think?  That says that 20% of today's relationships begin on line--well that means that 80%--the vast majority--do NOT meet on line.  I just think it's all a lot of whether you are lucky or not and there's only so much we can control.  It's not like a diet where you know that if you eat less and exercise more, you will lose weight--you can make a lot of efforts and still not find anyone.  so don't let it get you down.  They just don't know how it really is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 12:49pm

wow so sorry about that and your married friends do sound a bit insensitive...... Anyway. I am wondering why  you didnt cry and why you held that in? I cry alot about different things.. It could be about anything single status included.. It def. clears out my cobwebs and it purges gunk out of which I have read that we should not hold in any pent up emotional stuff and that crying cleanses the soul..LOL

Well one reason I so limit my time with married couples and regular couples.. I decided awhile ago that I didnt want to subject myself to any more negative energy and feeling bad about myself so I rarely if ever go ut with or hang out with couples anymore. Well I am lying a bit because since I live with my sis and her boyfriend is here part time I do on occasion hang out with them but they are already here so I might go for a walk with them or a bike ride ... I dont hang out with them as a rule.. I am sort of jealous that she has a boyfriend and that bothers me but that is another topic for another day.......:)

I am with Music and when I go out I hook up with singles or lately I have been doing more meet ups where mostly singles go. I feel so much better about myself when I am  with people like me over 50 single and in same boat as myself..

Only thing if you have to see t hese people I would limit the time and amount of time.. or set boundaries on it..

well hopefully all is okay now.... go ahead and have a good cry !!!

PS. Most of the people I knew from HS are dead from drugs or who knows what else?? they did have a reunion last year but it was like 100.00 and I didnt have that kind of money..... I would think if one is going to meet someone its anywhere ...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 1:59pm
I am sorry people said things to you that hurt you. Many people are 'fixers' when all we want is listeners. I am 58 and never married. But I love my life the way it is. There was a long stretch when everyone I knew seemed to be getting married and having kids and weren't available much to play with me. I had to both seek out other singles, take what the married could offer, and learn to amuse myself. Fortunately, I had work I loved and I missed the 'motherhood' gene so I was never envious of the mothers. I am an awesome aunt and I found joy loving other people's children - all the fun and none of the work. I have reached the time of life where people are being left with empty nests, are divorced, or widowed. There are more people to play with, and I am the one who knows how to play. I find that others do envy parts of my life...not that they would trade what they have for it, but every life has trade offs and I think because I am happy with my choices, I don't envy others theirs. I can look back and see where a different choice would have led to a different path, but I work hard to be happy on the path I am on. I don't want to offer advice, but for me, the energy I putt into making my life good for me has Been a better use of my energy than efforts to meet 'Mr. wonderful'. However, I wish for everyone that life brings you what you most desire!
Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 2:09pm

I was just feeling especially vulnerable yesterday. And the woman who started the advice session always does this with everyone--it's nothing new, so I usually anticipate it happening. I like these women otherwise. But I do spend way more time with single women. They're available and they're not (usually) going to give you dumb advice.

I wish I could get to the point of not being bothered at all by not having a partner. But to me, a full life consists of sharing that with an intimate partner. More power to women who are very content with being single--it certainly sounds a lot easier. But it's not who I am. For me, there is no substitute. But it doesn't mean I'm frantically "looking" all the time--I'm not. 

And I'm definitely not one to hold in emotions. If I need to cry, I will. I didn't want to cry in front of them, and by the time I was in my car, the urge had passed. 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 7:26pm

I bet that must be exhausting!  

My sister has a DD25 and never married the dad.  She jokes she skipped the first xH.  She is somewhat private and if she has dated at all, she hasn't told me.  She made a choice to raise her DD and I have never given it a second thought.  

I have only had one person question why my sister was still single and I to be honest, I was kind of offended.  I felt she was judging my sister.  So I can only how imagine how you must feel.  

Anyway, glad you are able to come here and vent.  

Serenity CL making a marriage work

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 12:06am

 I am single.  I know that I am a loner.  I like it that way.  i am so curious about the world and knowledge that being with most people is a chore.  Worse i feel that I am between worlds as I like science and technology but do not speak the language(physics,Quantim mechanics etc).  So I am looking for a wizard's tower some where with the best technology.  near to  a nightlife of art and technology.  Companion?  Perhaps,  but I am not  pursuing,will not pursue,.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 1:11am

Yes, it definitely sucks to get unwanted advice from people with decent lovelives who don't know what they are talking about.

It is clear from here that single women in their 50s often have a hard time dating, much harder than when they were in their 20s. I myself as a man saw that dating was harder in my early 40s than in my 30s. Logically, it makes sense that as one gets older there are fewer suitable individuals in the pool. What is needed IMO is scientific research into the situation. I really don't think much has been done with studying older singles. What strategies and places are in fact most effective for women over 50 and what does in fact increase the odds? Right now, there aren't useful answers out there.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 8:17am

The thing is that all the suggestions work for some people some of the time--whether it's OLD, reunions, meetup groups, speed dating, or whatever.  But it doesn't mean that they will have a good success rate for everyone.  so if you're constantly reminded that hey, someone's friend or sister met their DH on OLD, then you start to think maybe there is something wrong with me here--why can't I meet someone on OLD?

I think you sum it up very well here, Musiclover. And the fact is, as singles, we ALL know about these ways to meet--it's not rocket science. Again, though, there are just people who can't help themselves and simply must give advice. And I think some of them think that they are inspiring you with these stories of other women who have found love, not realizing how demoralizing it really is.

And Trenner, if you ever find this scientific evidence, I'd love to see it. The fact is, I don't think you can have a strategy, and I don't think there are these hidden, special places single women can go to meet men. I suppose you could say that OLD and speed dating are "places" women can go to meet men, and unfortunately, I think OLD is probably an older woman's best hope of meeting someone. Otherwise, I think you just have to live your life, be open to new experiences, accept invitations and get out of the house.