Is it abnormal to be single........??

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2002
Is it abnormal to be single........??
18
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 8:35am

Hi,

I am sitting here with a coffee enjoying the sound of rain outside.......with my wet dog!! lol.  Thought I'd post about something I've been thinking about for a while........

Is it abnormal to be single? I guess maybe in your twenties when there are lots of people around (my gosh....I had so many friends then.......both male and female).  As you get older, though, if you miss that "boat" it seems really difficult to find someone in your thirties and beyond.......

I guess I notice it - not too many people at the office ask me about my personal life, but usually when my dad calls me every other week or so he asks "so is anything else new??" or "any guys on the scene??"

I read a book recently about being single.......I meant to post the name of it on here with the author, but it really talked about the various characters and their various states of single-dom (e.g. divorced, depressed, given up, hit the jackpot) lol........but I don't think people necessarily understand the difficulty of meeting someone nowadays.......

I guess the OLD commercials don't help - they portray online dating as some kind of magical thing where you're bound to meet some guy who's "totally" interested in you right off the bat......

I have to say that for the most part, I like being single.  It can be extremely hard when disaster strikes (e.g job loss) or managing to maintain a household on one income.  I also miss the sex.......but in general......I don't feel the "need" for a boyfriend. 

What do you think? Do you get questions from people? Do you still have the expectation you will meet someone, or are you happy on your own?

I have met a few guys through work that I could see myself with, but it seems (like 95% of the planet!!) they are married.......lol......

Mel :smileyhappy:

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Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 2:07pm

"What do you think? Do you get questions from people? Do you still have the expectation you will meet someone, or are you happy on your own?"

My family stopped asking about men and dating several years ago. I'm not really sure why but I'm kind of glad that they've come to realize that I'm not looking. Let's be honest, if you aren't actively looking, you aren't meeting a lot of new men or going out on a lot of dates!

My closer friends know me well enough that, if I'm interested in someone or am seeing someone, I'll tell them so, they don't ask either. Sometimes old friends I've lost contact with will be more curious, as will acquaintances.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not 100% fine with being single. I'd like to have some companionship(at times). I think I'm lucky in that, I can kind of turn that part of my life off and on like a light switch. I kind of just shut all of those feelings down. It may not be very healthy, but it works for me! I'm happy, could be happier, but I'm sure it's the same with most everyone. I try not to view it as I was dealt a raw hand in this area of my life, but more, I made the decision. I could have been married several times over by now but I didn't want to settle. I knew what real chemistry felt like and if I couldn't have THAT, I'd prefer to be alone.

Just editing to add:  my parents have been happily married for 51 years.  Although, I have two older siblings who have each had marital issues, and one is now divorced so, I do think there is some validity to your point (what you see) . . . my brother was mostly miserable throughout his entire marriage.  I definitely did not want to be in that position. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 12:12pm

I do agree with your timeline scenario somewhat--I'd say a big percentage of the decent guys do get married in their 20's or early 30's and just stay married.  I see that a lot with my high school friends--most of them have been married quite a long time and their kids are now getting married.  Of course I don't know all the ins & outs and everybody has problems at some time, but having met the guys they are just decent normal guys.  So now in my 50's -- well you have to wonder about guys who have never been married (unless they lived togehter with someone for a long time)--do they have any idea how to be in a relationship?  If they are widowed, you assume they are probably a better catch (although since my 2nd DH was widowed, I can assure you that's not the case) but if they are younger, that means you have to take the kids with them (my 2nd DH had a 10 yr old DD when we met & I saw an ad yesterday on OLD that the guy was about 50 and widowed & had 4 young kids--how many women are going to be willing to take that on?)  Then you have the divorced guys--you have to figure out why they got divorced, was it because they were jerks & did they learn anything from experience?

I can't say that I like being single.  I don't even necessarily want to live with someone and I probably don't want to get married again, but it would be nice to have someone.  First I miss the love & affection, having someone to hang out with where you don't have to start calling around to your friends to see who is available, and honestly it would be nice to have someone to help you out with stuff.  My big fear is being sick cause none of my relatives live nearby and you just hate to impose on friends.  Realistically I feel like I am probably not going to find someone & it makes me sad.  I try to fill up my time with activities & friends and when I am doing that, I'm not thinking about being single.  No one asks me about dating any more.  I think after my disastrous 2nd marriage, my mom & aunts are probably relived that I'm not dating or maybe they just figure that by my age, I should just give up.  My friends don't ask cause they know I'll tell them & they are in the same boat anyway.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2005
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 11:59am

I agree with others that it's not abnormal to be single.  I do want to be in a healthy committed relationship, but I can appreciate that I have a lot of flexibility in my life as a single person.

As I've gotten older (I am 37), most people have stopped asking about dating, etc and that has been SUCH a relief.  To be honest, I don't want to talk with most people about guys I've dated or guys I want to date, or "the dating scene".  I have just a few friends that I share that stuff with, and it's fine by me.  Even my parents never touch the subject, which is great.  My sister tried to bring up online dating to me 2 years ago, and I almost bit her head off - so I think she got the point.

You'd never ask a married person - "hey, how's that marriage going?" and yet people want you to be an open book with dating info! 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2002
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 10:26am

Hi,

Good food for thought.  Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the book I read (it was a library loner)......I should have posted the name when I had it.  It would really give good insight to people who just think OLD is like a turn key solution to romance............

Not to go off tangent, but I think some of your expectations depend on the examples you've seen.  Unfortunately my parents had a very unhappy marriage (stayed together for the financial convenience) and divorced when I was 17.  My mom met someone shortly thereafter and married who......umm.....frankly, I could never live with and has some interesting ideas about work and other things.  She does have some "social" time with him and their friends, so I think in her mind she is happy but she definitely "needs" to be with someone - something I've never succumbed to.  She has also even offered to pay for me to go on OLD to meet someone because clearly, I am not a full "unit" in her eyes because I'm not with someone.  There is a mentally challenged guy at work who has a crush on me and I've joked that parents think I should actually consider dating him......!! lol (no disrespect to him......he's great......just that they clearly see my clock "ticking").  I think as well they want me to be with someone, because then the onus is not as great on them if I need help doing things like moving, paying bills, etc.....

I agree with what you guys have said about settling.......I have had serious relationships that turned bad and I would rather, frankly be on my own.  I hear this a lot from colleagues I know who are married......

Awful to say, but my hypothesis is that all the decent guys got married in their twenties and unfortunately now we are waiting for the inevitable death/divorce scenario.  I have heard of people getting married for the first time at 40 or 50 soo......it ain't over yet......just saying that in the interim I'm enjoying not having a snoring guy in my bed every night!! lol

Mel :smileyhappy:

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 10:18am
Isn't it 44% of the population now is single? So of course it's not abnormal! I do wonder how much of that number includes people in committed relationships and just not married.

I also think it's much harder after 30. My last relationship ended at 30, and I haven't found a good prospect since. I might have more dates if I went online, but I just don't like the whole process. It's so disheartening. All the rejection breaks my spirit.

No one really asks me about men. Probably because they know there probably isn't one. I also tend to keep that stuff to myself, so I wouldn't share unless I know it's going somewhere. I just don't want to explain if things go south.

I also think there are far more crazy/damaged men out there than women. I see what my baby sister is going through with her ex now and I'm so glad I didn't just marry someone or have a baby with someone just to do it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 10:06am

I surely echo what everyone else has said....and yes you guys make lots of sense....

What I feel is that I would love to have someone in my life but what I am realizing is that other people and other things fill the void. Like I have guy friends now and some hobbies and when I go out I will find even strangers to hang out with.. I just give out the love and I get it back somehow... Even animals can give us unconditional love..Even you guys on here and my peeps on facebook are giving out love all the time.....

What I have learned is that love comes in all forms from friends, family, outside sources and if we put love out there it comes back.. Not always what we want but it will eventually...

Keep trying find ways to be loved and give love.. It doesnt take away the fact we all want to have someone but it works in the meantime..until that special person comes along..........................

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 9:53am

I will echo what Floridagirl said.  It deinitely gets much harder somewhere around 30.  It seems like all of the men who are attractive and have their acts together settle down aorund that age, and may or may not become available in their 40s or 50s due to death or divorce. And, sorry guys, I see that there are far more screwed up men( who are not relationship material) than there are women.

Like Florida, I am not looking for George Clooney and Bill Gates rolled into one. Although I certainly don't look 25, I take care of myself, am vibrant and do not look *old.*  Most men by my age have a whole host of health problems and look ancient, as well as being overweight.  I am not going to take on their baggage, when I didn't have the good years with them.  Sure, we all have problems, but some of us do more to minimize them than do others.  I see a lot of people that have just given up on themselves, and it shows.

As far as your question, yes many people enjoy bing single.  For the most part, I do.  I have a full life and do not mind doing things on my own.  My preference would be to be in a relationship with someone I am really into.  While I haven't given up, I have accepted that that may never happen, through no fault of my own. There is a word for people like me, and I think floridagirl:  "quirkyalone".  We are people who are not necessarily die-hard singles, but prefer being alone to an unsatisfactory relationship.

Most people don't ask me about my status anymore, probably because of my age (51).  My mother is very supportive and never makes me feel like something is wrong with me.

Truly, when I look at some of the awful men other women are with, just to "have someone", I am happy to be alone.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 9:07am

It's a good question.

No, it is not abnormal to be single or to enjoy being single. You might enjoy the work of Bella DePaulo (sp?). She's written quite passionately about singles. What is the title of the book you mention?

However, that said, I believe the vast majority of us want to pair bond with someone. I know I do. And I don't think it comes from some weak place of needing someone to complete me, or to do the things for me that I need to do for myself.

People who know me well never ask me about men. It's been so long, they know that I will tell them the very minute there is a man on the scene. Occasionally, I will get insensitive comments from people who don't know me well.

Yeah, the whole OLD thing. People who have never done it (like women who got married when they were 26 and have stayed married and are happy) have this idea that it is like the IKEA catalog--you just merely need to put in your measurements and out will pop an entire selection of desirable men. Not.

I am not happy on my own. Well, sometimes I am, and I am an introvert, so I need time alone to recharge and do creative things. I don't particularly have an expectation that I will meet someone. I don't feel it is over, but neither do I feel very hopeful. I feel very gypped, actually. But I will never settle.* I was in an unhappy marriage and I will never repeat those mistakes. I would rather be single to the day I die rather than be in a dysfunctional relationship just so I "have someone."

Yes, it's way harder to meet someone after age 35. For me, it has been just as hard now as it was then. You would think there would be more (desirable) men available now due to death and divorce but that's not what I'm finding.

*no, I'm not holding out for Adonis looks or a six figure income. I just want a loving, healthy mutually-supportive (and exciting!) relationship.

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