Despite all the red flags, I let the recent dalliance play out, and play out it seems to have done. I continue to be surprised that people aren’t more polite/ respectful, especially with a like-minded peer who circulates in the same professional world, but at this point I shouldn’t be. In any case, it feels as if my last link to my old self and interests and lifestyle has been cut.
So I can no longer avoid facing up to my current circumstances. Alone here, lost in a place that, for better or worse, is not quite in sync with how I’ve spent the prior three decades of my life. This weekend I considered going to a small literary breakfast that I attended in the past, but I couldn’t cope with an hour plus drive and the two freeways I would have to take to get there. It was a fairly stimulating event, but last year I had to go alone and nothing came of it socially, so it was hard for me to justify the drive.
The fact is, most of this country is suburban and social life remains modeled on the nuclear family pattern. I’ve been lucky/savvy enough to live in the center of the handful of cities that break the mold, and even so, I got tired of going out by myself and began to feel like I was aging out of a lot of it.
Now I’m living in a very pleasant place that would be nice to settle down in with a partner, but I’m sans the partner.
I decided to just stay in this weekend and clean and take care of paperwork and cook and restore my sanity after a hectic week. I had a blissful dip in the ocean and finally got back to my Spanish. This could, conceivably, be how I spend the next ten years.
Writing. And thinking. Just thinking.
Sounds like a tough time. Sorry, Ranty. Are there local events or classes you can take that are new to you? Maybe you can meet types of people you haven’t socialized so much with in the past or who are on the same page as you at this stage in your life?
I’m not sure. I keep researching things, but it’s not easy with my schedule. I keep looking.
“The fact is, most of this country is suburban and social life remains modeled on the nuclear family pattern. I’ve been lucky/savvy enough to live in the center of the handful of cities that break the mold, and even so, I got tired of going out by myself and began to feel like I was aging out of a lot of it.” This is so well said. I can really relate. I’ve gotten tired of the urban-ish area I live in but worry that someplace a little more far out might be isolating since I don’t have children. I hope there is some in-between. I hope you will find your place and your niche in time and find some like-minded, nearby friends and/or partner.
I was afraid to leave my last job for promotional opportunities in less stressful, easier areas because I was afraid there would be nothing for me socially. I hate to say it, but I was pretty much right about that. The nightlife here consists of a few bars, and I’m very unlikely–especially considering my professional position–to go to bars alone. There are outdoor recreational opportunities and my gym has a pool, but other than that I can’t figure out how I would meet people. Most activities, even gym classes, start so early that it’s difficult for me to get there after work, and there’s very little going on culturally.
Now you’re scaring me, because I’ve been seriously contemplating what sounds like a very similar move. I guess in L.A. it might be even more exaggerated because of how spread out everything is. Where we are it’s a little easier to get around but still it worries me to move someplace where it’s hard to meet people or people are focused on their families only. I’d guess in a situation like you’re in, trying to look online for some activities and people in your area might be something to look at? That’s one thing the Internet can be good for, finding people and things you wouldn’t necessarily run into on your own in person. I hope things will look up a bit soon, it’s still not been too long since your move, right?
Yes, I’ve only been here a few months.
When I was in my twenties, I spent two separate years in cities that were just kinda “meh.” They weren’t particularly hip or vibrant or desirable places to live, although because they were self-contained cities, they did have museums and such (unlike here, where you drive into L.A. for that). I was pretty unhappy there because my feeling was that the only satisfying way to organize your life in such a place was to be married. There just wasn’t anything exciting going on outside of that, nothing truly interesting and vibrant to break up the work-home-gym routine. I think most of the country is like that.
That’s probably why a lot of people here ask about me being single. If they could set me up, fine… I could be happy here with a partner. But that’s such a precarious thing to base my happiness on.
I’ve been to a few meet ups that got me out of the house and around people but didn’t provide that “click” for me. I had stopped going out in the place I was living before here due to the job search dragging on, but I could cope better because I wasn’t working and could spend time at home reading and relaxing when feeling glum instead of having to deal with the demands of a job.
BTW, I thought I could move somewhere quiet and still be happy by getting a pet or gardening or practicing Spanish or just in general focusing on my own thing. I’m trying to do that, but I can’t have pets here or a garden and the time and energy I have left over from work to, say, learn a musical instrument is not much. I do cook and try to practice Spanish but am finding it hard to see the point, as I won’t use it here. I also think that working hard during the week creates a sense in me that I want something to look forward to in my time off… a sense I had much less of when I wasn’t working.
I assume you are uninterested in online dating sites, right? What about taking classes on the weekend at a community college or a night class once a week? Is that a possibility? Is there any place you’d like to volunteer, maybe doing something with animals since you can’t have a pet? You can meet more men and women by doing different activities. Also, have you read much about advice for women in their 40s who would like to be in a relationship? I’m sure you’ve done a lot of searches — I found this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-daily/5-unexpected-places-to-me_b_187369.html. There are also tips on how to make oneself appealing physically and in terms of personality. I’m not saying you need in work these areas but just throwing ideas out there.
I wondered that too Ranty, if you’d done online dating or not. I can’t remember if you’d written about that before or not. I know it ends up working really well for some. Of course others find that it is draining and doesn’t result in a good match at all.
Hopefully after you’ve been in your current home a while you can scope out some other places you could live where you could have a pet and garden. At least those things would be at home waiting for you after a long week at work and you wouldn’t have to go far out of your way to seek out their benefits.
Seems like you’re adjusting not only to being in a different part of the LA area than you’re used to but also adjusting to being back at work fulltime. So that’s quite a change, and understandable that you’re having all these feelings.
I honestly think the Internet can be a good way to meet people, even just friends. I have a friend I met many years ago online and we are still friends to this day. A lot of bloggers meet a lot of people through their blogging. Maybe considering putting up an email account connected to your blog, one that’s separate from your usual account for privacy purposes? And even getting to know those who might write other blogs you read? Sometimes those people might be local to you or become friends and see you if in town or whatever. Just an idea.
I did online dating for about eight years, and I mostly went on a lot of one-time dates but had at least one three-month relationship result from it and a couple of shorter-term ones. I’m burned out on it now though. It doesn’t work so well at my age and mostly just makes me feel bad, and I’m in a public role here so it doesn’t seem worth the exposure. I also think decent manners have taken a nosedive on those sites.
But I do like some of your other ideas, and I do find the online Gateway Women community a godsend!
Thanks. I continue to scope out the opportunities, and every day I look into a new one, some similar to what you have suggested.