As I’ve written before, I have not gone without romantic relationships in my thirties and forties, but the longest ones have lasted only a few months, and none have landed on the “big days”– Christmas, New Year’s Eve, my birthday, Valentine’s Day. If I’m still single in 2015, it will mark my fifteenth year of going without a partner on those emotionally significant dates. How do I even begin to explain this?
Some help here:
Why do you need to explain it? It just is what it is. You were on the dancefloor but it takes two to tango. Really hope you bin this from your mind.
The discussion I linked to is excellent in that regard (banishing shame).
Will listen to it when I get home. Thanks. Just thought I’d throw out my thoughts in the moment and also before our favourite bitterman pops up 🙂
Yes, I understand…
And here’s another view on partnerless tangoing. I’ve been partnerless for two years + while my divorce has been going through and I’ve been working through the emotions that come with that. If I was meeting me with the view to dating me, I’d be expecting a partnerless tango period like this. Anything else would make me wonder … just a thought.
Thanks for the link — excellent discussion. Also on the topic of single shame: Yesterday one of my friends (like me, “never married with no kids”) mentioned that she had seen an excerpt from Diane Keaton’s new book, in which Ms. Keaton reveals that she hasn’t been kissed (other than in a movie role) for 15 years. “Ugh!” said my friend. “Why would she even ADMIT that in public?” I had a different take on it, which was, “Good for her!” To me, by talking about it as just another one of life’s experiences, she takes the perceived stigma out of it.
Wow, very interesting about Diane Keaton…
……and also before our favourite bitterman pops up
I prefer boredman.
Mike if you’re bored why come here instead of a redpill site where you can talk with like minded people and reinforce each other? Is it because:
a) you are unhappy at home and made to feel inferior by your wife so you come here to take out your resentment on other women because you’re frightened of her and unwilling to address the problems in your marriage?
b) Is it because you have a tiny penis and a woman has made fun of you/your love making skills in the past and so you come here to take out your resentment etc etc
c) Is it because you aren’t very clever and you are made to feel inferior by cleverer women then you and you come here to …etc etc
d) Is it because your father was absent/ bossed around by your mother and you grew up resenting women and come here …etc etc
e) Is it actually because you are totally unimaginative and not very quick witted that you have to keep coming here and saying the same unoriginal things over and over and over again with a complete lack of wit, charm, humour or intelligence?
Answers on a postcard to: ifeelsorryforyourwifeifshereallyexists.com
Aaaargh. I’m going to stop reading I’m becoming too troll like myself responding here 😦
@Fi: But at least you’re funny.
…..if you’re bored why come here…..
Think of it as interactive anthropology.
Unlike you, I don’t offer personal insults, just a point of view that you do not like.
I’m sure there are women out there who welcome this information. The arc of human affairs is quite predictable and single older women are caught in a trap of their own making.
Marriage has always been primarily an economic contract. Young women made an implicit sacrifice (giving up their opportunity to fully exploit their youth and fertility) in order to gain a man’s companionship and provisioning when older.
Many of you rejected the first part of this contract, which you did not care for for obvious reasons, only to discover later to your surprise that you also lost the later benefit of marriage.
An older woman who wants male commitment or even companionship must embrace this reality one way or another.
“‘We can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”……..Ayn Rand
See that’s the sort of comment that demonstrates your limited knowledge. There have been many reasons for marriages down the ages in many different cultures and take place across many age groups and now same sex as well. Your ‘reality’ is only your opinion so rather than discuss the finer points of your argument you need to re-examine your original assertion about marriage.
Better, ask a Muslim about the purpose of marriage. You’ll be doing it their way before long regardless.
Hahahaha. Oh sorry just realised you’re being serious. Bet you’re one of those that think Obama is a Muslim too because his name sounds a bit like Osama
Ok I’ll make a deal with you – I’ll stop making fun of you and take your views seriously if you can put them across in a way that doesn’t insult or belittle women 🙂
I also find Mike’s insistence that I turned down proposals in my youth preposterous. I wanted marriage and a child from my first, older partner. He said “I wasn’t ready.” It was men who told me I needed to establish my career, become more worldly before settling down. The way Mike lays out the truth is that the only class mobility women have is through marriage. Yet, men do care about social class. They may not care about your career or accomplishments, but they do want someone of a high social class, which is completely out of women’s hands if they must marry young. Perhaps this is why he finds most enlightened women skeptical of the free market, meritocracy, etc.
Honestly, I do believe that Mike is not insulting people (on the contrary, Fi and other commenters are), only giving a different perspective of things. Sometimes I find them a little crazy, and sumetomes they make a little sense. The angry replies from women only makes me believe that they resent what he has to say and therefore they start personal attacks. These discussions are so ridiculous. BTW, I’m a woman.
As said elsewhere, I don’t resent what Mike has to say. Water off a duck’s back and all that, and he’s entitled to his opinion. What drives me nuts are the ensuing “discussions”. They feel like spanish speaking women trying to talk “sense” to a russian speaking man, when most of the topic of this blog is french literature.
Sinead, why not discuss? I’ve NEVER seen Mike talk offensive things to the commenters, even though people offend him directly, even saying mean things about his personal life and the size of his penis. What are you girls, 12 year olds? Why can’t he say his male opinion without being personally attacked? The comments are open, after all. Why can’t we keep the level of the discussions up? Why do you hate what he has to say? Why does his perspective bother you that much? Maybe it bothers you because he does have a point.
I’m a woman in my mid-to-late 20s. When me and my friends talk about future, almost none of them say that they want to be married or have children anytime soon. Studying, traveling, keeping pointless relationships (or being single) and working always come first in their priorities list… and only then, getting married and having babies after 30. I mean, most of them hate the idea of (God forbid!) marrying young and choosing a mate seriously. I got married young, and none of my friends are married yet, and most of them don’t have any perspective. I even feel like a freak sometimes. People ask me how can I accept the fact that I make little money and my husband provides for me, since. It’s even a reason for shaming.
I started to research about the pros and cons of this trend. It’s not the guy’s fault. It’s not the harsh economy. It’s the way people think and what they think it’s important in life. That is why I’m so interested in the world of relationships, mating and this phenomenon, and the good and bad consequences to women. I really like different opinions and points of view.
I think this blog is really really interesting. I believe that all of us have reasons for joy and frustrations in life, and that’s common to singles and paired up people. I do not think that single women are less worthy of anything. I also read blogs about marriage and motherhood, and I see bitterness in these people as well. But I wish these discussions were deeper then “men can’t appreciate a powerful, strong and successful woman and that’s why they pick the younger ones” and “there are too many wonderful women in New York and men aren’t worthy of them”. I mean, come on, people.
I am NOT machist/ sexist. But I am NOT feminist either. I’m just trying to understand what is going on with the society I live in. So please… respect 🙂
that’s quite a speech above nana. come back to me whenever you find where i’ve acted like a 12 year old or resented what mike has said. i presume you’re lumping me in with the red pill research gals.
i won’t bother answering this litany of questions either for the same reason: “What are you girls, 12 year olds? Why can’t he say his male opinion without being personally attacked? The comments are open, after all. Why can’t we keep the level of the discussions up? Why do you hate what he has to say? Why does his perspective bother you that much?”.
keep the level of discussions up? yip, that would be the “so … please respect” + smiley face.
Sinead, I think 99% of the red pill sites are absolutely insane and misogynists. I obviously see a few good points in their way of thinking, though. There are a couple of them that have serious discussions and points of view. And oh, I did keep the level up. I did not mention the size of people’s parts as part of my reply to you. I did not say YOU doing that, but you can observe that in Fi’s answer and some other comment parts of this blog. Please don’t take it personally.
eh, here’s a tip: don’t address your reply to me and don’t include me in the “you girls” group if that’s not your intention.
as for this discussion? it’s a strange mix of online theory and zero/limited real life experience.
Nana, with respect, you are too young to understand what we are talking about here. I sincerely hope you never find out. If you do (and hopefully you won’t) find yourself single at a certain age, say 41, you will then understand our point of view a little better.
This blog is not a good place for you unless you want to learn what not to do, you need to get out and enjoy your youth.
I disagree. Mike stated that my husband must be less than desirable because he married me at 38. He also implied that I was promiscuous prior to marriage. This is offensive and uncalled for.
Ok I’ll make a deal with you – I’ll stop making fun of you and take your views seriously if you can put them across in a way that doesn’t insult or belittle women.
I like women – individually. I’m married to one and I have a teenage daughter.
But I resent what women – collectively – have done.
Given how much most men like and desire women how did we get here? I want you to ask yourself that question.
You are asking me/us to work out why you resent women collectively? Why on earth should we?
There are plenty of men that don’t feel resentful and those are the ones that I/we can focus on.
Bet you’re one of those that think Obama is a Muslim too because his name sounds a bit like Osama.
Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and adoptive father Lolo Soetoro between the ages of 6 and 10. He attended an Islamic school where he was registered as both an Indonesian citizen and as a Muslim.
Those are easily verifiable facts.
Does that make Obama a Muslim? Not necessarily. It certainly made him sympathetic to Islam as he has shown many times in his public statements.
This post is about the shame of being single. Sara Eckle and Sasha Cogen attempt to dissect this topic with the underlying message being that there is no shame in being single, particularly when it is prolonged singlehood. I agree that while there should be no shame in being single, we can’t really claim wholeheartedly the clichéd phrase “It just hasn’t happened yet.” Perhaps it was a wise choice as the men that were our options weren’t good prospects for husbands. Perhaps it was a wrong choice and we made a mistake in judgment about a particular man when it mattered. Perhaps we didn’t have a choice, we were simply unchosen. I fall into the third category and I believe you do too. Regardless of which category we fall into, for those of us prolongedly single (unconsecrated) when we don’t want to be, it is hard. The schadenfreude toward us is vicious.
I have been reading your blog since 2012 when you first started it and I relate to your writings. Primarily your blog is about being a woman, a self-sufficient woman, an educated and responsible woman, who although being a good person, has been unable to attract a suitable mate during the twenty year time frame of fertile womanhood. For purposes of simplicity, I am defining fertile womanhood as from the years from the age of 25 through 45, understanding that of course women are fertile earlier than 25 and some women can and do get pregnant naturally or with ART after the age of 45. So here you are, on the cusp of 45 and you lack close family (you never speak about siblings or cousins only a mother that lives miles and miles from you whom you are not terribly close with), you lack community (hence the reasons for all the moves you write about, constantly looking for community and never being able to find it), you lack close and significant friends (or at least that’s the impression I get), and as the double whammy you are peerless and partnerless. The consequence of being partnerless also leads you to being childless as you have made an honorable decision that you are neither emotionally nor economically equipped to raise a child solo. As you have stated so often, this blog of yours was to help you with the grieving process.
Much of our loneliness and disillusionment with our lives would be solved by having a suitable mate. I stress the word SUITABLE as it would be a man where there are mutual feelings, attraction and respect AND it is practical for both parties. A mate becomes our family, is our peer and our friend who makes it easier for us to find community as well as opens the door for the possibility of children. You have mentioned in your blog that you have basically been single for the last fifteen years. I interpret that to mean that you haven’t had a serious boyfriend where marriage was a common goal. You, me and other women in this situation are where we are today because we were unchosen and unwanted and are now living an unconsecrated lifestyle NOT BY CHOICE. This has given rise to the childless-by-circumstance or social infertility phenomenon which you continually make reference to in your blog which is really a blog about women at the end of their fertile years living a secular unconsecrated single lifestyle.
There have been two outspoken women that talk about his phenomenon: Jody Day in the U.K. and Melanie Notkin here in the U.S.A. I think Jody Day is doing a wonderful thing for women who find themselves in the category of childless-by-circumstance. Jody Day shows us and the world that despite what life circumstances may have thrown our way, we are not victims and that we can live full lives, even though we are not mothers, if we choose to. Melanie Notkin here is the U.S.A. is also bringing childless-by-circumstance to the forefront with her SaavyAuntie Website and newly released book “Otherhood.” What I like about Melanie Notkin is that she shows us and the world that although a woman may not be a mother, as women we are still maternal whether that means being an aunt or a god mother or a vital female role model in a child(ren)’s life. It does take a village to rear a child after all.
So what about us unchosen, unwanted, and unattached women? You and I and others who read your blog are not like Bella DePaulo and her “single at heart” philosophy. She is a wonderful advocate for the single lifestyle and does the necessary work of exposing the inherent societal discrimination against singles yet admits that people who are single but not “single at heart” probably are not very happy with their situation. We don’t fall into that category of being “single at heart” which is really secular consecrated singlehood. In other words, she and her ilk are single BY CHOICE. There is a huge difference between consciously choosing singlehood versus having singlehood choose you despite your desires otherwise. The best description I could find to describe us unconsecrated women comes from the website, “Rachel’s Musings.” I quote her in full:
“Then there are the negative things that keep me from happily
single ever after. The fear that, deep down, there just must be
something wrong with me because I cannot find a partner. It’s
not normal. If only I could fix that one thing, miraculously the
perfect partner would emerge and we’d live happily ever after.
As if. The voice is there that nags that I am just trying to hide
the fact that I am incapable of building a lasting relationship
by becoming the poster child single woman. The voice is
whispering that it’s not really a choice, I didn’t reject anyone
but I was rejected, so it is not for the right reasons and therefore
there must be something wrong with me. That’s called twisted
thinking in psychology. I’ll call it internalized singlism. It all boils
down to one thing, though: There is something wrong with me.
What that might be remains a mystery, a secret even to myself.
And reality shows that I am not that horrible to be around because
there are people who do enjoy my company. Imagine that.
Repeatedly even. Maybe even my former boyfriend, less the sex
part. And if not, I’ll enjoy life by myself, surrounded by friends.”
I think you are on the right path, learning to enjoy life by yourself. I also think that we will never be able to discover what it is about us that makes us unmatchable as a mate for a suitable man. Your blog has helped me to know that I am not the only unchosen, unwanted, unattached and unconsecrated woman out there that, for whatever reason, was unable to attract a suitable man who would be interested in building a life with me as his partner during my fertile womanhood years. But despite this harsh truth, we can still live a good life. I think the first step in the grieving process is to take pride in our capabilities as human beings. We must give thanks that we are self-sufficient and can take care of ourselves. The fact that we have economic and political opportunities is our saving grace. This saving grace can allow us to rise above the schadenfreude. Sasha Cogen (Ms. Quirkyalone) and Sara Eckle are correct. We need not feel shame. We have not lived shameful lives. We are not victims! We live blessed lives and we need to start thinking of ourselves as blessed because our situations and our circumstances could be so much worse. May we all find our piece of happiness.
From a fellow never married woman over the age of 40 who is not bitter or at least tries not to be.
Thank you for your long and thoughtful comment as well as for being such a faithful reader.
I think, for me, I went through a lot of the usual getting rejected/ being the rejector, but along the way there were only a few men– less than a handful– that I believe I could have had a truly compatible partnership with, and yes, they didn’t reciprocate. But as I’ve said before, I’m drawn to creative, offbeat men, and that in itself creates additional hurdles.
I thought this might be of interest to some readers:
The Single Life: Where Do We Go From Here?
Thanks for the link– I did find it interesting.
That is an interesting link. The religion part reminds me of what I said to my parents not so long ago. The asked me why I don’t go to church. I don’t go to church because most of the congregation are young families and elderly couples like my parents. If I went there as an unmarried older woman I would stick out like a sore thumb. I said to my mother “The church is for families and couples. If God wants me there he can find me a partner”.
I find it patronizing when people tell me that being single is God’s plan for me. I’m not religious but if I was I’d think I was being seriously punished for something.
The guy from my church who I dated in my 20s is happily married with 3 children. I could have married him but I got fed up hiding the bruises from when he hit me. God doesn’t seem to mind him going to church and this guy has been blessed in a lot of way.
The mind boggles.
I see the same dynamics in my local churches.
One other point gleamed from watching the world. A lot of single, older women just aren’t dateable. They have issues, unreal standards and are too much trouble for what’s on offer. And yes, I’m a single, older woman too.
Sinead, would you care to expand on these issues for us? Perhaps some of us here are undateable because of those issues. I for one am open to constructive criticism. That’s what we’re here for, to support one another, not tear one another down.
Sure Elle. Happy to do so.
First – are you what you’re seeking to attract?
For me, I’m looking for someone smart, fun, caring, mentally stable who has their own life, interests and passions. If I’m to have a hope of attracting someone like this, I need to also be this. Not because it’s part of a game or tit for tat but because this is how I want to live and being happy in myself pre-relationship ups the odds of meeting this person and the relationship succeeding.
I have met and know a lot of single, older women. Putting aside the ones who are happily single, many of the remaining women are quite depressed about their situation and themselves – it’s an understandable emotion but after a certain point it gets old and isn’t going to attract the lack of which is making them depressed. It’s a catch 22, I get that. And it’s unfair and it’s sad but it’s also life. Being with a depressed person, lovely as they may be outside of this, is hard. And I’m not advocating women getting well purely to find a partner. I’m advocating women getting well because it’s a real tragedy that so many 35 – 45 women are unhappily crawling through life.
Secondly, a lot of these women don’t move outside their comfort zone. And if they are going to, they need to know in cement upfront what they are going to get in return. In simple terms, they aren’t much fun to be around. Even as a friend. How they are expecting to meet someone doing the same old limited routine, I don’t know. Does this not even get boring just for themselves?
Thirdly, some of these women have seriously off the radar expectations. They want romance but they aren’t putting on their own romance hats. They want “dates from heaven” but expect to sit these out in the audience. I know a woman who rejected a nice man because of his height. Another said no because of the man’s profession. Many are also still comparing what they have against what other women have, then complaining but still holding on to cinderella fantasties, while the men in question quite rightly kept on walking.
Lastly and actually what I’d see as the biggest problem. Some of these women are selfish to the extreme. Selfish with their time, in their friendships, in what they are willing to give when there is no guarantee of a return. I get the being burned factor but again measuring out life in teaspoons is a big turn off. Some of them also put themselves on big pedestals and could do with a dose of objectivity. Their egos repel. They aren’t goddesses, just normal people, which frankly to my mind should be enough.
Overall, I’d say to anyone struggling to meet someone at this age – there are no guarantees – we all know that but get yourself a life, invest in your friendships, try new things, value yourself as an individual, then let go.
I disagree. Mike stated that my husband must be less than desirable because he married me at 38. He also implied that I was promiscuous prior to marriage. This is offensive and uncalled for.
You’re right, I did and I apologize for that. My sincere best wishes for a long and happy marriage.