never married, over forty, a little bitter

Month: June, 2014

the leftovers

There are a couple of men who have stayed in contact with me over the past few years of my work/life ordeals. For a variety of reasons, including some enormous logistical ones, I’m not interested romantically. I both appreciate the effort and attention and simultaneously am irritated that I feel like I should appreciate it, as if I should be grateful for whatever scraps come my way, with no determination on my part of whom I might want to spend time with. The more comfortable I get with the idea of being alone, the more irritated I am at the years I have spent believing this, years in which everyone seemed to partner off and I felt grateful for whomever was left to spend time with.

I have some of the same issues with my friendships. I also have felt obligated in that realm to give largesse, whether it be knowledge, connections, driving, a place to stay, or parties, with little expectation of return. One of my kindest and most moral friends told me a few weeks ago that I could afford to be a bit more “mercenary” in my friendships. I agree to a certain extent, yet I kinda hate that we have become such a mercenary society in general.

On thing about all my current acquaintances is that they are kind. There is no backbiting or “frenemy” type behavior, which is an enormous relief.

I put up with a lot of that from a “friend” a few years ago because she was connected to a larger social scene which intrigued me. I loved having that connection; someone to go out with and with whom to dissect the scene. But she was unkind.

My connections are now isolated… a person here, a person there… none connected to each other or a larger social whole of which I am a part.

charmed lives

I appreciate the honesty:

‘As a parent, I have it made,’ she said.
‘I’m on a TV show where my hiatus is [my kids’] summer, so I’m free to be with them in the summer time. I’m able to afford full-time help because of what I do. My husband also works, and my nanny makes my life doable and so easy.’

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context clues

When I look back on the men I’ve fallen for in the past, almost to a one they were part of a social scene, a setting, or an activity I found exciting and enticing. That’s probably one of the reasons online dating never worked that well for me. Meeting someone in isolation didn’t provide the context I needed to generate a sense of intrigue and interest.

The first few years I lived in L.A., I was randomly dating from online, but eventually I stumbled upon a sector of the entertainment industry that was both appealing and, through live shows and social media and podcasts, relatively accessible and transparent. New romantic interests were hatched. For a spell, it was all very exciting, but after several flirtations failed to pan out, I gave up.

It’s no wonder that since I’m currently detached from any sort of consistent, coherent social scene or activity and am leaving my romantic fate up to random encounters, I’m losing my optimism that I’ll ever meet someone. My brain doesn’t seem to know how to form interest in the random guy next to me in the produce aisle or at the gas pump.


LWB: What’s one thing you want other people (moms, younger women, men, grandmothers, teachers, strangers) to know about your being childfree?

Justine: I think a lot of times we are considered to be sad and bitter women, or people feel major pity for us. I think after we do our work of recovering from struggles we can actually have better and happier lives. It took major work to get to this side. My sad and bitter moments are few and far between, but I have to stay on top of my recovery.

the seven-year itch

I love this idea, but if I take another break in seven years, I’m probably signing up for early retirement, because I’m not sure I could find another good full-time job as an unemployed woman in my early fifties:


When I think about where I’ve ended up emotionally, I have to wonder what it all means. Does it signal growth– a kind of uber-maturity in realizing and finding peace with the idea that one can ultimately only depend on oneself? A sort of Buddhist wisdom in dropping expectations of others? A natural evolution in which one outgrows the need to routinely discuss one’s experiences with others and learns to depend primarily on one’s own counsel? A developed sense of perspective in which one realizes one’s life experiences are not particularly unique or special and other people are too wrapped up in their own lives to care?

Or is it a numbness–a resignation–after years of disappointment? An inability to trust?

Or is it neutral, nothing more than a smart adaptation to the way society is heading– solo living, lots of mobility, the decline of marriage?

If so, the irony is that the better one adapts, the less likely one is to procreate.

both worlds

Last weekend I went to an event in my community and, as usual, ran into several people I know through my job, which was fine. It was all very welcoming. I enjoyed the event and it’s a good thing for me to get out and network. There were no single men to meet, as far as I could tell, except the one I’ve already been set up with.

The next day I drove up to Los Angeles for an art show and a comedy show (among other things), and although it was a long and tiring day, the thrill I felt at leaving everything behind and being around people who have nothing to do with my current life and have entirely different priorities from marriage/family/stability was immense. There were single men around, but mostly either much older or much younger, and I’ve already been through the difficulties of finding a relationship in L.A.

Regardless, I’m lucky that this beach oasis is not in the middle of nowhere, hours from a big city. I may be able to strike upon a “best of both worlds” scenario, where I can enjoy the ease of life here and then easily escape when I need a wider view.


Some excellent answers here. That is all:


What drives men over 50 to pursue women is as primal as social. We’ll always be hunters. Over 50 men are able to start second families, albeit with younger women, but not the other way around. My point isn’t what’s fair or unfair, but rather that many boomer men date younger women exclusively, relegating a vast number of incredible boomer women to wonder if or when men will ever “get it” when it comes to what they’re missing in terms of dating, sex and relationships with women their age.

cat and mouse

It should come as no surprise that the dating landscape has changed significantly over the years. Just as quickly as technology advances, the speed and structure of romantic relationships appear to have done the same. While I have had a vague idea that the times have changed, it wasn’t until earlier last week when I was in a male colleague’s office discussing heterosexual relationships that I came to a startling realization. Apparently, I’m living in an alternate reality.


Many times my therapy clients ask me quite earnestly what they should do, and my thoughts on their situations. Too often has a female client tearfully recounted tales of trying to message a guy, make things work, and do much of the legwork only to be brushed off or entirely ignored. It’s disheartening to hear this and their justifications for their intended’s behavior. “He’s just so shy. Maybe he’s aloof. Perhaps I didn’t try hard enough.” My secret hope is that they simply aren’t engaging with anyone who ascribes to games of cat and mouse. And then I hope they find someone better and more deserving of their affections. Open dialogue and honest communication seem to be the exception and not the norm too many times in their encounters with the opposite sex.