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Rantywoman….I didn’t know how to send you a message so here I go. Feel free to delete this after you get it.
Have you checked out the documentary “Dreams of a Life”? It’s a heavy topic but riveting…I was blown away about yesterday. It’s about a young, vivacious woman who died alone in her “bedsit” in London and she was not found for THREE years.
The film is coming to American this year I believe. Here is the trailer and her story: http://www.dreamsofalife.com
I don’t think this would happen to you…but it says so much about the lonely. There are a lot of them and even people we would not expect. I am shaken by this movie but also stirred to be more caring for alone people…especially the elderly.
If it moves you I’d love to know what you think.
I also found a review here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/dec/15/dreams-of-a-life-film-review
It sounds fascinating, but I don’t know if I’d have the emotional fortitude to see it. At least I know that if I didn’t show up for work, they would come looking for me.
I also heard about it and blogged about it. I still can’t get over the shock from hearing about that. I think (I strongly hope) that that’s just a rare, extreme case of loneliness and isolation. I am hoping that’s just once instance outside the norm. It still upsets me that someone died that way.
Hi. I am responding later to this. When I posted this I was focused on it and now no longer. We don’t have to focus on the worst case scenarios. We can focus on the positive.
Just wanted to say I’ve been following you from the beginning when you first added comments to Plankton’s blog.
Like you I’m in my forties, alone and childless, so thank you for making your thoughts and your life’s progress available for like minded souls to share.
I believe disconnect and loneliness is becoming a perennial problem.
I case you haven’t seen it (I know you do look a the Guardian sometimes) have a look at Mariella’s latest:
I particularly like the comment from oomph:
“The person is also probably too much of a romantic.
If she wants a man and a baby, she needs to get on with that. Like most women who get the men and babies do.
When you are 50 years old, nobody remember that you were the “likeable” one who tried to do things right and please people. No more than they remember that the mother of six by 4 different dads slept around and had three divorces!
You are the childless one. She’s the mother of six with grandkids on the way.
Hang wanting people to like you. Hang being the “good girl”. Hang “doing the right thing”. Hang the idea of the “perfect man” as well.”
and the comment from gerkingirl:
“I’m not scared of ending up being alone and childless in my 40s or my 50s (I don’t actually want kids) anymore than I’ve been scared of it since I starting dating 20 years ago.
What scares me is that in that time I’ve never found someone who loved me, wanted to share my life, welcome the love I had for them and build a partnership with me. Being alone at certain life point is probably inevitable for everyone (not least because of death and divorce) but the journey is different to the destination.
When you’ve been single for a long time and experienced a lot of rejection, it can (for many, not all people) leave you scared. I’m used to being alone, I know I’ll ultimately be fine alone, but I’m scared that at some point any slim chance of having the opportunity to be with someone will have gone and I will have missed out on something that brings great meaning and joy to many people. I’m scared that means something about me even if it doesn’t ruin my whole life. I’m scared it’ll make me bitter or lonely or invisible. I’m scared I’ll get stuck in a rut of myself and lose the ability to empathise with other people.
I’d like to experience being in a good relationship even if I don’t end up in one for the rest of my life so I can see why the OP and many other long term single people are scared about what goes with getting to a certain point in life alone.
Feeling like you constantly don’t have or deserve what other people have has a powerful effect, especially when you combine it with the constant emphasis on ‘hardworking families’ with nary a mention of single people and a world that’s increasingly set up to need a dual income to survive. I agree we need more flexibility about how we see different lifestyles in our society but it’s not a magic cure for the issue.”
These comments describe my feelings exactly.
More power to you Ranty, and keep on blogging.
Thank you for reading! Also, thank you for the link. I’ll have to read through the comments. I didn’t think Mariella’s answer was all that great. I do relate to the letter writer, as I can’t figure out how some people find relationship after relationship. Or how some people seem to find such perfect matches that they even look like brother and sister!
One thing I do seem to have outgrown is the “intense looking,” as in, sitting around at bars/restaurants/events in the hopes of being noticed above just enjoying the food, event, etc. for itself. It feels a bit unseemly at my age, as well as highly unlikely to work anyway.
I like this comment:
To avoid a relationship you have to try very, very hard
Aha. Ahahaha. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa
What a load of absolute bollocks. There would be no need for internet dating if this were true. Finding a good relationship is bloody difficult and I am full of admiration for those who manage to do it. Those people who find it easy to go from one relationship to the next strike me as having low standards.
I was much like the OP in that I didn’t have my first serious relationship until quite late on. Flings, ONSs, yes, but I simply didn’t meet anyone who wanted a relationship with me, and with whom I wanted to have a relationship. It is really fucking hard when all your friends are in relationships and seem to have no trouble meeting new partners. You stop being invited to events where it is all couples because single people are awkward. You also get tired of the pitying looks.
Then finally I met someone and my sheer desperation to be in a relationship blinded me to some pretty major issues that he had, and the relationship ended up being abusive. I kept going, trying to make it work, because I didn’t want to be single again. Finally I finished it, and have been happily single since.
However, I don’t want children, which makes things much easier.
Having just spent four days alone at home this Easter I somehow came across your blog..and this story. I’m 44 and single, never married, and have pretty much no contact to my relatives or my childhood family. My social life is my work, plus couple of “friends” that I see maybe once in two, three months if that. If I wasn’t working and if one of my friends that occasionally sends me a text to check on me wasn’t there….oh my god, how scary. If you don’t mind, I would like to borrow this for my own blog too.
Welcome and yes, feel free to borrow– I am constantly posting links other sites.
Zella where is your blog?
Hi there! I was looking for an email, but I couldn’t find one to contact you with, so I figured I would just write you a comment!
I came across your blog as I was doing some research for Jamye Waxman, a sex educator and author based out of San Francisco; I am her intern/assistant, and I am helping her research her next book, The Wake Up Call.
We’re looking to interview childless, single women aged 30-50 who are struggling with dating while wanting to get married and have kids. I thought you might be interested.
Please let me know!
Thank you so much for your time.
I will email you.
Been following for a bit, and thought of you today as I found these two articles.
Do you think Afghan women are braver? dumber? It’s interesting to see how hard they are fighting to be single.
And, this weeks Marie Claire had a big spread on being single in your 30s and 40s. Sorry, but it was a grocery store read and I can’t find the link online.
Maybe I’m just really looking for this stuff?
Lastly, I recommend a rather cheesy sounding book called “Calling on the One”.. not because I’m convinced its going to find me my life partner, but because it really helped me understand exactly what it was about me that was making it so that it was more likely I would be single.
Greetings and thank you for the reading suggestions. Love getting those. Will read the link and look for the article and book.
You seem like you enjoy some data… and the comments are apropos.
I just now saw this post, despite it being several months out.
That movie certainly sounds like a sad one. Hopefully, as pointed out by another comment, it represents an isolated circumstance.
The thought that remained in the back of my mind for the last few years when I was feeling isolated was the “what if” scenario.
What if I fell, could not move and could not get help, and had to lay there in pain and misery for however long it took to be discovered?
Once I died, I guess it would no longer matter to my physical self, but oh, those days leading up to dying could be horrible.
And what if, after falling, I could have been restored to health if help had come to me in a timely manner?
Those are some of the reasons I feel so much better now that I live with family. Just SOME of the reasons – as life feels much better in many many ways now.
I’m hoping that you can help – can you do a blog post mentioning this happily single women’s Facebook group that I created?
I’ts hard to get the word out and I’m hoping to do it with blog posts. Can you do a blog post on it? Please?
Would you like to write a guest post about it?
Greetings! It’s nice to hear the blog is speaking to you. I recommend this forum– I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful in that it has helped me realize I’m far from alone in my experiences: http://gateway-women.com/tag/support-forum-for-childless-women/
I am fairly far along in my grieving process, but I’m going through a rough patch right now as my Plan B is faltering. Supposedly happiness hits its lowest point for most people at age 44, so I guess this turmoil is to be expected.
Thank you so much… I haven’t been writing as much lately because I’m a bit paranoid about the job search and because I’m afraid there are days where I might do nothing but complain. There’s a lot of this same job sentiment on the Gateway Women forum as well– we are not alone.
Please delete my email (your blog implicitly states it will never be published)
I’m sorry… looks like it was your “username” and that is why it appeared. I will delete those prior comments.
Hi BitterBabe I have enjoyed your blog. I am afraid I am going to unfollow now, I am wholly taken aback by a reply to my comment on one of your pieces. The comment really did not reply to my comment nor your piece it seemed to be just an excuse for to pour vitriol on people who don’t toe the child centred line by someone who has already deleted their account. I am not sure if you approved the comment, maybe you agree with it but your page no longer feels safe to me now and what with the internet being what it is I try to limit my exposure to the nasties. Best of luck in your endeavours.Clare
I love your blog.
You might be interested in this… http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/vivian-maier-and-the-problem-of-difficult-women
I read that article and thought it was quite interesting. Hoping to see the movie at some point.
No posts since mid-august… are you doing OK? I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and I miss reading you! All the best.
Hope you’re ok.