Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Single Life: Part 2

Following on from a previous post about being single the subject has been on my mind again recently.

I was reading a newspaper article recently about how our happiness in life stems mostly from our relationships. Relationships with our family, our own children and our partners/spouses. It got me thinking about how nearly all of my emotional happiness is invested in my two daughters, which is fine right now but what about as they get older and start to find their own independence and build their own lives? I don't want to be a sad old woman who clings onto her children because she has nothing else or no one else to have a loving relationship with.

I'm definitely stuck in a rut. A big one. And I don't know how to crawl out of it.
Let's look at some facts:
  • I've been single for over 6 years (regular readers of this blog will be sick of hearing that fact, and I'm pretty sick of hearing it myself);
  • I haven't been on a date since my disastrous date with an old flame 5 years ago;
  • I haven't been asked out on a date in the interim;
  • Nobody has shown any interest in me either;
Not only that but friends no longer ask me if I'm looking for a new relationship, or enquire about my 'love life' - it feels like they have labelled me as asexual or an old spinster. It's not a good feeling.
The thought of making the changes needed scares the life out of me, and I know that I have put a number of barriers in my way to avoid doing anything about it. Yet I know I can't afford to stay the way I am. I tell my friends that I'm really OK with being single. I tell them that celibacy isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be, especially when the nervous twitch dies down after the first couple of years and that I've become a Born Again Virgin. They laugh because it's funny..... except it's not.
The loneliness of being on my own for so long is crippling. The isolation is awful. I miss the intimacy of a loving relationship, I miss the fun, the private jokes, the unspoken tenderness. I miss having someone to back me up, to share the good and bad times, to laugh with when things are not going well. I miss the companionship, the friendship, the closeness. Of course I'm looking at it through rose-tinted glasses because I know it's not always that great. But I'm prepared to overlook the bad bits to at least have a chance with the good ones. I'm not looking for perfection. Normal would be just fine.
I know I have to do something about it. I just don't know where to start.


lunarossa said...

My cousin lost her husband when she was only 37 (and he was 45) and she devoted herself to her children (and work) totally. Now she's 42 and she's realized that she cannot be totally on her own anymore. Because she's terribly busy she has joined an online dating agency. At first I thought she was crazy and even found it a bit dangerous for her but now I see her happy. After a couple of wrong "attempts", she seems to have found someone she cares for. I do not know if this relationship will last long but she's serene and relaxed and so are the children (now 12 and 14). All in all her life have improved significantly. What I want to tell you with this example is that what makes you happy makes happy people around you too. Have a nice Sunday. Ciao. A.

Nicola said...

I don't really have anything more to add to these thoughtful comments. I agree with them both. Once your heart is open to something, and you believe without a shadow of a doubt that something amazing is out there, just for you, a gap will present itself in the universe and your life and someone special will be there to fill it.

I have exactly the same fears. I look at what I have to offer now - so much baggage. Not like 10 years ago when I was young and totally independent and confident and was totally certain that anything was possible. It's hard to have that much faith now. Things are so different. But...there is a lid for every pot.

I am trying my hardest to do new things and make new friends and create activities for myself that really make me smile and happy in myself. Maybe a select dating agency is a good first step for you - just to get back in the swing of things and meet new people.

My love and thoughts are with you. You are so strong and so brave and have been so incredibly supportive of me. You have so much to give - just make sure you give some of that attention to yourself because you really deserve it. And one day there will be someone extremely special to give it to you too.

Hugs xx

Sunday said...

I completely identify with your feelings, but in my experience the first step to change is making change. Small steps are fine! Have you checked my reply to your comment on my blog on this subject?

Mrs. Jane Doe has some great advice - you can do it. And we are all here cheering for you!

notSupermum said...

Thank you everyone for leaving such kind and thoughtful comments. I wrote that post last night when I was sitting alone because my girlies had gone to stay with their Dad, and I was feeling a bit down. I really appreciate you taking the time to make such considerate comments, you have no idea what it means to me.

notSupermum said...

Antonella, I have considered dating agencies (I joined several) but as soon as men start asking to meet me I cancel my account. I'm afraid they will be disappointed if we actually meet.

Mrs Jane Doe - thank you. Your comment made my cry because you have hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I need to do - I'm going to have to work on that first. I love the idea of the dinners, it's something I will consider especially as I recently turned the playroom into a proper dining room!

Nicola, thanks - it's so hard being a single parent sometimes isn't it? I really appreciate your support. Again, I'm going to have to work on 'getting out there'.

Tessa, I'm crying again. It's hard to type through the tears! I wish those things for myself too.

Sunday - thank you so much. Yes, I had read your very thought provoking reply. I envy your ability to put yourself out there - I'm definitely lacking the confidence. I'm going to think about making the first small step, not sure what it will be though!

Maternal Tales said...

Having read all the comments I don't think I can add anything to what's already been said - apart from oooh I wish I could give you a hug. Well done for admitting it, writing it down and wanting to do something about it. This is definitely the first step. Don't give up, do start the on-line dating again and someone will come along who appreciates you as much as you deserve to be appreciated.

(White socks man could always change his socks)!!

Kayleigh said...

Okay, my husband has a single brother, would you consider relocating to the Adirondacks? He's 45, owns his own home, is a yoga instructor & massage therapist and does electrician work on the side. Oh, but he IS quite short (like 5'4") and he has MAJOR sock issues (he's worn them with sandals -- once to a wake no less!) but he's funny and good hearted, and you could be my sister in law and I'll be auntie to your girls and you to my kids...we'd share holidays together and visit all the time. Surely we can get the man some decent socks and shoes if that's what it takes.

How 'bout it?

Seriously, I wish I could wave a magic wand and conjure up the right guy for you, he'd have to be someone incredibly special, someone gentle and caring, wickedly funny, strong and kind, clever and witty -- oh, and proper socks a must ;)

I think that by writing this and thinking about it you are already making internal changes towards opening your life up more to the possibilitiy of a partner. The more open you are, the more likely he will come along.

Just remember, you deserve happiness, love, and being wanted by a man, you don't need it, but you deserve it, so if you do want it, when you are ready, I believe it will happen.

kestrel said...

Keep going, you already know what you want. Challenges in life always make you a better and stronger person. Be confident of who you are and don't change for anybody. Don't worry about the girls and how they will be in the future, enjoy them cos children grow up much tooo fast. Remember, if you love them, you have to set them free. Always believe that they will be there for you and THEY WILL.

notSupermum said...

Maternal Tales, thanks for the encouragement. It never fails to amaze me how bloggers are so supportive of each other. Really, thank you!

Kayleigh - you'd make a good saleswoman, you make him sound worth emigrating for! And that's before I've even looked where he lives! There could be a small discrepancy on the height as I'm 5' 9" but you know what they say - we'll all the same height lying down.

I really appreciate your very kind words - I think I AM making the emotional and internal changes needed to open up the reality of a new relationship. They can't be all as bad as my ex can they?

Kestrel - hello, and thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I totally agree about the challenges being a good thing, but I think the hardest part has been admitting to myself that this is something I want to change. I'm trying to figure out the steps I need to take, and to start taking them.

Maternal Tales said...

Just tagged you over at mine. Hope you don't mind! x

La Belette Rouge said...

I think that by really deciding you want to have romantic love in your life that you will organically start to make changes and open the door to it. I really believe that one day soon we will come to your blog and find a post telling us you met him. I am sure of it.

Sunday said...

How's it going?

I know you miss your girls when they're with their father, but maybe that's a great time for you to have some 'me time'? Time to organise that dinner party, or go out with a couple of friends, or any of the other suggestions here.

My daughter so rarely stays with her father that I relish the times that she does! Of course I miss her, but it's great to have time to myself too.

Good luck!

notSupermum said...

Maternal Tales - thanks, I enjoy these tags. I'll post it soon.

La belette, it's strange but since I allowed myself to admit how lonely I am I have begun to change my outlook. It's not going to happen overnight, but I think I would be more open to a new relationship now whereas in the past I have been afraid of one. I hope you're right!

Sunday, my girls have only been to their Dad's a couple of times since Christmas and it's irregular (he doesn't give much warning either) but I have planned something for this weekend. I'm going to stay in the Lake District with a (female) friend for a couple of days and I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for your support, I appreciate it.

Sunday said...

Brilliant! A weekend away sounds great, don't forget to take your lipstick as well as your hiking boots, and make sure you head down to the pub as well - you never know who you might meet!

Have a wonderful time, you deserve it!