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Being single and happy with it?

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So last year I split up with my ex and to be honest I am struggling to get over it. I still find myself in tears at least once a week. At 28 I didn't think I was that old to be single but maybe I'm wrong. Lots of people around me at work are getting engaged/having babies. In fact the 2 people who sit across from me, 1 is recently engaged, the other having a baby. Just after I split up with my boyfriend, both my flatmates got boyfriends who are now over quite a lot. I literally can't escape from it!!
It seems like everyone around me has what I want. I know that not every relationship is a happy one but still.

To rub salt in the wound, my friend told me the other week that my ex (who insisted on us living in London) is now moving up North so obviously he's finding it easy to move on and I'm stuck.

I've been referred for counselling as I know I'm having problems getting over it but there is a big waiting list.

So my question is, those of you that are happily single - how do you do it? How do you cope with the majority of your social circle being coupled up?

Everyone tells me it's a great time to get what I want, the trouble is that I don't know what that is anymore. Some people have suggested online dating apps etc as well but the thought of dating again terrifies me.
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  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    I'm sorry you're struggling with your break up, I hope the counselling helps.

    I'm afraid to say, I've never had to try to be happy on my own, its not something I had to work on, I have always liked my own space. My last proper relationship ended over 5 years ago now, and I've just never felt any real desire to start a new one. The very occasional dates I do go on only reinforce my view!

    I take it from your post that you want to have children at some point? So you will want to meet somebody in the next 5 or so years, ideally. You're not going to be single forever then, but you could definitely do with learning to feel a bit more comfortable with being independent and sorting out all your feelings from the old relationship before you look for a new one.

    The majority of my friends are coupled up too, but I still see them regularly and plenty of those meetups are without partners, everybody needs time away. Do your friends have 'girls only' days/nights or is it always couples socialising and you feeling like Bridget Jones at the smug married dinner party? We've all been there, I promise you!

    Don't forget, life isn't a race or a competition, there are no deadlines on when you have to get married, or have your first baby or buy a house etc. A few years ago I couldn't move for weddings and christenings, now a fair few of those people are getting divorced or separating! Don't be fooled into thinking that everybody else is getting a 'happy ending' and you're not.

    How are you spending your time at the moment? Do you have a job you care about? Hobbies? Pets? Do you have any ambitions or things you'd like to achieve?
  • Hermia
    Hermia Posts: 4,473 Forumite
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    Everyone tells me it's a great time to get what I want, the trouble is that I don't know what that is anymore. Some people have suggested online dating apps etc as well but the thought of dating again terrifies me.

    IMO that is a sign that some alone time will be good for you. Even when you are in a relationship you should still know who you are, what you want and have some dreams of your own. I would spend some time thinking of what things you have always enjoyed doing and what dreams you have. I would also look into meeting some new people. If everyone you know is settling down it sounds like your social circle are all the same age etc. I find meeting people who are younger/older/different in some way is really great at making you realise there is no one way to live. And of course the more people you meet the more chance of meeting someone new.

    Don't worry too much about what other people are doing with their lives. I remember an older colleague once telling me he spent his 20s and early 30s watching almost everyone he knew getting married and having 'perfect' lives. He said it really got him down. But then he spent his late 30s and 40s watching a good chunk of those same people divorce or have other problems. Do you honestly think that every one of those happy people you see everywhere will be still as happy in five years time?
  • Guest101
    Guest101 Posts: 15,764 Forumite
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    So last year I split up with my ex and to be honest I am struggling to get over it. I still find myself in tears at least once a week. At 28 I didn't think I was that old to be single but maybe I'm wrong. Lots of people around me at work are getting engaged/having babies. In fact the 2 people who sit across from me, 1 is recently engaged, the other having a baby. Just after I split up with my boyfriend, both my flatmates got boyfriends who are now over quite a lot. I literally can't escape from it!!
    It seems like everyone around me has what I want. I know that not every relationship is a happy one but still.

    To rub salt in the wound, my friend told me the other week that my ex (who insisted on us living in London) is now moving up North so obviously he's finding it easy to move on and I'm stuck.

    I've been referred for counselling as I know I'm having problems getting over it but there is a big waiting list.

    So my question is, those of you that are happily single - how do you do it? How do you cope with the majority of your social circle being coupled up?

    Everyone tells me it's a great time to get what I want, the trouble is that I don't know what that is anymore. Some people have suggested online dating apps etc as well but the thought of dating again terrifies me.

    Stop judging your life but the successes and failures of others.

    Until you do that it won't matter if you're single, married, divorced or whatever. Grass isn't greener
  • mariposa687
    mariposa687 Posts: 103 Forumite
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    Thanks for your replies, yes I definitely want to have kids. I think what's brought this on is that I have a weekend full of family events where most people are married with kids, I can't really get out of it as it's my family. They don't put pressure on me, it's just that I'm still not used to being on my own again. I know deep down I can pull through this, it's just taking much longer than I thought and it's not as easy as I thought.

    I did make the mistake of not making many friends when I was with him because I thought I didn't need them - I won't be making that mistake again!
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
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    It's not your ex you're not over with, it's the relationship. You clearly aspire to be in a committed relationship, getting married having children. There is nothing wrong with this at all, but this means that you embracing your singleness is going to be very different to people who actually enjoy being single and have no interest in commitment.

    If indeed you know that you don't want to be single forever, then you need to put actions in motion to meet someone, whilst being very careful not to let your goal take over and pick someone who just isn't the right person for you. Finding the right balance is not easy.
  • burlington6
    burlington6 Posts: 2,112 Forumite
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    I wouldn't worry about it op.

    Just because your friends are rushing out, settling for the first person who comes along and getting married and having children doesn't mean you have to make the same mistake.

    Look at the divorce rates and look how many couples who get married and have children in their early 20's are now single parents.

    Wait, don't rush everything and things will fall in place and have a better chance of success
  • onomatopoeia99
    onomatopoeia99 Posts: 6,973 Forumite
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    So my question is, those of you that are happily single - how do you do it? How do you cope with the majority of your social circle being coupled up?
    First thing is that what's going on in the lives of friends and family doesn't generally affect me, at least not in terms of whether they are in relationships or not. If they are and are happy, then I'm happy for them, but it doesn't make me unhappy. I'd certainly like to be in a relationship, I remember how good it can be, but as I said in another topic recently, I've been single for so long I'm used to having complete control of my free time and I wonder how I'd adjust.

    For you it's only a year, and if it was (as it sounds) a long-term relationship that you were completely committed to, then that's not long enough to get over it. I know some people can flit from one to the next with barely a pause, but for many of us it requires much longer. So really don't beat yourself up about feeling down, it does get better with time but it won't be like turning off a light, suddenly it's gone, it's a gradual process.

    At the moment your time is your own so you can fill it with stuff you want to do, so take the opportunity to do that and it will at least provide a distraction rather than dwelling on the past. In addition to my other hobbies, I started learning a language a few years ago, for example.
    Proud member of the wokerati, though I don't eat tofu.Home is where my books are.Solar PV 5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.Mortgage free July 2023
  • fuzzyduck22
    fuzzyduck22 Posts: 218 Forumite
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    I could have written your post :(. In time I got over the guy but, as someone above mentioned, I guess getting over being in a happy relationship and having that fulfillment has not been easy.

    Six years later I am still on my own and am not happy. I've tried dating, putting myself out there, joining clubs, pursuing hobbies etc but it seems no-one wants me. I've since been trying to just be happy on my own but yes it is hard when everyone around you starts getting married and having children. The jealousy streak comes out and i HATE feeling like that, it's such an ugly feeling to have.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, I find myself not wanting to make new friends anymore as it'll just lead to having more people to watch settle down. I wish I knew how to be happy alone as that's how my future is looking...
    £15900 loan (including interest) over 3.5 years to pay off...can I do it sooner???
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  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
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    I'm not sure what the answer is
    Don't give up :)
    In the meantime, do try to make the best of being single, that doesn't mean only enjoying the things that you can only do single, but also the things that would be more fun with a partner, but still fun without one. I resorted to go on holiday alone, because my desperation for a break was stronger than the dread of going alone and I actually had a great time.
  • fuzzyduck22
    fuzzyduck22 Posts: 218 Forumite
    edited 27 May 2016 at 9:53AM
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    FBaby wrote: »
    Don't give up :)
    In the meantime, do try to make the best of being single, that doesn't mean only enjoying the things that you can only do single, but also the things that would be more fun with a partner, but still fun without one. I resorted to go on holiday alone, because my desperation for a break was stronger than the dread of going alone and I actually had a great time.

    Thank You (I'm jumping on the advice here too, sorry OP) :). I've been holidaying by myself for the last 5 years :cool:, met some fab people throughout but would love a partner to go on holiday with. I don't put off doing anything I want to as I'm on my own (well apart from having kids but thats something I'll have to have a long thinlk about and be well preapared for). :o
    £15900 loan (including interest) over 3.5 years to pay off...can I do it sooner???
    £940/£15900

    Weight loss 0/28 lbs
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