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Need a little pick me up...or some wine?


savignon

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I'm about to turn 38. I really truly think I'm a quality person with values I emulate through my lifestyle and choices. I'm a great mom to a beautiful little girl, I make a super great salary doing work I very much enjoy, own my own home....I have a great sense of humor, I'm intelligent and really have empathy for others, and I'm kind in a genuine way. I've been told I'm attractive and also a great catch** (**by my friends and family-haha)

Now before I get to the "woe is me" part...I've only been divorced a little over a year and already have a 9 month rebound under my belt which ended 5 months ago...so its not like I've been alone forever or worry that I'll die alone or anything like that.

So what am I so discouraged about?

The things that I feel make me a great catch feel lately to be the opposite of what guys are attracted to. I'm not a 'damsel in distress', I don't need any kind of saving emotionally/financially or otherwise, I'm not a crazy-hot-wild-in-the-sack girl that will numb you into ignoring all my flaws... I'm just pretty normal and that used to feel really good but now it just feels....normal/regular/boring.

I'm on match and eharmony although trust me....my daughter is my priority and I would not go to the lengths of getting a babysitter and all that for just anyone. I find that the family oriented kind of guys either have 3 or more kids and/or don't want more kids (which I have one...so...that's that). The guys who are way older (47-55) have never been married and most certainly don't want kids in their life (and the good-looking ones don't age!! They look 40 and it'll say '53'...damn! Good for them, I guess ). I've joined some meetups and the kids/playdate centered ones usually take place during the workday, the single parent ones are usually for kids a little older (snow tubing was the last one which would be great for 9/10 year olds and up..my little peanut is turning 3 next month) and the single parents going out without their kids ones are all dance parties--not my preferred way to warm up to new people.

I don't feel like I need to be with anyone "right now" and in fact I'm in a very happy place overall in my life and would say I'm happy internally more than ever before which feels amazing because its not dependent on my outside circumstances and its taken a loooong time to get here.

My mom was in a similar boat to me way back when and she never dated. She was so involved with her work and her kids that she let years and years pass (so easy to let happen as I can see from where I'm sitting) and basically most of her life has passed her by and she's very lonely now.

I guess I just feel ....discouraged.

I suppose I'm seeking some words of encouragement, an "I've been there", "hang in there"....I don't know really. Just venting I guess...

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Not sure what the problem is to be honest, savi.

 

You have a beautiful toddler, a career you love that also brings in good dough, own your own home, feel comfortable/content on your own sans a relationship(so you say..) - So..why the sad face? Maybe you're still attached to that previous mindset to a degree - What do you think?

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From my perspective -when I was 38, single and just out of a 7 year on and off relationship my major worry was that I'd never get the chance to try to have a child. Had I had a child from a previous marriage of course that would have had its own challenges but wow so much of the pressure would have been gone.

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I don't have kids...but I spent from 38 into mid-40's alone...but not lonely. Found same thing..guys divorced with kids or never married. FF a few years and then new crop...divorced, no kids or not toddlers. My bf, who I knew as friend/acquaintance had gotten out of 4 year relationship and after 2 years "free"...asked me out.

 

He later told me it was because I seemed so. comfortable with myself...own home, business...fun hobbies. He said "you just seem to really enjoy your.life and I would like to be part of it.

 

So I say...stop worrying and enjoy what you have. The actors in your movie will shift in time...someone you know may change roles...or introduce you to a wonderful guy. Just stay open to the inherent changes that life brings.

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Thanks, Cheetarah...you are right...I have every reason to be grateful (and I really am!) I do have a mindset that its not "complete/finished" without the icing on the cake and that's something I can work on for sure.

I'm being too hard on myself and that's not really fair to myself or my daughter.

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From my perspective -when I was 38, single and just out of a 7 year on and off relationship my major worry was that I'd never get the chance to try to have a child. Had I had a child from a previous marriage of course that would have had its own challenges but wow so much of the pressure would have been gone.

 

Yea, there's definitely no "pressure" and I've considered that many times. Approaching 40 and feeling that guys in their 40s are looking for 25 years olds and guys in their late 40s/50s never had kids because they don't want them and enjoy their lives without them.

I'm very happy right now and want to make sure I'm not in denial/setting myself up to be lonely later in life by singularly focusing on what's in front of me.

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Savi, the reason I feel so content single is because I DO focus on what is in front of me. And yes, the things in front of me(the "trees") have "branches" that extend out representing other goals and aspirations, and they're always there, in my mind of course, and being worked towards. But I like to look at the trees, as much as I can. My problem previously was that I always attached an "until", and that until was pretty much always focused on a partner. Gosh, I read a really good article about happiness/love once, how people set these time frames on their contentment. I wish I could find it, I'm going to go digging for it, it just might be a pick me up for you...

 

Anyway - I understand your concern about denial, as well. I had a concern I was staying single because I was using it as a safety net(and I was, for a time) of sorts, and I was worried I'd get too attached to it. For introspective people I think this is a natural thing to consider(also a bit sad we kind of don't trust our own happiness!), but at the same time I do think much is to be said for not trying to overcomplicate things - And simply enjoy.

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I wanted to add that I do understand your concerns and frustrations -and would have written that earlier were my 4-year old not clamoring for a certain computer game!

 

Thanks, Batya! If we were close by, you'd be someone I would love to set up a playdate with and get to know!!

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Yes savignon, I have been there. Divorced, two small kids and later a third that came about unexpectedly. No one wants a woman who has three young boisterous boys, particularly in Los Angeles where the name of the game is being single, perfect and into things that I just wasn't like partying and clubs. I had several serious relationships over the years that tanked and also did the online dating and parent/kid meetups and while I met some good friends that way I didn't find them to be promising sources of meeting single men who would be interested.

 

The good news is as my boys got older and could be by themselves more, and I had friends who could babysit, I was able to get out more. And what I did with that time many times was seek out activities that got me out and with other adults--i.e. college courses, hiking groups, martial arts and art and writing classes. I found those things to be better sources for finding guys that I could and did date where it was a better experience. Not always great, but still better.

 

After my last ex, who I met through work, (big mistake just like they say) I was burned out. I was also getting older, had moved to a fairly rural area and was using nearly all of my time and money fixing up an abandoned ranch I'd purchased, and like you I worked from home at a job I love. Not a lot of opportunities to meet anyone and another go at online dating resulted in a series of comically bad dates. Then I took an art class and slowly warmed up to a really nice guy there, and the rest as they say is history since we've been together nearly three years now. And it is the best relationship of my life, in part I think because we're both older and have gone through all the games and just want a no BS, drama-free relationship built on honesty and trust. And we have it.

 

So yes, you can find that too. Hang on, keep doing everything you're doing since it is honestly sometimes a numbers game especially if you work at home which although lovely can be kind of isolating. Your daughter will get older and you'll get freed up more for activities and dating too. And the one piece of advice I can give you is to find classes or activities or hobbies that get you in touch with other people, men and women, since it's there that you have a better than average chance of meeting someone who has similar interests to yours. It's a start anyways. Hugs and I'm telling you to keep on going on, someone out there is going to be so grateful when he finds you and realizes what a gem he has. And he'll appreciate it too.

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Thank you, Paris, for such a thoughtful response. I have not had or come close to experiencing "the best relationship of my life" and look forward to finding that.

Not that it makes a difference regarding your post but I don't work from home. I'm a teacher. I love it.

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Whoops, I thought you worked from home, sorry. Being a teacher is cool though and I'm glad you love it. Wish I had some wine to share too, but all I have left is a half-empty bottle of beer I'll be putting into a chile recipe.

 

And you'll get there with the relationships, just continue to enjoy life since you have a whole lot more of it to live.

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Thank you, Paris, for such a thoughtful response. I have not had or come close to experiencing "the best relationship of my life" and look forward to finding that.

-)

It is THE BOMB. And if it took all the others to get to this one.....it is soooooo worth it.

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Two of the biggest mood changers for me were, first, dropping the insidious habit of categorizing men. That particular kind of self-talk is poison. It sets up a bogus market of strawmen--but you're not a consumer, and the right man for you won't fit into any of your 'categories'.

 

It only takes ONE, so I quit the market segmentation and put my eyes back on my own paper.

 

Next I adopted a trust in myself and the forces that have brought me good fortune. I re-started meditation and cultivated faith in the idea that good doesn't operate in every area of my life EXCEPT one. (That makes no sense.)

 

The very forces that have put you in the right places at the right times to make so much right in your life is operating according to the right calendar. Rushing that is nothing more than a futile and frustrating exercise.

 

Once I dropped certain habits and adopted others, all became right with my world--and I suspect same will be true for you.

 

You're fabulous, you know this, we know this (wave!) and the right guy for you will know it, too--when the time is right.

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Great post, Catfeeder! You got me to thinking....when I was younger I would never have "dreamed" of being a single mother...I would have thought it was a nightmare. But here I am and I love and appreciate everything that brought me to this point despite that its not what I would have wished for myself...its actually better than what I had wished b/c what I had been praying for was to work things out with my ex hub and that would have been fake at best and extremely toxic besides. So, who's to say in a few years I won't be thanking my lucky stars that I was where I am right now ...arriving at where I'll be later.

Thanks!!

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The most important thing to live a happy life is to realize that life cycles and is about change, and nothing says permanently fixed forever! We as humans want to get ourselves set up 'just right' and think that we MUST have certain things then everything will be fine and we will live happily ever after in a frozen happiness. And people make that mistake applying that to the idea of 'finding a man' or a perfect relationship as well, as in if you don't find a man and find him now you are doomed to life of misery.

 

There was this funny movie a while back called 'War of the Roses' about this couple trying to live the 'perfect life'... They had a passionate beginning and a shared love of collecting antiques so they make the choice the husband will dedicate himself to a high powered career in order to make a lot of money for them to collect things and they they think that they need and that will bring them happiness. But meanwhile they grow apart as he becomes a workoholic to earn the money and get rich. She then has this moment where after many years of marriage they FINALLY reach their goal of finishing decorating the perfect mansion in the perfect way exactly as they had dreamed of when young, and she suddenly realizes she hates him and he's grown into an arrogant jerk and a comical/incendiary divorce ensues!

 

Now that applies to you (and all people) now. So you have a lovely child and job and are happy with that, but think the only answer now is to find the perfect man and that if you don't you'll be unhappy. But what is making you unhappy is thinking you need the perfect man and because you don't have one something is wrong and you will never be happy. But that just isn't the case because odds are good you WILL find another man (or perhaps a sequence of men throughout your life), and also your best chances for lasting and enduring happiness are to learn to enjoy the life you have now without always wishing you had something more/different. You should enjoy your life while at the same time working on goals for everything you want (including a man) BUT you must stop this negative self talk and worry because it doesn't change anything and just makes you appreciate your current life less.

 

Now about these men your age chasing 20 year old girls. That is a common PHASE these men go thru after a divorce, but honestly, in the end, most of them WILL settle down after a while with a woman closer to their own age. They won't do it right after the divorce because they're in a 'Whooppeee, I'm free!' phase after the divorce and think they want to return to the wild days of their 20s (and choose a 20 year old to do it with), but after a while, they get tired of the drama and pouting and demands that can be attached to dating a young girl, plus they realize if they marry her now and start having babies again, they may not want to do all that all over again and be working until they are 80 to put those children thru college and also keep the young wife happy while she goes thru the acquisitive phase most younger people do when they want to keep up with the Joneses etc., an impulse that diminishes with age.

 

So you have to meet your 40 something man at the right time, when he's not fresh off a divorce. And you will do better trying to meet him in situations where you have a hobby in common as ParisPaulette did. When it comes time to marry again, he'll tell himself, I'm too old to be running around with these young girls, they're so exhausting and demanding, and then, there you are!

 

And another thought: Love can and does find people at any age... my mother had to spend some time in a nursing home due to health issues, and I was totally surprised to discover the little old men and ladies sparking each other. And the attendants told me it was not uncommon for them to discover a little old man tiptoeing out of an old ladies room in the morning doing the walk of shame!

 

And notice what is important about that story: They were able to 'find' someone because they were in a position where they associated with other people at a common life phase and situation. So your own mother's mistake was probably that she just didn't prioritize dating or getting out and meeting men, and hence of course she didn't meet any. So if you want a man, you have to NEVER stop puttig yourself out there in situations where there are available men and you can meet them.

 

And finally, the 'life is about change' thing. I know so many women who are in marriages and 'coupled up' and that honestly doesn't make them any happier than the single women I know. People THINK having a partner makes things 'better', but for some it makes it better, and for other it makes it worse if they have the WRONG partner or marry someone who turns out to be a pain in the ass, a cheater, an alcoholic, a workaholic, nasty, arrogant, obnoxious, lazy, etc. So they are WORSE off than a single woman because they know what they've got, what they've got is causing stress and misery, and their options are closed to them and they can't change for the better unless they go thru a divorce.

 

So 'having a man' isn't better in and of itself. Your task is finding the RIGHT man and being very careful in your choice, otherwise your life will be WORSE than if you were single becuase you are trapped. So count your blessings. When I got divorced, the joke I would tell people (which was true) was that I liked marriage and the idea of marriage, I just didn't like being married to HIM. And the only difference between me and a lot of my friends is that they were willing to put up with so much crap and misery from their husbands out of fear of being alone, while I was not. So we all keep this idealized view of a 'perfect marriage' in our heads and make ourselves miserable while we're single thinking we are so deprived not having a partner, when frankly it can be a very strong case of 'be careful what you wish for' because having a partner can be a two edged sword if he's a BAD match for you in the end.

 

And another truth: In 20 years you'll enter another life cycle, where many of your friend's husbands will be dying and they will be widows. So many women are scared of 'dying alone' or being alone in their old age, and most women end up that way regardless due to the act that men do die much younger than women, and women also tend to marry men older than them, so those two things combined mean they could well end up easily spending 20-30 years alone at the end of their lives becuase their husbands have died. So finding a man tomorrow is no guarantee you won't end up alone either.

 

And surprisingly, most of those older women who lose their husbands are quite happy! They have very active social lives with their children, other female friends, travel, hobbies, charities, etc., and report they LOVE their lives because they are finally free of all those family responsibilities and get to kick up their heels do as they please without answering to anyone or catering to a husband and taking care of him.

 

And another surprise, many of them do meet new men and date and even marry, though many are content with just dating because they don't feel driven to have a husband at that stage in their lives and want a perfect balance of someone to love while maintaining an element of freedom and control of their own lives.

 

So don't paint your future as gloomy because regardless of what happens, if you choose to enrich your life and make it as happy as possible based on what you have vs. what you THINK you should have, and you don't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for yourself because you tell yourself you NEED X, Y, or Z or you'll never be happy, then you'll live a good and happy life!

 

And keep getting out there and putting yourself in positions to meet men, but make darn sure you are EXTREMELY picky and don't just grab someone and try to shove him into a cookie cutter life or it will be WORSE for you rather than better. Fill your life with richness in every area, and you wlil be happy regardless of what happens... that is what you should be striving for!

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Thank you, Lavenderdove! Very well put. I've actually been thinking lately (as you said) that married/coupled people are not necessarily happier than me *because of that sole reason*. I would rate myself an 8.5 on the happiness scale and that's not too shabby and independent of all outside influences (except for my daughter who has enriched my life and makes it a happier life to live without a doubt). I think people can be married and be a "7" or ebb and flow between a "6" and an "8".

I definitely just need to take the time to reflect on what I do have and I think I do that pretty often. Just gets lonely sometimes doing kids' puzzles all day... ;-)

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Don't give up on the moms groups. Having mom friends is so important!

 

When I had my first child, nobody else that I knew had kids. I was just coming out of grad school and didn't know how to make fiends outside of university. I tried joining groups and such but it was so much work and didn't get me anywhere.

 

Later I started a working moms group, since as you know, the stay at home moms have a different schedule. The problem with the working moms group was that everyone was so busy and would always cancel at the last minute. It pissed me off. I was just as busy and if I could make it a priority to show up, why couldn't they?

 

It wasn't a complete waste of time, though, because I did make some awesome friends.

 

When I was home with my second child, I finally started putting myself out there and found a whole group of moms that I really clicked with. Moms I actually had something in common with. We go hiking, weekend trips to the mountains with our kids, hockey games with the kids (box seat, oh yeah...) and after the kids go to bed we go to jazz clubs and concerts.

 

We swap babysitting favours, which saves money, and the kids are total best-ies. We are such a chill group with no drama, and I believe we will be friends for life.

 

So don't give up. Just like finding that wonderful man, finding a wonderful group of friends takes rejection, effort, frustration... But it's worth it times a million.

 

Make it a priority. Don't cancel just cuz you're not in the mood. Try organizing a moms group that fits with your schedule an interests.

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