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Happy to be single


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I've been single over 2 years now, since then I've had a lot of dates, and I mean a lot, a couple of them I've really liked but they've not liked me, majority I've likes initially but then just not felt like carrying it on and some I've not likes right from the outset.


My issue is, without sounding dramatic is that I'm dead inside, I feel like I just don't care anymore about getting with anyone enough. All my life Ive always wanted a gf, to get married, have children etc, I mean I still want kids now but I'm at that point where I just have no interest in getting a girlfriend even though I'm going on dates most weeks, hoping that the next one I meet will change my mind.


I have a great life, travel, good hobbies, good job, good family, I'm 37 and content with what I have but the whole lack of caring about having a partner is concerning.


Most of my friends are settled now yet I'm still doing things and enjoying being able to do them without having to worry about anyone else such as weekend plans and travelling.


I'm not sure it's because I've been single so long I can't imagine myself with anyone or its something I'm protecting myself from potential hurt.


Some days I wake up and think for a few days I want to be with someome but then a few days later It feels like the worse idea ever.


I just don't know what to think anymore.

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From just a slightly different vantage point, everything you've described is positive. You're 37, an age I'd roughly peg as entering the prime of life, and you're doing so with a good job, hobbies, a life you yourself describe as "great." Wonderful. Keep living it, open to what comes, open to continuing to come further into yourself.


With that latter point in mind, I'd take a moment to reflect on where you are right now in terms of your view of women and romance. Because something, judging from your wrote, is off. You're investing a lot of your time in going on dates while having no interest in a girlfriend? That's troublesome. Troublesome for you, troublesome to those women sitting across from you. It would be like me telling you I go hiking a few days a week with no interest of being someone who hikes, save a blurry idea that maybe, just maybe, one more arduous trek will turn me into a man who loves hiking. With that mindset you'd likely tell me that I was going about hiking the wrong way.


I'm a big believer that the only way to date, and enjoy dating, is to be happy being single. Only way to live, really, since it just means being happy in your own skin. The next part of the equation is dating with intention. That intention could be to get laid, or explore something causal. It could be to find a lifelong partner. What matters is that you know that intention first, so you can express this clearly, to yourself and to others, rather than looking for the person you swipe right on to tell you who you are, why you're with them. To put the pressure on total strangers to "change your mind" is just a wildly unfair thing to do to another person—and, by extension, an unfair position to put yourself in. It's treating an optional activity and other people as a chore that no one but you is telling yourself you "have" to do.


I'm around your age. It's always been important to me that relationships don't feel like a chore. I've seen friends in such relationships—"worrying" about someone else constantly, etc.—and I've tasted versions of that. Not for me. But also not how it has to be. I'm in a relationship right now. I feel as free as I did when I was single—freer even. Feeling that way is partly why I know we work, together. It's something I intentionally wanted in the abstract, something I was looking for when I was swiping, meeting people, while also being plenty happy being single.


I can't help but detect a tone of self-protection coming through in your post. Yes, there is basically a 100 percent chance that dating, relationships, and partnership will result in some version of "hurt." But the same sentence applies to "being alive" as well. So to live in fear of "potential hurt" is inherently to not be living at max capacity and to feel, as a result, occasionally "dead inside." Something to maybe think about.

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Does 2 years single seem like super long time for you? I was taken aback when you said you aren't sure if you feel this way because you've been single so long and you mean two years? To me, that's a short blip, but I understand for others it may seem like an eternity. Particularly if they are used to being in relationships more so than not, as the default.


I'm curious too to hear more about what you mean when you say you are dead inside. That's a heavy phrasing, and sounds like it runs deeper than dating concerns. I'd like to hear more before commenting more.

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Ahhh yes, this how many still single men feel as they near 40. Seeing everyone else settling down, and you feel a bit pressured, like time is running out.

Are you using OLD? It sucks the ever living soul out of you because the quality of options are slim to none. Many feel hopeless and empty because all they are doing is having all these dates and it's like going through a revolving door.

Maybe it's time to change your strategy. Like take more time out for yourself to meet women more organically, maybe find a new hobby that involves social interaction with women, or go to more social events, or even parties through friends. Like I always say, don't look for love, let it find you.

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It's funny -the only time I felt like this was for a few months when I was 38. Ironically someone I'd dated (who apparently met 400 women through online sites -one became his wife and I believe they're happily married for several years now) emailed me out of the blue around that time and was very direct about saying we should give things another chance and hopefully get married. I declined knowing what a great person he was and knowing he wasn't great for me. I did care back then but felt that I was just no darn good at relationships even though I was dating someone at the time -an on again off again ex. I felt that I was just running in circles and hurting people in the process and myself I guess. Just saying I can relate.


Look I get that you have more freedom than me to make social plans. I get that on a surface and deeper level. I have no regrets but honestly when I was single and working insane hours I also had restrictions on my freedom to make plans, especially advance plans -like planning a trip or buying theater or concert tickets, etc or even a dinner plan for during the week.


The only thing that continually kept me going was my strong, overwhelming desire for a husband and the chance at a family. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. I also dated someone who was a little older than me and we met for dinner several years later -he was well into his 30s and he told me he was done looking but likely would adopt a child on his own at some point if that was possible (meaning a single man being approved) . About a year later he met his future wife. So you know I've seen and experienced people going through these phases.


Certainly at 37 you have the better part of 10 years to start a family (meaning at least -later is fine too but then you run into potential issues finding a much younger partner and being on the older side when your child is born). So let yourself coexist with these feelings and I bet if you don't pressure yourself you'll reach whatever is true for you -which might be that being on your own is better for you than being a husband and father. It's all ok, all good.

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Thanks for all your replies here. I'll try to summarise.


I do OLD, at this moment I don't have issues with matching, chatting and meeting up, I also meet people in the real world too when socialising, for example recently was a friend's wedding when I met a lovely girl, we hit it off, ended the night with a kiss and met up a few days after for a relaxed date walking which we both like, we planned to meet again but our schedules never seem to match which is frustrating (I think she's not that interested) Ideally I would like to meet someone "in the real world" rather than OLD.


2 years doesn't seem like a long time to be single no, I've had a great 2 years,.job promotion, got fitter, amazing travels, being single doesn't upset me most of the time, sure there are times when I think I'd like to be with someone but I'd rather be alone than with someone just for the sake of it.


Being dead inside is possibly the wrong wording on my part, but here's an example, since I posted this the past few days I've been in the i don't want to meet anyone zone, happy by myself etc, this morning I've woken up and I'm the complete opposite, likely to be like this for a few days now and before you know it I'll be back to being nonchalant about dating. The worrying thing is I've dated a few girls over past 2 years and this cycle has occurred and I've ended up calling it a day and then a few weeks later regretting it, one Inparticular that was a wonderful match for me (met in "real-life") that i still regret now.


I've had a break from dating, come back and felt ok but then it creeps back, I'm not sure if I'm being too fussy, trying to sub consciously protect myself from potential heartbreak, or just genuinely not meeting the right people for me.


The past relationships I've had, I've known from the off that I'd like to see them more and then get into something serious, the butterflies and excitement, I'm looking for that again but hard to find.

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I think you might be going down the path of overthinking/self absorption. People go through phases for all sorts of reasons. Environmental, medical, situational, etc. Just go with it and do what feels right and comfy at the time as long as it doesn't intentionally hurt another person. I learned how to make OLD the same as real world. But I went on many blind dates and answered personal ads in writing and was set up, etc so it wasn't a real difference to me how we initially contacted each other (although for my friend's wedding I wrote a limerick style poem -they had an inside joke about how they weren't going to admit they met through a dating site but rather that he rescued her from a near ski accident - he doesn't ski - anyway I wrote them a poem about that fateful day where our hero saved his future wife and happily ever after LOL).


It's totally cool to be on your own for positive reasons -it's when I hear it's because of negative generalizations/stereotypes that I personally would not advise someone to stay on his or her own for those reasons. I'm here to tell you at least for me marriage aint bliss. Neither is parenthood. But I never expected them to be, ever. From a realistic standpoint. Being single wasn't bliss but it was fine even good/great at times. Dating was sometimes good/great and sometimes aggravating, stressful, soul destroying (for moments, not prolonged). I didn't cycle too much but for a really important reason. I always always had my eye on the non-blissful prize. Always. Never wavered except for what I described above. That's the only reason why. If you're not clear on your goals -totally cool! - but that would explain to me why you're "cycling" more. Please don't overthink -find a way to redirect whether it's a breathing exercise, a brisk walk, a long drink of water, whatever.

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