35 and very alone.

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ElisabethR
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/12/2017 12:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

New here. I'm feeling very low and don't have any one left to talk to, so I thought I'd try a rather anonymous forum to see if I could find some relief.

I'm 35, single, financially strapped and friendless. That's the short version.

I'll tackle the relationship stuff first. I've never had a boyfriend or relationship, no friends with benefits, so you can put that together. In my teens and even into my 20s, it wasn't something I was overly concerned about. I wanted dates and a boyfriend, of course, but it wasn't an obsession. I assumed it would happen. I worked the usual sorts of jobs -- food and retail -- and came in contact with plenty of people my age. Nothing. This happened again in college. I went to a city college, and remained living at home, so there wasn't the usual college scene but I made friends with classmates and worked on campus. Once again, nothing happened.

In my 20s, I worked freelance, which led to some traveling for work and quite a few parties. My distant, far-flung colleagues would all joke it was the one time we saw real people. A lot of couples formed at this stuff. I was not part of any. That career came to a brutal end, and I found myself back in food and retail before going back to school for a drastic career change. Again, I made casual friends but now in my 30s, I was much older than most of my coworkers, and I was becoming the odd one out.

So, now I sit with a new career in animal medicine and I do enjoy it, but I'm older than most of my office. I'm the only one who is not married and who is childless, which means I often get the short stick on schedules. There's no real dating opportunities -- the first thing people do when in a relationship is adopt a puppy or kitten, so this is the majority of the clientele.

I had a VERY good friend who I'd been friends with since college. We'd flirted around the idea of dating for years. Last year, I told him I thought we were at a point where it was time we did. He agreed, then found every excuse to not spend any time with me, until he ghosted altogether. He finally crawled back and apologized, but we've not spoken since. It was humiliating. And to be rejected by him, someone I was close to and opened up to ... it felt like the door slamming completely on my chances for a relationship.

I've tried online dating. I've had no success. Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel -- they're ghost towns. All the mutual likes I've gotten, the men are silent ... I think I've been ghosted by most of my state at this point. The few times I REALLY hit it off with someone, they disappeared.
There was one guy who seemed absolutely perfect for me, like I'd designed him in a computer. We hit it off. He asked me out, and I said yes ... and then an actual wildfire broke out (that was his job), he called off the date and never came back. The theories that these places are populated with bots or paid honeypots is, I think, fairly accurate. Or maybe it's just me. I mean, how many women have a wildfire come between them and a date? Anyway, tonight, I quit the online dating game and even more than the Date-A-Friend attempt, it feels like the end of the line.

And, I am not bad looking. Average, maybe. Unusual looking. People tell me I look very foreign. Strangers stop me and ask where I'm from a lot, usually because of my red hair. Women compliment me more than men.

All my friends are now married. My sister is married. As the lone single girl, I'm the wildcard they won't engage with or talk to. At one point, my sister even said she hoped I found someone so we could hang out again.
I've tried different things to socialize and meet new people, and it just doesn't click, especially in my current situation, where I don't have a lot of free cash. The social world is not very welcoming to single girls without a lot of money.

Luckily, I don't live alone -- but I live with my mom, which often feels humiliating. My dad walked out on her 3 years ago, and we've become financially dependent on one another. We had to sell the lovely house we lived in, and are now stuck in an absolute dump that's so rancid it's made our pets and ourselves sick. We are desperately trying to get out. Her health is poor and she's been depressed since my dad vanished, and the past 3 years have seen me being her crutch in many ways, while wishing I had someone, anyone to lean on and take some of the burden. I've even begged my sister for help, just to talk to her OR be a friend to me, but she'll always beg off. Worse? She's our actual neighbor, so all she'd have to do is walk across the street.

In addition to losing the friend I tried to date, my best friend dumped me. She couldn't accept that I was poor, alone, and lonely. My life was alien to her -- she went on constant weekend trips and took hobby workshops. At one point, she admitted she had no idea I survived on so little money, or had so few resources. Her parting shot was that I didn't do enough to escape my life -- and I asked her HOW I could force my job to pay me more money, force someone to love me, force my toxic family back together, etc. She had no answer. And she is bipolar, so you'd think she'd have understood the pain I was experiencing, and that optimism is not a cure for everything. I pointed out that when I WAS optimistic or excited about something, she called me delusional.

Life is just very bleak. When I am alone at night, I find myself crying a lot -- I am just so tired and beat. I can't think of the last time something good happened, and I feel there's nothing to look forward to. I feel I've done my very best in every situation, and whereas most people would have come out well, I come out behind. It honestly feels like a curse hangs over my head. When I am optimistic or excited about anything, even something small, it backfires and I feel like I'm punished for believing it would work out.

Maybe the answer for us is packing up and moving to a new place, a fresh start, but I believe that life is life, and it's not going to change radically with new scenery. I'm also very reluctant to leave my job, as it took me two tries to get an animal hospital I liked working in. My internship was horrific, and my first job left me mentally and physically scarred. It's terrifying to think of changing it again. And yet, neither my mom or I have anything keeping us here.

Anyway. I just needed to put this out there, and engage on a neutral place. I'm trying to remain vague on details out of privacy reasons...but ask me anything, I suppose.

ambling
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 632
   Posted 9/12/2017 1:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Elisabeth,

Welcome.

You are clearly articulate and intelligent, which is nice to see. And you have a lot going for you. Life can be brutal to people who don't fit the so called 'normal' pattern of existence. But there are many people like yourself who, for one reason or another, don't quite measure up to the Hollywood dream smile.
Definitely take a break from those dating sites. You might want to try again later, or try a different way to meet people.
It really can be tough, but there are many lonely guys out there who would love a companion and even better, to find someone to date. I guess there's a bit of luck involved.
The whole money thing is a disease of society unfortunately. Sadly, some think it means something more than it is... Again, plenty of people struggle to exist financially.

Take good care of yourself. Look after your health and well being.
My late grandmother got divorced and was a lonely single woman until she remarried at 70! That is not to say that she or her path is anything like yours, but it always makes me smile to think that at that age she found love.

Hope you keep posting and that you find a healthy place to live.
All the best.

kellyinCali
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 9/12/2017 2:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Elisabeth,

I can relate to much of what you wrote. Especially, the parts about being single and childless (I am 53) and of modest means. I am warm and approachable but I live on a fixed income (disability) so I can't "lunch, and spa and happy hour" like most women do. I finally started to go back to church. I am outside of my box there because these are people I would normally not connect with. However, that seems to be a blessing in disguise b/c I am well liked and they have welcomed me with open arms, including praying for "healing" of Major Depression.

I divorced ten years ago and I've been single ever since. I don't think I want to venture into the online dating scene but have you tried something like "E-Harmony" or a "Match Maker" service like "It's Just Coffee?" There are surely men who could have written the same thing you did about dating. No easy answers here.

What came to mind while reading your post was "what are your hobbies and interests?" Do you have a dog that you can take to a local dog park? Have you looked for a meetup dot com book club or social club? I found one for animal lovers. Do you like the outdoors? There are usually many "hiking" groups, if you are physically able to do that. Anyway, I would make a left turn and try something new. You sound like a catch for the right person so don't give up.

ElisabethR
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/12/2017 2:35 AM (GMT -7)   
ambling said...
Hi Elisabeth,

Welcome.

You are clearly articulate and intelligent, which is nice to see. And you have a lot going for you. Life can be brutal to people who don't fit the so called 'normal' pattern of existence. But there are many people like yourself who, for one reason or another, don't quite measure up to the Hollywood dream smile.
Definitely take a break from those dating sites. You might want to try again later, or try a different way to meet people.
It really can be tough, but there are many lonely guys out there who would love a companion and even better, to find someone to date. I guess there's a bit of luck involved.
The whole money thing is a disease of society unfortunately. Sadly, some think it means something more than it is... Again, plenty of people struggle to exist financially.

Take good care of yourself. Look after your health and well being.
My late grandmother got divorced and was a lonely single woman until she remarried at 70! That is not to say that she or her path is anything like yours, but it always makes me smile to think that at that age she found love.

Hope you keep posting and that you find a healthy place to live.
All the best.



Thank you. It means a lot to have someone understand and not come down with any judgment.

ElisabethR
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/12/2017 2:59 AM (GMT -7)   
kellyinCali said...
Elisabeth,

I can relate to much of what you wrote. Especially, the parts about being single and childless (I am 53) and of modest means. I am warm and approachable but I live on a fixed income (disability) so I can't "lunch, and spa and happy hour" like most women do. I finally started to go back to church. I am outside of my box there because these are people I would normally not connect with. However, that seems to be a blessing in disguise b/c I am well liked and they have welcomed me with open arms, including praying for "healing" of Major Depression.

I divorced ten years ago and I've been single ever since. I don't think I want to venture into the online dating scene but have you tried something like "E-Harmony" or a "Match Maker" service like "It's Just Coffee?" There are surely men who could have written the same thing you did about dating. No easy answers here.

What came to mind while reading your post was "what are your hobbies and interests?" Do you have a dog that you can take to a local dog park? Have you looked for a meetup dot com book club or social club? I found one for animal lovers. Do you like the outdoors? There are usually many "hiking" groups, if you are physically able to do that. Anyway, I would make a left turn and try something new. You sound like a catch for the right person so don't give up.



The problem with many dating sites or the lunch/coffee ones is that they cost $20-$30 a month, which I can't really afford, especially if you combine it with needing the money to actually go on a date. I tried Match.com twice on free trials -- the first time resulted in a date who couldn't wait to get rid of me. The second time, my "free email" was a guy who promised to explain why he wasn't single when we met.

My interests have, by necessity, become very solo. I read a lot of books, watch a lot of films, play video games. I love travel, but can't afford it. Of course, given my profession, I love animals but my job doesn't leave me a lot of energy or desire to do much volunteering with animals. I've tried, but usually couldn't find someone to cover my shift.

Dog parks, again, tend to be pretty couple and family oriented. And my dogs are small, I am reluctant to take them, I've seen a lot of gory accidents resulting from dog encounters in those places.

In terms of my interests, I actually worked in the entertainment industry for awhile, and so I socialized with a lot of that crowd, but the corner of that community I belonged to has drifted apart. Many are married, working in different aspects, and it's not something I'm very connected to any longer. So joining a film society or anything like that doesn't appeal to me. Brings up memories both good and bad.

I tried, a few years ago, to join some tabletop gaming groups but it didn't go very well. Short, boring story there. I like a lot of "geek" things but don't particularly enjoy socializing with the groups it creates. Maybe it's connected to my depression or disappointments, but it is hard to get excited about the same things as everyone, or really want to discuss or debate books or films. I used to love it! Now, not so much.

I have tried to join some hiking groups, looked around on Facebook and things but the ones here seem deserted. I live in a very outdoorsy state, so I think people have their groups of friends and there's not much chance of getting in a new one? I don't know.

I have a Mini Cooper, and I joined a few Mini clubs -- my sister knew of someone who was a member, and encouraged it, as they supposedly did lunches and British teas and things. I'm a big Anglophile, so that sounded fun. I figured it was a group out of my usual zone. But I haven't been able to attend any events, as they were days I was working, or the events simply cost too much. It turns out most local people who have Minis are couples with lots of disposable income, so it's no big deal to drive to Mt Rushmore as a group or compete in a car show that's $30.00 just to show up to.

Money and time also becomes an issue -- I often have only one day off between long stretches, and that day has to be spent caring for my own animals, doing laundry. etc. My dogs see so little of me right now, and hate where we are living so much, that unless my mom is home with them, I feel bad leaving them. They're older, so they can't do hikes with me. I'm trying to find a balance between work and play, but with so little ways or reasons to play, I find myself just curling up with a book on most days.

I've been invited to the odd church, particularly on holidays, but I'm a fairly fierce atheist these days and it's not a world I can participate in. I envy those that find comfort in it, though.

There seems to be no answers to my problems, honestly. And I get scared of trying to venture too far or try too hard. We thought we might splurge and plan a vacation, and the day we set to book it, my Mini got smacked into and I'm faced with $500+ of repairs. It feels like whatever I set out to do to shake things up and have something to look forward to, I get smacked down hard and furiously.

I'm glad if I sound appealing though, that means a lot. I feel like an alien most days...

Post Edited (ElisabethR) : 9/12/2017 4:04:00 AM (GMT-6)


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7556
   Posted 9/12/2017 4:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Look at www.meetup.com - it has MANY different kinds of group meetings, and most of them are free! I've found some really nice people there, at least in the hiking and bicycling groups. Groups meet at all kinds of various times, maybe something would fit into your schedule.

I've also found that if you go walking in a park at the same time every day, after 2-3 weeks you start becoming casual friends with others who walk at the same time. It's a start!

Good luck.

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2186
   Posted 9/12/2017 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome to the forum.

I was 'caretaker' for each of my parents. Have you looked for a support group? There are many people in this position and groups are a good way to socialize and 'compare notes'. No group near you? Then maybe start one! Perhaps a room at the local library or hospital.

I totally get the isolation that comes with limited income. Not being able to join in when folks go for coffee or to the gym, etc. I would 'haunt' the garden centers, shopping the clearance rack, just to talk with others that were 'into flowers'. Now, I have a full garden and people stop by to chat here!

Not being able to work, I found I had developed a bad habit of 'trying to prove my worth' in conversations, which made me sound like a know it all and a braggart. It is still a tendency I must watch out for. It is more off putting than I had at first realized.

I also got involved with a Tenants Rights committee in my town. I realize you are pressed for time and what little free time you have gets used up with day to day chores and trying to rest up, but, perhaps there is a niche you could fill in some sort of volunteer capacity. Stuffing envelopes for your chosen political party perhaps?

Try some or all of the suggestions. Keep posting. Let us know how you are!
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

NiceCupOfTea
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10095
   Posted 9/12/2017 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm 42 and in a similar boat to you in many ways. Never dated, never been in a relationship. I live on my own now, which I prefer, as my dad (my mum is fine) is not an easy person to live with and we had some PTSD-inducing rows in the year or so before I finally left. My flat is nice but I don't know anyone in this town. My only real-life friend lives so far away we only get to meet up about twice a year.

I'm not working. Haven't done so for years 'cos of Crohn's and depression. I'm poor. One reason I don't even try to date is because I can't afford regular meals out and the Crohn's makes it tricky anyway. But another reason is because I'm depressed nearly all of the time and don't feel like I'm engaging company, to put it mildly.

I wonder if you have had depression and low self-esteem for a long time and, subconsciously, other people have picked up on that? Depression is an existential threat to most people: presumably because it threatens to bring them down if they are exposed to it for too long. I was doing quite well at my once-a-week gardening volunteer job until I became depressed and withdrawn; hey presto, it was like becoming invisible. No one was horrible: I just was engaging with the group far, far less. The help that I had been getting from that place has gone, because I'm no longer getting the social benefits of interacting with other people.

This is just a complete shot in the dark, but you might wanna consider if you have an autism spectrum disorder. I do and I wasn't diagnosed until 39. It may explain why you feel like an alien and have so much trouble relating to people.

I dunno if any of this helps. Not feeling too well right at the moment, so it may be a bit of a mish mash. Wish I could make some practical suggestions, but if I can't help myself I dunno how to help other people. I feel where you are coming from though!
Dx Crohn's in June 2000. (Yay skull)
Tried: 5-ASAs, azathioprine, 6MP, Remicade, methotrexate, Humira, diets.
1st surgery 20/2/13 - subtotal colectomy with end ileostomy.
2nd surgery 10/7/15 - ileorectal anastomosis. Stoma reversed and ileum connected to the rectum.
Current status: Chronic flare. Do I have any other kind?
Current meds: 50mg 6MP; Entyvio (started 3/11/16)

ElisabethR
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/12/2017 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
NiceCupOfTea said...

I wonder if you have had depression and low self-esteem for a long time and, subconsciously, other people have picked up on that? Depression is an existential threat to most people: presumably because it threatens to bring them down if they are exposed to it for too long. I was doing quite well at my once-a-week gardening volunteer job until I became depressed and withdrawn; hey presto, it was like becoming invisible. No one was horrible: I just was engaging with the group far, far less. The help that I had been getting from that place has gone, because I'm no longer getting the social benefits of interacting with other people.

This is just a complete shot in the dark, but you might wanna consider if you have an autism spectrum disorder. I do and I wasn't diagnosed until 39. It may explain why you feel like an alien and have so much trouble relating to people.

I dunno if any of this helps. Not feeling too well right at the moment, so it may be a bit of a mish mash. Wish I could make some practical suggestions, but if I can't help myself I dunno how to help other people. I feel where you are coming from though!


Well, as I was dumped by my best friend for "bringing her down," I imagine this probably something people sense off me. I try really hard to be chirpy and positive while at work or out and about -- I have a bad temper, much like the Hulk, so cracking jokes and trying to amuse people is a way I keep from snapping or becoming furious at stresses of the day. (It's a stressful field I work in and even despite my best efforts, I've snapped. We've all snapped.) Most people think of me as very friendly, sarcastic and silly and are often surprised I struggle so hard with depression.

I'm not on the autism spectrum, or at least, not more than anyone else. I find everyone has tendencies on that scale. No, my alienation comes from the sheer gulf I've begun to feel between myself and others my age, mainly due to the lack of marriage, children, relationships, financial security, etc. Now, the human experience isn't universal and there are aspects of MY life that don't mesh too ... for example, when I worked in entertainment, I had fairly glamorous stories no one could relate to, or I've traveled places my married friends have not. But, those core experiences of life are important and come up frequently, and it becomes difficult to relate to people on any level when I lack that.

I guess one extreme example I have is my sister's wedding. I was part of the wedding party, of course, but as the one single member I found myself excluded from planning or fun events. I was eventually "demoted" from maid of honor because I wasn't One of the Couples. At the wedding itself, I wasn't even seated with the wedding party -- it was all the other bridesmaids, grooms and their significant others. I was just stuck at a random table with my mom. It was incredibly uncomfortable, and everyone picked up on it ... so here's this communal celebration where you might as well have stamped "ALONE" on my forehead. So, I find that's my experience in general. In college, it was easier to laugh off or brush off because everyone's relationships are in flux, but in my mid 30s, it's very difficult. And people always want to TALK about their relationship problems and get advice, and I find I have none. This was even a problem with my best friend. I tried my best, but even that gulf became a prickly one.

When I was younger, it was easier to click and be in sync with everyone, but now I just feel very off. I'm sure the field I'm in doesn't help, since it's rather family oriented itself.

Elisabeth

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41931
   Posted 9/12/2017 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you tried doing things to take your focus off of yourself. When you take the dogs to the dog park, doing it for them can change everything instead of doing it to meet people. Have you tried volunteering somewhere, in essence, helping somebody else. I find things happen when we least expect it. Focusing on something else will make other things eventually happen. One thing leads to another.

Maybe find people who like the same things that you like such as hobbies. Do you have any hobbies that you think you could share with others to enjoy?

I hope your sadness and loneliness goes away soon. I know how it feels though, I don't have children. I have grand children through marriage though which is fulfilling in ways. But relating to people with nothing in common with you is difficult. I spend a lot of time with myself and my dog.

Have a good afternoon Elisabeth. Welcome to the forum.

Hugs, Karen...
Moderator-Depression


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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