“I’ll be 40 soon and never been in a relationship”: A reader’s story
Editor’s Note: Thus begins one of the most heartfelt comments we’ve ever received on the site. It was made in response to our Relationship 2.0: Love, fear and everything in between post, and it struck a chord with us as I’m sure it will with you. The reader, who signed the comment “Too ashamed to give a name” has been unlucky in love and is now at the point of giving up. Her self esteem is low and rather than looking forward to turning 40, she’s dreading the fine lines and grey hairs that she feels will make her unattractive. I asked her permission to run her comment as a feature story in the hopes that other women who’ve been in her shoes and have felt some of the things she’s feeling can provide some words of wisdom that can help her begin to see herself, turning 40 and relationships in a whole new light…
I will be 40 in a few weeks and I’ve never been in a real relationship. I’ve tried all the things in this post. As soon as I got a real job & moved out of my small town I logged onto all the dating sites (they were free back then) and over a 2-year period met face-to-face with more than 20 men. I only saw 2 of them after that initial first date. I did not become romantically involved with either of them, and I am no longer in contact with either of them. And yes, I have “asked him out”. On multiple occasions. I’ve discovered that asking men out is the quickest way to make them disappear from my life.
No one would go near me in high school because I was a nerd. There was one boy that I liked for a long time. He was nice to my face, then when my back was turned he would tell our classmates that he hated my guts. In college I dated an emotionally abusive jerk for 5 months. 10 years later I hooked up with a co-worker after we’d spent 6 months flirting with each other. We were working late in the office and to make a long story short we ended up kissing. To make another long story short I ended up at his place where we did some X-rated fooling around. After he got off I thought he’d be a gentleman and return the favor. He just shrugged and said that he always needed to sleep after orgasm, then proceeded to kick me out of his apartment. At 3am. He didn’t want very much to do with me after that. A few months later I got another job and moved away and I haven’t heard from him since. This occurred 10 years ago, and there’s been nothing and no one since.
There’s an article on this site that says it’s possible to maintain passion at 40, it’s just harder. I’ve never even had a chance to let it start! And that makes me so profoundly sad. Jodee Blanco says that the hardest part of being an outcast isn’t the love and warmth you don’t receive, it’s the love and warmth you’re not able to give. It just builds up inside you and backs up like sewer rot. She’s dead right. And now that I’m getting old it just crushes me inside to think that no man will ever want me. I’ve never been very attractive–I’m not hideous, I’m just not someone that would make a man sit up and take notice when she walks in a room. And now that I’m getting old I’ll be less and less attractive, and whatever chance I ever had of finding someone is evaporating right in front of my eyes every time I look in the mirror and see the fine lines and the hair that’s just starting to turn gray.
I wish I could just give up and accept the fact that no man is ever going to want me. But love and sex and romance and all that stuff just seems like such an important part of life, and whenever I consider the ever-more-real possibility that I may never experience it, it just makes me cry. Why did God make me so horrible? I used to think that the reason I was alone was because God was saving me for a very special person. But now I’m thinking that it’s just never going to happen. And I feel like I’ve been screwed out of one of the most fundamental reasons for wanting to be alive.
I always thought that if I just had one chance to be with someone special I would be the best girlfriend ever, that I would love this man with my heart and soul. I’d be his friend, his lover, his confidant, his partner, whatever he needed, as long as he loved me back. But I now realize that this is a fairy tale. And fairy tales never come true, do they?
I’m sure many of you have felt similar emotions throughout your lives – unloved, unattractive, unwanted, but how did you climb out of that and start rewriting your story? And can fairy tales ever come true? Share your thoughts in the comment section and on our Facebook fan page.