“I’ll be 40 soon and never been in a relationship”: A reader’s story

depressed 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.

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  • Bananne

    Before giving any judgement of your feelings and note: I have to say that a lot of women have experienced dating men with unloving attitudes (let s avoid calling them jerks!). The point here is: start loving yourself rather than expecting to be loved by someone else. This is the first step. No one knows if a man will come and “rescue” you. The only one who could rescue you is yourself.
    Relationships, romantic love and a having a man to love you is really, believe me, overrated in our culture. When I have dated, I have high expectations, which are turn down by the way he behaves. After a while, and having kissed a lot of frogs, I have realized that the best relationship is with myself, taking care of me, loving myself and enjoying my freedom. I am not saying that there is not such “special person”: there could be one of a whole bunch of “ones”. The truth fact is that you have been given the option to be yourself and enjoy yourself with no attachments to a man… so start kicking the world babe!!!

  • racheldachel

    My heart breaks for this woman. Not because she has never experienced love or a good relationship with a man, but because she is lacking those two exact things with herself. There is an old adage that says, “You can't love another without loving yourself” and truer words were never spoken. Not to berate the writer, but her rhetorical question, “Why did God make me so horrible? ” is very, very telling. If *you* think you are horrible, why would anyone else think anything otherwise?

    Let's face it, most of us are not “someone that would make a man sit up and take notice when she walks in a room” based on looks alone. Often, it is the confidence with which we enter a room that gets us noticed or the way we smile as we greet people. It might be your fragrance that catches his attention or your voice or your laugh—even your height! Maybe he overhears you discussing one of his favorite topics or one of his least favorite politicians and is drawn to your witty banter or (in his opinion) ridiculous beliefs and he just has to engage you and find out more about you.

    Also, I will tell you from having grown up in a house full of men and having mostly male close friends as well as a loving fiancé, men find CONFIDENCE more attractive than anything else on or in a woman. Think back to high school and that girl that all of the boys liked even though you didn't get it… She wasn't the prettiest, smartest or even nicest girl. What was it about her? SHE decided she was fabulous and others followed suit. Now think about that girl in college or that woman in your office who seems to get lots of male attention, I promise you the common thread is confidence. It really is just that simple.

    So fall in love with yourself. Look in the mirror and love every fine line and every gray hair because each one of them is a part of the wonder and the beauty that is you. Honestly, any man worth dating or loving wants more than just another pretty face and in all likelihood, you are probably much more attractive than you know and your self-deprecating attitude clouds your beauty as people can see it just as much as they can see you.

    I'll tell you a very personal and true story… I gained quite a bit of weight in 2008 when I relocated to a much colder climate. I had returned to the area where I grew up and reconnected with old friends and acquaintances. One particular woman I have known since diapers and we had always remained in touch throughout the years. She has always been very petite and reasonably attractive, but she also had and still has a bit of a negative attitude. She has only really had one actual relationship in her life and that was about 20 years ago. So she and I went to dinner one night to get caught up and a gentleman approached me and asked to buy me a drink; I politely declined. My friend became annoyed and actually said, “I don't get it. You are already in a relationship and other men are still approaching you and I'm single and no one approaches me. It doesn't even make sense—YOU'RE FAT and you STILL have a man and I am half your size and alone. How is that fair?” Surprisingly, I was neither hurt nor offended at that moment because I actually felt a good deal of pity for her. I simply responded, “Perhaps the difference is that I have so much more to offer a man than just what is visible on the outside and feeling secure in that knowledge makes me so happy that it effervesces and bubbles right up out of me and into my demeanor and my interactions with others. Maybe these men see that when they observe me and THAT is what makes me attractive to them. Maybe they want some of THAT in their lives and that makes me look even better to them.” Fast forward to today and we are still friends; she is still petite, reasonably attractive and single. I've lost some weight and still have some more to lose, but I'm also ecstatic and getting married in January to a wonderful man who sees past my trivial flaws and loves me for me.

    Love yourself, Girl!! Join a support group, talk to a therapist or even use the Women at Forty community as your support system. I promise that you are neither the first nor only woman to go through this and you might not be the last. However, 40 is not old and you have plenty of time ahead of you to enjoy life and if you truly want it to be, love can be a major part of that.

  • womenatforty

    Well said Rachel – it all begins in the mind and spirit, and is really true – when you find yourself beautiful, other people will see that in you and share in your opinion.

  • womenatforty

    Lucinda posted this on our Facebook Fan Page – Not sure if the commenter is a fan, so I decided to repost it here. Here's Lucinda's wisdom in her own words…

    “I totally agree with the last comment…about loving yourself. I KNOW, easier said than done BUT doable!! Recently I went through a similar emotional roller coaster of emotions and to be quite honest? TEARS and Anguish about the “fact” that “time is running out for me BECAUSE I'm Forty”. It was tougher than I can express with words and it was a horrible DARK place to be.

    God reminded me, in the midst of the pain, that MY love doesn't come FROM Man alone (humans), That MY love comes first and foremost from HIM. He gently reminded me that I had it all “backwards”…not in a condescending way but in such a way that I KNEW what I NEEDED to do to get up out of the muck and the mire. I needed to Pray and ask God to help me see myself the way HE sees me!

    My view of myself was marred and stereo-typed to death by THIS WORlD! … See More
    To give a few examples…”The American Dream” (you know, “the 2.5 children and the white picket fence”? ) The “women's health” magazines with ALL the airbrushed photos of women that we “wish” we could look like? You know what I'm talking about…AND that's when I was reminded that it was DURING ALL those years of “loneliness, depression and hopelessness..” That I FINALLY discovered WHO I REALLY AM!!! NOT what the world or MAN or the media says I am…BUT the REAL ME that god created me to be!!!

    Yes! Like you? I have A WHOLE LOT OF LOVE that I so desperately wanted to GIVE and drove myself “CRAZY” trying to figure out WHY I “wasn't allowed to”!!

    That's when God made it clear to me…I was completely incapable of giving the FULLNESS of that love, UNTIL I FIRST learned to love me!

    I was SO defeated at first!! I thought “How the heck am I ever going to learn to love ME when I can't even stand to look at myself in the mirror”!!! The thought of it made me want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head and hide from having to FACE ME! And, so I did. It was from under those covers that God spoke, He pointed out ALL of the positive things about ME that I had forgotten or never really knew. He had me pull the covers off of my head, get a pen and notebook, and literally list ALL of those positive things and when I was done, He had me list ALL of the negative things that I HAD about myself.

    The outcome was life changing!! He had me “compare” the two lists (which were compiled over many days if not weeks)and without even realizing it, there were PAGES of positive and an 1/8 of a page of negative!!!!

    ALL of those horrible things that I beat myself up over were REALLY NOT FROM ME!!!

    SO..the beginning of the healing on the inside, began.

    Then…THE OUTSIDE. My heart sank. I still hated myself on the outside and my mind was set, there was NOTHING that could make me Like that!

    SO, back under the covers I went. And God met me there again!

    THIS time He pointed out ALL the things that I'm TRULY passionate about (besides wanting a relationship!) He started showing me all of those things way down deep in my heart that I get excited about, that REALLY make me “tick”.

    And? That's when I realized that I hadn't done ANY of these things in YEARS and frankly I'd forgotten most of them!

    That's when He pointed out that “THAT'S WHO I AM”!!! And the reason I'd LOST or never discovered WHO I am was because MY IDENTITY, THE REAL ME, was wrapped up in the world, family, the media perceptions,”BEING” lonely and Unloved, Always TRYING to be somebody I'm not and EVERYTHING to everyone ALL the time!

    In the midst of trying to MAKE my self “lovable” to everyone else…I lost me! I didn't love myself because I didn't KNOW who I was!

    I discovered how to LOVE ME and EMBRACE ME through the GIFTS THAT GOD GAVE TO ME!!

    When I actively pursued these gifts and kept at it, the fog lifted slowly a little more each day. It was just enough of a “taste” of freedom from the chains that bound me to make me WANT more!

    Yes, it was hard work to persevere, but God wouldn't let me give up! He NEVER LEFT ME and for the first time in my life, I DIDN'T have to “fix it on my own” or TRY to come up with some “brilliant” plan or solution. What a relief!! The best part was that discovering me was actually FUN!! Who knew??!!

    The ONLY leap of FAITH that I had to muster in ALL of this was “ASK GOD TO PLEASE HELP ME TO LEARN TO LOVE MYSELF”.

    It hasn't been an over night journey, and I've fallen back many times but God never LET'S me stay there. Thank God!! Because the journey to discovering ME has been MORE than worth it!

    As long as I stick with who I am and Not who everyone else wants me to be, HE continues to Bless me in ways beyond my wildest dreams!

    In Faith, Hope and Love,


    “Realize that YOU are greater than you've ever considered yourself to be.”

    Norman Vincent Peale”

  • Beverly

    Hold your head up!! I can relate to your story in many ways. The story of my love life is few and far (far) between. But, I try not to define myself by what I do not have. I believe that's what's for you is for you and if and when you are ready to have someone in your life, it will happen. In the meantime, work on being the best you possible. Learn to love and appreciate yourself.

  • Mary

    You have given all your power over to this “thing” and it is time for you to take it back. Don't waste another day being un-happy. Happiness is a choice. It is not dependent on your circumstance. So you don't have a man. Lots of us do not. Your man treated you badly. We have all experienced that too. I am not making light of your situation. I want you to know that your experiences are not unique. These things happen. You take it, you digest and you learn and grow from it. Do not let this define you.

    You say you are not “hideous”, so you are probably gorgeous. You say you were a nerd, so you have probably done well for yourself. Free yourself from that veil of shame and self-deprecation. Make the decision that your next 40 years will be your best yet. Talk to a professional who can help you work through these hardships, find activities where there are singles in your community and join in, make the best of what you've got and don't give up.
    You are a woman, phenomenally.

  • There are so many great comments here, I'm not sure what else I can add, except that the old adage is true – that you are most likely to meet 'the one' when you least expect it. Forget the dating sites – they don't sound like the right thing for you. Meeting men in bars is often only good for one night stands. Instead get out there and do the things you love, be it travel, sport, craft – whatever. Join a group of like-minded people and focus instead on your passion for whatever the activity may be. Not only will you feel fulfilled in enjoying your hobby, but if you let your enthusiasm show through, then who knows who may be watching?

    Body language is so important in the rules of attraction. If you hold yourself as someone who is defeated by life (or love), people pick up on it. Hold yourself proud and tall and see the difference in how people interact with you. It doesn't mean you have to pretend to be someone else, just be the best that you can be. The self-love that the other readers suggest is vital. Take time to pamper and take care of yourself and enjoy the feeling of feeling good about yourself.

    Could you maybe channel some of the love you have to give into a charity that helps others? Adoption even? Even getting a pet from a rescue home could help – both you and the animal, and give you a channel for some of that affection you have to give. You'd be amazed how many dog-walkers and pet owners end up hooking up!

    Only you know the right strategy to take, but the first step is forgetting about doing 'xyz' in order to meet a man. Do whatever it is you need to do to feel good about yourself, and chances are, as soon as you forget about meeting guys (because you're too busy enjoying life for yourself), you won't be able to move for men!

  • womenatforty

    Thanks everyone for sharing your wisdom with our commenter. Whether we hear from her again or not, something tells me she'll be reading these comments and I'm hoping that she'll take even a little bit of what each of you said to heart. Thanks WAF Community!

  • Tamika

    Rachel, I couldn't agree more! I was always the girl without a boyfriend, because I didn't believe I was pretty or special enough to have one. Once I began to love myself, believe that I am truly special and know that relationships enhance our lives (not fulfill them), God blessed me with a truly wonderful man. The commenter may want to seek a therapist/life coach to help her emerge from her cocoon. Whether or not she realizes it, she's holding herself back from all that life has in store. If she went to a car lot and the salesman said “this car is horrible and perfectly incapable of functioning properly”, she'd run in the other direction. Much like the hypothetical car salesman, 'too ashamed' needs a lot more training. I just hope she gets it.

  • Kalin

    I love these responses. I would also add reading books that help you get in touch with your best self. A book I love and re-read every year is “Until Today” by Iyanla Vanzant. I think it will give you better insight into your feelings and help build your self esteem. Know that all of these comments are sent with love. Take what works for you.

  • I've been meaning to respond to this post for a couple of days now and finally arrived at a place where my heart and mind were ready to collaborate and communicate.

    I read this post quite a few times and I agree with so many of the encouraging words shared by previous commenters.

    Let me start by saying that though we've never met or spoken to one another, I can say without a shadow of doubt that the five paragraphs you wrote told me the following 10 great things about you:

    1. You are a thinker and a learner. You characterize this with words like “nerd” (one of my favorite personal descriptors), but you have a thirst for learning. That is the sure path towards growth.

    2. You write well and have great communication skills. Your post was very clearly written and communicated so much emotion. That's not an easy thing to do.

    3. You have and are willing to face your fears. You've moved at least twice. In addition to often being unpleasant, moving (especially to new cities) can be scary (unfamiliar setting, lack of a support system/social network, new climate, etc). You've faced this fear more than once and that shows resolve.

    4. You have and are willing to take an honest look at yourself. Your description of your thoughts and feelings just oozes with honesty. That honesty can be an awesome force in peeling away the beliefs you hold that aren't true and don't serve you. You just have to wield it.

    5. You want to give the love you have inside. Your search for romantic love doesn't come across as selfish . . . you want to love. That's what it means to be human and I can feel your desire to fulfill this part of your destiny.

    6. You are very persistent. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to convince yourself that you're not the magnificent being that you are.

    7. You believe that there is something larger than you in this universe. This spiritual outlook on your existence evidences your humility and ability to empathize with the journey we are all on.

    8. You are unique. There is no one else on the entire planet that can be a better you than you. You've got exclusive franchise rights and that uniqueness is a gift to the world.

    9. You have great strength. Despite all of the negative things you've experienced, you're still standing . . . you're still here. That strength never leaves you. It's a part of who you are.

    10. You are not alone. Whether you're tapping into collective consciousness or interacting with people on sites like this, you're not alone.

    I am quite certain that I've not even begun to scratch the surface of the greatness that is you. I'm in no way dismissing the negative experiences you've described, I'm just choosing to see you as separate from those experiences. When I make that choice, there's so much greatness in plain sight.

    In previous comments, both Jo & Lucinda suggested tapping into your passions and I couldn't agree more with this sound advice. So far (based on what you wrote) you have not lived a life based on your passions. I think this is something many of us have experienced at some point in our lives for a variety of reasons. Some just haven't ever asked themselves or been asked “What are you passionate about?” Others may have been searching for the answers for a while and not come up with anything definitive.

    Whatever the reason may be I'd like to offer a book that helped me called The Passion Test, by Chris & Janet Attwood. Chris & Janet discuss why passion is such an important part of life and they take you through their process of identifying, evaluating and prioritizing your passions. Our passions are as dynamic as we are. Just as the “now” version of me is a lot different than the twenty year old version was, our passions often change or at the very least, change in priority as our life progresses. This marvelous tool can serve you for years to come.

    You offered many labels for yourself in this post. My comment has offered a few additional ones for you to consider. Here's my last one. Love is who we are . . . it's who you are too.

    “Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward with the life that God intended for you.”
    Og Mandino
    1923-1996, Author and Speaker

  • anonymous

    My story is very similar to this writer's. I just turned 40, and I too have never experienced a truly loving relationship with a man. I struggled a lot with low self-esteem and depression when I was in my 20s. I have had several rounds of therapy over the years, and I truly am happy with who I am now — except for the lack of a relationship in my life. I have always wanted a loving relationship with a partner –someone with whom I can share emotional and physical affection, dreams, intimate thoughts, the mundane daily events, and the experience of raising children. While I am introverted, I have made effort to mix in singles groups, trying out new and more social activities, and I have joined online personals groups — all to no avail. The effort can be exhausting. I work as a teacher and am surrounded by families and happily married co-workers every day. I love my work, I have some dear friends, and I have had the fortune to live close by my young niece and nephew, but I am frequently sad about my lonely state. I think of adopting on my own, but I am not well-off financially. It is intimidating to go it alone.

  • womenatforty

    Thanks for sharing. If you've been reading WAF for a while, you'll know that I'm also single – so I know all too well that at times in a society of couples – being the lone woman out can feel very lonely at times. It's interesting that you posted this today because this week we're going to be talking about the movie “The Back-up Plan” and how it addresses topics like being single, unmarried and without children and wanting all those things.

    I've learned over the last several years to shift my thinking on the value of various relationships in my life. I try not to hold one type of relationship or love (except my relationship with God) in any higher esteem than any other. Societal pressure can be heavy and constant messages saying that we must be coupled up or we must be a wife or mom to be most valued in society can wear on us. Whether we're single or married, moms or not, working outside or within the home, our value doesn't lie with what we do, but with who we are. It's an old message, but one we often forget – so let's keep reminding each other that we're valuable and so is all the love we give and receive.

  • Leslie H.

    You sound like an incredible person. And very brave. I believe that when you desire something so much, it's going to happen. It's like when Oprah said she wanted to be in the movie The Color Purple. She was obsessed about the book. Then things started happening, doors started opening, things started happening out of the blue. She auditioned for the movie. She started to get impatient when she hadn't heard a call, so she called to find out how she did – did they want her for the role? She was told that a lot of other people, “top” actresses were auditioning for it, who was she? So she pretty much gave up in her mind. She thought, that's it then, how can I compete with them? Why would they choose me over them? So she went to a “fat farm” as she called it (I don't really like that term, but anyway…) to try to get in shape because for the role she needed to keep her weight up, but she was pretty much resigned in her mind that it must not be meant to be, so she went there to lose the weight. Then, as she's running around the track at the “farm” she begins to think – why did all of these doors open, why did I get as far as an audition and then the final door seems to be locked? What was the point of it all? So she started to think, well, God (or the Universe whatever term you'd like to use if you believe in a Higher Power), it looks like you don't want me to be in this movie, what is it you want me to do? How do you want me to “serve”? And she started to sing “I Surrender All” and then someone came running across the track and told her she had a phone call. It was Steven Spielberg, the director telling her she got the part.

    Please don't give up! And please try not to be so down on yourself regarding your looks and age. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Please don't stop believing, you deserve everything that everyone else has! You maybe just took the long road while others appear to have taken a short cut. Who knows why, maybe it's because you're meant to meet that special someone on that long road whereas they wouldn't have been on the shortcut road.

    Please try not to be so down on yourself. I know it's hard when society seems to have such a narrow view on so many things. But it doesn't make sense. Everyone deserves love, I believe that's why we're here, to love and to be able to give love. How beautiful it was how you put that. That your heart almost aches not being able to GIVE love. That's awesome, that shows how truly beautiful you really are.

    Wishing you all the best!

  • womenatforty

    Thanks for sharing these encouraging words with the posts' author! My hope is that she reads it and is inspired but what you've said.

  • SingleForever

    I so relate to this woman. I’m 44 and have never been in love. My background is I’m East Indian in ethnicity but was born and raised here. My parents were one of the first immigrants and I was raised in their time warp of eventually having an arranged marriage. I didn’t date growing up and didn’t learn any skills in this area. When I was 21 and graduated from college they arranged a marriage for me with someone who was unfortunately in the end abusive first emotionally then physically. (Actually this is unusual in our community and although I do not espouse arranged marriage, most people I know including family members have great marriages and families.) I left him when I was 23 and although I had great support from family and friends I felt very broken and like an outcast that didn’t fit into my cultural community. I was very depressed and often thought of suicide back then. As I didn’t want to hurt people who cared about me I just dove into my work and became very successful professionally. I was pretty miserable until my mid to late 30’s. I gained about 60 lbs during this time and lost any self confidence in my appearance. Although I’m told by many people I’m attractive I feel so unattractive often. I’m better now. I live healthy and take care of myself. This is hard to explain but I know I’m attractive but I don’t feel it. The thought that goes through my mind is no one has ever found me attractive enough to love me so I must not be. I have no dating skills and realize after the fact that there were guys that were interested but I didn’t recognize it and didn’t show them interest. My friends and coworkers joke that I am the full package but have zero dating skills. Between my age, ethnicity, and living in the bible belt it’s rare I meet anyone who is interested me in a serious way. When I do meet someone even though I downplay my work there are many guys who say in the second line that I must make more than them and disappear.
    So where does that leave me. In recent years as I’ve remained alone I’ve come to hate the holidays. I travel somewhere alone over Thanksgiving and sometimes over Christmas. I always wanted a large family, and loved the holidays and now dread it as I’m my most lonely then. I hate mother’s day and feel like an incredible failure that day. I hate Saturday mornings which would be great casual family time. I have a tough time at weddings and at events where I see friends and family with families and kids almost grown. I have an active social life and great girlfriends, but I do want more. I am left with the thought that there is something fundamentally wrong with me as a person as I must be unlovable. I put on a great gameface but few know how much sadness is at my core. If I let someone know I get left with the sense they feel sorry for me and I hate that. I was always ok with being single until the past few years figuring at some point my time will come. I’m tired of trying (which I have, everyone assumes you haven’t when you’re alone), I’m tired of waiting. I often want to scream at the top of my lungs when people compain about a spouse or boyfriend about trivial things. I’m tired of NEVER once having a man love me. I’m tired of feeling like I’m on the outside looking in.

  • SingleForever

    Oh and for the people who say you have to love yourself first. I have done that. I do like myself. There’s just a big difference between being single now and being someone who has NEVER been in love. It wears you down.

  • Pinkfloyd181

    My problem isn’t so much with being a 28 year old female virgin. I have no problems with that. I don’t believe in sleeping around and I believe in one man and one woman, that’s it.
    My problem is mostly the fact that I’ve been single for the last seven years and I hate it! Before that I never dated much, either. Had one boyfriend in high school for three months and that was it. Was single for a couple of years, met a guy while in college, dated for awhile, then broke up. He’s now married and I’m still single.
    I hate that old cliche of “You always find love when you’re not looking for it.” Yeah, I always manage to find it when I’m not looking for it, but it usually always happens that the guy I find is one of three things: Gay, taken, or straight but uninterested. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve found someone I really like, finally muster up the nerves to ask him out on a date, then find out he already has a girlfriend. In one case I met the girlfriend when I went to ask the guy out!
    There’s been a few times when I’ve completely opened up my heart to a few guys and told them just exactly how I felt about them, only to find out that I’m thought of as “just a friend”. That’s the worst feeling in the world!
    I really don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m intelligent, I have a job and I’m a hard worker, I like to have fun and make people laugh and do nice things for others. Despite what you may be thinking while reading this, I’m a relatively happy person. I’m slightly overweight, but working on that as we speak. (I’m already down 12 lbs.) I care deeply for others and would never do anything to intentionally hurt anyone. I’m the kind of person that would give you the shirt off of my back if I knew you needed one and let you keep it. I’m not too terribly shy; I love to talk and get to know other people. I tend to get a little shy when I’m around a guy I’m interested in and sometimes get a little timid and shy and have a hard time making eye contact at first, but once I get to where I can feel totally comfortable around them I’m OK. I’ve been told that I’m cute and would make a good girlfriend, so why do I have such a hard time with dating?
    Most of my problem is that I’m just lonely. I only have one really close friend, and even though we work together I don’t get to see her much outside of work, since she herself is married and has two kids of her own. I have other friends, but we’re not that close. I know what you’re going to say: “Go out and do some charity or community work. Volunteer at different places and join clubs where you can meet different people.” Well, I do all of that. I love doing that kind of stuff. I’ve made friends with all sorts of people, but that’s about it. I just wish I could find someone else who’s just as lonely as me so I wouldn’t have to feel so alone anymore. When I’m not busy doing something to help someone else, I spend most of my time by myself with the exception of being with my family, and even that sometimes gets depressing because I have nieces who are teenagers that have better luck at getting dates and even keeping steady boyfriends than I do, and that makes me jealous. There have been many nights when I’ve cried myself to sleep wishing that I just wasn’t single anymore, that I had someone lying next to me in my bed that actually wanted to be there with me.
    I have pretty much abandoned all hope and come to terms with the fact that I may very well be single for the rest of my life.

  • Anonymous

    Pink – thanks for your honest thoughts. I do want to say that there is nothing “wrong” with you just because you are single. I can relate to your lying awake at night wishing someone was there with you. I think most single women who want companionship have felt this way at one point or another. I also get a little tired of hearing the “it happens when you’re not looking” speech. But here’s the thing, there’s a lot of truth in that statement. When you get busy, getting busy with your life, other things begin to take precedence and soon being single becomes just where you happen to be in your life and not your whole life. It’s also true that when we’re desperate, people – men – can sense that desperation and one of two things happen. You either end up with a man who, sensing that desperation, takes advantage of it and uses you, or you end up repelling great guys who don’t want anything to do with a desperate woman.

    I know you’ve heard all kinds of advice and none of it can really reach through and be with you when you’re feeling your loneliest, so I won’t pretend that it’s easy. I would say though that you should never abandon hope. I know/have heard of women finding love for the first time in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Don’t ever give up hope if this is something that you really want.

  • Maryellen

    I am a 48 yr old female, actually have 2 kids, but still, to this day never been on a real date. I seem to attract the “bad boys” and never really care in the end. I am a semi attractive woman, great sense of humor, and good Mom, but deeply want the closeness of someone who cares. It now bothers me that I have not been out on a real date, never a Valentine for me, never a gift just for nothing. Is there really someone out there for everyone? I wonder!

  • Melanie1230

    I stumbled upon this a couple of hours ago and as I began reading the article and comments, the tears began flowing. I had to get up and leave the office before anyone saw I was about to fall apart. I wondered how could someone have taken, almost verbatim, everything I had been shutting up and holding inside for the last few weeks, and written them down as if I had been actually saying the words out loud. (Which I would never do.) I say weeks because I had conviced myself, or so I thought, that I was happy with my life. I was happy with the way I looked, happy with it just being me and my dog, my parents love me, my immediate family loves me, I have a good job and that is enough. Yet all it took was one night, one awful alcohol hazed night, to bring all of it back to the surface. All of the bad decisions from the past, all of the self loathing and digust to rise to the surface. Finally having to admit to myself that, because of all of this, I don’t feel worthy of the love of a good man and no matter how much I try, no matter what I do, I will never, ever be the girl who falls in love. I will always be alone. So when you add turning 40 in 7 days into the mix, well, here I am. Earlier this week, I took down my all Christmas decorations because I couldn’t stand looking at them any longer. I dread Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, birthday, and New Years. I just want it to be over. I just want to go to bed and wake up next year and have it all be over with. And no matter who says it, “maybe you were meant to be single” or “you have to love yourself first” or “when you least expect it” or “you have to cheer up, it’s Christmas!” does not make it better. It is all saying the same thing…..that no matter what I do, it’s never going to happen. So, I guess it’s back to packing it all up and hiding it deep inside so that I won’t be bringing all the “happily ever after” people down during the holidays. I think next year, I’ll take a 2 week vacation and skip it altogether.

  • No

    I am in the same situation only I have never had sex. No one has ever asked me out or wanted me and that is just the way it will always be. I have learned to live with it and so will you.

    I am done blaming myself. It doesn’t matter how I act or behave or if I am nice of mean I am just not meant to be.

    I have always wondered why I am on this planet but I have come to the conclusion that I am just someone God has forgotten. I get the feeling the world is made up of have and have nots and someone in between and I am just someone the world doesn’t care about.

    I often think God put me on this earth as a joke. My purpose is for Gods amusement and I am being 100% truthful. Life sucks. I will live out my time of living hell alone, mis-treated and ignored and that is something I just have to deal with.

    I would kill myself but I don’t see the point. If I tried I would end up brain dead or crippled and the misery would just be added.

    I am sure I will be living until I am 100 for Gods amusement . Good bye

  • Linda

    I turned 40 this year. It was a major bummer because when you have milestone birthdays, you tend to take stock in where you are in your life. All I can focus on is how I’m still alone for another birthday. I’m pretty outgoing in certain social situations, but very shy when meeting new people. Coupled with depression and the fact that people have rejected me all my life, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. I have accepted the fact that I won’t find anyone. Every time I try (join a single’s group at church, take a class)it never works out. I just sit there by myself. It’s funny because not one of my friends or family members ever knew any guys to set me up with. But somehow they knew plenty of girls to set my brothers up with. I found that interesting. It seemed to send the message to me that my family and friends think I’m a loser. As I’ve gotten older, I think my original assumptions are true. I remember vividly in my childhood and in my teens being told to my face by people that I was ugly. I didn’t’ think I was that bad looking in school. I wasn’t thin, but I certainly wasn’t obese either. The loneliness is the worst. I HATE holidays and weddings and other family gatherings where all the couples get together–I’m the only one in my family who isn’t married or in a relationship. I hear my mom making excuses for me when someone is rude enough to ask why I’m still single. It just makes me feel so w********. I don’t have to be married–I’ve given up on that fantasy. But it would be nice to have someone in my corner who thinks I’m special and interesting. It also would be nice to not be the “odd” woman at family gatherings. It would also be nice to have someone to go places with. I don’t think that’s asking too much–is it?

  • editor

    Thanks for your comments Linda. You said a lot in your response. For one I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have someone in your corner who thinks you’re special and interesting at all. I think many, if not all, single women and men, even the happiest, most content, go through periods of loneliness and longing, wondering in a coupled-up society, why they are always alone.

    I would love to tell you that there is someone for everyone and that the perfect guy is out there for you and me, and every other single woman out their who wants and deserves a great guy. I just don’t think that in this day and age that it’s necessarily true. It’s a fascinating topic and one that I’m working on covering in a future post. So, keep an eye out for it. In the meantime if love is really what you seek, I wouldn’t give up hope if I were you. Gloria Steinem married for the first time at 66. I’m not saying you’ll have to wait until then meet someone you love and who loves you back, but I’m certain if it takes that long, he’ll well be worth the wait!

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  • Unknown Over The Hill Female

    I’ll be 40 in May and I’m sure I’ll never find anyone. I’m not the hot young 25 year old woman I used to be. I’m 39 and over the hill and it’s not like I have my pick of men or it’s not like they’re knocking down my door so I have to take what I can get because at my age I can’t afford to be picky.

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  • hopeless

    I know exactly how you feel, I am 38 and I have never been in love.  I am not ugly and I am not the Hollywood looking type of woman either. 
    I am so depressed about this issue.  I think what you said has hit home to me.  Yes, i was once engaged to a guy who was mentally and verbally abusive.  I didn’t love him at all for that very reason.
    Oh my gosh everything you said about how you feel and the way you question God is like me as well.  I just can’t seem to understand why I was left out when “true love’s” were passed out.  Also the line I get from many people  “oh you’re still young, you’ll find someone someday” really gets me down even more, I feel as time goes on it is not going to happen to me. 
    If God wanted me to stay single, then He should have never ever created the emotion in me to want to fall in love.

  • Lonely and Loveless

    I understand where everyone is coming from. I just turned 48 and have essentiallyn always been alone. I did marry when I was close to 30, out of fear that I would not get the opportunity again.  I had strings of short, mostly physical relationships in my 20s but nothing emotional. I ended up in a loveless, sexless marriage with emotional and verbal abuse.  I worked through depression and anxiety enough to leave and am now divorced. I’m attractive, have a sense of humor, am very comfortable in my skin. I have lots of friends and am always meeting people. But, at the end of the day, it is still painful and lonely to know you have never been loved. People are quick with platitudes like you will meet someone when you aren’t looking or it is not important to ever have love. But, love is a human need. 

  • anon

    My heart breaks that we can focus so much hatred inward

  • Czayas1224

     i am 40 years old. I have never been married or engage to a man. I had a son when i was 27 years old but his father did not want me instead he married someone else. I have giving up on love. But a year ago i met a guy he is 29 years old. He has been married and now he is divorced and he has three kids. I am in love with him and i know that he is interested in me. Sometimes i feel so stupid for being in love with a guy that is younger than me and is having a hard time accepting that his marriage is over. But he puts a huge smile on my face and he brings out my kind side. I owe him my life because he makes me feel alive and beautiful. Nobody has ever manage to make me feel that way. Even if nothing happens between us the fact that he made me feel that way counts for a lot. The best part is that i tell him all the time how he makes me feel and he does not run away. Do not give up i know that it hurts but do not give up.

  • Czayas1224

     i am 40 years old. I have never been married or engage to a man. I had a son when i was 27 years old but his father did not want me instead he married someone else. I have giving up on love. But a year ago i met a guy he is 29 years old. He has been married and now he is divorced and he has three kids. I am in love with him and i know that he is interested in me. Sometimes i feel so stupid for being in love with a guy that is younger than me and is having a hard time accepting that his marriage is over. But he puts a huge smile on my face and he brings out my kind side. I owe him my life because he makes me feel alive and beautiful. Nobody has ever manage to make me feel that way. Even if nothing happens between us the fact that he made me feel that way counts for a lot. The best part is that i tell him all the time how he makes me feel and he does not run away. Do not give up i know that it hurts but do not give up.

  • lonelyforlife

    I couldn’t feel more connected with this site! I’m 35 years old and I’m still single and I’ve been single  all my life. Im actually quite cute, I work out all the time, take care of myself and look young for my age. So I don’t think any of us women on here are not getting men based on looks. Women on here state that it’s because their looks? Please! I see many, many women in public who aren’t physically attractive but they are married or have boyfriends. Maybe their personalities attracted the men. There is someone for everyone, (just not me, lol). I’ve never been on a date or had a man approach me, so I don’t know how they will ever get to know my personality. When I’m in public, I keep to myself, too shy to smile or look a man’s way, in fear he’ll reject me. Besides, isn’t it the man’s job to approach women? Everyone told me when I finish nursing school I’ll find someone, or when I turn this age or that age, or go here or go there, or join this dating site, or blah, blah, blah. It isn’t happening and I have to accept it. Meanwhile, I get to see couples kissing everywhere and holding hands. On Valentine’s Day I’ll be in bed all day, lol! I’ll never know what’s it’s like to have a guy look at me and tell me he loves me. Geez, I only want 1 man! I know girls that have been with over 100 men and I couldn’t go out to a bar and get 1 man, literally. If I threw myself at a guy, flirted, bought his drinks, and even offered him money he’d still run! I guess that’s what God wants for us. I know when I’m 50 years old I’ll have a bunch of cats. Look on the bright side, we won’t have to cook and clean for some old man!

  • Joe

    I am sorry but I just find it hard to believe that women can not find someone in their lives. men are always asking women out and trying to get to know them no matter what they look like. Men are the ones who end up alone and unloved. There are young men who have no one. This is common. A man can’t go out to a club and just meet someone. Unless he is rich he has no chance. I know because I have been ignored by woman pretty much all my life. If you are alone atleast you had a chance to talk to a man once. As opposed to being judged and rejected without a chance.  I am treated as a non-person. That is the worst kind of hurt in the world.

  • Leslie

    i can relate..now i have a good job, great friends, and was somewhat of a late bloomer and do date (or have friends with benefits) but thats not the same as being in love or even in a LTR, i’m 48 and have not had either.  Crushes and infatuations, yes, love, no.  But i’ve not given up hope.  I’m far from perfect and sometimes you have to take a look at yourself and work on you for a while.  But also have fun, good friends and a well rounded life.  I am still hopeful that love will happen and sometimes it bugs me to no end.  good luck all

  • Honey

    I am a young looking attractive 53 year old. I have been divorced since I was 28, and have only had 3 unsuccessful reationships since then, the last one ending when I was 40.  I make an excellent salary, and travel a lot, alone.  When men are interested I do not encourage them.  Why?  Because I have severe self esteem issues and am afraid to have anyone touch my face.  I have excess hair on my chin, and I do a good job of removing it, and covering up the marks with makeup, but it has left me with extreme insecurity about my looks.  I am sooo lonely sometimes I feel like no one wants me.  The minute a remark was made about my chin I would die from embarrassment.  So my problem is different, but the end result is the same.  Extreme lonliness and isolation.  I have not coped with this well, going in and out of depression periods.  To make it worse, I relocated to another state nd don’t have any friends after 5 years. I have tried, but no one wants to be my friend.  I am outgoing and socialable too, but no one invites me anywhere.

  • Degoat1

    same here !

  • Rosehawk72

    Andy Rooney once published a piece on women over 40. My favorite part of it reads:

    A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she
    is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of
    forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.Via http://www.divinecaroline.com/22323/34969-andy-rooney-forty#ixzz1gXbhERIiI think this is so important to remember. The crux is, before we can love anyone or allow anyone to love us, we need to love ourselves. I’m facing 40 this year. I just had a 12 year relationship end due to infidelity on his part. I’m definitely not Hollywood attractive, in fact I’m what is referred to in dating sites as a BBW. It would have been easy for me with all the negative stuff that has happened the last quarter of this year, it would have been easy for me to fall back into that rut of self-hatred. I’m not pretty, thin, rich enough to be happy. Instead, I made the choice to change the voice in my head. I’m tired of hearing it tell me how much I suck. It’s a work in progress, but I have noticed that the better I feel about me, the more attention I am getting from the opposite sex. At the end of the day, it’s so much less physical appearance then it is attitude. The best looking person with a bad self image will never get the attention that the less attractive person with a great attitude will.

  • Anonymous

    So funny that you mention Rooney’s piece – I recently reposted it on Women at Forty’s website. It’s a wonderful piece. Kudos to you acknowledging that you (like all of us) are a work in progress, and even higher praise for changing the voice in your head. It’s the one that speaks the loudest and stays with us the longest and it’s the most powerful voice in our lives.

  • men over 50

    i am a 54 year old male , i have never been in a relationship  with the exception i was briefly married when i was 30 and  had 2 chhildren from that marriage , i only married as i felt i wanted a family and a wife and to fit in the normal society it did not last long
    i have always been a loner, i dont know why i am like this i guess it was not meant to be but as i get older it does not bother me that much and i have acceptted that’s how i am  

  • Grief

    Yes, I feel exactly the same. Except that I have had sex – but only with one man and it was painful and only a few times.

    I used to have a strong faith, but lately (I’m 40 now) I have found my faith totally disappearing. You can only believe God’s promises for a better future so many times. After a while it becomes clear that the whole thing (life) is a sick joke and God is some kind of sadist who enjoys promising better things for the future but then never delivers on them.

    I can feel Him laughing at me, laughing at the way I have continued to believe that all of this suffering “meant” something, all this nonsense about life lessons I am supposed to be learning etc etc.

    No, you are right. The world is made up of have and have nots and sadly I am a have not.

  • Love yourself

    The capacity for love is different in all of us.  Some of us have a huge capacity that we feel like we are unable to share with another.  The narrow, societal views of devoting oneself to another, loving him/her, and being an inseparable unit may not be realistic for all of us.  There are other ways in which to share your immense capacity for love with the world.  Think of all the love you want to give another; what if you were to devote this to loving yourself?  I’m 29 years old, and I have devoted myself completely to others in the past, and have been hurt very badly.  I find peace now in learning to love myself, and take all of the love I put out into the world in hopes of someone accepting it, and devote it to finding happiness within.  For me, I have found the need to be in love with someone else is a hope someone else can fill the void within.  Be honest with yourself about what it is you really want from love, and give it to yourself first, before you try to give or get it from someone else.  That’s my 2 cents 🙂

  • Mattp09

    Do recall that some of us (yes I’m including myself in this) are called to the same emotional love and intimacy with our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Those of us brought up as Catholics will recall that our purpose in life is to “know, love, and serve God and be with Him in eternity.”  I’m also the type of person that has never been able to find someone – despite so many attempts.  I finally sat down and prayed and realized that perhaps, just maybe, our Lord meant for me to share my love fully with Him and not with someone on earth.  I find consolation in this knowing that like a monk or a nun, I in my own walk of life am doing the will of God and now have peace knowing that I’m doing that which I was created and made to do.

  • isaiah

    if you are turning 40 and you don’t see a man by your side, it is because you are too choosy. you need to tell someone. you need to wake him up. a man will come to you if you are available. somehow tell him that you need to live with him. and you will be happy with your find. if your aunt tells you there is a man someone for you and you insist that you can find by yourself, you are not wise. try family and public gatherings and you will see a man you want. go tell him in his face. ask if he is taken, you may be lucky to walk home together, never to separate. try men of colour. love is love do not tie it on race. go east, west south , north and there you are. avoid beer and find a man outside the bottle. i can try to connect you at that age, but it needs patience and time. sms your interest to 254724514637, if you are very serious. you should be free from hiv-infection. is not worth seeking a man for a long time and you find that he dies tomorrow. if you call, try to quote how you got the number. God bless you all out there.24/1/2012. isaiah.

  • Ryan33bttm

    I am a 36-year-old male and I have never been in anything remotely like a relationship. Honestly, I’ve never even had sex! I have wondered occasionally what it feels like to be loved by someone, but I reached the conclusion awhile back that I have never been interested enough in having a relationship to seek one out. I don’t necessarily recommend my “proudly celibate” lifestyle as an optimal choice, but logic suggests that if it’s the right choice for me, then there must be other people out there who fall into the same category. Forcing a romantic attachment to another human being seems to be the trap that most people fall into, and then they wonder why their relationships fail. I truly believe that these things happen largely by themselves if they are meant to happen at all. If someone ever expressed a romantic interest in me, I would (very politely) rebuff the person because I know that it’s not what I want.

  • Jan

    I read this article and just couldn’t stop crying. Im 38 and I’ve never been in love. I’ve always been the one to say never give up on love. I’ve now given up. I work out, look like I’m in my 20s, but everyday I feel like there is a knife in my heart.

  • Steve

    Yes, it is as bad as it reads. I’m 49 and I have never been in love or been married. I have no children. My very elderly mother is heartbroken because she has no grandchildren. I go to the weddings of friends and I see their happiness and never quite understand what they are experiencing. It leaves me feeling very sad. You are brought up to believe that certain things will happen and you just need to be patient and positive. And then one day you realise that you have been misled and that the world is made of a whole series of white lies. And it cuts you to the core. The only thing that sometimes keeps me same is that I sometimes come across young people with terminal illnesses, as part of my work, and I know they would much rather be me. And I can’t help agreeing with them. But cold comfort is not real comfort.

  • Guest

    I’ll start by admitting that I am just 27 years old.  However, I have literally never experienced someone being attracted to me.  Not even once.  So I kind of know how this must feel, and I believe I will be in the same position when I am 40.
    I too am not hideously ugly, but I’m not particularly attractive either.  I have long, wavy brown hair and blue eyes.  I’m symmetrical.  However, my “sin” is that I’m a size 14 (at 5’6″) and that’s simply too large for any man to find appealing (this has absolutely been my life-long experience).  And I’ve worked HARD to get down to a 14; I used to wear a size 24.  But I will always be too large to be “acceptable” and will forever be perceived as “lazy” regarless of how hard I have to work to keep myself at a curvy 14.  I’m known amongst my friends for dressing well, and I carry myself with pride in my form, and I have developed self-confidence, but I am discovering that I will never ever be attractive enough for a good man to want me, because I literally would never be able to get under a size 10.  My hip bones themselves wouldn’t fit in a size 8.Somehow our culture has made the expectation of absolute physical perfection acceptable.  What I do know is that I have MANY female friends who are experiencing the same thing we are experiencing, and they are absolutely gorgeous.  But men have come to require absolute perfection.  I know it sounds like a cop-out, but it’s playing out before our eyes.  Why do I know gorgeous, talented, intelligent, tan, blonde, fit women who can’t find a date to save their lives?  How can this be?!I’ve asked so many men out, and have never once been asked out.  I have even experienced men being actually offended that I would think they might be attracted to me.  I’m “putting myself out there.”  I’m doing everything I can possibly do to, but the reality seems to be that I am just not meant for a relationship.  I am intelligent (a graduate student), caring, and I am indeed humble.  And I can ABSOLUTELY affirm that the worst part is never getting the chance to give love away; it isn’t as much about being loved.I think all we can do is just really love what we have.  We can have friendships, we can have fulfilling careers, we can make a HUGE impact in the world.  We can relieve suffering, we can bring freedom to others.  I hold on to this quote from one of my favorite (and single) women:“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.” ― Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place

  • Sierramist

    I feel your pain so much!!! i can KIND of relate to some of what you say – not all but some.  🙁
    i have to say that if this is something you want so much you WILL find it – you WILL find love!!!  you may feel old but 40 is not old!!!! 70 or 80 is old not 40!!!! seriously. 🙂  you still have a lot of time to find that right man and you will find him – he is out there!  you sound like a warm wonderful woman and some man will be lucky enough to find you!!!  i believe this! when you show that you are a warm caring person that shows through your exterior and no matter what you look like (fair, average or like a model – doesnt matter) that wonderful personality shines through and makes you so beautiful on the outside as well!  and some man will see that in you…

  • Laraine

    HI! I’m 43 going on 44 y/o and I can totally emphasize with the above story. I was very much a nerd-type in junior high. None of the guys would even look at me. It was not considered “cool” to date me. Around 9th grade, I did start to blossom looks-wise. Still, no-one at my school would go out with me. I went out with my friends one night and had a really cute boy from a rival school approach me and ask for my phone number. I was ecstatic. I went shopping the night before our date for the perfect outfit, had a manicure and hair done the next day. I wanted it to be a memorable experience. Later that night, after our date, he had his best friend phone me to tell me that he(my date) did not want to go out with me again because “He realized on our date that I was not as pretty as he thought I was when we first met.” I was crushed and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over the cruelty of that particular rejection. 

    As I went through high-school, I actually grew to be very attractive but my self-esteem was rock-bottom. I still felt “ugly” on the inside. I was painfully shy. Even though I began to attract attention from the boys, it was short-lived after they went out with me. They always seemed to be “disappointed” in me after the first date or two.  I looked good to them but still, I was just not cool enough for them. I was continuously being dumped.

    When I entered my 20’s, I had lot’s of hope & of course time on my side at that point. I knew it was going to happen, I never considered that it wouldn’t. I couldn’t wait to start a family. I dated alot in my 20’s & 30’s up until the age of 37. That was when I went on my last date. I did all the things that the woman in the above article did. I read books. I asked guys out. I was set up on many, many blind dates. It always ended the same way-they would leave for someone else “better.” I could not figure out what was wrong with me that I could not keep anyone. The only long-term relationship I had was with a very mentally abusive man and that lasted 3 yrs. I’ve never had a healthy long-term relationship-ever! I’m ashamed to tell that to people because according to numerous dating books out on the market, that is considered a “red flag” when evaluating a potential date. I don’t want people to come to the conclusion that I’m damaged goods because of my dating history. 

    I look at married couples and I try to figure out just what is that “magic”  ingredient that some of these women possess that have men falling at their feet. It’s like looking for the holy grail, you can’t quite get your hands on it but you know if you do find out what that elusive ingredient is then just maybe it would turn your life around. But it just slips through your fingers every time.

    My last date was in 2006. I thought I hit gold with this one. He eventually went back to an ex-girlfriend who he claimed he “had more feelings for” since they had a history. I haven’t really had a chance to build a history with anyone. I didn’t consciously realize I had given up after that until I realized that I never take the time to make myself look as presentable as I used to. I just don’t have the desire to go clothes shopping anymore or have my hair fixed. I just wear my hair up all the time. I will be 44 in October and I am starting to grieve the things I thought I would be blessed with like a husband and a family. The no-kids part has hit me really, really  hard. Just looking at pregnant women and wedding announcements in the paper is enough to make me cry. 

    Now it seems that the only men who approach me are married men looking for a fling. I’m sorry but I would rather be alone than to take another woman’s crumbs. 

    I don’t want to give up hope but at the same time I don’t want to get my hopes up to high for something that may never happen. 

  • Idrissanusi24

     hello,am heedreess by name and am am just 25years. i was born in dubai and here i am in nigeria schooling….i will love to know more about you and see your pictures so we can mingle and talk about your lonleyness i think i can make that end if you wnt it to be…mail me on this…idrissanusi24@yahoo.com… hoping to hear from you soon miss

  • Idrissanusi24

    i can make a end to that if you give me the chance to prove myself….. i cant wait to read from you miss

  • jo

    I am also turning 40 within the year and have never been in love.  I dated a fellow for a few months but he was too controlling and had a bad temper.  I couldn’t see myself married to him.  That was five years ago.  I haven’t dated since.  I don’t have the energy to go on all the dating sites for failure after failure.  I’m learning to be happy with my immediate family and friends; although, from time to time, I do long for the intimacy (emotional and physical) that comes with a lifetime partner.  I will never completely give up on finding a lifetime partner but I am not going to drive myself crazy looking for one.

  • Trevor

    Hey bro I am the same way.  I dated some in high school and college but have never been in a relationship.  When I was younger I was a very goodlooking guy and I am sure I could have had a lot of sex if I had wanted to but I was scared of knocking some chick up and having to drop out of college and get married.  Starting a family at age 21 was not my plan because I knew I was going to gradschool.  I will be 40 in a couple of months and I have not been on a date since I finished gradschool at 28 and I have never had sex.  It used to bother me but it doesn’t anymore because I have seen what all of my friends have gone through with bad marriages.   Most of them are now single and broke because they are now saddled with alimony and child support as the result of one of more failed marriages.  Several more are still married but want out because they are stuck with a woman they can’t stand to be around much less want to have sex with.  Unlike them I am financially secure and plan to retire early because I will not have any kids to put through college.  I am sure most of my family and friends assume that I am gay but I am not.  I am just not interested in a relationship.

  • guest

    Just because you go to the club ‘meet someone’ doesn’t mean there’s anything there.  That’s just a date.  Where the guy is hoping you’ll go back to his place to get his rocks off and that’s about it.  I am a woman and I have nobody.  It’s not about looks, it’s just that nobody is interested in really getting to know each other and building a real relationship it seems like,  or maybe that is just my bad luck.  Anyway, believe it.  Just because somebody gets asked out doesn’t mean there is any real interest there.

  • Barb

    I just turned 46 and consider myself beautiful and confident. I go out of my way to be nice to people. I know I have a lot to offer the right guy. But lately I cry myself to sleep many nights because I still haven’t had a real relationship. Sometimes I feel like God is punishing me, but have no idea why? I want to date a good, decent man, fall in love and get married. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.

  • this whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. all the stupid people saying ‘oh love yourself honey!’ what Bullsh*t. if you’re an ugly woman or a woman nobody wants, the proof is in the pudding, men would’ve inquired long before now if you had something to offer them vs. other women out there. if you’re 30 something like myself and never dated or been asked out, it doesn’t matter what kind of ‘attitude’ you have, I’ve had them ALL and none of them resulted in anything fruitful. Just tired of hearing the same old talk from people WITH partners. Whatever. Maybe women like myself and the OP have to learn to accept there are some men and women in the world who aren’t going to have a partner and it doesn’t matter two hoots just because you think you ‘deserve’ one.

  • anonymous

    i can’t tell you how grateful i am that you were brave enough to share your pain. I’m 54 and have never been in love or in a LTR. I’ve done so many things in life but I feel devalued because of this fact. There’s a small community here because of you so there are probably a lot more of us. I wonder how we can help one another. I’m already comforted knowing that I’m not alone. Blessings to all of us!!! I think we’re a pretty special bunch of guys and girls….

  • KM

    Reading all of these posts…I’m glad I’m not alone. It’s the only solace I can find right now. I’m 38 and I just feel…..hopeless. I’m always out with friends, out with new people, ALWAYS. But nothing. i ask men Out…nothing. They cancel before we even get together. And then the ones who do like me…I am not attracted to them (romantically or physically), and I just think…..it’s so easy for those who find it (when it’s right). Why can’t I have that? Just once. Just once in my life time. I can’t stop crying. I hate feeling sorry for myself, but I am. I’m sad. Beyond sad. And I feel like others look at me like a loser. Like, “what’s wrong with her?” It’s humiliating. And all I want is love. Just one, real…love.

  • KM

    If God wanted me to stay single, then He should have never ever created the emotion in me to want to fall in love.”
    No truer words have been spoken. I feel your pain. I’m 38 too, and have never been so hopeless.

  • Anon

    That is very nice, but really it’s just the same as what I hear all the time ‘it’ll happen when you least expect it’. Yeah, right. I’ve gone through phases of being very confident, not wanting a man in the slightest, meeting a lot of new people very often etc and it’s not happened! I’m 38, only had one relationship to speak of and though I used to have a lot of male attention, now it’s diminished a LOT! No I don’t love myself anymore, but I know that’s not the reason I don’t get asked out. I have no idea what the reason IS, but sometimes I think I’m being punished! I sometimes wish I’d never had sex before too, because then i wouldn’t know what I’m missing, but I have, and I miss it every day – it doesn’t get easier, it gets more and more difficult to live without it! I know it’s crossed my friends’ minds that I’m into women… I’m not, definitely not! Very much into men physically… I just don’t understand them or like them very much – you try being ignored this much and still liking the opposite sex! To be honest, if God has decided I don’t deserve love, just let me find sex again – that’ll do!!!

  • Trimaran

    I do visit some dating sites from time to time and I see many very unattractive people the kind that you instantly feel sorry for because you know there will likely never be someone for them, believing that there is someone out there who will love you for you are is nothing but a Disney fantasy. In the end its up to how much your willing to risk and what effort your willing to put in to do something about your situation, if your a career person with a good income and property you can afford extensive plastic surgery if its required for most a going to the gym is a start and eventually enough. If your facial features are not attractive however there is only one option surgery. Reality is looks will determine for most people who you marry, how well liked you are and your social/work status in general. PS!

  • Trimaran

    Unfortunately what you say is true its the same for both men and women, sure there are always exceptions to that rule but they are just that exceptions. But it is possible to address that issue if one is willing to take risk and work long term towards that goal, myself I also have a less attractive face and women never looked twice at me and before when I was obese even scurried away from me like I was a monster should I dare smile to them. I could have easily ended up hating women cause of it but I never did, if I were to raise my fist at anything it would be the randomness of Nature but that again is completely pointless. What I am doing now instead is working tediously and saving my money at 41 years old I hope and expect to have enough money for major plastic surgery to my face in 3-4 years time so maybe Ill get to experience a little of what the “pretty” people have before I put on the wooden overcoat. I just wish I had been this determined 20 years ago, but we are always being force fed the lie that there is someone out there for everyone if you love yourself others will love you to bla bla bla what a load of crock.

  • gus

    I can relate to your depression. I am turning 40 soon and I feel that I have nothing to show for my life. I therefore do not plan on contining into my 40s. I have thought about this for a long time now. And when the time comes I hope to muster the courage to end my life and stop the pain. The world is cruel place, there is no God or Jesus coming down from the sky….life is suffering. In all honesty life is over rated. I wish I was never born.