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finding peace at being single?

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716dayslost posted 3/17/2019 13:07 PM

Just a little background on my 15+ year journey. Long term marriage and multiple cheating by WW. Tried to reconcile for way too long, until her M-ending affair. Post D, I had a three year relationship in which she was faithful but ultimately incompatible. So I am single again for almost a year.

Dating before my M, and after D has been rare and disappointing. I end up being desperate and settled for women who do not have the qualities that make for a lasting partnership. The past few months trying OLD has been a disaster, and made me feel worse about myself. Either accept major concessions in my life or keep my goals but alone. Let me say that I am successful, and check most of the boxes. I have had female friends tell me I am a good catch. But there seems to be variables that impede me being desired. So I have hit the pause button and decided to just be myself, by myself.

I am long past the rawness that I came to this site for many years ago. I am in a good place mentally and emotionally.
But I am wondering how much damage I did just trying to reconcile? Am I left being undesirable and alone, and how much of that is to blame on trying to save bad relationships?
I sit here at the crossroads of my 50's wondering a)what the hell happened? B)Is where I am at the final destination?
How does one deal with and accept being single, when it is not my choice or the option I want? I am trying to move forward in a healthy way but it not easy to accept. As I face retirement and growing older being alone it is uncomfortable. If this is how it will be in my life, how do I adjust to this?

*There has been over 50K new members since I signed up. So many lives destroyed, so grateful for those helping. May you all have peace in your journey...

EvenKeel posted 3/18/2019 07:06 AM

But I am wondering how much damage I did just trying to reconcile?
Many of us tried too long (hand raises for nine years more). I feel the benefits outweigh the extra damage. Meaning, you know in your heart of hearts you did and tried all you could.

Am I left being undesirable and alone, and how much of that is to blame on trying to save bad relationships
? All you can do is treat each relationship (good and bad) as a lesson and learn/grow from it. In the bad ones, you know what you do not want in a future partner!

I sit here at the crossroads of my 50's wondering a)what the hell happened? B)Is where I am at the final destination?
I turn the 5-0 this year as well. No this is NOT the final destination. Keep on that path to a better you and better life.

As I face retirement and growing older being alone it is uncomfortable. If this is how it will be in my life, how do I adjust to this?
As you know. You do not need another person to complete you. Yes, we like the companionship - but you can be fully fulfilled as a single person as well. Strive to find that for yourself and if anyone comes along down the road, it is a perk.

What all have you done or are you doing to help your journey? Have you tried IC or maybe a life coach for direction? Is your single life filled with things you enjoy? Hobbies, etc?

*There has been over 50K new members since I signed up. So many lives destroyed, so grateful for those helping.
So many destroyed and so many healed and on a better road thanks to all the support here. Kudos to the SI community!

LilBlackCat posted 3/18/2019 16:31 PM

These days, being an older male is very tough.. I've been looking and while initially for the wrong reasons.. the last couple years, I feel I am in a better place and ready.

But like yourself, I get told that I am a great catch.. but yet all the women just pass me by as if I do not exist.

I am a good father, I am pretty smart and very tech savvy. I have a decent stable job.. with retirement is on the horizon for me as well.

Sorry I do not have an answer for ya, but just know that you are not alone.

LivingWithPain posted 3/18/2019 17:39 PM

716dayslost don't get down on yourself. You are most likely a good guy and would make a good husband for many women.

Thing is, when you start getting down on yourself, then you start getting insecure, and that insecurity leads to you coming across as needy and a people pleaser. Women are generally turned off by this.

Stay the good man you are, but start losing the "nice guy" insecurities that go nowhere.

Let me ask you, are you working out and staying in good shape? Do you dress nicely and keep your life in order? Are you engaging in interests and hobbies that you are passionate about? Are you taking risks and expanding your horizons?

Ask yourself these things. Maybe what you need to do is make a list of attributes you have, and then make a list of attributes you want to have. Pour your energy into those. Maybe if you do then you might not have the time to do all the navel-gazing and self-criticism that leads you into loneliness and insecurity.

LivingWithPain posted 3/18/2019 17:44 PM

And remember all you middle older guys out there: I think many women today, especially middle aged women, career women and divorcees just have reduced interest in getting married anymore. That is a speculation on my part but I do think it is the case. I may be daft but I think traditional marriage is on the way out.

[This message edited by LivingWithPain at 6:03 PM, March 18th (Monday)]

716dayslost posted 3/18/2019 22:22 PM

Thank you all. I appreciate your thoughts.
I have seen a wonderful counselor for years and I believe that I recovered from my WW as good as can be expected. I used to say that I was surviving working on thriving. Well to me a healthy relationship would be thriving. Is it necessary? no. But I have learned that this is what I want in my life. I a hamburger great on its own? Yes, but I still want mine with the compliment of french fries.
I never had children, so maybe I want to experience enhancing a woman's life while she enhances mine. Yes, I have my life together and present myself well.
I am just at a point in my life where I do wonder how this part of my life will be. I had to pause the attempted dating, because OLD is brutal. So what now, what next.

Coreofsteel posted 3/19/2019 00:40 AM

I've been single now for just over a year. It was hard at first. I'm starting to love being solo now. I've done things on my own like travelling, going out for dinner, taking classes and such.

Currently I'm feeling like being alone doesn't mean I'm undesirable. It just hasn't happened for me yet, and that's OK. Deeply OK.

I feel like I'm a great catch, but at 55, I'm in no hurry. I'll just keep on making my own fun and adventure +/- anyone else. It took the full year for me to get to this level of satisfaction with my life. I think I'll enjoy it for awhile.

I do hope that you find someone worthy of you!

Superesse posted 3/19/2019 01:01 AM

There is an old book, Seasons of a Man's Life, (by Levinson), that was a pop psychology best seller in the 1970's, which shared a lot in common with the life stages theory of Erik Ericson, the first psychologist to explore adult growth beyond the age of 21.

Erickson talked about a stage of middle adult life he labeled Generativity, which comes along after the Autonomy stage of adult career success has been successfully negotiated. Generativity is achieved through passing on to others some part of our own self, whether it be to children, or expressed in creativity, charitable outreach, etc.

Some of what you are expressing here suggests that you are realizing the desire to fulfil this Generativity stage in your life. There can be many altruistic paths to achieve this; volunteer work comes to mind. Charitable activities, etc.; I am sure you will find your niche, but I hear your frustration at what could have been, and many of us share that. I know I do.

totallydumb posted 3/19/2019 15:11 PM

I can relate.

I turned 57 in November.

Only married once, for 13 years. I tried to make that marriage work for 7 years and 9 different APs that I was aware of. I believe my WW tried to make changes, but for whatever reasons, could not become faithful. I was 38 years old when I ended the relationship.

I remained single for 5 years, did not even date.

I then started dating, and had a 7 year common law relationship with a Lady. We tried to make it work, but we were too different. As far as I know, there was no infidelity in this relationship.

I took another break for 3 more years. I was then 53 yrs. I unknowingly started to accept certain behaviors in those that I dated.

I met a attractive woman that I had a connection with. Looking back, there were many red flags, that I ignored or changed my boundaries to accept. Big mistake.

Within 3 years, this SO was having an affair. I was "forced" into retirement during this relationship.

I look at life differently now. I am not looking for a relationship, however I am not closed off to the idea of having one. I know I will be okay and happy to be on my own.

I have my two adult children from my marriage, and so far, two grandchildren that I love very much. I have a large extended family and many friends. A couple of hobbies that I enjoy, and am financially secure for the future.

At one point I had this feeling that being in a relationship defined me. Not so any more. I will not settle for just anyone, and will not change my boundaries or accept unacceptable behavior just to be in a relationship.

Maybe this is personal growth, healing or whatever.

I know I will be okay on my own.

EvenKeel posted 3/20/2019 07:30 AM

I think many women today, especially middle aged women, career women and divorcees just have reduced interest in getting married anymore.
[hand raised]This is me. However, I very much wanted an exclusive relationship. Just because someone doesn't want to M again; they may be very interested in a monogamous partnership-companionship so don't automatically next them.

LilBlackCat posted 3/20/2019 11:29 AM

Just because someone doesn't want to M again; they may be very interested in a monogamous partnership-companionship so don't automatically next them.
This is a very interesting.. as to me, my gust instinct is that a woman might be saying that to keep you close as she's fishing for that next better guy to run off with.

lieshurt posted 3/20/2019 11:49 AM

Just because someone doesn't want to M again; they may be very interested in a monogamous partnership-companionship so don't automatically next them.

This is true for many people. Personally, I'd like to remarry one day. I like the thought of having "my person", living life and growing old with them. I am cautious though because I've worked hard for what I have and what I've saved and I'm not willing to remarry without a prenup.

EvenKeel posted 3/20/2019 11:53 AM

LilBlackCat:

my gut instinct is that a woman might be saying that to keep you close as she's fishing for that next better guy to run off with
I can't speak for everyone, but I know in my case that is not the case.

My position is I have been M twice. That piece of paper did not provide any security that the spouse would not cheat; nor did it strengthen the commitment. Both of those things come from the integrity of the person you are in a R with (in my experience).

At my age, I do not see much of a reason to M. Will I change my mind down the road? I can't really say; but I haven't in the past nine years.

So please do not get discouraged when someone tells you they do not want to M. That is very different than someone saying they don't want to be exclusive or tied down. If you are interested in the person; find out more about how a R looks for them and what they do want, etc.

There are quite a few of us I have seen on SI over the years that are in exclusive Rs with no intention to M again.

That said. IF getting M is very important to you, then believe them when they say they do not want to and wish them well. I only had one guy that told me he has no issues with going through the stages of dating, but his goal was to re-M. We were on different pages so we wished each other well and were just friends.

He remarried very quickly and is very happy. It would have been unfair for us to have pursued a R with each other. It would have been a recipe for heartache.

Sorry to T/J 716dayslost.

WhoTheBleep posted 3/21/2019 10:35 AM

Just because someone doesn't want to M again; they may be very interested in a monogamous partnership-companionship so don't automatically next them.

^^^(raises hand) Me! Right here.

NorCalLost posted 3/21/2019 11:24 AM

(((716dayslost))) God bless you, I'm so sorry for the hurt you have experienced, and what seems to me like real loneliness.

I haven't done an exact count of days, but it was 11 months ago that I was dumped, over the phone, by my husband of 6 years and a man I'd known and loved for most of my adult life, nearly 30 years.
He already had another woman at bat when he left me and immediately filed for divorce.

My ex is 53, and I am 51. I feel so much resentment at all the wasted years I devoted to him and to my first husband, also a cheater and abuser. I have not been with anyone in any way since DDay. I feel like I can never trust another human being to not lie to me. I cannot imagine loving another human being the way I loved my second husband, who turned out to be totally unworthy of it.

I feel a lost esteem because of horrible things he would say to me in order to make me feel as though our failed marriage was my fault, so it just seems so daunting to me to even think about dating.

At 51, I thought I was going to be in my home in NorCal, with my husband and little dog, going camping occasionally, spending several days a week on the beach, reading, working, loving. I thought I had my life mate. He was temperamental and high-maintenance, but I loved him and thought he loved me.

Now I know he didn't love me, and I am alone and like you I wonder if this is how it always will be.

I wish I had some sage advice for you, but I do want you to know you're not alone. I know they say that you have to be comfortable in your own skin, with your own company, alone, before you can be happy with someone else. So I try to stay busy. I try to look out for me.

It wasn't that long ago that I felt bad for people who were alone in life, who got divorced or widowed, or left somehow, and never found a new life mate. I never imagined that one day I would join their ranks.

Take care of yourself, put yourself in places and hobbies where other people are who you'd be interested in dating. I wish you all the best.

CatsEye posted 3/21/2019 11:48 AM

The thing about marriage is that a woman has a much more limited time-frame in which she can have children. Once that time of her life has passed, she may have little reason to be interested in marriage. If she is single in her fifties, then chances are that she is either not the marrying kind, is dealing with the tragedy of the death of her beloved partner in life, or is dealing with the soul-destroying pain of infidelity. Either way, single women in their fifties who are financially stable simply do not have the same impetus for getting married that nubile women in their twenties wanting children do, and unmarried women in their fifties may have hard, painfully learned reasons not to ever remarry or even date. After the way my ex treated me for so long, I don't know if I will ever again be interested in dating, despite how lonely I sometimes feel.

LilBlackCat, if you think it's tough being an older male, you have no idea what it's like to be an older female. Once a woman passes a certain age, even men her own age are likely to have little interest in her. She will be passed up for women who are uglier, stupider, and obviously greedy, selfish bitches looking to take advantage of the men they date, just because those other women are younger. Many, many men who are otherwise intelligent will throw away gorgeous, intelligent, loving, faithful women and the children they had together, just to chase a younger piece of tail. Many, many men who have enough money to pick freely from the available sluts won't stick with any woman past a certain age. Really rich men will often dump a woman as soon as she hits thirty. Unless a Hollywood actress has managed to attain a rare degree of stardom, once she hits her thirties, her career starts winding down. Once she hits her forties, if she can get any work at all, she is relegated to bit roles playing the Mom to actors in their thirties. There's a reason that porn sites and porn videos and other forms of porn go on and on and on about how young and "barely legal" the girls are. Once a woman reaches a certain age, she will have an easier time finding an honest lawyer than a man who wouldn't rather be with someone younger.

If you're settling, you shouldn't be dating her. Now, if there's someone whose company you enjoy but who doesn't have the qualities that make for a lasting partnership, there's nothing wrong with going out for coffee together now and then, so long as you are honest and upfront about the relationship not being exclusive and not going anywhere.

When my parents were dating back in the day, people understood that dating was how you spent time with someone, enjoyed their company, and got to know them. If it developed into a long-term relationship, that was great. But people back then didn't go out on two dates and start wondering if this was THE ONE. They certainly didn't go on one or two dates and EXPECT the other party to be exclusive as if a tacit commitment had been made.

Part of the reason relationships today don't last is that people are in such a great big hurry to be in a long-term relationship that they won't give it time to develop. They also hop into bed with each other way too quickly, because once you have had sex with a woman you have been dating, then she DOES have reason to expect exclusivity unless you warned her ahead of time.

My advice would be to stop seeking your partner in life when you go on dates. Just go out and have a good time. Get to know the person. Let them know that although you would like to be in a long-term relationship, you aren't ready to be tied down or exclusive after just a date or two. Let them know that you need time, and then make sure you take that time. Don't let yourself be rushed into something before you're ready for it.

Good luck.

[This message edited by CatsEye at 12:36 PM, March 21st (Thursday)]

LivingWithPain posted 4/1/2019 11:55 AM

I have had female friends tell me I am a good catch.

I really wish women would stop saying this to guys.

First of all, it does not help at all. It does nothing to make a guy feel better.

Secondly, if it were true, and you are a single woman telling this to a guy, then why are you not asking the guy out yourself or pursuing him?

It is disingenuous.

pureheartkit posted 4/1/2019 13:41 PM

OLD is just a discouragement. You don't need to put yourself through that. People behave badly and have no reservation or hesitation about it. Most people there aren't looking for commitment in my opinion.

GraceLove posted 4/1/2019 16:38 PM

716dayslost I understand what you mean. I am 55 and just started dating again. It is certainly odd. I haven't been past 1 date where I have wanted to see the person again.

For the most part I see it as an exercise, a bit of a hobby maybe. And that helps me keep things real. I am doing my best to build a life around me so that dating doesn't become the main goal of my life.

Having said that, I do want a relationship and sometimes badly. I want to 'make up for lost time'. I find OLD something to experiment with because it is so new for me. For me, it can get overwhelming so I shut it down every once in awhile.

I think there are lots of ways to date and OLD is only one way. I like the idea of old school dating so I am going to venture off into that area as well.

Somedays it's hard not to make it my main focus though. Especially during some of the down times when I am alone. Other than that, I know if I keep living my life and not 'settling' I will find someone who I deserve and deserves me.


BearlyBreathing posted 4/1/2019 19:09 PM

Turning 52 in a few weeks and just entering the dating fray. I can say that I do want to be married again- I loved being in a marriage. But I am no hurry at all. Since there is no biological clock, I have no reason to rush or settle or do anything I am not certain about. Not all us old gals are done with the idea of M.

Keep working on you, your life, finding your peace. And be open in your heart to what comes.
None of us expected to be here at this point in our lives. But here we are. I hope we all find what we are looking for.


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