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How do I stop feeling so alone when every single friend is coupled up and I have no family?

Tagged as: Dating, Friends, Health, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 July 2016) 6 Answers - (Newest, 2 August 2016)
A male United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I have two different friendship groups who I socialise with regularly plus a few friends who I see individually on a regular basis rather than as part of any group.

I have known all of them for between 4 and 10 years. They are all aged between 35 and 44 and I am 42.

I have been single for six years and not been on a date in five years despite doing all the online dating stuff.

My pool is much smaller because I do not want children and as a result don't want to be a stepparent either. I accept that this makes it harder to find women to date, let alone actually have a relationship.

The last 18 months I have started to get really lonely.

Whenever it got to me too much I reminded myself that it was better than being in an unhappy relationship (been there) and the fact that many of my friends were single helped, so I was never "odd one out" at any social event and always found someone to go on holiday with.

Now I find myself the only single one out of all my friends. Added to which, my grandmother, has recently died and as she was my only family, this has really not helped. I sat by her bedside as she died for four weeks and realised that if I was in her shoes, there'd be no one to sit and talk with me and hold my hand day in, day out, as I was dying.

Now everyone is paired up, I feel very out of it. Everyone else cuddled up with their partner when we're out or at someone's house. No one to go on a holiday with (and I will not go on my own, did it once and loathed it, and I hate those group holidays where you know no one and are stuck with them the whole time).

It's really, really getting me down now and I've actually started to not go to so many things with these groups because they make me feel uncomfortable and odd one out (not intentionally).

I just don't know how to get myself out of this rut of feeling so alone and I can see myself getting depressed (warning signs already there, having had it once before years ago).

View related questions: depressed, grandmother, on holiday, want children

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A male reader, BazingaToZulus Canada +, writes (2 August 2016):

BazingaToZulus agony auntWell if specialized dating sites aren't really the way to go for you, then maybe looking into dating women who have children who are close to adulthood or above (just like all of these fine people have suggested) is something you should consider.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (2 August 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntI agree with Celtic Tiger’s suggestion that you look into dating older women. If you expand your search criteria to 45-52 years old, you’ll find women who won’t be interested in having children, and if they had children from a prior relationship, those children wlll be adults.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your only relative on the entire planet, that must indeed feel very lonely. Ironically, you do realize that you are pushing away people who might have family who would embrace you because you have chosen to isolate yourself.

Change up your criteria, get out and find other friend groups and if you are experiencing the start of depression get in front of that and deal with it!

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A female reader, celtic_tiger United Kingdom + , writes (2 August 2016):

celtic_tiger agony auntJust out of interest, what sort of age range are you looking at when online dating?

There are a lot of women who do not want or do not have children in their late 30's and 40's..... perhaps you are looking in the wrong place.

Have you considered dating an older woman in her mid 40's? Those who don't have kids by that age, probably won't have them and will be set in their child free life. Just a thought!

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (1 August 2016):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntWould being a stepfather be just as bad even if the children were adults? They wouldn't need any parenting from you, so I wouldn't rule out all mothers, just ones with under-18s.

Specify what you're looking for on your dating profile and actively look for women who don't have/want children or who had children young and don't want any more 18+ years on. There are plenty out there, but you have to go looking; they won't flock to you.

Join a hobby. Start volunteering. Most people do want a family of some kind, so you will be left "behind" with nobody to go on holiday with, grow old with, have to care for you when you're elderly, etc. - unless you search for people like you. You can't have been actively looking for 5 years and not been on *one* date, which means you haven't been looking as hard as you could be.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 August 2016):

Bazinga - OP here. Sadly the child free dating sites tend to set up and fail because of low numbers! The most recent one only had around 120 people in the whole of the UK and almost all of us were men.

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A male reader, BazingaToZulus Canada +, writes (1 August 2016):

BazingaToZulus agony auntIf I understand you have tried online dating and it's not working out because you have made choices that may limit dramatically the number of people willing to contact you right? Well, if I assume that you have tried common websites to meet new people, why not try specialized websites (specific to the types of individuals) or groups and forums of people who share your views on relationships. Come on, cheer up and let us know how you're doing, good luck to you!!!

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