16 thoughts on “My Single Life: What Hurt Wasn’t Loneliness, But Getting Left Out

  • March 21, 2016 at 5:15 am

    I count myself single within a relationship as my partner doesn’t want to come out with me as my partner and socialise. I’d be a rich woman if I got a $1 for overtime someone asked or hassled me about why he doesn’t come to things. I advise that he doesn’t want to come out with me but I’m more than happy to come on my own and don’t mind being with couples/families. Then after the “talk” i find that I’m not longer being included in couple things. So the lack of acceptance is sadly from their side not mine. And it’s really sad they don’t extend the hand of friendship and inclusion to other single people they know to invite another single to make the numbers even. I certainly have no problem with a friend advising me that her husband is going to bring along a single bloke for him to talk to or alternatively another couple so the men have each other to talk to.

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  • March 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    There’s another dynamic too and that is of the person who is newly single, either as a result of a divorce or the breakup of a long-term relationship. My experience as a divorced woman was disheartening since many friends stopped inviting me to dinners and the like alone. Some, for sure, were wrongly concerned that I would flirt or tempt their husbands. Others treated me as though divorce/being single was contagious. But the truth is that I have had many single friends over the years and I never felt that way about them. It also seems that Millennials and the Gen Xers have a more relaxed attitude about mixing single friends and coupled ones.

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    • March 23, 2016 at 2:30 am

      I hope you are right about the millennials and Gen-Xers!

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      • March 18, 2017 at 2:31 am

        Unfortunately I wish that was true! Even now, some of my closest friends went on a trip together… I only found out way after they planned the thing. It was a “couples trip,” and when one of mutual friends was looking for people to go to the same destination as them, I suggest to one of them (one of her closest friends) that she tag along. But apparently, “she wouldn’t feel comfortable since we’re all couples, though”… Nice to know that they’re looking out for us, right? I’m bitter, sorry. It just sucks that even today, people are excluded from arbitrary event by virtue of being single.

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  • March 24, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    I have a couple of conflicting thoughts.

    On the one hand, I have had many episodes where I have felt “less than” because I’m single. Left out. Different. Like I missed the boat somehow. Sometimes, it felt really bad — I felt ashamed, inadequate, like a loser. And I also see the rampant “matrimania,” now that you’ve pointed it out. My goodness, have you ever seen Downton Abbey? I’ve been watching that lately. Although I enjoy the show, I can’t believe how often marriage is seen as the solution to a character’s problems or everyone’s ultimate goal. That’s just one example, of course.

    On the other hand, I wonder how much of this is prejudice/bias and how much of it is just natural “grouping” behavior based on similarities? As I’m sure you know, people form friendships based on commonalities — on things they have in common with other people. At least on a superficial first glance, married people have things in common with other married people — a spouse, maybe children, the whole married (or married-with-children) lifestyle. So I’m suggesting that maybe the exclusion isn’t prejudice or bias so much as “like attracts like,” people with similar lifestyles bonding over that similarity. Maybe they’re just gravitating toward other people they have things in common with.

    I suppose it’s probably a mix of both…

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  • March 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve been a divorced mother for 35 years. Strangely, did it ever occur to you “single” women to do the inviting? I sure did. Before and after my divorce. Unless you feel it should be the couples who make the parties and you are the perpetual guest? Have a dinner party at home, or cocktails, or a game night. Be a hostess. It’s what grown-ups do.

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    • March 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you for your reply, which was very revealing. Yes, I have always hosted events and invited people to them. I make it clear that they are welcome to bring someone and it doesn’t have to be someone with whom they are (supposedly) having sex. And calling single people not-grown-up is one of the stereotypes I have been fighting for nearly 2 decades. Take a look at Singled Out, http://www.amazon.com/Singled-Out-Stereotyped-Stigmatized-ebook/dp/B005NJYM6G/?tag=wwwbelladepau-20

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      • March 28, 2016 at 1:20 am

        A friend of mine who is a lifelong single, Harry Hirsch, has written a book called “Office Hours” that is a memoir of being a single gay man in academia. He talks about a lot of these issues!

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      • March 28, 2016 at 1:58 am

        Thanks for letting us know. Have you read it? What do you think of it?

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      • April 18, 2016 at 1:23 am

        I have read it, it is excellent and true to life!

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  • July 15, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Well, after 60 years of life, I can tell you that a person who goes out alone is SO much treated differently than someone who is without a significant other or out with anyone at all. Even when I go out with platonic male friends (20’s to the 60’s), it’s still the same, that with a man (gay or straight), you are accompanied and treated SO much differently than going out alone. Going out with girlfriends is entirely different, as we’ve witnessed hostility from the married women, which amuses us as if the married women are seeing us as a threat. However, being with an opposite sex person, we’re considered safe. This is something I’ve witnessed all my life….I can be out with a man who is totally boring and never talks, and yet, am welcomed into the circle of “married people” so much more than going it alone or with girlfriends. I’m not lonely at all, and love having space and freedom, but finding friends at this age is becoming impossible….

    If you try to become friends with other women you meet out, the worry about being seen as gay comes up if you even connect on conversations..how scary. If you try to become friends with a man in this age, they only tell me they want sex and nothing more. Yikes….All the reason to become a social hermit, and what happened to just being friends with anyone? The married couples I know, sometimes welcome me in conversations but never ever invite me to their homes, ever…while I hear about the gay couple was invited to the straight couple’s place, and even a married man very old who NEVER has taken his wife with him anywhere is invited. We all wonder if he even has a wife at all….I’m thinking I should tell new people I”m married, he’s away in Europe working with the govt, and when he comes to town, we have to be secretive…Would I suddenly be invited then to be around these people? Is this all a facade?

    I had relationships sometimes long term, but never married…….Had no reason to, didn’t want children and most of my handsome boyfriends could never be faithful…I’ve been on my own since 14 and amazingly did well professionally and had all the guys I wanted, but true romance was seldom, but sometimes there.

    Now it is so impossible to make friends….and yes singles are slighted, and we pay heavily to travel with single supplements. It’s not that I don’t want someone in my life, but it’s not happening ow when I live in a town with 10 women to 1 man…and it’s just that everyone I meet seems to be “we’re a pair, and you are not”…And yet I have to laugh, as many of the pairs tell me they really aren’t happy with their partner…This is quite a wake up call….I travel, go alone, and actually have fun.

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  • March 4, 2018 at 2:55 am

    I had a bad marriage for 20 years but he did love entertaining. I had everyone to our place single, married, in the processes of. Everyone loved coming over.
    Since I have been divorced most of theses “friends” have abandoned me.
    I don’t mind my own company most of the time but it really hurts when you see all the events you are not invited to on FB.
    Even the ones who were single when I was not and always included them as a third wheel with us have decided even numbers are the best.
    Some of the worst are the ones who had no money when I did and now have more coz we all know divorce for women leaves you worse off.
    i don’t even know if I want a full time relationship again but it sure seems you are a pariah if you’re not in one.

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    • March 4, 2018 at 3:32 am

      I’m sorry this is happening to you. This sort of thing happens far too often.

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      • March 4, 2018 at 3:47 am

        Should I say something to them or will that just look bitter?
        Or should I just cultivate a whole new group of friends from my single status?

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