Post # 1
I know the Wedding Bee is for Weddings and Marriages, but when I first started coming on this site I was a “Waiting Bee” and had been in a relationship for 7 years and thought the next step was obviously marriage. Well, it turned out I was wrong and the relationship ended over a year ago. I have since dated one guy briefly but he ended up moving across the country. We tried long distance but trust was a huge issue for me so we ended it.
Bees, I have been feeling very lost and like a failure. I am an independent 26 year old with a great career, but I feel extremely inadequate when compared to my friends who are mostly married and/or have children. I live in the South, and I am constantly getting comments and looks from other women who must think I am some freak of nature since I am not married, have never been married, and have no children. I know I am still “young” in the scheme of things, but one of my biggest dreams in life has always been to have a family. Now I feel like that may not happen for me.
Each day is a struggle for me. The hardest part of my day is coming home from work to an empty apartment (well, a cat IS there). Yes, I have lots of friends, but most of my friends are either married or have children or both, and I do not think they understand my loneliness. My friends will say things like, “But you’re single and all your time and money you can invest in yourself!” But what good is that if I don’t have anyone to share it with? I feel like I am just floating through life at this point.
I guess my biggest issue is just people constantly asking me when I’m going to get married or have kids when I am not even in a relationship.
Has anyone ever felt this way or been in a similar situation? And if so, how did you dig yourself out of the “hole”?
Post # 3
@MissMayhem: I felt the same way you did – I dug myself out of the hole so to speak by focusing on myself and what made me happy. I started running, taking even better care in my appearance and such, always made plans so I stayed busy and soon enough FI entered my life. If you’re content with your life, that will attract someone more likely that someone who’s always going “woe is me”. 🙂
Post # 4
Get yourself on Match.com, get some new dresses, and get out on some dates!!! You are not a failure. I would love to have a great career, but it didn’t happen for me. The grass is always greener on the other side, you know?
Post # 5
I haven’t been exactly where you are, but I do suffer from anxiety and I was in an LDR for a while where it felt like my whole life was waiting for something good to happen, where it felt like I wasn’t in control. It’s a sucky feeling. The best advice I can give is to be patient with yourself, but to push your personal boundaries and get out there and make new friends (of both sexes) and challenge yourself to do one new thing a week. Even if it’s as small as cooking a new meal or visiting a different grocery store, going outside of your old routine will mix up the scenery and might give you a fresh outlook, little by little.
And instead of focusing on dating, think about making new female friends. They can take your mind off of things, and when you’re out with them, who knows what kind of fella you can meet? Good luck!
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Sorry you are feeling the blues. 🙁 It sounds like you are in a rut. Do something so radical that you blow your own mind. Go jump out of an airplane just to feel the rush. Plan a solo trip somewhere exotic. Move to a new city. Take up belly dancing. Something… anything… to break your current life pattern. It will be a breath of fresh air and give you a new way to look at life. I really belive that you have to learn to enjoy and appreciate the pleasure of your own company before you are ready to enter into a new relationship. Then, when you are happy with your life exactly as it is, get yourself on eHarmony. As lame as it sounds, it really worked for us. 🙂
Post # 7
@MrsTVLover: +1 although I am more partial to eHarmony because that is how I met my DH 🙂
Get yourself out there. Join some clubs, organizations, something. You will find the right guy within time, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.
Post # 8
@MissMayhem: I met my husband when I was 26 after a long-term “this is the love of my life” relationship went south. I know what you mean though. Where I’m from, everyone is married within a year or two of graduating college and have at least a kid or two by 25.
Keep this in mind though — getting married young and having kids young doesn’t ensure a happy future. It doesn’t make you more accomplished or happier or a better person. It might not even make you a married person by the time you hit 30 or 40. The divorce rate is higher for younger couples (not trying to start a riot here!)
I’m now 32 and we’re happily married and on our third child and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Waiting for the right guy, waiting a little longer to have kids has given us financial stability that those I knew who married/had kids young didn’t have, which in turn gives us flexibility. And, of course, they have benefits I’m sure to having kids/marrying young. My point is, you are not an old maid and there are advantages to waiting.
Not to mention, these days, you see plenty of first time brides in their 30s and even 40s. You see first time moms into their 40s too. Its not “weird” anymore. It might take some time, but it’s well worth the wait.
As for feeling like you’re in a hole, we’ve all been there. My advice: pick up a new hobby. Start hiking on the weekends or pick up a sport or join a Meetup group. Challenge yourself to 10 match.com dates or allow a friend or two to set you up. The point is, you’ll get out there, meet new people, have some fun, try new things, and maybe you’ll meet the one. Maybe you’ll meet the one in five years. In either case, you’ll be a happier and more well-rounded person when you do.
Post # 9
Where I live most women don’t get married until around 30 and don’t have kids until a few years later. I have a number of single girlfriends that feel the way you do, but they are nearly, or more than, 10 years older than you! I agree with focusing on being happy in your life right now and being patient yet open to finding a new relationship. And I second match.com! That’s how I met my husband and how a couple other good girlfriends met theirs!
Post # 10
And I should have mentioned that I was mostly single/dating between 27 and 29 and went on plenty of bad, interesting fun dates until I found the right guy for me. I know there were times I felt lonely and afraid but in retrospect I had nothing to fear!
Post # 11
I’m getting married for the first time at 55 years old. You are young – and your best years are ahead of you, not behind you. Go out into the world and make a difference – people will seek you out! I truly believe that there’s someone out there that will love you for you – don’t stay at home waiting for them to show up.
Post # 12
@PMSJL: Love this attitude. I always hate when people believe everyone peaks at 18-25. I firmly believe the best is yet to come.
Post # 13
@stuckinwonderland: I didn’t fully come into my own until my early 40’s. I used to be known as the “Queen of the Blind Date” because friends felt sorry for me and set me up all the time lol. I met FI at a previous job and it’s been the best relationship of my life. So what if it took so long, he is worth the wait!
Post # 14
You’ve gotten some very heartwarming advice here. I can here you on the “From the South” bit – while I was not raised in the south, many in my grandparents’ and parents’ generation in my family came from there, so much of the culture is the same. While I get that in other parts of the country (and in other family cultures), it can be normal for a woman not to be married until her early 30s, there is often pressure to be married in the early to mid 20s in other parts of the country.
The best thing you can do for yourself is be proactive. I was on dating sites. I did my best to care for my appearance. When I went out with a guy – unless the first date was a bomb – I would see him again just to be sure. When I first met my husband, I thought he was bland and rude. I agreed to meet him again – and I was wrong.
It’s all well and good to encourage you to invest in your friendships, hobbies, exercise, and then some. But you obviously would like to date, so get out there.
Post # 15
Your 26!! I live in the south east – so I know how the culture can be -but half of my family lives in NYC. Most of the girls I went to HS with got married within a few years of HS and popped out the kids. Myself, and the girls I went to college with, enjoyed their 20s, built careers/lives and waited until their 30s for marriage. (same with my family – southern family hadyoung marriages, Northern family waited)
Guess which group ended up with great marriages and happy families? – the women who waited until their 30s. With very few exceptions all the southern HS girls I know who married before 25, ended up divorced, single moms and they are struggling to get by and working jobs they hate (b/c they gave up college for marriage). Most dont own their own homes, they struggle to pay rent/or live with parents – and cant cover the necessities. (Many rely on foodstamps and other govt benefits) the women who waited until their 30s have strong marriages, happy kids and are financially secure – able to afford a nice home, good schools for kids, etc…
Thinking your a failure for not being married at 26 is ridiculous and very sad. You are a young woman with a full life ahead of you, concentrate on making the most of it now – not dwelling on some imagined standard from 100 years ago that you needed to be married off to a man before you ever got to build and enjoy a life for yourself.
I’m not saying all young marriages end up poorly, but let’s just say the odds are much better for you if wait and never rush into a marriage for the sake of being married.
Post # 16
Make a change. DOn’t float and wait forchange to come to you. I felt the same way, so I’m making stuff happen. I’m in Guatemala volunteering right now, and when I get back I start a graduate degree. You don’t have to fly 2,000 miles or anything, but make a change and make a difference in your life.