Gimme Some Oven

When Being Single Just Feels HARD

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When Being Single Just Feels Hard |

I never quite know when those moments will come, when the weight of being single will come crashing down upon my chest.

Those moments have been fewer and farther between over the past few years.

But without fail, they always come.

And boy, they’ll knock the wind out of you.

The moments

For me, it’s always moments. I’ve never been one to really get down and stay down for days or weeks on end about being single. It’s more random moments that hit fast and hit hard, and then take awhile to process and bounce back from.

I wish I could say that I have learned over the years to predict when those moments will come. Sure, there are some of the obvious triggers like weddings, or holidays, or even just scrolling through Facebook feeds filled with happy couples and babies and families galore. But more often than not, it is the tiniest of things that unexpectedly cause a catch in my throat and fill my eyes with tears. Like watching a couple I’m with exchange a knowing look and smile. Or coming home with some great news with no one there waiting. Or waking up for the thousandth morning in a row next to an empty pillow. Or walking into church or a party or gathering alone. Or watching freaking Parenthood, where even watching the roller coaster of those relationships leaves me wishing I had a Joel or Adam or Crosby of my own.

It’s like grief, the way those feelings sneak up on you without warning and then instantly overtake you. And while sometimes I’m in public or in the middle of a project and have to just block out those feelings and press on, I have learned from experience over the years that it’s best to just ride out the wave. And not overanalyze everything. Because after days or weeks or years of staying strong and holding it together, usually the best thing in the world is to yield to the grief and let it out.

The grief

For those who aren’t single, I know it might sound melodramatic to associate being single with grief. But I have come to believe that’s exactly what it is at times.

Let me be clear. I love my life, single and all. And I have written a handful of times on here before about how I’ve found many things about the single life to be empowering and awesome. And I absolutely believe in living life — wherever it finds you — to the fullest. But that doesn’t change the fact that I still would love to be married, and that I have dreamed dreams and hoped hopes over the years that simply were left unmet. And I grieve those things.

I grieve the fact that I didn’t get to experience young love and marriage like so many of my friends, and alongside so many of those friends. I grieve the fact that I didn’t get to meet my husband when we were in the smooth-skinned, wrinkle-free, heads-full-of-hair, bursting-with-energy “prime” of our youth. I grieve that a guy never got to see me lead worship in my first job, and I never got to cheer him on with his first promotion, and stay up late dreaming and planning where our careers would lead. I grieve that we didn’t get to choose all of our “firsts” together — first city, first home, first set of pots and pans, first Craigslisted-couch, first dog, first car, first broken toilet that we fix together, and on and on. I grieve that — even if I do meet someone — we will in some ways be years behind so many of my peers in experiencing all of those “firsts” of marriage, and being newlyweds, and starting a family, and quite simply just getting to really know everything about each other. I grieve that my age is becoming an increasing factor in whether or not having kids of our own would even be possible. I grieve that there is no one on the horizon.

Sure, I can play devil’s advocate on all of these. And I often do with myself, because I absolutely know that the years I’ve been single have (for the most) part been wonderful. And if a guy does happen to come along in the future, I also know that relationship will be great in its own special way. But that doesn’t discount the fact that I had dreams of how I hoped things would go. And when those dreams or prayers were not answered as I had hoped, something deep inside me just aches.

The heartache

Really, that’s the best word I can use to describe the really hard days and moments that I have being single. It’s heartache, in the most literal and emotional way. You know the feeling, when a weight presses down on your chest so hard that you can barely breathe, and then somehow buries deep into your soul? That kind of ache.

It’s not really jealousy. Trust me, I struggle with jealousy and comparison in all sorts of other areas of life. But with relationships, I’ve strangely always been encouraged by watching other good marriages. It’s also not really anger either. Occasionally I get mad about the situation and vent to friends or have it out with God. But even with God, as counter-whatever it may seem, I’ve always felt like He gets that grief more than anyone. And He has seen me through so many years and I don’t doubt He will continue to do so. So there’s no one or nothing really to be mad at.

No, I think the main thing I feel is just that ache of sadness. Sad that I’m still walking this road. Sad that it is downright exhausting at times doing life on your own. Sad that I have absolutely no idea or hint of what lies ahead. Sad because I would just love the chance to love. Sad that there’s a decent chance that might never happen for me.

Some days, my heart just aches.

The response

I’m not going to package this up with a nice pretty bow and a list of 5 steps for how to handle these moments. Because if I read that in someone else’s post, it would probably make me cringe. But mostly because, like I said, I honestly don’t think there’s a ton to “do”.

Sometimes I cry, sometimes I pray, sometimes I call a friend, sometimes I go for a walk, sometimes I just snuggle with my dog, sometimes I make myself a bowl of my favorite egg drop soup. But most times, I try my best to just be present in the moment and listen to my heart. Sometimes a specific issue will rise to the surface about being single that I need to deal with, maybe on my own, or with God, or something I should bring up with a group of friends or a therapist or something. But I’ve come to find that most of the time, I’m usually just sad and that’s all there is to it.

And that’s ok.

So yeah. I’m still that someone who’s all about enjoying life being single, and feeling empowered and chasing after dreams and living life to the fullest. But I’m also someone who has spent plenty of time in the valleys, learning the outlines of the shadows that come with this territory when all seems lost. And I’ve come to believe these moments are just as important as the highs.

But as my old pastor used to say, the worst thing is never the last thing. And somehow, the light and joy that come with the morning always come again. Always.

So to any of you dear friends who find yourself in the midst of those hard days, I raise my glass to you and the courage and strength it takes to get through. And I offer that you’re not alone. And remind you — and myself — that it will get better.

It will.

If you’re interested, here are some other posts I’ve written about being single.

**Update: I just wanted to pop in and say how completely blown away I am for all of your thoughtful responses below. I read every single one, and am so grateful for each of you who share.

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238 comments on “When Being Single Just Feels HARD”

  1. Hi. I just recently came across your post. I realize this is about three years old now but just wanted to say it meant a lot to hear someone that’s described the same type of feelings that’s been on my heart for a while. Some days seem to be harder then others. A lot of these feelings are still relatively new to me and have been hard to process. They started for me about a year ago. I pray a lot but there is still a grief that seems to linger and gnaw at me.

    There are days I ask God why. I know there are seasons in life that we go through that He uses to draw us closer to him. My fear is not knowing how long the season will last. I do know that God is good and I have faith He will bring me as I know he will bring or brought you through as well. It’s been helpful to hear of someone that’s gone through the same struggles. I pray that God has brought you through this season of life and that every day has been better then the next. May God bless you!

  2. Just came across this post and it really hit home. And all the usual advice “You can’t rush it”, “It will happen when you least expect it”, “You have to put yourself out there”, “You’ll find your special someone someday”, “I can’t believe you’re single, you’re such a catch”… I know people mean well but all it does it makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me that I I’m still single. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one that bursts into tears when the weight of singledom really settles in hard :(

  3. Today I shared your post in facebook because this is the nearest I have read about how I feel when it all comes crashing down. It is heartbreaking to remain single for so many years, it feels so unfair at times when, probably like you, I yearn to be loved and loved and to share my life and struggles. So many friends were blown away by your words and so am I. Thank you for making me realise that my emotions are justified!

  4. I wish I had more time to post. You nailed most everything I have ever thought. My “moments” come when moving furniture from one floor to another. And the horribly horribly daunting prospect of living a long time, single, and the awful prospect of retirement and funding all those years of retirement. A long life is wonderful if you are wealthy and healthy. The crushing weight everyday of balancing a bank account and my dreams. And the knowledge I have to just put one foot in front of the other and keep going….. But the best part of your post is that you share your life with God. I have a faith that borders on the weird. I have the oddest, rarest personality type, the INTJ, and I have very very few friends. Thank you for this post. God is by my side, in my mind, heart, soul always. Looking forward to reading your other ‘single’ posts. Best to you.

  5. This article couldn’t be more on point with the thoughts and feelings I feel. Thank you for putting many of our feelings into words and putting it out there that we are not alone on this road.

  6. In life, there are two versions of people, the outgoing type and the anti-social type. Those who are the live wire of any gathering, I’m talking about those people that you can’t help but love their charisma. Then comes those of unfriendly aura that unwelcome people’s company, I am one of the many who ended up here. With everything that has happened in my life, I think I may be anti-social. Personally, I’m naturally introverted and mingling in social gatherings is not my forte.

    In little words, I am not the kind of person that likes to be around a lot of people. I’d rather just be alone and thrive in my own space. Several people have asked me why I like to keep to myself; I’m still yet to think of a justifiable reason.

  7. WOW!

    Thank you for sharing, for allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Your post spoke to me and in a way has helped me process where I am at. I have been feeling disillusioned and wondering why I am not able to be grateful or happy with what I have, but this post helps me put things into perspective a lot better. It is not that I am not grateful for what i have, its more that I have had a hop for a dream that has remained unfulfilled and this has given me grief. The principle is biblical “hope deferred makes the heart sick”.

    Reading others comments make me realise I am not alone and even if I do not know everyone else who posted, I feel like I am journeying with others.

    God bless you abundantly!

  8. Well for many of us good single men that were really hoping to meet a good woman to share our life with, certainly is very difficult today since this society has really changed from the old days when love was much easier to find back then with no trouble at all. Being a single man today myself has so many disadvantages to begin with since everywhere we go which we really are all by ourselves all the time which isn’t really fun at all, especially since many of us really hate it. At least when you’re married which you have your family to be with wherever you go instead of being all alone all the time which can be very depressing. You could go on trips together, eat out in a restaurant, get together with other friends for a party, and the list goes on. And when you’re all alone which makes it very difficult to go anywhere by ourselves, especially when all of our other friends are all settled down since their life is so complete and ours really suck.

  9. Well for me being a single man has so many disadvantages since everywhere i go which i am always alone. Very difficult to go anywhere by yourself when i wish that i could have a woman in my life to share it with. And being single and all alone is very unhealthy too which could lead to depression as well. At least when you’re married it does make you feel very loved and wanted since your never alone at all. Married people have all the advantages as well. The married life would be the very best of all if your that very lucky and blessed to find the right person to be with, especially if you really love one another and being very compatible and caring to each other. It is just too very bad for many of us single men that we weren’t that blessed to find the right good woman for us since many of us good men really hate being single too.

  10. Not exactly Isaac,I guess,as he was 40 when he met Rebecca.I’m 53,single,never married,no children.I don’t have any camels to water,but maybe a woman will show up soon,(13 years late),and hose down my car? :-D .I’m listening to a song by forkingandcountry now called (to the dreamers).

  11. I’m 58 now and hate being single. There’s just nothing out there. Seems like all of the women are either taken, don’t want me or I don’t want the ones who are available. It’s just a miserably crappy deal for those of us that God completely forgot about when it comes to love.

  12. Thank you for writing this, I related to everything you wrote. By reading this, I realize we are not alone.

  13. This is exactly how I’m feeling right now. It’s so refreshing to hear someone say ‘you know what, sometimes it plain sucks’. So many times people in life try to give you advice but there is nothing anyone can say to make it better. No one can know what will happen, that it will be around the corner, that you need to be patient, good things will come around. Sometimes nothing happens and expecting it to just creates more sadness and disappointment. So thanks for understanding the heartache that no one else does.

  14. I love this post so much. As a gay man–I somehow feel like I could relate to this too. I’ve been single for almost 3 years now. I tried online dating, speed dating, getting set up and nothing progressed. I almost teared up when reading the grief paragraph. I realized that finding love is not about being a nice person (sure it helps)-it’s about luck. I just don’t know the answer to my questions, I don’t know how to be lucky in love and that’s the frustrating part of it all. Some people are just lucky and blessed to have found their partners early on. Some people are lucky that they met someone who is head over heels over them. I’ve never met one who feels that way to me. One thing that scares me is that the time is moving-it’s nonstop. That’s why I liked the grief paragraph when you mentioned “I grieve the fact that I didn’t get to meet my husband when we were in the smooth-skinned, wrinkle-free, heads-full-of-hair, bursting-with-energy “prime” of our youth.” As a person who have so much love and support to give, I too am grieving that I don’t have someone to give that to. I have many friends and I spend a lot of time with family and still there’s something missing. I grieve that after I spend time with friends/family and socializing. I go home alone, and that’s my reality. I appreciate the other comments too, I read them all. It’s good to know that there is an army of us waiting for that special someone to give us a chance to show them how lovable and adorable we are!

  15. Hi, thanks so much for this article. It was very real and i appreciate that. Of course we should always think positively, but sometimes its just hard and all there is sadness.

  16. This is by far the most incredible blog I have read until now! I am 33 years old divorced woman and struggle occasionally from being single: especially when I find a nice guy I really like and my feelings aren’t reciprocated. At other times, I love being single. You blog is really helpful for helping me cope with these really difficult times when, unfortunately, I am stupid to find my worth in other people; and when it hits hard when it does! Thanks!

  17. That’s the way single life is to the core. Beautiful article that I will remember always

  18. Tears rolled down my face reading this. You reassured I wasn’t going mad, I’m not on my own. Once my son goes to bed, I have no one to talk about my day, no one to hear me boast about how good my son has been, no one to comfort me when I’m exhausted from doing a million things in my day. It’s always been me and my boy.

    The one thing I find hardest to deal with in times of loneliness – why aren’t I worth the time?
    Seeing families on holiday – the child running to the father embracing in laughter and smiles – Mother appreciating my their happiness, then they have that one big hug. I crave that, beyond belief.

    I’m aware there are people who think ‘But you cant be sad – you have your son.’ It’s unfair to say.

    The love I have for my son is incomparable to anything. However – I am a good mother – but also Rachel. I am me. I have wants and needs. The conditional love is what I am aching over. Not so much validation, just to feel worth someone’s time, to keep me in their life. To feel wanted, by their heart, mind and body. To feel understood.

    I’ve accepted being single, a while ago now. But it crashes around me suddenly; then I can’t bare it for one second. Yet I wait for the right one.

  19. This is absolutely what I’ve been searching for!!!!!! An article or a blog to describe Exactly how I feel. It’s so hard to explain to my non single friends the type of heartache that I feel…this is perfect!!!! I know I will push through and am hopeful that this season will soon change.

  20. I resonate with so much of this. I’m a divorced single mom in my late 30’s. I’m raising two kids mostly on my own and would love to be loved again. To have a partner and teammate and someone to do life with. I’m so grateful for my family and dear friends, but at the end of the day, it is just me and my kids and I long for a man to snuggle on the couch with me and tell me everything is going to be ok.
    I completely understand the grief. For me, I grieve what we had before my husband cheated and left. I grieve the mom I could have been to my kids if I didn’t have to work full time and be away from them so much. I grieve the future we were supposed to have. Thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability. Hugs from one single lady to another!

  21. Thanks for describing it so well. Often it feels like this is not acknowledged.

  22. Hi,
    Thank you so much. I’m 39 and have been single for 13 years. A couple nights ago I couldn’t sleep because I was just so sick of being single… all I wanted was someone to sleep in the room with me at that point… Just the smallest thing.

    But, I’ve never been able to put a name to that feeling of loneliness when it takes me, other than lonely. But, when you used the words grief and sadness, that rang absolutely true. I used my mindfulness skills to welcome those emotions in and breathe with them and fell asleep in minutes.

    Thank you so much!

  23. My ex and I were going thru bad stuff and I decided to break it off and then found out I was pregnant for him our son is now 4yrs and that’s how. Long I’ve been single it’s lonely its sad it’s depressing it hurts I don’t know what a relationship feels like anymore if not for my son I would be broken because that’s the only person I get hugs from …I’m an attractive female but I only attract fuck boys (I can tell so I ignore) and it makes me mad ..I don’t dress with skin showing so I don’t know why it keeps happening I cry every night because I have no partner to talk to about how my day went nor cuddle it’s hard sighhhh:(

  24. I know that this is an old blog post, but I just found it. You have captured the ‘pangs if single grief’ so perfectly… thank you for putting to words a feeling I have had trouble articulating. Reading this, the sadness remains yet I also feel less alone.

  25. Ur post me gave me tears. I so feel you. Been single for 4 years…It feels like eternity. I have my life sorted in other areas except this. I hope everything turns out well in the end. I wish u good luck n light.

  26. I can relate to this so so much. You’ve described the feeling perfectly. And I love how you didn’t make any apologies about telling the truth; there’s probably no fix. I’m in my late 20s and am in exactly the same boat. It’s an awful place to be and it’s exacerbated by the fact that unlike many other things in life, you just can’t bring it under your control nor do you have anything to blame. Unfortunately for me, these feelings are becoming more frequent. Perhaps because almost all of my close friends are married by now. Either way, I wish I didn’t feel at all at times because of it.

    I’m sorry things turned out this way for you and hope that it is some consolation that you aren’t alone. I really do hope you find someone who will be worth the wait. Stay strong.

  27. My current experience is the grief of not being heard. Of not having people to engage with on a a regular (as in) dally basis.

    I’m certainly finding that I experience being loved when I have deep, nourishing conversations. Not just about ‘issues” that I’m struggling with, but just end experience of being heard, accepted, cherished. And equally, to listen, love, and accept another.

    I have friends that I can talk with…when they’re free…But now, with family and work, everyone’s busy.

    My struggle with married people is that: have -more often than not – they are in a relationship with someone whom they can experience this intimacy of communication, that single people struggle with. Then they somehow expect singles NOT to struggle with feeling alone. They seem to forget how hard this was (maybe they never struggled with that?)

  28. Wow. Thank you for putting this into words. It is pretty much right on for me. Most people don’t understand how hard it is looking at all of my friends who have kids, are dating or are married knowing that I may never have that. It’s so hard.

  29. This is one of the better posts I’ve read on singleness and describes a lot of my own experiences – nearing 40 have been, still am, single. I’ve thought lately about that grief of ‘young love’ being gone and even if I were to marry that I won’t experience those things with my peers – I’m grateful you put words on that and brave enough to post them for others to know they are ‘understood’ somewhere.

  30. Your essay is amazing. It’s like you were reading my mind – and the minds of many other single people – when describing your experiences. The heart-crushing pain can’t be avoided sometimes.

  31. How amazing to read your post. I came across it after having one of those moments you described.This evening 3 couples and I had a meal together. I felt so tearful by the end. I am now 64 never married and trying to trust and lean on the Lord. The heartache is so deep.
    Thank you so much for putting into words what I have experienced for a long time.
    The Lord bless you!

    • That sounds like an incredibly painful experience. You’re strong for having agreed to attend that dinner. Keep trusting in God, and I hope you find someone soon. There is a reason for all suffering.

  32. Thank you for this breath taking article you’ve truly expressed how I feel about being single by the words grief and heartache. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m okay abd there’s so many tries that causes the grief and heartache to come no matter how hard I try. I even try to explain to my friends how I felt and they constantly tell me “ Stop searching just wait you’re young you will find someone”. It’s bring back that grief to keep being reminded that every year I age (21 currently). I cry so much go ing in deep into how I feel being single and this article explains it exceptionally. I will try to show this to my friends to see how I feel everyday from being single for 21 years and never been in a date either.

    • Meant triggers not tried **

    • Agreed!! “You’re so young” is not a comfort. Yes I’m young now but I’m getting older – and I am lonely right now, in the present. I hope you find someone special soon.

  33. Everyone needs to be loved at one time or another. At least when you’re married with a family it really does make you feel wanted and loved, especially for many of us men that weren’t that very extremely lucky and blessed at all to meet the right good woman for us since we always would’ve wanted that as well. It really makes you wonder why so many others were that lucky? Were they more special than us? Why not many of us too? Very difficult to answer all those question since God really blessed them? Maybe God really hates us for some unknown reason. We really are no different at all like the others. So why not us? There are many of us good single men out there which i will never understand why women don’t choose us at all. Then again if this had been the good old days then many of us men definitely would’ve met a good woman since many women back then were the very complete opposite of today, and real ladies as well which made love very easy to find at that time. Our family members were very lucky to be born in those days since they met one another with no problem at all. Very very easy finding love back then. Many of us were just doomed to be single unfortunately which it wasn’t even our choice at all. God what in the world did we do that was so bad? And why did you create us if we weren’t meant to find love at all? Not fun at all being single and alone these days. And a very excellent reason for us to really hate the holidays when they come around.

    • I needed to read this today. I had one of those all day on and off crying spells about my long term single status. I’m recently in my forties. Of course everyone I work with has spouses, kids, dogs, houses and big family vacations. It’s not that I don’t experience joy for others but it’s excruciating when everyone on work calls talk about their families. I have nothing to contribute and feel as empty as humanly possible. Forget about talking to someone who has never gone any length of time on their own. They’ll tell you about their marital woes which I’d trade any day for my questionable existence. They’ll try to pep talk you about how amazing you and your life are. Ok, if I’m so great why did no one snatch me up? If single life is not undesirable why does everyone seek out marriage? They also get recognition from their social circle and society that they’re loved, normal, worthy and special to have a significant other. To the people that are married and tell you that happiness comes from within ask them why they paired up then if they are so happy from within? Honestly, if someone else doesn’t contribute to your happiness bucket why isn’t the entire world living on their own? I’m even more mystified by people that have been married several times. Really? You get multiple opportunities at a special connection/soulmate love and the rest of us can’t get one. I run through the whole gamut of self-deprecating questions. Am I unloveable, missing some essential ingredient in my composition? Did God forget about me or punish me for some bad act? IDK about anyone else but it is often the little things that chip away at my soul like the emergency phone number field or when the friend from your past contacts you and tells you about their rich, meaningful life and you have nothing to write about in response. I work, rent an apartment, see friends here and there, workout and lounge. The end. I’ll readily admit there are worse circumstances than being single like major health issues, war and death. Still, if I were to rank perpetual singledom on a pain scale it would be on the really $hitty end of the spectrum. I’m sorry to anyone that is trying to cope with this ambiguous loss.

  34. Wow. I almost could have written this. I’m approaching 40 and never even kissed anyone. Thank God I don’t have to grieve not having kids. Didn’t ever want them. I’ve been crying over being single since my late 20s and only now figured out it’s because I’m single and truly grieving it. I thought I was just bored or that it was part of depression. I cry more and more as time goes by. Especially Friday nights through to Sunday. Deep deep pain. Pastors have been less than helpful. Most tell me maybe I shouldn’t seek marriage. Hey, if they ended up in a bad marriage that doesn’t mean I will. I’m single because I won’t settle. I doubt my marriage would be anything but bliss if I could just find Mr. Right cause I will weed out anyone immature and uncooperative.

  35. Oh my gosh, where to start?? This is 100% exactly what I needed right now. I’m 35, single, and for the most part I’m very happy with my life – it’s just that one missing piece of not having my “person” that makes my heart ache more on certain days (like today). The grief, heartache, and sadness are all too real and hard to explain to those who aren’t single. You summed up everything I feel so well and it just helps to know that other people feel the same way. Thank you, thank you, thank you ❤

  36. I found this post after googling, “I’m sad about being single.” When I saw “Gimme Some Oven” in the search results I got excited. “You mean the same person who wrote the vegan gluten-free carrot cake birthday cake recipe that I’ve relied on FOR YEARS also wrote a post about being single?” Squee! I relate on every level. And now I’m comforted. Thank you.

  37. I love your recipes, but happened upon this singleness series the other day. It is so thoughtfully written and has given me a new outlook on being single. Also, the part about the show Parenthood was spot on!

  38. Really helpful and well articulated article. Thank you for sharing!

  39. I’m only 23 years old but your post made me bawl. Almost all of my friends are married, one is already pregnant with her second kid. And I can’t get a normal date. It is crushing. I have always been boy crazy, always dreamed of getting married really young and having lots of kids. That can still happen, but I feel so hopeless. The pain of seeing happy couples and knowing I may never have that is soul crushing. I am aware that there are plenty of people who are single at my age and I am very young. My post may sound absurd to some people who are far older than me. Still, I am so desperate for a relationship. This article helped me so so much. Thank you for expressing so beautifully how I feel – and congrats on finding your lovely husband.

  40. I’ve just found this while googling loneliness and sadness. I’m so glad I had a chance to read this and also most of other people’s comments. Even though I feel mostly as you described, it is somewhat easier to see that I’m not alone. Lots of people are going through similar emotions and long time single life. Sometimes I ask God what is wrong with me, is this some kind of punishment maybe? I don’t know…I will try to go one foot in front of the other one day at the time.

  41. Love this.

  42. Thank you. I haven’t been in a dating scene for nearly 3 years. And before it never worked out. I might be damned to ride solo. But we’ve got alot of riders for company. God bless!

  43. Hi Ali!
    I have to say this is the most spot on article I’ve read in a long time that has hit home with me! And I’ve read hundreds of articles over the years about singleness and sadness. As a lady in my fifties and forever alone, I can say I am professional about one thing and that’s going it alone. But you are so so right-every now and then the universe winds up and lands a body blow straight to the heart. Last night was one of those times. I am a proud Aunt of five awesome nieces. One is single and happy, one is happily married with a toddler, one is engaged and one just revealed to me yesterday she has a boyfriend. My nieces are btw 16-25 yrs of age. I was so happy to hear the good news from her-her first boyfriend-she’s the 16 yr old! People around me are already paired up or in the process of being paired up and there’s good old dependable, reliable always pretending to be happy, aunty. I know it sounds awful to be envious of my own family and God knows I love them all dearly but every now and then it steam rolls over you. I find holidays soul-crushing like Christmas, New Year’s and of course the ever-annoying, Valentine’s Day humiliation. Years of co-workers happily married with sweet kids, friends weddings and other “couple” events that would leave me bawling in my beer have now left me empty. Now entering old age and well past my expiry date I now experience only a numbness that comes from years of singleness and sadness. Your right, it’s the unexpected moments that really stab the gut, like seeing an ex with someone new, couples sharing a private moment, a birth announcement, Mother’s Day and an empty uterus, a wedding anniversary that is never celebrated and a left hand without a ring. Thanks for listening and for your article that really laid it out. God bless all us single gals and may we one day find the love we all deserve.

  44. Hi Ali! Your so right, it is like grief because a part of you dies every time a moment happens that reminds us of our singleness. It’s like a whopper of a stomach ache and wave of heart-break all at once. Once again reminding us of our unworthiness to be loved. It’s grief because it’s a hell that only singles can relate to. I love my parents dearly–they are true soulmates. Everyone that meets them notices it. They were married very young and had very limited experience with being single. I know they love me but deep down they feel I am not whole. Many view singles as not whole or strange, freakish, weird, etc when in reality we were just never fortunate enough to find, “the one”. As I grow older, I am in my fifties, grief of this kind can intensify because you realize you’ll be facing old age and death alone. Even as young as a child, I always knew (I don’t know how I always knew this), that I would lead a solitary life. Knowing this though didn’t make facing life’s hardships and heart aches any easier unfortunately. Some pots never find their lids. I pray you find your twin soul, your soul mate and live a magical and joyful life!

  45. Thank you. Your words are the only ones recently that help me feel understand. This ache is unrelenting, time and time again being passed by, and now it is too late for me to have my own family. There is nothing but to be sad. This is a grief we are never prepared for, and you never imagine would ever happen to you.

  46. This is exactly how I’m feeling right now. Grief stricken because I just don’t see anyone being over the horizon for me. I’m sad and crying and my chest is heavy with the knot in my throat. I’ve done the “date yourself” thing for the past two years and also years before my last relationship. I’m almost 30. I’m tired of that. Single-parenthood and the cards life has dealt me doesn’t really leave room for me to be sad or mad or vulnerable at all. But, I’m sad right now. Extremely sad.

  47. This has helped me in ways you don’t even know. Exactly how o feel written so beautifully and practically. Thank you so very much for your transparency and I will be sharing this with my other single friends that are dealing with the same emotions.

  48. One of those finding this years later. Been feeling this hard recently, but like you described it comes and goes. Course, I blame myself for this. I’m fat and a shut-in. I’m trying to improve but stumbling between getting into shape and finding the confidence to go out there. I have so many regrets already and my enjoyment of romantic media is certainly doing me no favors. I hope many of the people who replied in the past have found someone. If you’re the praying sort, I could probably use one. Thanks for sharing your story. Means the world.

  49. I like that you don’t give canned answers or try to conceptualise the pain and longing being single brings.

    I hope your honesty and vulnerability brings you relationships that enrich you.

  50. 2022. I wanted to thank you for such a well written article that articulates exactly how I feel at this moment. It is such a crushing feeling that not many people understand unless they’ve gone though it themselves. The loneliness causes literal heartache. As always I remain hopeful that this won’t always be the case but what if… it will be?