junction sign

A couple of days back, I asked the question, ‘If you’re healing, why are you dating?’ in response to the repeated problems that I see arising when we’re not prepared to spend some dedicated to focusing on ourselves and dealing with the issues that are impacting on our self-esteem and the possibility of happiness, whether that is on our own…or with someone else.

But as always, in spite of what was said, some readers insist that it is easier to feel this way when you’re younger, don’t feel like time is running out, or lonely.

So how do you deal with this?

I’m in my early thirties but I have a mother in her early fifties, and I know many ‘older’ women who are single or dating/in a relationship with varying success, plus of course, I get a hell of a lot of emails from readers, especially in the age groups that feel most stressed about this issue – 40s, 50s, and in some instances, 60s.

I should point out that the ones who are actually enjoying their lives and a relationship are the ones that made a positive decision to spend some time on their own, break old patterns, rebuild their lives, and redefine themselves in a positive, loving context. Age does not have to be an indicator of ‘baggage’.

I am not here to invalidate anyone’s feelings – you feel what you feel, keeping in mind that you are actually able to identify what you feel and attribute the right word to it.

I know that the overriding majority of women that get in touch with me and mention the word ‘loneliness’ are also lonely when they have a man in their life. In fact, I know people who feel just as alone in a room full of people, nevermind one on one with a man.

If you still end up feeling lonely and riddled with insecurity in spite of the fact that you have a man in your life, why do you still feel that having a man, having a relationship, having dalliances, having sex, having attention from these people, having an illusion, having more issues to deal with that result from being involved with these men, is the answer to your problems?

If this is what worked and was the cure for your loneliness, companionship, and everything else that is going on in your life, why are so many women who are dating or in a relationship, miserable?

Why are you expecting different results carrying the same baggage, the same beliefs about yourself, love, and relationships, the same relationship habits, the same usual attraction to the same ‘ole assclowns?

And so it is at this point when I say that 1) you can’t have it both ways and 2) you and only you make your choices about what you do next.

I could sit here and talk till I am blue in the face and give you umpteen reasons why issues will continue to arise and you will continue to be unhappy, but you and only you make your choices about where you want to go and what you want to do.

On the flipside, you could meet someone who will tell you till they’re blue in the face that you are wonderful, but if you don’t believe it, it won’t make a blind bit of difference – fact.

As I have repeatedly stated about a variety of things, actions speak louder than words, so whatever choices you choose to make, and trust me, they are all choices, you only learn through the proof of your actions and what results from them.

When you get negative results from what you continue to actively pursue, you don’t get to be right and blame men, the dating pool, or any of the whole host of reasons that we come up with for why things aren’t working out, because you are armed with a significant amount of knowledge and you have decided to, for instance, turn right instead of left.

It’s not that sh*t behaviour from another party is not sh* behaviour, but you are inviting it into your life and you have to acknowledge the responsibility that comes with that.

You can’t complain and bemoan the results of your own willing choices. It’s a bit like someone saying,

“I know that I can walk 10 miles and cross safely to the other side of the road, but I’m lonely, time is running out, everyone else is younger and fitter than me, and damnit, I hate feeling like this, so I’m going to cross here, even though I know that I am very likely to get run down by the very fast oncoming traffic. It’ll be OK, happiness awaits me on the other side.”

They then get run down by the oncoming traffic and emerge on the other side battered.

“Those cars were going way too fast. They should have stopped or slowed down when they saw me coming. I want to sue! It’s not my fault. I didn’t have the time to make that journey and surely you couldn’t expect me to be on my own for the next 10 miles…oh goodness, where is everyone? I thought that it was going to be really good here, so how come I feel so crappy. Stupid cars! Stupid road!”

It is in essence, just another way of sabotaging your efforts, which in itself again shows self-esteem issues, and a more deep rooted instinct to keep yourself away from relationships that offer a stronger possibility of commitment.

If you are not willing to put aside even a few months out of your life to focus on you and clearing out the emotional closet so you can get down to hand baggage and approach men, dating, and relationships from a healthier positive perspective, despite already dedicating a likely far longer period to self-negativity and poor relationships, there are certain things you need to do and remember:

1) You are choosing your experience and bearing in mind that you know what the very likely result will be, that puts you in the hotseat of responsibility.

2) You’d better leave your insecurities at the proverbial door, because while people accept that we come with a level of baggage, it is highly unattractive to be in relationships with people whose baggage permeates everything and who appear to need reassurance, validation, affirmation, and discussions above and beyond the comfort levels of even the healthiest of people.

3) It is not the responsibility of men to raise you from the ground up. Just like we are not responsible for fixing, healing, and helping men and raising them from the ground up, because it is likely to doom your relationship and is forcing the hand of change, it is no different when the shoes are on the male foot.

4) You can’t project. No matter what age you are, while you need to use gut, intuition, judgement, and boundaries with knowledge of red flags, you can’t project your problems or negative beliefs or emotions on the relationship. You can’t be in a new relationship, treating him like an ex, or making assumptions about him – you need to treat him as you find him.

5) The projection rolls to the over optimism side too. People who habitually have poor relationships are rarely in the present – they’re in the past wondering why he won’t become what he was in the first week, or living out the fantasy of the illusion of what they think things could be like in the future. You can’t do this – if you do, you can consider the relationship over before it has even started.

6) You’d better find other sources of contentment because you cannot place everything on some guy. Make sure you spend time with friends, make sure you enjoy family, make sure you have things outside of whatever dalliance you’re having, because if you don’t, the likelihood of serious problems, especially with your self-esteem, will increase.

7) No trying to change them. You’ve made the choice not to spend the time on you so don’t then try to exert control and force someone else to change. I’ll say it again – you’ve made the choice to go down this route and it has been said time and time again, that unfounded and too high expectations and the impact of forcing and hoping for change is a major derailment factor. Whoever you meet, you’d better accept him as he is and work with what you find. You’re the person that wants to settle for less so this may mean that you’ll have to get to grips with being with an assclown or an emotionally unavailable guy.

8) Leave sex out of the equation until you have established a relationship. Sex is not love. Sex is not companionship, especially when you get the sex, and it’s great but they disappear and leave you with problems, or it’s crap and they leave you with problems, or they stick around, and you still have problems. Sex complicates things and you could spare yourself some headache for a little while by ‘just’ dating. If you’re of course going to say, sod the advice, I want my sex, well…again, you’re choosing the likely results.

9) Don’t moan about him being ‘nice’ or complain about fireworks. You don’t get to have it all and fireworks are a likely indicator in your relationships of there being problems. If you’re not that keen on the quality of the relationship and the quality of your happiness and have decided to ‘settle’, trust me when I say that seeking ‘fireworks’ is likely to keep you single than it is to put you in the relationship you desperately require.

10) As you don’t trust in you and are unwillingly to use your past experiences to make real, positive, changes, you are going to have to work out your plan of action and decide how you want to play this. You don’t get to have a shopping list of requirements in these situations!

I would like to stress – I do not recommend that anyone, regardless of age, avoids helping themselves and I certainly don’t suggest that anyone willingly chooses to go down the unhappiness route. I help people who want to help themselves. If you’re only going to see the negative, it’s very likely that you don’t want to deal with the responsibility and power that comes with knowledge – this is not unusual, particularly if you have spent a significant part of your life being a certain way.

The uncomfortable often becomes the uncomfortable, and the better life, which requires change, can feel immensely uncomfortable. In fact, and this is often the hardest thing for many women to digest, some of us are happier being unhappy.

Change is not easy and realistically, you need to want better for you more than you want a man who doesn’t actually exist in your life yet. You need to have enough self-awareness and have a fairly solid foot in reality that reminds you of where you have already been and the pain you have experienced, so that you don’t continue to desire and seek it.

If you don’t love you, like you, why the hell should someone else see something that you don’t?

For those that go with the change route, they make their choice too, just like if you decide that you don’t want to change. Either route makes you accountable. The point is that nobody, including me, can ‘make’ you choose the better option.

What I do know of women who settle, regardless of age, is that if you had enough insight to recognise you were unhappy in the first place and you’re predisposed to verbalising the great majority of thoughts in your head, or letting fear permeate your life, the results are…negative. You’ll also find that while friends and family will have a certain amount of sympathy, they will get weary too because they knew your complaints when you didn’t have a man, and they know your complaints when you’re with him, and actually, not much has changed.

I’ve shown you both roads, not just in this post but in numerous posts and Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl, but…it’s your choice.

Your thoughts?


Dedicated to helping people improve their emotional and relationship literacy, think of me as emotional baggage declutter, shady relationship buster and self-esteem booster all rolled into one! Find Out More | My Books | 30-day projects | Weekly Podcast .
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50 Responses to Dating When You’re Lonely or Feel Time is Running Out

  1. lisaq says:

    Nicely done NML. We indeed cannot put meeting our needs in the hands of anyone else…not only not in a man. We also cannot expect our friends to entertain us or keep us company on an ongoing basis. If we are feeling lonely or unfulfilled it is up to US and only us to find the source of that feeling and do something about it.

    lisaq’s last blog post..Stressed? You Need a Kiss!

  2. FinallyOverIt says:

    NML, thank you for this post, you are completely right in every word you say. When I look back on my 17 years of marriage, I was unhappy, especially toward the end. And, I was very lonely even though I was in a relationship. I was one of the posters in your last article that said that it gets harder the older you get, but after reading this post I see that I am focusing on the negative instead of being thankful for what I do have in my life. And, no matter what age we are, learning to love and value ourselves will only make our lives richer and more fulfulled. Thank you for this!

  3. Isabella says:


    I can say an Amen to what you wrote. I was in a similar situation with the marriage and now that I am single, I have been focusing on age and how it relates to dating but in a negative way.

  4. Loving Annie says:

    Very good points, and as usual, (I don’t know how you do it, read my mind every single time and write exactly what I need to hear in enough detail that I can say it EXACTLY fits my situation).

    I realized the other day that if I approached making platonic friendships with women the way I do dating-wise with men, it would be an utter disaster.

    I’d be placing waaaay too much emphasis on each woman I met, expecting HER to be my new best friend, taking things out of proportion, reading too much into when we talked or didn’t, all of it. I’d NEVER have a good relationship.

    So… at almost age 51 and still single, I need to look at guys with the same healthy distance I do women.

    I ALWAYS make a new woman friend about every 2 years and we stay friends for ages. It just happens – and my boundaries are good and my standards are effective for the reliability and consistency and mutual loyalty and time investment I’m comfortable with.

    I never even think about it, it just unfolds as I’m already living my life, and some other women come and go because they are flakes, and whatever.
    I spend no time analyszing it, let alone beating myself up, I just keep going and eventually bump into someone nice.

    I get it, conceptually. I think I’ve had an attitude shift here. Now I need to hang onto it.
    I think this same treatment/way of thinking/reacting/responding makes much more sense.

    Now I see why I need to work on me, and how that comes into play and not dating is important – rather than a lonely self-perpetuating void.

    Thanks NML :)

    Loving Annie’s last blog post..HOMESICK

  5. nysharon says:

    You are right NML. I am finishing week 3 of HE-Tox and/or my dating hiatus and feel so at ease. I plan to continue that for the next 3 or so months. It feels good to be in charge and not waiting for something to happen. By the way I am 51. I know someone right will walk into my life at some point, and I want to be ready.

  6. Liv says:

    NML, your words are so powerful and so helpful…

  7. Loved the article, as always. I think my favorite line was, “If you don’t love you, like you, why the hell should someone else see something that you don’t?”
    And also, number 7.

    Best Wishes

    searchingwithin’s last blog post..Is Your "Attraction Radar" Broken?

  8. MetsGirl says:

    Ouch!! Absolutely love this article!! It’s amazing what a “shift in thinking” can do….My reality is so different today because of this site and the women on it. NML I love your candor =)

  9. ph2072 says:

    Thank you for this article NML. Every time you post, your words give me more tools for my arsenal.

    Being alone and happy is much better than being with someone and miserable. There are way too many people out there who are the latter….. just for the sake of having someone or what they consider loneliness. I’ve been through a lot in my life, but one thing I always understood was what I mentioned (alone and happy) and it’s what has kept me (kind of) sane.

    Thanks again.

  10. blackgnat says:

    Okay, I am 50. Is this a generational thing? There are too many similarities for it to be anything else.

    Are we all disillusioned? Is it a sign of the times? Who raised us? Who raised the assclowns?

    Just food for thought, yes?black

  11. blackgnat says:

    Sorry about the extra “black” there! Didn’t hit the tab button in time!

  12. Michelle says:

    I looked for outside validation and love through attention for my looks, and this includes sex, for all of my dating life, and then I hit my 40’s and found the easy attention fix wasn’t quite as easy to get…then started to feel time was ticking, sometimes felt desparate and scared. Guess what? EUM’s of all ages can sense this a mile away.

    This “I’m getting older, options dwindling, running out of time” thing has been tripping me up quite a bit since turning 40 a couple of years ago. Then recently, in working on my issues, I clearly remembered something: When I was 29, about to be 30, I started dating a colossal cruel assclown, and I let him chip away at my self-esteem for over a year. I remember feeling EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THEN as I do now, 10 years later, with the latest EUM.

    Do I want to let another 10 years go by, and then 40 turning 50 being saying and feeling the same thing? HELL NO!

    I’d like to state it can be really painful for a woman to grow older and feel her looks (her power in dating if you will) has diminished. Younger women probably won’t really get it until they live it, but now that I am living it, feel I can do one of two things. Let it feed my insecurities, or look at it as a blessing and opportunity to find my inner strenth based on more than surface level stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I work out, am in good shape, and look stylish and hot as possible at all times! – lol However, trying to keep perspective, keep it real and don’t keep living the lie I’ve been feeding myself all my dating life, that my value is based on my looks. It’s just another way to be negative and keep up the pattern. Time to get uncomfortable with that pattern.

  13. annied says:

    I just read this quote a couple of days ago and it fits perfectly:

    “To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.”

    Nothing will change unless we, ourselves, change.

  14. ts says:

    I guess I would notice that a lot of us on this board are “middle aged”.
    Ha! I say. Whatever, go on, be yourself and if a man comes along who seems right, or actually offers you a real relationship, then go for it. Otherwise, fill our time with our lives. Men, as they get older, only get more needy and less productive (wink, wink, say no more girls, oh yeah except for that drug, Viagra!). Don’t allow yourselves to expend more energy on someone who is not really there afterall. Cheers. ts.

  15. lisa says:

    I’m 45, so I guess I fit the “middle age” thing, too. I was married for 13 years to a guy who, although not a bad man, was just not around. He worked all the time, and then when he got “religion” (which wasn’t really a bad thing) all the time that he didn’t spend working was spent bible studying and praying…. didn’t leave much time for me. I was so, so, so, lonely even when I had the 2 kids come along. We had sex maybe twice a year because he was busy, and just really not super interested, and that contributed to the loneliness, too. (and I’m not ugly, and when I was young, I was in SUPER shape… always had guys looking at me, but I just didn’t want to consider “cheating” just to get sex). About year 10 of the marriage, I just gave up and conceeded that this was just my lot in life, and I raised the kids, but by year 13, I realized I could probably do what I was doing on my own, (make a life for myself and my kids) and I finally got the guts to leave. It was hard, and I had to work a lot, but I have never regretted it. It wasn’t until I found this site that I realized that my ex-husband was totally an EUM. He still is. He still (almost 9 years later) thinks we’re married (in God’s eyes). Anyway, I only had one relationship that started about 6 years after I was divorced, and it was with a guy who I had everything in common with (who told me he was in the middle of a divorce, and I believed him.) Things went okay for awhile, but then I realized that his actions didn’t match his words… that is when I started looking on the internet for help, and it took about 4 or 5 months before I found this site and had the courage to walk away for good. I still can’t believe I let myself into that situation. I’m not someone who dates just to have someone, but as my kids are now 19 and 16, I am lonely sometimes and want to find a real companion. So, I am working on me so I can be ready for someone else who hopefully is just plain REAL.

    Sorry this is so long, I really felt the need to let it out today!

  16. Gaynor says:


    What do you mean he “thinks we’re married?” What does he do??

  17. lisa says:

    Keeps pictures of me up at his house, wears his wedding ring (not always, but a lot), tells my sons that “once married, always married”….will not date until I remarry, etc…

    It is a little weird, but I just don’t buy into it. (I did for awhile, though, but I got over it) My kids, thankfully, although Christians themselves, are wise enough to understand that their dad is a little overboard when it comes to this stuff and is not quite living in reality. Both kids have expressed that they understand that he and I had an awfully sad, severely strained and depraved marriage.

    That’s about it.

  18. Gaynor says:


    Wow! Did he make any efforts for reconciliation or to change his behavior?? Are the pictures of you alone or with the children? My ex-EUM kept a couple photos of the ex with the kids around, another indication he had not moved on after 4+years.

  19. finallyseenthelight says:

    This post really hit me hard. I hear you Michelle, because I just can’t seem to change the belief and feeling that my value as a woman comes from my looks. I’m 46 and I am very attractive, but my weight isn’t what it was when I was in my twenties, I have an extra 10-20 pounds…I’m not obese at all, but it’s just so hard to lose the weight. I get depressed at times, feel lonely and fear “time is running out.” I try to change those negative thoughts and I am working on me…but it is a slow process. I go to the gym, but sometimes with work and family and friends it is hard to be as consistent as I’d like to be. I guess I think all men are looking for a barbie doll. I know I have to change these thoughts…and for 46 years they’ve been ringing in my head…even when I was a size 4 or 6 most of my life and felt fat!!! I think some days are harder than others…and I’m coming to the conclusion that when I think I miss the ex-EUM, it’s just me not feeling comfortable with me…
    HUGSSSSSSSSSSSSS to all of you!

  20. Jean says:

    Yes I am in my 40s also and I never understood how important looks are for women until I was overweight and a bit older.

    You can pretend societal views don’t exist but they really do. Somehow older women are just invisible.

    I was always very thin and gorgeous and had so much attention from men.

    I’m older and overweight and hardly get a look anymore. It does hurt!

    It really made me think that appearance, for men, is number one and everything else is secondary.

    Lot of guys my age are chasing after the 20 year olds. They have good careers and lots of money to tempt the young girls. Obviously the young hot girls have a lot of value as men of all ages chase after them. They are the ultimate prize.

    I am just not certain how a woman my age who is very successful can find a mate? My career, income, age is a turn off it seems. :(

    I’m probably 30 pounds over the upper range for my BMI. Too lose weight, I literally have to starve. :(

    Sorry for the whinge, but no matter how hard I try to say it doesn’t exist. It really does.

  21. lisa says:

    Hi again Gaynor…. it is sad that your ex had pictures of his wife still around. That definitely doesn’t seem like he had closure yet. I don’t know why men like that feel like they have ANYTHING to give a new woman. They just aren’t ready and available!

    My ex husband and I, we did some counseling, but unfortunately, most of it was done by men in the church who had similar views to my ex, so the guy’s position always had the final decision. It was very humiliating and frustrating because I never felt heard… then I realized I don’t need it from them. (but that took a long while, years really)

    I’m also reading these posts by women who have hit the 40’s plus mark and are having trouble with the added weight being an issue. I have that, too. It is just our bodies naturally changing as we get older. I also, all my life worried about my weight and still do a little (mainly for health reasons), so I’d like to throw it out there that when I just started taking walks and doing more age appropriate workouts (in stead of the 90 minute full on weightlifing I used to do) and accepting the change, I’ve felt better about my new size. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel 100 percent attractive, but who does unless they are totally vain?

    So, I don’t know if that helps at all.

  22. Michelle says:

    “I know that the overriding majority of women that get in touch with me and mention the word ‘loneliness’ are also lonely when they have a man in their life.”

    Great point. It’s more devastating to be lonely in a relationship than on your own. That feeling in my EUM relationships (including a marriage) was consistent and should have been a wake-up call.

    It feels super important for me to not use age as an excuse to continue the same negative self-thoughts that got me to this point. Since I felt at 29 same fears of aging and loneliness at the age of 39, it’s a HUGE realization time to change me. NML lays it out – it’s a choice. I plan to be strong and make the better choice, will take work, but I know it can be done.

    Found out ex-EUM broke up with woman he ditched me for, and my first thought – what a tool, player, and I am so lucky to break free of that drama, I just didn’t care. Hope to never hear news of him again, ever. All numbers remain safely blocked, and I get to keep moving forward with the healing. It’s the first time I felt this way (not caring about him) since finding this site, wanted to share.

    Just the awareness of my wanting to change made this feeling possible – I didn’t even really do anything, it was just there!! I am so happy and thankful for this site, your comments also add so much support for healing. You gorgeous ladies, believe your beauty inside! Love & Hugs to all.

  23. myalmostlover says:

    Jean…..You know I dropped about twenty pounds two years ago. It was hard but I just started using the treadmill everyday, walking for thrity minutes. I changed my diet, stopped eating more calories then I was expending and now I’m down to around 135 which is fine for me. It took me a year to do it…so if you think in terms of losing the weight, think longer term and set short term goals. Tell yiour self I want to get to lose five pounds in x number of weeks. Don’t try to starve yourself, your body will only go into starvation mode and save calories. That’s the best way I’ve found to lose weight.

    I’m trying my best to concentrate on me. I want to feel positive about myself and stop being pulled down by negative energy. It’s hard when you’re “middle aged” and think your time clock is running out out. But I was reading a story the other day about a woman that was 68 and was having a passionate affair with a man who was 78. So if they can do it I’m sure we can find a good man.

  24. Jean says:

    Thank you for your kind words myalmostlover. I would love to weight 135! I managed to get down to 155 a few years ago and kept it off until I moved.I gained 20 pounds in the 2 years since I have moved.

    I started again the end of December and thought I had lost 15 pounds and then I got a new scale and my weight loss was really only 5 pounds. I was so discouraged that I haven’t gotten on the scale since.

    I have an elliptical that I have been using and do weight training and yoga.

    I really don’t get why the weight comes back so fast.

    I rarely have soda, chips, fast food, sweets.

    I probably have a soda and fast food meal once a month and a bar of chocolate once a month.

    I just don’t get it.

    I’m eating less than 1800 calories a day. :(

    Now if I go on a protein shake diet and take my calories way down, I will lose.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Hormones? Thyroid?

    I will keep trying though.

  25. Gaynor says:


    How late do you eat? I notice that if I eat after 7:00 PM, I start to put on the pounds. Also, what kind of carbs do you eat for dinner? Can you get your caloric intake down to 1500?

  26. Jean says:

    Hi Gaynor,

    I have dinner right when I get home from work around 5.30pm to 6.00pm.

    Carbs, last night I had a weight watchers satay chicken frozen dinner than was 5.5 points and a yogurt for dessert at 2 points.

    Yes 1500 is easy. My range is between 900 to 1800 max. 900s on days I am just not hungry.

    I got brave enough to get on the scale again after what I had told y’all and I’m down a pound since I last weighed on the day I got my new scale and was so discourage. So I didn’t gain!

    I might have lost more because right now is bloat before period time.

    Thanks ladies. It is so discouraging when I used to cry when I couldn’t get above 102lbs.

  27. Tulipa says:

    Over the weekend via the news I heard that exEUMs best mate is in a coma in hospital.. am I right not to have made any contact with EUM over this ?? thank you for any opinions

  28. ts says:

    Hi Tulipa,

    I would ask a series of questions. Does he have other female company he can turn to for support? From your experience with him, would he use this as an opportunity to reel you back into the madness? Would you be contacting him out of concern or guilt? Is it worth it to you after all the hard work you have been doing to stay NC?

    Given that you found out via something other than him contacting you about it, you can play dumb about knowing and maybe that would relieve any guilt you may have for not contacting him about it. You may have to consider this question more seriously if he should make contact and try to reach out to you.

    I understand that at times of real trouble your instinct is to be nice and supportive towards someone who you once cared for a great deal. Was he always so supportive of you during trying times?

    I wish you well, my gut is to say don’t contact him for now. Mull it over and if you do, make sure it is for your own reasons and you are emotionally armed to not let it drag you back into the fray.

    Take care, ts

  29. Gaynor says:


    Was the ex there for you when you needed him?? Why would you contact him? If you were close to the friend then I would be supportive to the family, otherwise I would let it go.

  30. ts says:

    I would agree with Gaynor, only if you knew the friend personally enough, then contacting his family would make sense. Unless, by even doing that, that would open a door for your EUM to get his foot back into your life. You have moved on, things like this happen in life, but, it is not your concern now to be the one he turns to. As Gaynor said, it is probably best to let this go. I do understand your quandry, but, your first instinct was to not contact, yet you came here to get affirmation for what your gut was already telling you. Keep strong and trust your gut. ts

  31. Jean says:

    Tulipa, no I wouldn’t contact him.

    Other than my ex husband, I can’t think of any guy who I was broken up with who contacted me when I had a crisis. They just don’t care.

    I’ve had something major happen that was on the news too and nobody from my past ever contacted me.

    Strangers and folks from nursing homes and churches did though.

  32. Tulipa says:

    Thank you so much I really appreaciate you answering me.. You are right it took me long enough to end everything and to keep my no contact going. I did feel guilty about doing nothing but I do feel it is the right thing to do and yes he would have plenty of others to turn to for support especially from his female harem I would just be putting myself where I don’t want to be..
    Can’t say a situation ever really arose where I needed his support.
    I am going to trust my gut and stay away .. thank you again .. it is not a nice thing to have happened but you are right it is not my concern anymore… so day 34 will now continue in peace ..

  33. ts says:

    …and here’s to day 35! Cheers and keep in that peace. ts.

  34. myalmostlover says:

    Jean….you seem to be doing everything right. 1800 calories is not a lot, plus you’re exercising regularly. I just read a study that says no matter if you try to control carbs or fats the most important thing is watching caloric intake.

    I got a new exercise tape caled Skinny Bitch…lol These women have a whole line of books, including recipes. The tape targets the butt, abs, legs and arms It’s cardio with a little resistance training and yoga. I’ve been doing it three times a week plus the treadmill. and I’m starting to see a difference. When you build muscle you burn fat even when you’re not working out. So maybe you could try it. These women are hysterical and it makes the workout fun. Their book is interesting too because they’re vegetarians and spend a lot of time explaining the benefits of giving up meat.. I’m also a veggie, which has cut a lot of fat out of my diet but it does take getting used to

    Just thought I’d share that with you. One other thing, stress can contribute to weight gain. Here’s a link to an article from WebMD about stress and weight gain.

    Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

    So dealing with an EUM and all their BS can affect our health as well.

  35. myalmostlover says:

    I just wrote a reply to Jean that included a link and it never posted. This has happend to me before when I’ve tried to post a link. Are we not allowed to post links?

  36. RES says:

    Amen. Thanks soooo much, NML.

  37. ashley says:

    Hi everyone. I identify with so many of the themes on this site. I haven’t actively dated in about four or five months. When I last dated, it was evident I wasn’t over my ex-EUM yet, as he popped back into my life and I went into another downward spiral. Since early January I’ve officially invoked the no contact rule and minus an email I sent to him a couple weeks ago politely requesting he stop contacting me, there has been no contact.

    I feel good about myself but as I’ve written on other posts of NML’s recently, I still feel a pull towards unavailable men. I haven’t acted on any of this, but I’ve observed it happening and held back.

    One change for the better I’ve noticed is that I no longer enjoy the attentions of the egotistical, pushy, man-child EUMs. I realize now, in retrospect, that these types were very prevalent in my life, whether as a friend or a lover. They no longer appeal to me in any way.

    I think the reason these types appealed to me in the first place was that because I was unsure of myself and probably had low self esteem. These pushy types took the work out of the equation of getting to know a new guy for me. I equated their “attention” with meaning that I was “worthy” and thought that their overtures meant that they cared about me and we had a real connection. I was so wrong. I know now that they (both the friends and the lovers) are egotistical, passive aggressive, selfish, immature and insensitive men. I have no desire to be these type’s friend, lover, girlfriend or wife!!

    I do worry that time is running out and that I need to be “out there” while my looks (which I feel are fading) are still there. But thinking this way, I feel like I would just be going back to my old patterns of trying to get approval from a man based on my looks which has gotten me no where so far!

    I feel like I’ve made progress. I know what I don’t like in a man, I know what appeals to me, and I am happy and content with myself and my life.

    I’m definitely scared of going through another relationship or dalliance with an EUM. The thought of that makes me want to hide under the covers forever!! :-)

    The only real ways I could actively look for dates is to join an online dating site, go to singles mixers or ask people to set me up with their single friends. I have had horrible luck with online dating sites. I feel as if actively engaging in those sites will bring back all the bad feelings from the negative experiences I had. It’s also a LOT of work for very little reward. As NML said, it’s no more random than walking into a bar.

    Singles mixers are also not for me. There is something about the dynamic or “vibe” in a singles mixer that just makes me uncomfortable and I don’t think I portray myself in my best light at them.

    Often when getting set up by friends they don’t really think “would these two be compatible” (and rightly so, why should they I’m just asking them to set me up with a single man) and the set ups are typically awkward and go nowhere.

    What seems to be working for me is for me to continue living my life. Lately, I feel as if I have been meeting a lot of new people. I am very active socially and in my profession. I am quite athletic and that really helps keep me in shape (physically AND mentally) and it’s a great outlet for meeting new people. I seem to be happiest when I am engaged with life, as opposed to an online dating site or a series of singles mixers.

    However, I realize that not everyone can be as social as me and so I totally recognize that set-ups, dating sites or organized singles mixers provide the opportunity to meet others. I don’t mean to offend anyone’s choices about how they meet men.

    It’s hard holding back though! I am a very independent person, and I was raised to solve problems and get things done. So – in facing my singleness, in the past I’ve always “done” something to not be single (join an online site, chase after a man etc…)

    Maybe, what I need to “do” is just continue living life in a positive way, contributing to society and circulating with positive people. I would think that by doing this eventually, mutual attraction with an available man would develop. It just hasn’t happened yet. So that’s where I just need to be patient and have faith.

    Isn’t it ironic how sometimes the most impatient of people (I would fit in that category) end up waiting the longest when it comes to love?

  38. myalmostlover says:

    ashely……You really summed it all up. I feel exactly the same way. i think the best approach is to live your life and positive things will come your way, sort of “if I build it they will come”. Thanks for your insight.

  39. nysharon says:

    Hi middle agers. I suggest reading “Sex and the Seasoned Woman” by Gail Sheehy. She writes about the second adulthood, hormones, taking charge of your life and other things we go through after our 40’s. I too find it very difficult to keep my weight down but it has to do with hormonal changes.
    When I turned 41 that is when I found I was getting more attention from men. I looked young and compared to other woman my age had taken care of myself. Looks do matter most to men initally…At 51 I look young still but when potential dates hear my age, interest drops off, even if they are my own age. Younger men ask me out but aren’t really interested in more than a casual dating/ AKA: emotional unavailable situation. The MM I was involved with for 5 plus years is 10 years younger than me. I have a philosophy that men don’t leave relationships if they are unhappy, only sometimes when they find someone else. The ones that are single, who were left behind by their ex’s are emotionaly unavailable because they were dumped and hurt and never worked through their loss. The right situation can come by but we must not settle, we must stay positive, and not think of it as the end but a new beginning.

  40. MetsGirl says:

    I still worry about aging….I’m now 40. No children, never been married and it’s hard to envision how badly that would look to men who are ready to settle down. Like….”what the hell is wrong with her” kinda thing. But I do know this much…..I’ve been working on my “stuff” for almost three years and I know (now) I would not change anything I did / or didn’t do in my life.

    I didn’t marry because I was completely immature and would have made a horrible wife….and I managed to feel like a complete loser because of what family members pressured me with and expected me to do. Now I simply say “screw it”.

    I want a healthy man. And any man that hunts down pretty little 20 year olds wouldn’t make it with me anyway….because I say so….not the other way around. I’m not going to punish my future relationships because of my past but I sure as hell have changed the way I feel that I deserve to be treated. My guess is…..there isn’t an AC alive that would be able to live up to normal societal standards and I don’t have to worry about settling for crumbs! (Even if it means that I’m alone) I guess I better start picking up better hobbies…hee hee.

    I’m proud of everyone on this site. Maybe we are middle aged and can’t strut like we once did…..(and maybe that’s a real good thing) but we’ve got so much more to offer because of our experiences. I finally have my head screwed on right and I’m dam* glad that I don’t have what it takes to make the AC’s turn my way anymore. (The men who chase arm-candy . . . hint, hint….total AClowns!!) When I do get my man, it will be a quality man…a healthy man. Someone that fell head over heels with my mistakes, flaws, wrinkles and all. Best wishes for all out there. ~Hugs~

  41. Gail says:

    This is interesting, I see many are in their 40’s here, I know a few in their early 50’s who post and me sitting here at 53 almost 54, my mantra is I may be 54 but I am not dead! I am sure you all realize that one thing you can’t stop is aging and paying taxes, it’s just a fact of life and one just has to make the best they can of it. I understand aging can be quite scary.

    Personally, I felt worse at 40 than I do at 53, as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t go back (except to exorcise the demons that held me back from a decent relationship earlier in my life than now). Getting older and running out of time has not been too much of a concern, okay maybe a little recently and I do understand how it may be for others. However, I am finding that there are many men out there, our age or younger that are nice, decent guys. If my lifestyle and where I am at right now in my life journey allowed me to start up a dating relationship I would and I tried, I am just not there yet but it’s not an age or physical thing for me. It’s a personal choice. Living a healthy lifestyle, eating properly, exercising regularly and getting your own mind right I think will take care of any misconceptions about maturing, love it and embrace it! As Natalie says, you project what you believe about yourself. Fortunately in that department there haven’t been any self-esteem issues for me, I do feel fortunate.

    If it’s any consolation and positive reinforcement for you, 54 is really great and there are men are out there who are looking for and want to be with mature women of all shapes and sizes. Believe me, I’ve met several over the last couple of months and they are out there for you too!

  42. Brad K. says:


    Perhaps your “looks” are not fading – perhaps your “EUM magnet” is breaking down. Dress and present yourself as a person with character, with a respectful and nurturing nature, with respect for yourself and others. That should be more than enough to interest a guy that hasn’t made skirt-chasing his life’s work. You do *not* need attention from skirt-chasers!

    Next time you have a chance, visit an old-folks home. Notice the amount of attention spent on drama, on singles functions – on flirting and relationships! The first bloom of youth is intended to smooth the way, to make an arranged match bearable or help people deal with a less-than ideal match. Only, we no longer life in a society that demands that particular adaptation. Really. Instead, marketers have grabbed that youthful, sexually enticing image – to sell cars and soap and cosmetics. Now, doesn’t selling powders and smells seem like a really great reason to have your body surgically altered, to long for “the look” that marketers and fashion gurus claim will win attention or happiness? I notice none of the claims boast “healthier babies”. Well, maybe Vitamin D and Folic Acid.

    Respect yourself, expect respect, discipline, and honesty from those around you. And best of luck!

  43. oldchris says:

    NML, I only found this site last week, and everything that has been said about emotionally unavailable men and the women attracted to them applies to me. I am 57 years old and now only just beginning to realise my part in all the relationships I have ever had, and my head is spinning! How could I have been blind for so long? Over the years I have “allowed” bad behaviour in a man to continue, the man I was married to for 25 years was a classic EUM, and there were times when I should have walked away but didn’t. I know I fear being on my own, and especially now, at my age, as I have no family or children. I’m beginning to understand that deep down, there is part of me that feels I don’t deserve better, that crumbs are OK. At the core of this apparently confident outgoing woman is a huge lack of self esteem. I don’t know where it comes from and I may never have that answer, but thanks to your website I can finally decide what I want and start setting boundaries about unacceptable behaviour. The man I am currently dating is a classic EUM! On the very rare occasion he actually makes a date, he often cancels it, his excuse is that he is soooo busy at work etc etc etc He calls at short notice, or says he’ll call or see me later….well, next time I will ask him what later means!! I have decided to do a gradual retreat from him. I’m not replying to any of his texts, and have only answered one of the many calls he has made this week. That was this morning, and was to see if we could meet up today. I told him I’d made other plans (I hadn’t) but really feel that I must start moving in a better direction for myself. I do feel very vulnerable and shaky, but this site is giving me a lot of strength, knowing that other women have the same issues with EUMs and arseclowns. This is my first post, and not really sure if it’s in the right place, but I hope to make more,
    Thankyou all!

  44. Gaynor says:

    Old ,

    Why waste another minute of your precious time on this guy??????

  45. blackgnat says:

    I turned 50 last year. Just got divorced last July.

    I can’t even imagine dipping my toe into the dating pool. I just don’t have the confidence, or the desire to connect with anyone. I don’t necessarily want to be alone for the rest of my life but am in NO hurry to share my current life with anyone-hence my continuing to see the EUM-he was convenient and I didn’t have to make much of an effort.

    Gail, you have met SEVERAL men in the last few months? How are you doing this? What are they like? Are they guys with a whole lot of baggage? I can’t imagine people of this age NOT having baggage!

    I guess I am just scared of being hurt and so I don’t try. People always say, “Oh, it’ll come to you when you’re not looking”. Well, Im NOT looking and nobody has surfaced yet.

    I guess I also don’t want to make it into a full time job-it smacks too much of neediness to be searching for a guy. That’s probably why I haven’t had any success…

  46. oldchris says:

    Thanks for your support. It’s been a week of no contact (from me) and he has called, phoned and texted. This site has been an epiphany for me. I’ve realised that all of my significant relationships have been with men who are E.U. I’m full of anger at myself and am trying to understand why I have been like this all my life. Well, I may never understand why, but I can start to set my own boundaries when my “gut” says NO. I’m going to listen to me, perhaps for the first time in my life, and take notice and do what is right for me.

  47. traveller says:

    I can really relate to so many of these postings on here. Like so many of you, I was always attractive and got a lot of attention, although I never thought I was attractive until I look back in retrospect. Now, it’s so different for me since I’m single and middle-aged. Men I work with treat me with indifference and even (I heard) make fun of me. Earlier today I thought that I have always placed so much emphasis on my looks, that now I feel I have nothing left and am alone. I have been really feeling afraid for the first time in my life.

  48. aphrogirl says:


    I think your thoughts are common in middle aged single women, but as I age I see that substance is so much more important than looks.

    The name you have chosen to use here speaks volumes to me, It reminds me of a journey many of us in this situation find the need to take. Its the journey of our heart, and I needed to go within and learn to know and love myself. This journey was also the way I got over the fear of being alone, that you describe,

    Maybe like me, learning to love yourself, to be content and relaxed within, you will not be afraid to be alone and you will really know what love of self feels like is, and also what you need and expect from another.

    And when you meet a man you will pay attention to the careful evaluation process we are learning about in all these posts, and the AC / EUM won’t be able to get a foot in the door.

    For me, it is absolutely better to be alone than living with the unsatisfying soul sucking drama of an EUM.

  49. Janet says:

    I’m 50 and I’m a helluva lot happier than I was 10 years ago. The new me would NEVER date my former boyfriends or if I did, they’d last about 1-2 dates and they’d be out.

    I realized my patterns a few years ago. Meet a guy, have sex on the 3rd date as the sexual chemistry was intense, we’d date 3,6,9 months, 1 year, every weekend, go out and have fun and that was it. When I would press to define the relationship I was thinking too much, being too demanding or needy. No I was just asking if this is a perpetual weekend relationship or is something more solid coming down the pike.

    After a big breakup in 2007 I really haven’t dated that much. I’ve spent a lot of time in introspection asking myself why I continued in relationships that were giving me crumbs. Once I realized my part in it, it really saddened and depressed me a while. Once I got over to the other side, I felt like a new person.

    Ladies, I hear you on the age thing. When a man now asks me how old I am (and most men are too polite to ask you that) I tell him over 21. That’s all he needs to know at the moment.

  50. txwoman says:

    Age? Overweight? OMG, I really thought that most people were over it. Age has nothing to do with it. Your weight has nothing to do with it. What has to do with “it” is your attitude. I am in my late 50’s, but have the mind set of a 30 year old. Yeah, the body says 30 my foot, but my attitude will not change. I am not sitting around bemoaning the fact that my youth is behind me. I am young at heart and nothing that anyone else says will change that. Have you ever had a friend who you just thought they were the best, and you never really thought they were ugly? Then one day, you sit down and really LOOK at their physical appearance and realize that they really are not good looking. It is their attitude that drew you in to begin with, and it is their attitude that draws other people to them. If looks are the only thing that all men are drawn to, then they are WAY too shallow for me. Please, give yourselves a break. You do, and so will others.

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Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.