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I Don’t Mind Staying Single. Really.

this may be me in 20 years

this may be me in 20 years

One of the worst aspects of being a single mom is the world’s insistence that I need to “hurry up and find someone.” My friends and family can’t stand the fact that I’ve been divorced nearly 2 whole years and haven’t been in a relationship yet. They try to “help” me figure out the underlying issues that are preventing me from entering a world of re-wedded bliss. Usually by insisting they know “the nicest guy” who is a perfect match for me in every way.


There was a short time in 2010 when dating seemed very important. About six months after my divorce was final, I desperately needed to prove to myself that I was still dateable, that guys wouldn’t run away screaming. I dabbled in the online dating world and even allowed a few friends to set me up on dates. Let’s review those exciting experiences.

The Dates (or lack thereof)

The cop: Since my ex-husband is in law enforcement, I should have known better. But I agreed to at least talk to a police officer from a nearby town, who I now refer to as Deputy Derp. His Facebook messages were full of grammar and spelling mistakes, and he ended every sentence with LOL. Not because he was making jokes, but because he seems to think that’s how sentences end. “yah i just got back from the grossry store, lol. i wuz cravin sum fryed pigs feet, lol.” Needless to say, this encounter never actually resulted in a date.

The “you intimidate me” guys: I say guys because it happened multiple times. I would meet a guy on a dating site who could actually spell, we would talk online, and after awhile I’d get the line about how I’m just too intimidating. I don’t know if that’s code for “You’re a bitch,” or “I’m just not into you,” but it really became annoying after awhile. True story: I changed my profile on one dating site, replacing “I’m a psychotherapist” with “I’m a cashier at the Dollar Store.” My inbox nearly exploded. Apparently women with careers are insanely unattractive.

The married guy: I gave up on online dating for awhile, but the day I reactivated my profile, I met a nice guy with his own professional career. After talking online for a few weeks, we met for dinner. The waitress set our drinks on the table and his phone rang. He apologized and stepped outside to take the call. When he came back, he said, “Sorry about that, it was my wife,” and rolled his eyes. Then he looked like he’d been stabbed in the pinky toe as he realized what he said. I got my purse, went to my car, and left.

The serial monogamy guy: This guy is an old friend who just wanted to hang out (supposedly). Since he was fresh out of his THIRD failed marriage, I didn’t really consider him relationship material, and I made that clear to him. We went out a few times and had fun, but then he started pushing me to “commit” to him. Sorry dude, but this wasn’t supposed to be like that.

The poem guy: A friend introduced me to her computer repair guy. We had TONS in common. Met for lunch and it wasn’t awkward at all. Until I started driving home and he texted that he missed me. Um, what? The following Monday, he texted me a horribly cheesy poem that literally made me embarrassed for him. Then the texts progressed from “Hey, what’s up?” to “Are you mad at me?” to “OMG what have I done? PLEASE tell me!” I told him to lose my number. That’s also the moment I officially gave up on trying to meet guys.

It’s Not ALL About Them.

While my dating experiences have sucked, there are also a lot of other reasons why a relationship isn’t the best idea for me right now.

1. My child comes first. I have a lot of friends who expose their kids to a new guy every five minutes. Usually, this happens because they want to see the guy and don’t have a babysitter. Well, that’s not happening here. My son is with me basically all the time, and there’s no way I’m introducing him to a string of random people.

2. I’m not desperate. Text from a friend a few weeks ago: “I know a guy. He’s really good looking but just wants someone to hook up with. Let me know if you’re interested!” Um… Just no. I don’t understand why people think divorced women sit around waiting for some guy to say, “Hey, I’m bored. I know, I’ll bring my penis over there for awhile!” Ugh.

3. I’m still seething form my divorce. My 8-year marriage ended, in part, due to infidelity. I’m not ready to trust someone yet. And I’m not sure I’ll be ready for a long time.

4. I’m pretty happy on my own most of the time. There is a lot to be said for coming home to a house that looks exactly like I left it. No shaving residue in my bathroom sink. No sharing a closet. No missing money from my bank account. It’s a pretty calm life. And right now I don’t want to give that up.

But Everyone Else is Remarried!

We all have those friends who are remarried a year after they get divorced. And that’s great if it works for them. But I am SO TIRED of all the stories about how so-and-so met the best guy ever and now she’s so happy and don’t I want to be happy too?

I’m a firm believer that you have to learn to be happy on your own before you can be happy in a relationship. And I’m enjoying that too much to worry about anything else.

I may very well end up a crazy cat lady someday. Well, probably a crazy dog lady, because I don’t really like cats. While that isn’t exactly what I planned for my life, neither is the life I’m living now. That doesn’t mean there’s something horribly wrong with me. That doesn’t mean I need an intervention. Don’t email me the personal ads. (Speaking of which, have you ever SEEN the personals on Craigslist? OMG.)

What do YOU think?

For you single ladies out there (whether or not you have kids), am I smart to learn to be happy without a man? Or am I just a cynical bitch who just doesn’t realize what I’m missing?

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. I'm not a single lady, BUT, I say do what you want! I personally am married and love it… but I DEFINITELY understand your point and forcing you to go back to it when you don't want to is not healthy.

  2. I do love my husband dearly and he is great but if we ever got divorced I would NEVER get married again. I know it sounds like I have a horrible marriage but I don't. It's quite nice and I like it, I like him. I just would not have to start one all over again. It took us a long time to get to this point where it is enjoyable. Plus, he's gone a lot because of his job (military) and I feel I get by just fine without him. I'm not saying I enjoy him being gone and I do miss him. I just know how to function without him and enjoy being with myself too. I think if I were single I would be 100% okay with it and could easily turn into a crazy cat lady. There are quite a few spinsters in my family tree, it must be genetic.

    • I'm with you. I honestly don't see myself getting married again. I won't say it's impossible, but right now I just can't see it happening. 

      I hope you and the Sailor have a long and fabulous marriage, but if something ever happens, you're welcome to move to my crazy cat/dog lady compound. 🙂

  3. Blah. Relationships. I've been in one for a while and mine works great. We keep it oiled, checked and clean and all goes well. With that said, I would rather have my fingernails pulled out than have to go through the dating scene again. You have to find someone who is funny and gets it when you are funny. Someone who understands boundaries but also is honest, someone who has your back but is also not too proud to let you support him, AND in your case, someone your kid doesn't hate either. I can't imagine trying to do it all over again if my last commitment failed. It's not impossible of course, but just…I can't put myself in those shoes.

    Tell your friends that when you want to "Find urself a MAN" you'll get around to it. In the meanwhile, keeping being kickass and don't let the speedbumps life has randomly thrown on your road without warning get you down.

    • Dating as an adult is an absolute nightmare. I don't know how people stand it. In the interest of writing a post and not a novel, I left out the 3 guys with prison records and several that were actively using drugs. THAT is the kind of stellar dating material I found. I seriously think all the good ones are taken.

  4. This post sparks my interest. I must say I loved the last line of the "you intimidate me" guys. That was priceless. But back to serious business, happiness is not living in a way others think will work for you. Happiness is living in a manner you enjoy. All I've seen right now is that you enjoy being single and others say you'd enjoy re-married life. If I had seen at least one instance where you said that you were trying to date because you needed the benefits of a relationship (NOT to be confused with the need to find out if you're still dateable/desirable), I'd say that although you don't need to rush, it may be a worthwhile goal to pursue at your own pace.

  5. ImpulseSave says:

    First of all, married guy – that's creepy. Second of all hook-up-guy – Could he get more lame? So stupid. And poem guy, ooooo dear. You're NOT a crazy or cynical, you've just had a bad string of losers. As to your point about being happy on your own, I couldn't agree more! Married or not a guy will not make you happy. Your self esteem and contentment with who YOU are is the most important thing, it changes how you raise your kids, how you conduct yourself at work..everything. Personally, I'm just glad that you had enough sense to see these guys were losers, too many of my friends just are afraid of being alone. 

    • I know WAY too many people who freak out at the thought of being alone. Maybe it's because my ex-husband worked midnight shift, but I always did everything myself when I was married, so being single hasn't really been much different. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    I could have written that post almost word for word.  I'm 37 and everyone seems to expect me to be desperate.  I'm not.  I'm pretty content.  Of course it would be nice to have someone in my life, but I certainly don't waste my time worrying about it.  I have a 7 yr old who means the world to me and he comes first.  My divorce has been final for 4 years now and I'm at the point in my life where I'm not going to settle just to be with someone.  I deserve to be happy and so far I haven't met anyone who made me happier than I am on my own.

    • You go girl! Put that kiddo first and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! 

      If you have any dogs, maybe we can be crazy dog lady roomies when we're old. 🙂

      • My best friend is also 37, divorced, and single.  While she has more dates than she knows what to do with, she also doesn't have kids so its different.  Our joke is that we are going to end up old maids with just us and our dogs.  You're welcome to join us! 

  7. Ha I love how the adsense ad at the bottom is for 🙂 I sign??

    I say do what makes you happy, when you least expect it and not looking maybe thats the time someone will fall into your life.

  8. Carolinagirl says:

    "For you single ladies out there (whether or not you have
    kids), am I smart to learn to be happy without a man? Or am I just a cynical
    bitch who just doesn’t realize what I’m missing?"


    Yes, you are smart!!
     I have been single for 6, yes 6 years!  My marriage also ended
    because of his infidelity and I agree with you on so many levels of this blog!
     I sat nodding my head the whole time, thinking you go girl!!  I have
    two teenage sons.  One is 18 and will be leaving for college next year and
    the other just turned 15.  They will always come first and this line from
    you "I’m
    a firm believer that you have to learn to be
    happy on your own before you can be happy in a relationship."   is
    the way it is!

    So you just keep being single, and happy and don't
    rush it.  As you said, you aren't ready to trust anybody yet…neither am
    I, and it has been 6 years.

    • Thanks for your insight! I'm glad to know 2 years isn't horribly abnormal. I keep thinking my 40s are going to be "my decade" so maybe then. And if not, oh well.

      • Carolinagirl says:

        No it is not abnormal.  Now I am a little older than you, will be 40 soon! And I am hoping that it is my decade too!!  For now I am enjoying life, my kids, and now your blog!!  Don't worry, everything will be fine and go as it is supposed to.  

  9. I have been a single mom for 7 years and I can honestly say that I think you are very wise to learn to be happy without a man.  And I agree with you 1000% that you cannot parade different guys into & out of your son's life – I have never introduced my son to any potential partner (and obviously I was correct in my thoughts as they are not around at the present) and I think it is better that way!

    • I do too. I don’t want my son to be confused about all the various men in and out of my life. A guy would have to be REALLY special to meet my child. Period.

      Didn’t recognize your name or email, so welcome! And thanks for your comment!

  10. Changeonabudget says:

    Love this post!  In a way, looking for fulfillment in a relationship is similar to expecting fulfillment from buying things.  A new purse might make you happy for a while and the same with a new man, but if you aren't happy with who you are, then the good times will fade pretty quickly.
    Did you know there was some study that shows if you live with lots of cats that it actually affects your mental state?  Something in their urine or dander or something.  It causes you to want more and more cats and also affects your mental functioning and reasoning.  Weird eh?

    • That's it. I have GOT to find that study. That's the most interesting news I've heard all year! I know a few people who could probably stand to read that information.

      • Changeonabudget says:

        Ok this is what I dug up for you!  Turns out it is a parasite specific to cats (

        Dr. YOLKEN: It appears that what toxoplasma does is, it actually
        changes the behavior of a host so it's more likely to get into a cat.

        how does it – does this? Well, if a toxoplasma happens to be in a mouse
        or a rat, what it does is, it actually alters the behavior of the
        rodent in quite a specific way, to make it more likely to get eaten by
        a cat. And it does this by actually having the animal lose its fear of
        cats and actually get attracted to cats. So this is a quite amazing
        effect of a parasite on animal behavior.

        Now, when humans are infected with this parasite, you have found a
        correlation between toxoplasmosis and changes in human behavior. Tell
        us what you found.

        Dr. YOLKEN: Basically,
        we found that having toxoplasma raises the risk of schizophrenia about
        twofold, compared to the rest of the population. Toxoplasma probably
        functions through a pathway called dopamine. We know that dopamine is
        abnormal in schizophrenia, but the reason why it's abnormal is not
        really completely clear.

        Another behavior
        which appears to be altered is the individuals with toxoplasma appear
        to take more risks, in terms of driving a motor vehicle and also being
        a pedestrian.

  11. OMG!  You're wise AND funny! Just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and I've already subscribed.
    My interpretation of "You're just too intimidating" means that "you're too savvy and together for manipulation/domination/puttingupwithmycrap, so I'm going to stop wasting my time."
    Somehow, I don't think you're going to wind up as a crazy dog lady.  You're too savvy and together.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting! I would like to think that "intimidating" means all that cool stuff, but I'm sure it's probably something much worse. I've never gotten a straight answer from any guys. It's some kind of sinister code!

  12. Prairieecothrifter says:

    I swear my best friend feels exactly like you. Everyone is preoccupied with her finding someone. It is so sad. She is honestly happy right now. I feel bad that people put all of this pressure on her. It is not their life it's hers.

  13. I'm not single now but when I first got out of a 5 1/2 year relationship (thankfully no marriage or kids), everyone kept urging me to go out with random people.  I even heard the whole "just hook up, you'll be happy."  I kept coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't go (I seriously asked my roomate if I could watch their kid just so I could say I was busy–I adore children and it wasn't a hardship).  Finally people stopped trying to hook me up with "so and so" and I ended up meeting someone I actually like.  But being single was not horrible at all.  I actually really enjoyed it–which is why meeting the guy I'm with was a huge surprise.

    • I'm glad you found someone worth leaving singledom for. 🙂 And someone who is onboard with your financial goals. That's HUGE.

      • I think it was a moment of "I'm not looking because I don't need to–I'm happy where I am with just me" and they found me 😉 Honestly, I'd been out of the dating game for so long that they had to tell me they liked me.

  14. HAHA this post made me laugh out loud so many times, it's awesome! 

    I'm pretty much in the same situation. All my siblings are married – with kids, and I'm the "single one of the bunch" as my dad calls me. Hey, I've been there, done that and I'm not ready to jump into the marriage boat again. Let me just have some fun and be on my own!

    I think it's good for you to think of your son, and not running him through random people. IMO two years isn't THAT long. It takes me longer to get over some relationships than others. I say just take it as it comes, and enjoy the no sharing closet space, and taking up the whole bed. That's what I'm doing 🙂

    Also, my relationship wouldn't have failed if I worked at the Dollar Store. But I'm a career driven workaholic and that scares guys away….

    • Thank you for saying two years isn’t that long. Some people seem to think it’s an eternity! But after a 13 year relationship, I don’t feel compelled to run out and get into another one anytime soon.

      What IS it about having a career that scares guys away? Are they all abusers who need to dominate women, or are they all just really insecure?

  15. Wait, I never knew you're friends with Ross Geller!  That may actually be worse than the serial daters because at least the daters know they just want fund and don't want to settle down.

    I found over the last 5 months that I'm perfectly fine being single.  I don't have that voice that tells me I should be actively looking for "the one".  I'd rather let life happen and develop as it naturally will.  And it's not like I'm running  around doing anything that has a pulse either (fact is I haven't been on a date since breaking up with my girlfriend  at the end of May).  There are just some people who are comfortable with themselves enough to not need someone in their life for it to be compete.

    • I agree. I don't feel empty or like I'm missing something just because I'm single – for me, it would be more like trying to find room for something extra in a life that's already full. If I ever meet someone decent, that's great! But if not, I don't have time to worry about it.

  16. I'm getting used to being single. It still feels new. My ex cheated on me for so long, and watching him & his new girlfriend celebrate their one year only 6 months after him & I broke up makes me wonder if relationships are even worth it. I have dated since breaking up with my ex, and thankfully didn't unload too much of my emotional baggage on the new guy, but that ended amicably on its own terms and I'm single again. I'm learning to like it, only because I'm finally discovering all the benefits thereof. I'm glad I don't have to consult anyone when I make plans — and I don't mean plans about going out or what to eat (though that's nice too), I mean like big plans like what stocks to invest in, when to buy a car or a house, if I can afford another vacation or when to take it. Seeing my friends have exhausting arguments with their significant others about these things makes me soooo grateful I don't have to ask anyone's permission before I make a decision.  

    I'm still interested in and open to dating though. I would even say one of the best parts of being single is the anticipation of meeting someone wonderful. I like going to parties a single person and not half a couple. Men flirt with me, and it's adorable or hilarious (and I get to tell all my friends about it afterwards). I'm being extremely picky right now though, which might hurt me in the end, but I feel like I want to drag being single out just a bit longer.. maybe a year or even two. Why not? 95% of my life happens outside of dating & relationships, and it's pretty awesome so that is where I'm going to continue to focus 95% of my energy.

    • I would probably be open to dating if I ever met anyone who wasn't a complete douche nozzle. But I'm not going to roam the streets (or the internet) at all hours searching frantically for someone. If it happens, okay. If not, okay. That's just how I've chosen to focus my energy – on being happy NOW and not worrying about it. 

      I'm with you on the financial decisions – so glad I can make those on my own now!

  17. Anonymous says:

    If you're still unable to trust then a relationship is not the best thing to go for right now.  Take your time.  It's your life not theirs.  Also, not a single lady 🙂

  18. I'm married, I recently wrote a cheesy poem (although it was for  @grlredballoon), and you used to sort of intimidate me.  But you still denied my invitations for drinks at #fincon11.

    What have I done?  OMG, Why do you HATE me?

    Seriously, I would think that a relationship should just happen.  If it's not something you need, then there's no need to try to force it into your life.

    Besides, if you ever get lonely, I'm always ready to throw my junk in the car and drive down to Kentucky….I'll bring Vodka.

    Note #1:  Sorry, I couldn't figure out a way to work the whole law enforcement thing into my comment…I got a speeding ticket once, but other than that, I got nothin'.

    Note #2:  I'm pretty sure you know me well enough by know to know the contents of this comment were meant for entertainment purposes only.  But just thought I'd mention it in case anyone thought otherwise.

    • I hope you’re joking when you say I used to intimidate you. If you were serious, I’m begging you to explain. I want to understand!!!!

      You and Vonnie (and some vodka) are welcome here anytime!

  19. I am single in my 30s, and not actively seeking to get hitched. And I am happy and revel in my single hood and independence. One day i may get married, and I am sure I will find something to be happy about in marriage, and wonder how I lived without it before. And maybe I will get divorced, and rediscover the wonders of single hood and think marriage is the dumps.

    I guess, what I am saying is, YOU make you happy. The presence or absence of 'da man is just one set of circumstance.

    By the way, my sister has a phD and you should hear her on the "you intimidate me" types!

  20. I'm not a single lady, but I pretty much think that everyone should mind their own business when it comes to other peoples' love lives (or lack thereof). I think you're smart to do what is best for you and your son, and if the right man happens to come along, well, you can deal with him at that time 🙂

  21. I'm not a single lady either, but I do have this to say: Regardless of this post, or that other post somewhere else about why PF bloggers shouldn't date each other (which I wish I would've seen *before* the conference! Ugh! Would've saved me a lot of trouble), it's not going to stop me from creepin.

    Just know that the creepin isn't serious, and is mostly driven by boredom. If it's ever a problem, you'll have to stab me in the pinky toe to get the point across. Or, you know, an email.

    Hurr hurr hurr…

    Seriously though, it makes sense to me just fine. I've been single for… 4ish years, and I'm alive yet, at the very least. Gave up on trying to meet girls because banging my head against a wall is more productive. Only real problems are (1) I'm a guy, and (2) nobody to talk to. 

    Oh my, was that too much information?

  22. "You intimidate me"
    1.- I'm not happy that my having a career doesn't automatically have you fawning "OMG, that's so hot!".
    2.- I can't handle that buying you things might be nice but is not going to seal the deal.
    3.- I can't handle not being the alpha male (regardless of the time horizon of the relationship)

    Why didn't you just ask me? You know I tell it like it is, lol

  23. I too became a single parent after a train wreck of a marriage and divorce. Did I learn from my relationship mistakes? Not at first, unfortunately. Like you, I dated a few essentially unlovable men before I realized it just wasn't worth it. 

    I also have a child, a beautiful daughter who's almost 8, and I decided to focus my energy on her, my career, and my recovery from the emotional and financial fallout of my divorce. In time, a friendship bloomed into romance. We are still together after 5+ years, despite some ups and downs, and I don't know if we'll ever get married or not. I DO know I will never again depend on a man for anything other than companionship! 

    I am happy in my relationship but no longer believe in or even want the fairy tale of happily ever after. It simply doesn't exist for 99% of us. My advice? Depend on yourself, cultivate your friendships/family relationships, grow in your career and just generally enjoy life as much as possible. Any relationship that comes along will then just be the icing on your already delicious cake of a life. 🙂

  24. I've thrown in the towel for a bit- I've had almost all of these problems (except "married guy") and more.  The Clingers, The Alpha Males (I want to date around but you cant), The Just Got Out of a Relationship Insist It Doesn't Affect Me, and more.. I realized it's not just them it's me too.  

    I think when you deal with what you've dealt with the feelers are up for bullshit and we're just sensitive to it right now.  Part of it is that we haven't met the right person, and part of it is that we're not ready to trust again …or it's just too easy to fall into these bad category traps, arg.

  25. Krussell62 says:

    I dated the married guy once myself! And it happened almost the same way? Half way through the date the phone rang and he said "gotta get this, its my wife". After that he tried to explain they were all separated and such and. Blah blah but he never really told her they were separated. She just thought he was having to work out of town for 6 months. The date did not end well. But you live and learn, right?

  26. I just came across your blog today and I must say I love love LOVE it! I too am a single mom, I'm 34 with 3 kids ages 14, 13, 12…two girls one boy. I was divorced in 2003 and am still single. I also live in the south (TN) and although it is a mortal sin to not have a man around to take care of us in this part of the country, I too would rather be single, in control, and happy. I work full time but live within my means (which means trailer park) but hey I'm independent and not in debt…..other than one credit card, and am a full time student, not on government assistance. I admire your strength and look forward to reading more in the future!

  27. I once met an interesting guy online. He was a pharmacist. Had a nice dinner with him and then he suggested an evening stroll in a nearby park, whereupon he started groping me on a park bench. Afterwards, I told a friend about it who investigated him more thoroughly than I did, and told me the guy was married. Guess that accounts for the fact that it sort of seemed like he was whispering whenever he called me late at night. What a creep.

    I like to get to know a man before I sleep with him, and I won't sleep with him unless I really like him and consider him a long-term prospect. Getting to know someone takes time. Problem is, that's at direct odds with 99.99% of men who will sleep with anyone, and consider how good you are in bed as a prerequisite to a long-term relationship. Most men I met seemed to be having a private contest to see who quickly they could get me in bed.

  28. I am writing a blog encouraging men to be better husbands and fathers. Learned the hard way that I was bad at both for twenty years. I appreciate this blog. Plan to link back for some of your material. Most of us guys live in our own world. We never see or think about how we come across to people. Nice to get other perspectives. Sorry most of us are psychotic, self-absorbed morons. Trying to fix that.

    • Thanks for your perspective, Erik. It’s always nice to hear that there are some men out there striving to be better than a bunch of stereotypes. I wish more guys would try to improve themselves!

      • My wife just told me the story of a girl she works with. Her story is similar to yours. My wife is now coaching her on how to deal with morons. ( I provided her training ) She convinced her to walk out on the current bonehead. After applying proper trauma to his world, he is reading my blog and maturing rapidly. There is hope for my gender. Thanks again for your blog. Good stuff.

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