Why is being single suddenly the worst thing in the world?
February 9, 2010 7:07 AM Subscribe
After years of being perfectly happy when I'm single, I'm suddenly frantically desperately lonely. How do I fix this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (16 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Me: 28, male, straight, living in a big East Coast city. My friends are awesome - a close-knit 20something tribe of varying lifestyles and viewpoints. My own career is absolutely fantastic - I'm very much in demand in my field, and I find my work very rewarding both financially and emotionally. My hobbies are progressing nicely. In short, I'm incredibly happy with basically everything in my life.
I've also been single for nearly my entire post-college life. Not exclusively - of the seven years since I graduated college, I've been seeing someone for a total of about 18 months, most recently a six-month relationship that crashed and burned two years ago. I date when I meet someone I find interesting; otherwise, I just... don't. I've never felt like my life was missing anything, or that I needed "someone" to make it complete. When my aunts would ask me when I'm going to "settle down" I'd just calmly tell them that I'm quite happy, thank you, and change the topic.
Sometime around this past fall, though, something snapped in me. Suddenly I'm miserable being single. Suddenly I wake up and look at the side of the bed I'm not on and it's an empty expanse. I recently took a trip to to England visit my brother, who's doing a semester abroad, and took a few days to travel Europe on my own. Instead of being perfectly happy with that, as I was during previous solo trips, I found myself aching to share the trip with Someone. I find myself green-eyed with envy for my friends who're in serious relationships, after years of being happy for them but not feeling like I needed to follow in their footsteps.
I feel incredibly, heart-achingly lonely now, and I really have no idea why. Sure, more and more of my friends are paired off, but that's not really a new thing - a lot of them were engaged within the first couple of years after graduation. I don't have any desire to settle down, I don't want kids or a house, but I want to share my whole life with my totally-hypothetical girlfriend. Desperately. I should also note that sex is certainly a part of this, but it's a relationship-focus: I don't just want to have sex, I want to have sex with someone I really really care about. I envy my friends not for getting laid, but for having a sexual relationship they can evolve and build on.
The question portion is simply this: What the fuck do I do with this new emotional state? It's awful and I hate it, and I'd really love to be content with my life like I used to be. Inasmuch as "Find a girlfriend" is the answer, desperation certainly isn't going to help me. Is this abruptly developing need normal? Is there something wrong with me? Is this a standard experience that I've just finally hit, and I need to just deal with it until I happen to run into the right girl to be happy with?