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Relationship Health Message Board

Relationship Health Board Index

Wow, can I absolutely relate to you. I am in the exact same position and very much worrying about the same things you are. I too am 29, will be 30 in a few months, and never thought I would be single at this age. As with you, I dated my fair share of men and had two serious relationships, one for 2+ years and one for 1.5 years, the latter which just ended a few weeks back (posts herein). I thought each of those guys were right for me. I was in love with each and seriously saw a future together with each. And each ended because they said they were not sure about what they wanted, when really what they meant was they were pretty sure I was not the right person for them. As if going through two back-to-back horrendous breakups isn't shattering enough, now I have to wonder if my intuition is way off to be so sure these guys were "the one" and to be so totally wrong about it. And to boot, nothing is a better kicker on the self esteem than suddenly being single when you thought you'd be planning a wedding and to have the dreaded 30th around the corner.

Being dumped is an enormous kick to the ego, as we all know. With the first major breakup, which was truly shattering and shook me to the core, and now with my more recent breakup, which sounds similar to yours, following a tumultuous relationship, I turned it inward, wondering what the heck was wrong with ME. I am the only common denominator in these tragic breakups, so what is it about me that doesn't work for long term? It is natural to do that but can be hard to stop the self blame, too. I also tried to do what everyone advised: focus on myself. With the first breakup, I worked very hard to move myself forward even though I was emotionally struggling. I was unhappy with my career at that point, which sounds similar to where you are at, and so I worked to find a better position and company for me and switched jobs. I moved into my own apartment. I joined a book club. I traveled to visit friends and family. I signed up for classes at the gym, started running road races, just tried to keep moving and be active. It helped and gave me more focus while I was working through the pain of the breakup. My most recent boyfriend of 1.5 years ended things with me three weeks ago. I turned to the same activities to try to help me take my mind off of it and all the sadness of a failed relationship. Running, seeing friends, being busy. Even during the times I cognizantly know I am simply filling my time, it brings a sense of accomplishment. It is so easy to lose part of yourself in a relationship -- you just focus on the other person more and less on yourself. So now is the time for you, and me too, to put ourselves first and focus on us. With or without a guy, it's important. I can relate to your feelings of just being a little lost in life right now. It is hard to navigate the waters at times without someone special at your side. But it is also a good time to figure out how to make things better in your own life. Take stock of your health and happiness -- physically, emotionally, mentally and if one area is flagging try to work out how it can be fixed. What are you unhappy about that you can change in your life? Work? Hobbies? Network of friends? It can be empowering to make small steps to change things for the better, enrich your life.

I also very much know your feelings of wanting what others have. I have friends on their third kids and I want nothing more than a husband, house and family. I am sick of waiting for it to be my turn, I am ready now for it. The gap between single and married friends just keeps growing bigger and I am fearful as you are that I will wind up single and alone, with no companionship or love in my life, unless I wind up with ten cats and become THAT scary lady. I am afraid the charmed life I so envy of others will pass me by. I'll never find the right person. I'll wind up in these 1-2 year relationships that end suddenly until I just give up and have zero faith in love. I've been to a zillion weddings and baby showers, been a bridesmaid five times, and just feel so far behind from my friends. They're lapping me. They have nice houses and I rent an apartment. They have loving husbands and I am suddenly single. They have babies and mommy groups and I have, what, my spinning class? They say not to worry, not to be on a schedule, things will happen for me when they happen. But I wonder why I have to be the example of it happening when it happens. Why couldn't I find the right person and get married at 25 like all of my friends did? It is frustrating, scary, demoralizing and depressing. I want you to know I share your fears and think they're pretty common. I guess all we can do is nurture that glimmer of hope that we will have the lives we want some day. Because the alternative, giving up and shutting down, may be even a harder road to travel.

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