Single Questions

Help me out here, folks…please.

I am trying really hard to be an emotionally healthy single person. A single friend of mine recommended I read Living Alone & Loving It, by Barbara Feldon (yes, Maxwell Smart’s sidekick…but I digress). The book, rather than comforting me, is scaring the hell out of me. There’s a chapter titled Intimacy. I thought, “hey, now we’re getting down to matters that matter (ha).” Instead, it left me confused and discouraged. She encourages the reader to find a hobby that engages them passionately to find intimacy. Are you kidding me? A hobby? I can think of absolutely nothing that engages me to a level as to substitute for physical and emotional intimacy. I don’t want to be so alone that a hobby does for me what intimacy does for married couples…I want the real thing and I want it now! (Yes, I’m conscious that I’m sounding a bit Veruca Salt here, but at this juncture of my life, that’s the behavior I’ve adopted. For the first time in my life, hell yes, it IS about me.)

So, being the overanalyzer that I am, I’m left wondering, how emotionally numb are my friends? How long did it take for them to get that way? How long before I begin to shut down emotionally? Were those few months where I anticipated freedom as good as it’s going to get? Shallow conversation kills me. I need intensity. I need passion. Thank goodness for ep…I’ll continue to share my thoughts here. You folks mean the world to me. But with no one to engage in…”how long?” I ask again. How long will it take before I accept zero sex as normal? How many vibes am I going to burn through in the process? Is singleness just another form of emotional abuse?

All counterproductive, possibly overly dramatic questions but my questions all the same. I hate the idea of posting this. I don’t want to discourage those thinking of leaving. To any of those folks, let me say…overall I have no regrets, but there are emotional hiccups…like the one detailed above…it’s just part of moving on.

So, I pose this question to the ILIASM members who have indeed moved on in a healthy manner…am I reading the wrong books? Am I overthinking things? What can I do to get this monkey off my back?

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Update

I met a few of the aforementioned ladyfriends for coffee again this past weekend. Treading carefully, I danced around the subject of intimacy. Sure enough, one of them is a dyed-in-the-wool aficionado of sexlessness. The other is simply bitter from being single for so long. Her judgement has become clouded. I feel bad for her and refuse to become her.

The advice I received from this post is constructive, well-intentioned, and wise. Now, the trick is to internalize it :)
PeachesGalore PeachesGalore
46-50, F
9 Responses Oct 13, 2012

How could any healthy person be an aficionado of sexlessness. It is just not normal or healthy for mind or body. Forget hobbies unless they include the opposite sex. Be calm and be sure of yourself. Keep looking in places that make sense to you. Keep reading books that might help. Now is your time. It is all about you and do not forget that. When the right guy comes along then it can be about both of you. Have faith in yourself and it will turn out right.

i am seeing the hobby idea somewhat differently. sure, we may have used hobbies/volunteering etc. while in a SM so energy (while in denial) could go somewhere...but now...hobbies and interests are an avenue of self-expression, and the enjoyment of them a reminder of how good it can feel to just "really live" without being under the draining constraints of working on marriage that isn't going anywhere. it's a place/time to feel good, be one's self - things i want to experience in a new relationship, and want to make regular habits as well. living life consciously and courageously, which i believe anyone who has left a SM is doing... would include leisure past times and interests...and fills me as i won't be looking for a man full time...but will keep my eyes open as i engage in things that i enjoy...

well I'd suggest one step at a time. its not really practical to see the goal right in front of your eyes when you are looking for something that can last and is meaningful. its good to start with looking at immediate emotional needs, can start with looking for new friends, new people to spend time with, share ideas, thoughts....then let life take its course. take some risks....life need not always turn out the way we wanted it to be, to make us happy....hope this helps. gimme a shout if you need me to explain better.

good luck....

You can find a book that will tell you just about anything. Author right books to sell, not really to solve your problems. What works for one, doesn't always work for the next. Having your "guy" as a fall back options may feel safe, but it also may be holding you back. Take this one step at a time and as usual I am here for you like all your EP friends.

Hugs...hugs...hugs..I am sorry your in Limbo. i am and I don't know what to say to help get you out of that. During and after my divorce, I connected with people here. I was fortunate to meet someone, that I had a lot in common with, and so we were just very comfortable together.

But right after the divorce there was a couple of months of panic. I think the idea, the reality of really being alone, and on your own, is scary. There is no one right there to care or notice if you live or die, and so that reality is hard to deal with. you feel all the more isolated. all of a sudden every billis your problem. Anything that breaks is your problem. So there is a lot of worry and pressure.

Your sorting through a lot right now, and so sadly you need time. You need time to heal, and get back on your feet. As for the book, toss it... You want to talk, share, complain, you log onto EP, start writing notes to friends. Write to me , i will read them and answer them. Just, hang in there.

Neuilly...and a 1000 hugs coming your way.

<p>Peaches, the term "authentic self" comes to mind here. There are NO "one size fits all" solutions and often, even the wisest of advice goes unheeded if it does not suit our own situations.</P><br />
<p>After two failed marriages it might have been wise for me to avoid intimate relationships for a period and become comfortable with myself in the single role again. But had I done this - which appears very wise on the surface - I would have missed my chance to be with Bazzar.</P><br />
<p>As you can imagine, THAT is something that would have been a tragedy.</P><br />
<p>You speak of devoting a lot of energy to the current relationship and it seems you are clear this will not be a long term relationship for you. At present however, it would seem that "Mr Right Now" (even if not Mr Right) is what you need and want. Devote as much time and energy to it as you wish!</P><br />
<p>Personally I think the criteria for "too much" is when you find yourself doing / not doing or giving / not giving MORE than you feel is fair to yourself. In other words, if you are making too many sacrifices for him, giving him more (of anything) than he gives you or in any other way the relationship feels unequal, then it needs adjusting. If you feel the energy levels are about equally disbursed (most of the time) then I think you have nothing to be concerned about.</P>

I get it. I have single friends who are passionately involved in various activities or organizations. I did that myself during my SM ... all that energy had to go somewhere!

I don't recommend it; it's not a balanced life.

For the sake of accuracy, she begins to share her theory on page 51, and page 52 says, "we are intimate with anything to which we surrender our whole being." A flawed concept in my opinion. Her example: she loves to read to the point where she believes she has achieved "nothing missing bliss." Hmmm...nothing missing doesn't equal intimacy for me.

Thank you for the words of encouragement. Sometimes I just need a swift kick in the pants :)

I'll find another book. But what to tell the acquantances that recommended this one?

I may not be qualified to offer any advice, as I haven't mustered the courage to end my sexless marriage, nevertheless, here I go: No self help book has all the answers!!! You are going to have to glean what good you can from them, and the parts that don't resonate with you- forget them!!!!

I have read enough of your posts to know you are a very smart lady, and although intelligence isn't immunity from doing silly things from time to time, I would urge you to trust yourself!!!! Just keep your list of priorities on the front burner, and whatever seems right to you, and fits with your list of priorities, go with it!

You're right...this IS about you, and not anyone else!! Therefore, There is not a person in the world who can tell you what you should or should not do, feel or not feel, think or not think, etc. (that includes me!)

You have so many options!! Choose what feels best for YOU!!! Life is short!

Trust yourself. Excellent advice here Peaches.

Thank you. I shall :)