ADVICE

Dear Viv: How can I accept being single forever?

On this week's podcast, Viv discusses what to do when it feels like you'll never find a life partner

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By Viv Groskop on

Dear Viv,

How do I come to terms with the fact I’m probably never going to find a life partner?

I’m in my late 30s and I’ve had just 4 short relationships in my life - the longest (by quite some margin) was only 18 months long.

On the face of it, I’m doing all the right things: I take part in activities I’m interested in like playing group sports and going on courses, and over the years I’ve volunteered and gone on group tour holidays...but while these things have all had the happy side effect of meeting lots of lovely new people, unfortunately it hasn’t led to meeting someone who’s interested in me romantically. (I struggle with dating apps and websites because they’re really brutal and I tend to fall for people in person over time, though it’s rarely reciprocated.)

I’m no oil painting but I don’t think I’m hideous-looking at least, I’m a good person, quite interesting and I think I’m easy to be around. But it’s hard not to feel like I’m doing something wrong, or that there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.

My friends reassure me that’s not the case, and try to comfort me by saying things like ‘you’ll find someone when you least expect it’, ‘you’re far too lovely not to find someone’ or, from the other angle, ‘being married is really hard, you’re much better off being single’

Of course I miss sex and intimacy (I find no-strings sex really damaging for my self-esteem so I try to avoid it), but I really crave companionship, to be there for someone and have them be there for me...even just down to the super-mundane stuff like going to the supermarket or sharing a bag of Maltesers on the sofa!

Some people never find ‘their person’, and I feel like this is probably just the reality for me and I simply have to find a way to accept it. But that’s so hard.

I know that being in a couple isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, that I am incredibly fortunate and have so much to be thankful for, and I am...but this really does bring me a lot of sadness and I just want to find a way past it, rather than be sad about it forever.

I’ve previously tried to approach this with a therapist (who I’m no longer seeing) but she laughed (no really, she did) and trivialised my concerns. Any wisdom you can share would be so gratefully received.

Thank you.

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