I recently read Conversations on Love by Natasha Lun. As Goodreads states, “a celebration of love in all its forms”. I am fascinated with the who, what, when where and how of love, as is this author, who interviews all different people on different aspects of love. Alas, I couldn’t assign this book to you all to read (though I really wanted to) I found it very discussionable, so for what is going to seem like forever, I’m going to talk about various parts that I thought were interesting.

So when an unhelpful colleague said, ‘When someone is single for a long period of time and they don’t want to be, there’s usually a reason,’ I held on to her words as evidence there must be a reason I was single too. Natasha Lun

So…

If someone is single and they don’t want to be, do you think there’s a reason?

Personally, I have often thought this same thing. I have many friends that are single and thriving by choice. They unapologetically love their lives sans partners. Bravo to them.

But…

I also have friends who are single but don’t want to be. They bemoan their lack of love. And I have often thought that exact quote, uncharitably as it may be…

Many of my single but don’t want to be friends/acquaintances are unwilling to compromise. Which leads me to my first thought:

  1. If you are in a relationship, do you have to compromise? Can you be in a relationship and have everything your way?

My single but don’t want to be’s seem to be on the lookout for faults. They’ve mentioned things like- “he didn’t brush his tongue” to “he thinks going to movies is silly when you can watch at home”.

  1. Is anyone faultless? Is finding fault in seemingly trivial matters a red flag of something?
  2. Is there a level between petty annoyances and actual faults?

Everyone ones someone young, virile and attractive. Especially my single friends. Alas, as we get older, we don’t all age like George Clooney. We add on a few pounds, we have less lustrous hair, we grown hairs in places we didn’t think possible to grow hair…

  1. While I get that you need to be attracted to a partner, do they need to be attractive in the conventional sense of the word? Are we too hard on someone who is 65 and looks their age?

What do you think about the statement? Do you know anyone who is single and doesn’t want to be? I know I was thinking of people around my age, but does this hold true for younger people?

Is there a reason why people who don’t want to be single are single?

79 thoughts on “There’s a Reason

  1. Yes. I tell my sons to have standards but don’t expect perfection because you aren’t perfect either! Perfectionism is a very good way to ruin a relationship. Mutual interests and enjoying each other’s company are ultimately more important than looks or money .

    Liked by 4 people

  2. That quoted statement is one of those that frustrates me to begin with. Of course there’s a reason- there’s a reason for most things that occur or don’t occur in life so I call redundancy and dismiss the statement on principle! However- unwilling to compromise and looking for perfection probably aren’t the most conducive traits if you really want to find someone to share your life with. Dare I say those needs seem a bit narcissistic and petty…

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  3. I’ve known single people, not by choice, who would either find those faults or, what I found more annoying, would do nothing to even try to change their situation. If you are single and ding want to be single you have to make an effort to change it. You can’t just complain about it

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh this is such a good post! I’ve been in this situation and so have many of my friends. We all got divorced or widowed in our late 50’s or early 60’s. What I noticed is this… a couple friends became serial daters. Nobody was perfect enough. A couple were serial complainers. There’s nobody good out there, they are all old and bla bla bla. After my husband died I waited a couple years before I was ready to date. And I did date. I met a couple of pleasant men, but felt no real sparks. I did try looking for George Clooney. Sadly, he was unavailable. I realized that I wasn’t really that interested in working hard at finding love. My friends who worked hard at dating always got dates. My friends who complained about dating never put themselves out there on dating sites so they never met anyone. I dated, even got proposed to a few times. But I realized that I liked living alone. I had taken care of enough husbands. It was time to love myself. Plus, I enjoyed my independence. So I much preferred Being single to turning dating into a job. Which it is.

    So…. I think yes, if you want to meet people you Do have to put yourself out there. But I also realized some people just like to bemoan their singleness. If you want to meet people you have to leave your house! The world won’t come to you.

    And yes, after a certain age you have to realistically understand that everyone gets old. My first ex husband and I are still friends. He’s a lovely man. And he was absolutely gorgeous in his youth. Quite honestly, at his age now, 73 , other than his smile, he’s just an old man. I wouldn’t pick him out on a dating site because he isn’t hot any more. So, people change physically. Sure, he’s still tall. He’s still got a great smile and is incredibly bright. But sexy? Nope. That gorgeous mane of long hair he had in the late 1960’s is sparse and white. He’s got a bit of a tummy. He’s no longer a hunk. He’s just a nice old man. But, if I saw him on a dating site, I’d pass him by.

    At my 50th high school reunion I looked at the guys. They were old men. Most of the women aged better than the men. So, either I’m shallow, or just more interested in loving myself at this stage in life. If I were looking I’d look for a nice person but I’d still want someone who was well groomed. ( trim the nose and ear hair … ewww)

    People need to decide what they want. If you want a partner, you can look for one. But over 60 you need to see deeper into their soul since their exterior will not look 35. Be realistic. I found that many men become more conservative as they age and women more open minded. But to each his/her own. Love yourself first.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Thanks. Well, I lived through it. I was in my early 60’s and back then I was very young looking. I learned I could date if I wanted to but it did require effort. And to me it wasn’t worth it. In my opinion, my 60’s were all about me. For the first time in my life I could allow myself to put myself first. I’ve known love with two husbands, with two sons and with my grandchildren. And finally I could focus on myself. And I think that’s worth everything. Way more than searching for some image of Romance. But everyone has to do what’s best for themselves. The funny thing is that now, all my friends I spoke about are still single. The serial daters are done dating and prefer their friends’ company. One went back to her ex husband. The complainers are over wanting to date and are more content being single. We are all either approaching 70 or in our early 70’s. Nobody misses having a man around. I can install my own disposal because I watched a YouTube video. I can do a lot of things thanks to YouTube. And I don’t have to cook for anyone but myself. It’s lovely!. And when I need help my son is always available for his mom. Life works out.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. Well said! But if even like this for younger people. My neighbor is 50 now, but she’s never had a serious partner, never married, etc, but has always wanted to be. I’ve know her since she was 30 and she’s had this image of her perfect partner…no compromising at all

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    2. Many “sisters” have commented here, of course Lesley says it so well for many of us! I’m at the point, again, where I’m trying to decide if it’s worth my time and effort to even consider dating again, post-divorce.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, there’s generally a reason. Some of the reasons have been mentioned here, although sometimes the reasons are a lot deeper and the reasons mentioned here are a mask as to what’s going on underneath.

    You won’t be surprised to know that I could talk on this subject for hours, but I will hold myself back! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Tough topic. I have many single friends now approaching 50 who have always longed for that special someone. I did not meet my spouse until I was 33 and until then I was always told there was something wrong with me. Being told that did lead me to engaging in various self-improvement actions like reading and counseling, yet I can’t with 100% certainty say I met my spouse because of those things.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have one friend who is single and doesn’t want to be. She’s been divorced for more than 15 years. I view her as more into herself and not flexible. Her relationships don’t last. I think single people who want a partnership — there might be a reason. People get set in their ways and picky.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sometimes people work, play and worship at places where there are no others their age. I would never suggest starting a new hobby or going anywhere with the express purpose of meeting eligible people, because I wouldn’t do that myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not so much about going to a singles place or hobby, but more about having too many expectations. Some I know really do expect George Clooney to be eligible and ready to date them…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LA I laughed reading your answer but you’re right. I always joked, darn Clonney is married. But I was definitely joking. However, there are people who have those absolutely ridiculous standards. Not very many men look like GC. I I have one friend who never understood why I married my second husband. Because he was only 5’6”, a teacher, and not incredibly wealthy. (She compared him to my first husband). Yet, the first marriage lasted barely 5 years compared to 23 years -before my second husband died. To her I settled. I just have different tastes when it comes to men. I don’t necessarily have a type. First husband was an actor/ director, the second a history teacher. I admit I like good looking men. ( who doesn’t?) But I also like really intelligent, articulate men who have a variety of interests and who support progressive ideals and are not threatened by feminists. I don’t care about height etc. I think some people just click. Someone can be incredibly handsome and dumb as a rock. I find smart is sexy. Also, both my husbands played guitar ( I did too) so music has always been important to me.
        But sometimes untraditional looks are really attractive too. I love Benedict Cumberbatch. My sister can’t watch him on screen because she thinks is he’s so ugly. Everyone has their own unique reason why they are attracted to someone.
        Some people are simply negative Nellies and don’t look beyond what they see. I may like handsome, but personality becomes handsome really quickly too. This friend of mine only marries for a large bank account. Money has never been important to me. In the end, looks fade, money can be lost. And some times people get sick and die. Life isn’t a checklist.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s exact it. Life isn’t a checklist…to have a list of criteria is akin to shopping, and we shouldn’t be shopping for a mate…we should be trying to forge a genuine connection with someone. Could you imagine if we imposed the same restrictions on friends? I can only be friends with someone who is x, y and z…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m a widow in my fifties. I think there is some truth in your quote. Most days I think I can be content being single–but sometimes I think I would like to try my hand at love again.

    I was very shy years ago–which never helped in finding a special someone. I am still a little shy. Years ago in some situations I used alcohol as a way to loosen up in some situations–can’t see doing that now.

    I don’t think potential partners need to be George Clooney like attractive—but it helps if you make the most of what you have—nice clothes, good dental care, regular haircuts etc.

    I’m definitely an introvert and have become more set in my ways. I don’t even like to stay out past my normal bedtime. I can see those things as barriers if I ever decide to look for a special someone.

    Oh—and the world of online dating seems absolutely overwhelming.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If I were single I don’t think I’d online date. Too much risk for too little reward. That being said, I know people who have made great matches that way… I think I would be ok with being single

      Liked by 1 person

      1. L A I learned from friends that you meet at a Starbucks or at a book store with a coffee bar. That way you are safe and around people. You can discuss books, and sip coffee. And if he’s a jerk and doesn’t pick up the tab, it’s not too expensive. I liked the book store the best. Discussing the latest novels was a great ice breaker and let’s you get a quick glimpse into his intellectual abilities. The older you get the more you need to be able to discuss things. (In my opinion).

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Personally, I think there are plenty of married people who are living single lives at this age. Separate vacations, bedrooms, hobbies, etc. Once the children leave they either find things in common or if they won’t want a divorce, too much work and financial mess, they just do their own thing. I find it interesting that there is a focus n single people and something wrong with them when I look at couples and many issues with them. All of us married or single are striving for happiness and happiness changes from day to day. Fact of life. I’m single, for me it is not about nit picking about a man my age as a person, but more about NOT wanting to be with someone and be put in the “wife role,” clean the laundry, buy presents for his kids, grandkids, nag because the guy doesn’t help out. Single people, we have our emotional freedom. It’s a nice thing. Sure sometimes it feels lonely, but married people are lonely with their spouses too. There isn’t the perfect solution. My mother and I have talked about this. There are a few, very few couples that are BLISSFULLY happy, the rest, exist.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t think anyone is blissfully happy. I think there are people content with their surroundings. And you’re right that some in a couple are basically living single. But it’s all about expectations…what do you expect out if your life…

      Liked by 4 people

  11. Yes, relationships involve compromise, unless one person is ‘the boss’. But there is a grace in learning to bend to someone else’s needs or wishes sometimes. Having said that, I have been single for years, on and off, and I love it! But, I also enjoy looking for love, and exploring dating possibilities, so sometimes I’m active about online dating etc. There is a very big gap between how we over 50s/60s behave, and how the young ones go about their mate searching, especially as most of us have had our families etc. It must be dreadfully sad to have wanted a partner and children but not done it? I hear a lot of women over 60 quite content to be divorced and have their freedoms now while still delighting in their grandchildren etc…
    I do think society is Ageist, especially against women, and while a certain level of upkeep is important to me, it’s a fact that we ARE all losing our collagen/plump muscles/getting longer teeth and grey hair, so we must be realistic about our bodies and our [potential] lover’s body. In summary, the search for love is complex, and changes over time, so that statement is a little too simplistic for me 🙂 G

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Totally simplistic. Yet I look at some people I know and I’ve said that about them. I have friends/acquaintances -never married or serious relationships, and I remember them at 30 and some of the things they wanted… must be ver six feet tall was a big one…and all I can think is really…you’re five foot two…five tennis a deal breaker?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, on line dating wasn’t really my thing, but I did go on J date and met a few nice gentlemen. But I never renewed my subscription. One friend on there complained she rarely got “hits”. She’s brilliant and witty and i can’t explain why. Another friend who has since passed, mentioned she liked to cook and boy she had a million dates. Lol Her kids moved away and cooking for others was her greatest pleasure. So she’d cook. When I was in my early 60’s I think my advantage then was that I was still photogenic. So a lot of jerks clicked on my profile only because the couple of pictures I posted looked pretty. But their comments showed they didn’t even read what I wrote were my interests. Now I’m just an old lady so that window has closed haha. I dated briefly. and then decided I’d put that effort into other things. Like classes, writing, my grandchildren, working with a poetry network. All things I enjoyed way more than trying to meet men. But, don’t sell yourself short. I certainly hope you never have to go down that road. But you’d be great at whatever you attempted to do. .

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Guys are often intimidated by smart self sufficient woman…and that’s where online is a problem…easier to meet a witty person and connect in oerson

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Ageist to some not all, pre-marriage I exclusively dated women older than me. When I met my future wife it actually blew my mind someone was younger would be into me…but I don’t look my age so she was pleasantly surprised to land an older guy who looked younger.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Do you know anyone who is single and doesn’t want to be? No, all my single friends are happily single. I see that holding true with younger people, too. Those who want to be a couple find a way to navigate a relationship while those who want to be single do that. To each her own

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know a fair amount who are single not by choice…they have so many odd criteria.I do also have many single by choice friends. I also know those who keep going back to exes because they don’t want to be alone and can’t find anyone better. And this is all ages…from thirties to sixties

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Interesting. I have three adult children, 36, 34 and 26 all single but I know each one would like to be partnered, they just haven’t found that right person. All have been in relationships but while a few lasted a couple years, they all ended because my kids realized that the other person wasn’t what they wanted in a life mate. My son says he is still single because while he was younger he was looking for someone to be a life mate instead of just playing the field and dating. Personally, I’ve said it before, if something happened to my husband at this juncture, I’d be perfectly happy being single. Love my husband but it’s too much work. LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I was single and didn’t want to be for several years after my divorce, so this is an intriguing topic. I think the real question shouldn’t be “Is there a reason?” but rather, “WHAT is the reason?” Because if not by choice, there’s always a reason. Not necessarily a bad one, either.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True. But I have a neighbor, who I referenced in comments. I’ve know her for 20 years since she’s 30. She’s always wanted to be in a relationship but has never dated anyone more than six weeks the entire time I’ve known her. I guess you could question if she truly wants to be in a relationship, but at some point you have to wonder what she’s thinking

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  15. I have missed your posts, always interesting. I will catch up. 🙂
    Feeling better each day.
    Anyway I agree it really comes down to what you want the most. Always good to know what you want in a mate but there may be some things you need to let go off if you really want to find someone. Not the major stuff but minor, as in “brushing their tongue!” Oh gosh!
    Some people like to be seen as a victim. Woe is me I can’t find anyone and they play the role well.
    But I do think there are people sincerely looking who just haven’t found the right one due to nothing of their doing, the right one just hasn’t come along. My cousins were late 30’s when they both got married. They had been wanting to get married before that but it just didn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny but I think mid thirties is the perfect time to get married. You know who you are, the people you date know who they are. I don’t think of 30s as late…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was going to leave a comment, but it appears you closed the thread for new comments :(. I used to have standards, had to be short, no major baggage,spanish-jewish-italian and older than me. I dated like that for years. Then met someone totally against every standard and it has worked for 12 years now. I have a friend who had a girlfriend in high school but wrestled with his sexuality for year, came out pushing 40 but only wants to date Asian guys, most of which are all long distance. At 51 he seems to have settled into being single and shares a house with his brother who wishes they both weren’t single.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s published within the last year, and I saw it in the shelf in the first floor section of Barnes and Noble last week so I don’t thing so

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      3. It’s all a matter of being ok with yourself and your choices. If something isn’t how you want it to be, you have to figure out if you want to adapt behavior. I didn’t close comments but I will check spam folder later. I’ve been lax at checking

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      4. Fascinating, earlier this morning i was unable to add a comment unless it was reply. It wouldnt be in your spam folder because i had no option yo write the comment at the bottom. It wasnt like i wrote a comment and it dissapeared.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Stay happily single. Nobody’s perfect, not even the ones who are choosing to stay single. Instead of trying to find faults in yourself or others, maybe look for the traits that you can tolerate. Trying to change a person never works. Complaining and whining is such a waste of time for singles as well as those in relationship.

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  17. Newly single as a middle-aged woman, I have a lot of soul searching to do in figuring this all out. What I looked for and wanted in my 20’s is nothing like what I’m looking for or wanting in my 50’s. People ask me if I want to find love again…I don’t know the answer to that yet. And that’s okay, because I’m in no rush and quite honestly, am enjoying this time alone. But when I think about pursuing love again, some of the superficial things won’t be a priority like they were when younger. For instance, looks. While I want to be attracted to a man, it’s not the most important thing. Love doesn’t live or survive on that. But loyalty, well, that’s a big one for me. I guess I’m just learning to be at peace with my current relationship status and if it changes, I’ll go with the flow.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. We are all created to be connected to others. Whether that looks like a traditional relationship or something else, human connection of some kind is in our DNA. We have someone in our family who is 50+ and never married…..because he has unattainable requirements. But, that doesn’t keep him from lamenting his singleness. If I end up outliving my husband, I will probably handle my personal life differently as I have different standards of what I would want in a partner now. The secret to being happy is to be content where you are in life right now….whatever the status. 💜

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  19. I have a lot of single friends. I think it’s #1. I’d also like to add that I was the person who married in my 20s when my friends were doing other things. I always think had I waited to be married/partnered, then I’d be like them because of #1. It’s harder to accept people for who they are once we age and get set in our ways. All of a sudden, not scraping your tongue seems like an egregious feat that one cannot possibly deal with.

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