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Dating at Midlife/I wish love never finds me.

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QUESTION: Can you live your entire life without love?

Asking this question again from three years ago. (research)
I am 32 going on 33 and I am happy single....and never had a girlfriend nor had a relationship.
I am still a virgin.
I had one interest but it ended with disaster (She didn't want me only to help her buy a house).
I want to stay single for the rest of my life...
Love has brought me nothing but pain and close to suicide...from loneliness from craving a partner which I only had for only three months. It felt like ADDICITED to a drug but never smoked it.
Maybe If I could smoke crack..at least I would get the pleasure unlike relationships...(Kidding people)
Being single has brought me only good friends and rewards...Acting, UNITED STATES MARINES, Volunteering, DEGREES, and a NEPHEW!
Many people think I am crazy....but it's better to not need love then crave love and never get it.
Friends tell me to "you will find someone"...or some other suger coated fairy tale....What bullshit!!
Now multiply that by 12+ years....it's like hearing a Britiney Spears song everyday! It becomes condescending.
I am NOT afraid to die alone..and slowly as every person tells me with their suger coated fairy tales that finding that I will find someone.....it's makes me want to tell them with extreme prejudice.."What fairy castle you crawled from?" "Don't force your fears of loneliness on ME!"
Yes I know love is out there but for every single person on this earth? Many people enjoy being single. Might as well believe that the sky is made of sugar and Chocolate covered rainbows...

Am I crazy or have I seen too much of the negative sides of love?
Do I have to endure more pain from love to UNDERSTAND? "Should I get shot in the head so I know what real pain is?"
Should I continue with the pain of dating or let go be single happy?
Will I be shunned by society because I choose to be single?
Is it possible to hate on single people because they choose to be single yet never dated in their entire lives?

ANSWER: Loved your signature name: Love Myrter... something between Martyr and Murder.

That about sums it up doesn't it?

There are a lot of folks like you, although you seem to be an extreme case.

It's a generational thing often and it's  passed on.  By 1980 researchers in the object
relations tradition saw that we could interview a young woman who was not even married and accurately
predict how your yet unborn young child would respond to love... five years later. From this we developed
a formal interview we used to predict attachment styles.

So it's learned as much as inborn.

In the end, it's your life and you have to decide how you are going to live it. If you are fortunate
you get to choose the challenges which you will master and be shaped by.
That's especially true when it comes to love.  

You've figured out a lot.

You've realized that you have a very deep longing and that this longing is very well defended.
At some level you have been hurt and it was hard and you do not trust.  

So you keep yourself at arm's length. You do love. You care for others. You have
many friendships.  

Intimacy, however, is a different matter. Intimacy is dangerous.  Well, it is.
If you go to the website for my book, Rabbis In Love,  you can hear a very touching quote
from Rabbi Ronni Cahana.  Blew me away when I heard it.  He said, "Love is dangerous. And it should be. It's like God."
And this from a man who was pretty secure with intimacy and who had a beautiful 25 year marriage.  

But at the same time, there are lots of folks who just don't want to deal with the pain and the stress. They have been wounded and they protect their vulnerability. They are loving people. They contribute. They are good friends and they have good friends and they have rich, fulfilling lives. So your friends mean well.

On the other hand, perhaps this is not the commitment you want to make. Maybe you do  not want to explore that wild continent.  

And then, when you are middle aged, you can change your mind.
Then it helps to have a support group and it helps to have  wise and sympathetic listeners who can help you gain perspective on your vulnerabilities and learn whatever it is that love, intimate love, has to teach you.

I realize this is a bit of a lecture. I hope it is a framework for further thought. Feel free to follow up.

Philip Alan Belove, Ed.D.






---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: This question was ask on yahoo answers a few years ago.
I'm 36 and still in this situation.  I have joined a forum group and I feel that it's not working.  I guess I'm looking for an absolution. I do plan to continue this path knowing that my age, virginity, traits, and overall circumstances are stacked so high toward single-ism that I feel it's not even worth the effort to which others do it by only smiling..(I do smile by the way).   

Could you answer the same question but pretend that I'm 70 years old and in the same situation.  

I feel that you can give a mature answer rather then the hope fluff.

Answer
I don't think I'd change it that much.  We all work out some theory about how life works by the time we are in middle school and then we live accordingly as long as it works for us.  Many of us revise our assumptions around midlife. Some never do. Some change their viewpoints late in life.  Stanley Kunitz wrote a poem called The Layers and he was 92.  The poem ends, "I have no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written, I am not done with my changes."  He lived to 102.

He said, "you have to invent and re-invent yourself until you arrive at a version of yourself you can live with. And die with. "

I say the same to you.  Do you like the version you have of yourself?  Do you want to change it? No matter what you do, you'll have to live with it for a while.  Do without love? Seek for love? Open to love? Love from a distance.  Do you want a life partner? Do you want to be completely autonomous?  What kind of a life partner do you want?

Robert Frost wrote a poem called Road Less Traveled. He says he took the road he chose and it has made all the difference.

Same for you.

Do you want to change? Work with me, or someone, who can help you change. Or wish for the wisdom you wanted.

AGain, my email is drbelove@me.com

Philip Alan Belove, Ed.D.  

Dating at Midlife

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Philip Belove, Ed.D.

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Hi. I`m Philip Belove (that is my name, really). I`m 71 and I`ve been a psychologist all my midlife, the past 35 years. My specialty has been counseling and coaching other midlife adults.  I think we all figure things out as we go along, but even more so at midlife. Being between 40-ish and 60-ish and single is like being a stranger in a strange land. I`ve learned which questions help people find their own way. I created this category, I publish a blog at www.drbelove.com and I write articles for various web sites. My commitment is to help people 1) understand and improve how they deal with others, 2) understand the forces that rule the relationships they are in, and 3) make the decisions which will shape, or create, or end those relationships  so they achieve the goal of midlife development  to finally live with personal satisfaction. I`ve been divorced twice myself. I`m in a satisfying relationship with a fine person. I`m very interested in learning about your challenges and in offering what I can.

Experience

Professionally: Licensed Psychologist. Marriage and Family Therapist. Coach.Author. University Lecturer. Personally: I'm 71. I've probably made all the big mistakes, er, learned the big lessons.I've forgiven myself and made many apologies and I've made it into a good, stable, sweet relationship. I now have a perspective on midlife.

Publications
Please check out my book, Rabbis in Love, at www.rabbis-in-love.com Also my blog at www.drbelove.com The Rabbi book was done as part of a research project. My collaborator, Marilyn Bronstein, and I wanted to interview couples with very successful marriage and also we wanted to talk to people who cared as much about their spirituality as love. Maybe being able to love and be spiritual were one and same, we thought. So we found a rabbi couple and the interview was so astounding that we interviewed nine more rabbi couples. One dropped. They'd revealed too much. It's a fascinating book and, Jewish or not, religious or not, these couples do a lot of things right and there is a lot to learn from them.

Education/Credentials
Masters in Counseling Psychology, Alfred Adler Institute Doctorate in Consulting Psychology, focus on family therapy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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