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Dear Chump Lady, Where are all the single available men?

kingDear Chump Lady,

Please throw some light on the very stormy waters of the dating world out there. The last page of your book encourages to love again strong and true, and I get this implicitly but WHERE do we meet these new guys? (Especially for those of us who were dealt the wonderful shit sandwich in our fifties and over…)

Where are single available men? (If I hear one of my friends ever mention the grocery store’s alleys as possible love lanes one more time, why, I am liable to wring her little wrinkled neck with my very own hands! The judge will understand and go easy on me..) Chump Lady, help us understand where we can spot and get to speak with these mythical creatures. On line? If so, which sites would you recommend? Please let us know. We are getting a bit lonely and would really love to hear your take on the dating scene live or online.



Dear Pascale,

The supply of Single Available Men are all in a knotty pine-paneled man cave, enjoying brewskis and watching the Detroit Pistons in Ferndale, Michigan. I’m not allowed to divulge the street address. To do so would compromise the national Single Available Man strategic reserve.

Occasionally one is released, by presidential pardon and an act of Congress, into the dating pool. There you must discern for yourself amongst the thousands of douchebags, predators, and married men if he’s really Single, Available, and decent. Please know you are competing against hordes of other 50+ year-old women for the one, pardoned Single Available Man. Hope you look 30 and your tits don’t sag. Best of luck!

May I just say how much I hate this question — where are all the single, available men? There is NO RIGHT ANSWER. The whole question is a horrible set up. It’s a “how long have you been beating your wife?” kind of no win. To answer means I think a) there is a national Single Available Man shortage; b) I think you need a partner to be happy; and c) they’re all hiding somewhere and I can tell you how to find one.

A) I don’t think there is a Single Available Man shortage anymore than there is a Decent, Not Batshit Crazy, Solvent Woman crisis. There are just people. Some are awesome. Some suck. Go figure it out and have some boundaries as you explore.

B) You don’t require a partner to be happy. In my book (the first one and the forthcoming one) I say you should love again and I’m very clear that does not necessarily mean a partner. I say go adopt an orphan, join a historic preservation society, or grown peonies. Quote, “I have no idea what your personal happiness looks like,” unquote, it just doesn’t belong with your cheater.

I do think you should have courage and it is not impossible to love another person again.

C) I can’t tell you how to find a Single, Available Man. I only really know a few men very well. I’m married to one and am the daughter of another. They’re not available. My 18-year-old son is single and available, but if a 50-year-old woman came after him I’d run her off waving a shovel.

I’m really the last person you should ask how to date. I’m a flaming dork. It’s only by the grace of God that I met my husband (another flaming dork). The only dating tips I have are know your worth and healthy relationships are reciprocal. After that, you’re on your own.

Ack! Tracy this is very unsatisfying advice! It’s all very fine and good for you to be so blithe about partnering up, you there from the comfort of your Happily Married status. Apparently you’ve forgotten the dating trenches! You suck!


Having a good partner is a great blessing. I won’t lie. It’s awesome. BUT IT’S NOT THE ONLY BLESSING IN LIFE. Seriously, live life today as if it’s never going to happen for you. Because you don’t know if it will or won’t. Do not predicate your happiness on finding your One True Love. That very expectation sets you up for unhappiness. Makes you feel a wee bit desperate. Makes you compare yourself to the More Fortunate. Don’t do this to yourself!

We don’t enjoy every blessing. Not every one of us is rich, thin, healthy, fertile or possessing friends, a loving family, children on the honor roll, or six-pack abs. We all get some blessings, but we don’t get ALL the blessings.

And that’s okay.

I’m not saying every blessing is equivalent. Having healthy children isn’t the same as having thin thighs. I’m just saying that it’s okay to not have EVERY blessing.

You have to adapt and overcome. Look, you might not be born rich — you can go out and hustle and work three jobs and it might happen for you. You might become better off than you were, your hard work might get you a Leer jet. Or, it might just make you an exhausted person who works three jobs. You can do things to improve your odds, but you might not get that blessing.

You might not be able to have children. Maybe you really want children and maybe God gave you a crap uterus. You can let that fact make you miserable. Or you can adopt. Or you can be an wonderful involved aunt or Big Sister. Or you can take all that money you would spend on daycare and frozen pizza and vacation in Europe instead. What you cannot do is predicate your happiness on having a functional uterus.

Similarly, you might want to find Mr. Right. You can online date your heart out, get fixed up with every widower at your church, and lay in wait in the frozen vegetable aisle. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. But don’t predicate your happiness on it happening. Go be your best, happiest self without a relationship and see what happens.

For what it’s worth, I think the odds are good of pairing up again. All people (unless they are sociopaths) want to bond with other people. We crave intimacy and connection. I do think we should all be open to connection with others.

Good people are not “mythical.” They exist. You exist! Just get out there and live life and I trust you’ll cross each other’s paths eventually. Maybe this will result in a boyfriend or maybe a really great set of friends and a vibrator. I don’t know. Good luck.

Really, I will get to the contest winners later today. Sorry for the delay — Tracy


Ask Chump Lady

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  • Do you single ladies really want to know where all the decent and loyal single men are? Are you sure? We are in the fucking “friend zone” where you left us, while going after the hot guy or the fucking jerk you thought you could change. We been here just being fucking ignored or being the shoulder you cried on when said man didn’t change or dumped you or some other bullshit. And I know the reverse is true as well, don’t think me misogynistic I am just a touch bitter about this shit these days. I was sick of these questions before I got married and now that I am a single man again I’m sick of them again. Nothing worse for a man or woman (in a dating sense because we have all been through much worse) than liking someone and being very attracted to them than hearing them bitch about how they can’t find a good man/woman. We are right here fuckers and I for one am sick and tired of waiting for them.

    • My cheater was a friend first. He seemed friendly and cute and kind of supportive and protective when a previous relationship (with a cheater) went south. We were buds. We hung out together, travelled together, listened to each others issues. I heard all about his ex, the cheater who was “not quite human”. Now he’s bonking her.

      You win some you lose some. The sweet, cute and cuddly boy who loved his mama turned out to be a raging narc who controls everyone around him by withholding affection and throwing rages. Sweet cute and cuddly is how he sucks people in.

      • Moving on, your X sounds familiar, started out as friends, heard all his sob stories, just a good guy with a long line of girls who only wanted to be friends, good guy finishes last stories. A supportive, positive friend, thoughtful, cuddly, golly gosh. X couldn’t have been more perfect. Turned out to be the most selfish, wicked, narc, opinionated,critical, asshole I could have ever had a relationship with. Spawn of Satan.
        Guys who I thought were jerks when I began dating X, have long term marriages, faithful and adore their wives and families.

        • If they’re not super sparkly (mine is cute but short and had no money), they play the good guy teddy bear role. Whatever works. Plus that role plays well with the damaged and those that have had bad experiences in the past. Not a fixer-upper but someone that you can feel virtuous about dating because you see and accept what the sparkly seekers don’t see.

        • I’m not out of my current mess yet but I don’t even know who I am right now anyway. We become so enmeshed with out SO’s, even more so when they are disordered and we are constantly checking in and reacting to their moods that knowing and being “yourself” is loaded. I know that much of who I am and where I am right now in terms of location and lifestyle has been guided by my relationship with him and I need to re-work out who exactly I am before I can even think about how to find someone to complement that and who that should be.

          I feel like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride – I don’t even know how I like my eggs yet (OK I do but there are lots of other things I’m not sure about).

            • Oh geez. You mean I’m not the only one who married a safe nerd that neeeeeeeedz a close female friend?

              • Glad to hear I’m not the only one who married a nerd feels compelled to amass a harem. I’m trying for a unicorn here, and things have been going well for the past year, but the point remains: I get a little sick inside whenever I hear talk of “the friend zone” etc. If you’re not getting what you need from a friendship/relationship, move on. Nobody gets bonus points for marrying the nerd. Some of us (myself included) connect well with nerds, that’s why we end up marrying them. Some people connect well with athletic outdoorsy types. Good on them! All of these groups have individuals who will destroy your life if you allow it. Nerds tend to have more covert narcs than overt, but a narc is still a narc.

    • I agree with you to a point, @accubonded, in that we need to acknowledge the good things and opportunities right under our noses, and not write things off for some Seinfeldian reason. But at the same time, if you’re just plain not attracted to someone, you can’t force yourself to feel that way. And if someone’s not attracted to me, even if I really like them, I don’t want them to lie to me and fake attraction just because we look good on paper together. “Forcing it” like this is exactly what gets us into messes that bring us to this web site. And I’m not even going to go into the dismissive “friend zone” thing because others have written about that way more eloquently, for example, here:

      With love and respect,


    • I totally found that kind of comments and attitude from men so unattractive. I married a comic book nerd. A fat, bald comic book nerd and he was the worst cheater ever!!!!!! EVER!

    • My ex was one of those nerdy dorks that most women friend-zoned. I thought that he was my best friend; I certainly didn’t go after him because he seemed dangerously exciting and looked like a model. Perhaps I thought I was making the safe choice that way, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There are plenty of us out there, both male and female, who prefer an unconventional choice of partner and aren’t swayed by a stereotypically “pretty” face. Most “hot” guys I’ve met are seriously lacking in personality and intelligence (sorry– another stereotype, but I’m basing this on my past experiences), two qualities that are very attractive to me. I just need to make sure that, if there is a next time for me, I pick a guy who has personality, intelligence, and a strong sense of fidelity!

      • Strangely enough, my ex was not attractive either. People close to me even had the Arrested Development response (him?!) or “He must be different/better/etc. when they are alone”. I always had dated men who were attractive in the past…none of them cheated on me. There was actually one point where I saw an ex-boyfriend when I was out with cheater ex, and I was embarrassed. EMBARRASSED! Was this my subconscious trying to tell me something? I don’t think that you are supposed to feel that way. In fact, I didn’t think that he would ever cheat on me because he wouldn’t be able to find anyone who would want to…boy was I wrong. I guess what got me with cheater ex was SPARKLES and a shit-ton of love bombing. My new number one thing to look for in a potential new partner is KINDNESS.

      • My cheater was/is the same. He always in bad relationships that were not reciprocal and was cheated on. But was so happy to finally be in a “loving reciprocal” relationship with me. Taught me how to play D&D and other RPG’s with his college friends. Was smart and we could talk for hours about everything. By the time we got married I thought I had met my soul mate, my best friend. I never thought that he would cheat. But I didn’t know about the porn or his fat bitch whore in Austin or the escorts. Nope didn’t have a clue till D-day. Sometimes the ones we think are “safe” are not. That makes trying to start again so tough. If we made such a bad choice the first time with someone that seemed so perfect how do we trust ourselves to pick better the next time?

        • Fix our pickers i wish i knew how. I never did anything for myself only others. Its all about me now and at 60 im just getting started. I will allow noone to ever get that close to me again. I will remain forever single. The ex will just keep on destroying his relationships till he dies and does nothing to change his ways and hes aware he needs serious mental health counseling. This experience has made me a better person and the best revenge is living well. The whore hes with now will do til the next one…..

    • Acccubonded! Your comment made me laugh out loud!!! Especially the first sentence! Brilliant!!! Thanks for making my day. So much truth to what you said!

    • Speaking for myself, anyone who uses the term “friend zone” is automatically off my list, accubonded. Your female friends aren’t machines you put friendship coins into until sex falls out, and they probably sense that’s how you see them. People who know who they are, who know their worth, and who know how to be real friends without totaling up a future bill for every nice thing they do, they are attractive.

        • No one is owed romance or anything else. But you can be sure there are all sorts of entitled, self-absorbed people who think they are owed whatever they think is missing.

          I didn’t really read the rant as being owed sex. But I did see the frustration of never being able to move in a romantic or sexual direction because someone, for whatever reason, has ruled them out.

          Still doesn’t mean they are owed anything. But one can’t deny his frustration either. No one is owed “protection” from hearing his rant.

          • Uni-baller,

            You picked the wrong horse to back buddy. Sure, Accubonded is hurting. But he sounds like a five-year-old.

            (Can’t believe I’m going to say this.) Man-up ‘bonded. If you want to fuck, tell a lady. Even now in the age of feminism, (a good – GREAT – thing) gender-roles persist. Most straight women want to be pursued. That’s on you mang. Ask for what you want. If you don’t get it don’t be a creepy crybaby.

            • I thought Accubonded was being respectful. It’s an awkward place to be in when when you are a kind person and overlooked by someone you have developed a friendship with and are overlooked while you ARE right there in front of them. Relationships should start as friendships. Cry baby? If you want to fuck tell a lady? That’s bullshit Ian. That would be such a turn off.

              • It would be a turn-off for a man to tell you he likes you? To ask you on a date? Really?

                You know how CL is always saying you can’t control other people, you can only control you? Yeah, that applies here. No amount of being “nice” is going to activate a woman’s latent psychic powers and make her ask you on a date. If you like-like someone and want to be more than friends, either open up your mouth and say so, or else resolve yourself to the fact that you and your crush will never be a couple. Don’t hang around them in the hope that one day, *one day*, she’ll “see what’s been under her nose all along”.

              • donna,

                I re-read the statement in question by accubonded: “We been here just being fucking ignored or being the shoulder you cried on when said man didn’t change or dumped you or some other bullshit.”

                I stand by my derision of accubonded’s remarks. His honesty, integrity, sexism, and male-privilege offend me.

            • I don’t think you understood my reply. I wasn’t siding with anyone. I understood where he was coming from.

              I clearly said no one is owed anything. You certainly don’t owe me any understanding where it comes to understanding what I wrote. But if you want to have a conversation or discussion, then at least make an effort to understand, in every meaning of that word, what the writer is saying.

              Instead of just blindly applying labels such as sexist, or being insulting by saying (man up, Ironic since you are then name calling sexist…) maybe the world would be a better place if we walked a mile in someone’s shoes.

              But again, you don’t owe that to anyone.


              • Uniballer1965,

                I did not blindly apply any labels. It was a considered and relevant rebuke.

                Man-on-man sexism is as complex a topic as “reverse-racism.”

                Perhaps we should take all this to the Forum. But really, no one is going to change her or his mind, so perhaps let’s all move on.

                /threadjack end/

      • Accubonded’s actual words were “We are in the fucking “friend zone” where you left us, …. And I know the reverse is true as well.”

        He said nothing about putting women in the friend zone, and acknowledged that men are shallow and “friend zone” worthy-of-relationship women.

        The rest of this is not addressed to you, Linden, but to the rest of the criticisms of Accubonded, which I think have no basis in what he actually said, and which are often unfair:

        1-He put friend zone in quotes because it is a meme, and is now in public parlance. If the people at Salon got tired of reading their Derrida and decided to make “friend zone” a sexist term so that it could be better discussed at cocktail parties, well, some of us are not quite cosmopolitan enough to keep up with the latest Salon trends (possibly because of …raising children? Which, BTW, Accubonded is raising several daughters).

        2–I have read and re-read and re-read his post. Not seeing any sexism, any more than I saw a visage of Jesus in my toast this morning.

        3-Accubonded has been posting for months, and posts often helpful comments both on the main page and in the forums. Is he still angry? Yup, he’s still wet behind the ears on this infidelity stuff. I’m still angry and I’m 1.25 years out. Could he have phrased his rant more diplomatically? Sure, but can we not cut other victims some slack?

      • It’s intelligent to be angry, even “bitter” when you just had your life and heart upended by a deceptive jerk. No shame in bitter, here.

      • No Kettle, I would not be offended if a guy told me he “liked” me. I would be offended if a guy told me “he wants to fuck me” as Ian suggested to Accubonded. That remark sounds like something the Limited would say to a bar whore. And telling a friend you want to FUCK her lacks integrity Ian, although it highlights your actions. I see.

        • Exactly, Donna what I was thinking….accubonded’s words did not offend me, and he’s right— I am post-divorce 5 months now, post D-Day/him moving out 9 months now….I have tried and (have failed, REPEATEDLY to meet a “good man” online, IRL, and through friends. I don’t think I’m trying too hard, but I’m out there practically waving my arms with fireworks shooting out of my hands screaming, “Hello!!!! I’m right here!!!!”

          I want someone special in my life- I don’t “need” a man though…I am a full-time mom to my Autistic daughter – I get every other weekend “off” even if it is me staying in my pajamas all weekend eating cereal and watching Spongebob…I don’t want to be up their backside, and I don’t want someone up mine, but having a good, steady, special someone to hang with here or there (if he’s open to my daughter— that’s a no-brainer, non-negotiable)

          I feel like that line in that movie, “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson & Helen Hunt where she screams, “Whyyyy?! Why can’t I just have a normal boyfriend that won’t go nuts on me!?!?” to which her mom replies, “We all want that dear, it doesn’t exist!!!”

          I am about to be 45, 5’9″, just over 200 lbs (maybe being “curvy” is a turn-off, maybe-probably, but fuck them if they are going to reject me based on that) — loyal, faithful, have a great sense of humor, witty charming, blah blah blah…yet, I still go home alone every time I go out, and no hits on my online dating profiles unless I just want to hook up for a few hours…

          Back to my original thoughts:

          accubonded is speaking my language, and I feel his pain — unless I’m willing to play Super-Save-A-Dude or “Freaky-Frida” for a few hours, sure, I can find a guy easy. I just don’t want that, EVER.

          Just putting out my random thoughts…

          Molly X

    • I mean clearly it’s women’s own fault if they get chumped for getting involved with someone they actually love instead of going with the guy who pretends to be their friend in the hope of getting sex.

      • Did I miss something about accubond’s post… Cause that is not how I read it at all!!! Where in his post is he implying that he under the guise of ‘ friendship ‘ is trying to get laid. And exactly how is he being sexist??
        His reply was to the letter writer aboutnot being able to find a good guy. My interpretation of Accu’s resposnse is: i am a good guy and I make myself available and demostrate honorable qualities but I am the back up plan…..because i am fine to hang out with but once the ‘ more interesting’ guy flexes his biceps… All of a sudden … We are ‘ friends.’ That would soooooo fucking piss me off. I totally get it. And as bitter person myself I applaude his post. Thanks for keeping it real…. And refreshing to hear a male perspective.
        He never implied anywhere that sex was expected ..where is anyone reading that? Did I miss something or have a stroke?

        • TheClip
          No you didn’t have a stroke! I agree with your interpretation regarding his honorable qualities. I have no idea how his post was taken so out of context. He wasn’t “pretending to be a friend” or using “the guise of friendship to get laid.”
          Seriously, Ian your have a right to your opinions but your offended by his HONESTY, sexism, and male privilege? Well I’m offended by your spin on his heartfelt post.

          • Donna and TheClip,

            I read Accubond’s post exactly as Ian did, so I feel like I have to defend Ian here. First off, calling people “fuckers” that don’t reciprocate your feelings of attraction is complete bullshit. Accubond’s post makes it sound like he expects that by being a kind and good friend to a woman, said woman should be expected to develop romantic feelings for him in return, simply because he listened to her or did things any other friend would do. Sorry, but that is the exact type of entitled attitude that we call cheaters out for on this board all the time.

            All of us here know that you cannot control feelings. You have to let them play out. Many of us here have been burned by following our feelings/hearts and not our heads, by staying with cheaters for too long. It seems hypocritical to show such disdain of others (single people looking for partners) who have followed their hearts over their heads as well, albeit for different reasons/under different circumstances.

            • I call people ‘ fuckers’ alllllll the time. Think I have even called them Closet Dead Dog Fuckers. Had my own rant about men cheat. Men. Cause I am a woman. Is your arguement language? Or sexism or violence?
              Cause they way I read yours and Ian’ s post… You both tried to spin doctor Accu’s post into something it wasnt.
              And have you guys met Arnold? Where the fuck is Arnold when u need him?

              • Arnold left because he was upset that women could say extreme things about men, but men couldn’t say extreme things about women.

                Looks like he was right.

              • Tempest,

                I believe we have much more in common than we don’t, and I’m pained by your continued criticism. I got your joke about my “I got this” response, and appreciated the humor.

                Tempest you just now said, “Arnold left because he was upset that women could say extreme things about men, but men couldn’t say extreme things about women. Looks like he was right.”

                1. The only person who seems unaccounted for is accubonded. I appreciate that he’s a fellow chump, and I look forward to his further participation.
                2. I am not responsible for any alleged departure of Arnold
                3. This is a case of a MAN saying an extreme things about a MAN, and it’s my opinion on a topic only tangentially related to cheating.

              • Ian, my point is that Accubonded got jumped on for saying some of the things that a woman on this site could say about men with impunity (I obviously know Accubonded is a man, and I recognize your manliness because you have a gun & flannel shirt & drink beer ; )–man on man debates were not what I meant.

                For the love of Shiner Bock, can we move on???????

              • Arnold, if you are out there PLEASE come back here. I miss your insight. Your chump story was one of the toughest stories EVER. I valued your posts and wisdom. 🙁 Prayers for you and your sons, I hope your long road is a little less bumpy as the sane parent.

        • Broke my leg jumping on TheClip & Donna bandwagon–not seeing sexism in Accubonded’s post at all (despite my willingness to eat chauvinists for breakfast). Furthermore, have iphones obliterated our memories (okay, answering that rhetorical question–yes)? Because Accubonded has been a valuable contributor here for months. Can we not give someone who is obviously hurting a weeeee bit of latitude based on his previous, often very pro-woman stance? Do we have to go all “Release the Kraken!” on him because he used the word “fucker”?

          • Please read @ christianpundit ‘s links to Jezebel and tumblr. There is a wealth of feminist literature on this “friend-zone” problem.

            Read accubonded ‘s follow-up post too; he’s seething misogyny. I empathize with his cheater-problem. But he’s turned it into an all-women-are-bitches problem.

            No. No leeway for that shit. What we have seen here is sexism and male-privilege. It’s not easily understood by those not up-to-date on the issue, and it’s an easy apologist sympathy-grab

            I’m drawing fire from people because I’m over the target.



            • If Accu has some shitty feelings about the women they are his. Did he say ‘ all’ women? Nope. No he talked about they woman he had negative experiences. Period. You and your buddy tried to sway peoples opinion of Accu’s post by comparing it to an article. You regurgitated language from that article like a gospel. Again just cause its down in black and white doesnt mean its a truth. Doesnt mean its every persons experience. YOU chose to make it Accu experience. And YOU chose to spin doctor his comment to suggest he is sexist and ??? A rapist. I am surprised you didnt use the statement ‘ No means NO’ just to seal your point.
              Intrpret how you want…. But dont intrepret for me. You have your own agenda and its very obvious.

            • You didnt have anything to say about CL intrepretation of ‘ good men’ cause apparently they wear fannel , drink brewskies and live in Michigan. Now some men might find that sexist…. Cause they would not be caught dead in fannel or drinking a brewskie…. And fucking Michigan???? Stereotypical or sexism?
              That was a more sexist remark then what Accu said. You are obviously sensitive about woens issues but it wasnt a sexist attack. And if you are going call Accu out … Then call us all out… Cause I got man issues. So bring it

              • Can everyone please stop bickering? You know how much I hate to moderate! I was attempting humor with brewskis — but HEY, I’m from Michigan. And all men wear flannel. It’s in the code.

              • I like men… And men in fannel shirts drinking brewskies are up my alley… Just for the record. Just making a point about sexism….and pointing fingers at one comment vs another. Hopefully the fickle finger is attached to a funny bone!

            • Ian–normally I love your posts but not on this thread.

              Count me as one of the people “not up to date.” Hell, I just found out what beer pong was 3 years ago. And it’s not for lack of education, nor for lack of exposure to hip college students. I don’t read Salon and thus didn’t know “friend zone” is a sexist term because (a) I’m too busy raising a child single-handedly, thanks to my cheater, and (b) with my limited reading time, I would much rather find out about what they are doing in Flint, MI to alleviate the probably-permanent health problems that many children are suffering from public officials’ complete disregard that lead was leaching into the water supply for 18 months.

              There is a psychological phenomenon where people behave more aggressively to others when they are anonymous (even putting on sunglasses gives us the perception of anonymity), and we treat others more poorly when they are de-individuated (as when people use code names on-line).

              There are people on the receiving end of our comments, hurting people. Perhaps we can all keep that in mind.

              • Donna, TheClip, and Tempest,

                Obvioulsy, you are free to disagree with mine and Ian’s interpretation of what Accubonded wrote, just as we are free to disagree with yours. This board is generally supportive, and we are all here because we have been hurt/are hurting. I think we regularly try to cut each other slack when it comes to the pretty black and white issue of cheating/disordered assholes. However, this topic had nothing to do with cheating, and was simply about finding good partners. That level of vitriol seems unfounded in light of the topic being discussed. Just because Accubonded has a history of being supportive of women on this board doesn’t preclude him from being sexist or writing something that could be interpreted as sexist when it comes to the topic at hand.

                Donna-for the record, I am not sure what you meant by my word order being off, but it certainly didn’t change the meaning I was trying to convey. I am glad that you feel you are good at spotting entitlement, but that doesn’t mean you are more qualified than anyone else here at spotting it.

                TheClip-Accubonded didn’t have to say “all” women. His rant wasn’t directed at ALL women. It was just directed at the”single ones” that aren’t attracted to the kind of men he deems that they should find attractive. Singling out one group of women doesn’t make his argument any less misogynistic. My argument is misogyny, just as Ian’s was. If you would look at my previous posts, as Tempest suggested that we do in judging Accubonded’s post, you would see that I have no problem with curse words. However, I don’t think the women that Ian was referring to deserve to be called “fuckers”. If one accepted your argument that he was only talking about women he knows, then that would probably be even worse, given that he said their biggest crime as described would be failing to reciprocate his romantic feelings that did not even communicate to them.

                Tempest-As with Donna, I am glad you that you are willing to eat chauvinists for breakfast, but that does not mean that your definition of chauvinism is going to be the same as mine or Ian’s.

                I wasn’t trying to attack Accubonded. However, I was put off by his post, and I thought it was only right to defend Ian, as I completely agreed with the sentiment of Ian’s post.

              • There is an ugly undertone here that because I am childfree, or x, y, z, I should shut my mouth.

                Right now this Texan is wearing a flannel shirt, cleaning my gun, and drinking beer.

                Are we cool?

              • That is not the undertone at all that I intended. Claiming “sexism” about Accubonded’s post seems, in part, to hinge on the fact that the people at Salon have deemed “the friend zone” to be sexist. While that itself is up for debate, some of us who are too busy or not-hip-enough have not caught up with the latest cultural positions, and it seems harsh to accuse someone of sexism for using “friend zone” when he/she didn’t know it is now considered sexist.

                Off now to read Urban Dictionary so I don’t make any social missteps….

              • My gun comment was injudicious. I only brought up the gun to show my “manliness.” Not for any type of threat. I am not Jeb Bush-ing y’all for the love of Cheetos.

              • Unless you’re a fast draw, I’ll match my killer Shepherd/Schnauzer against your gun any day.

              • Hahahahaha.

                I was worried you might accuse me of going all “Rick Perry” on y’all’s asses. But then you reminded me that no one can eclipse Dark Lord Cheney.

    • The guys who complain of being friend-zoned have, in my experience, an off-putting affect. Simply put, they’re weird (which is fine, alone) but in a creepy, stalker-y way (not fine.) That’s WHY I put them in what they call the friend zone ( but really, it’s the acquaintance zone.) “I know you but you’re creeping me out with your unfounded zeal and I do NOT want to know anymore about you.” They like what miniscule amount they have topically seen/have learned about me, get worked up about it and think they know me, then act like I’ve led them on when I shut them out because their being over-familiar has weirded me out. That’s called self-preservation. If a guy is being weird (or heck, a new female acquaintance who’s forcing BFF-ness WAY too soon), I put up my wall. That means I don’t trust you to know me better than you already do. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person; it means I don’t want to know you anymore than I already do, if that. It means you should… respect that and maybe find yourself a new friend.

      Friendzone? <—That's called Making Boundaries.

      • Blerg

        Ian’s remarks to Accuboneded’s post were not constructive in my opinion. Telling a chump they areole a 5 year old and that he should tell his friend he wants to fuck her missed the entire meaning behind Accubonded’s original post. It WAS a personal attack. It was not constructive. Name calling, insults, and spinning are recognizable in the entitled. Telling a woman who is insecure about her appearance that she is fuckable and talking about pools of women to date? Ok enough said.

        • donna,

          At the behest of Chump Lady, I stopped arguing yesterday. Y’all proceeded to attack unabated. But in the interest of clarity, I would like to add:
          1. I get that you think I am entitled. (name calling)
          2. Ophelie said, “feed my ego.” I tried to do that. This is your first comment relating to that topic.
          3. I had no part in the “pool of women” discussion.
          4. You donna, continued to spin and insult after the requested cease-fire.

    • Accu, your post really struck me. And I, ashamedly and embarrassingly, was, 30 years ago, one of those women that was looking for the “hot” guy. And guess what? I got him! I thought I could change him after his affair during our engagement. I thought he loved me “enough.” At the 10 year marriage mark, I thought he loved me “enough” to end his affairs with 2 women he had been with 4 years out of the 10. And then the last 3 years of our 28 year marriage, I thought his current long-term affair would end because he “loved” me enough. Man was I stupid!

      But that’s not the point. The point is that I have reconnected with a male friend from 40 years ago. He wasn’t the “cute” guy in high school or college. He wanted to date me, but I just wanted to be friends-much like you were describing. I was an idiot to focus on his looks rather than his inherent goodness. And I really learned the hard way that looks don’t mean much at all.

      I now see him, after all this time and many heartbreaks for me, as a beautiful, gorgeous man who has my back through thick and thin, He is my best friend, confidant and lover. I had to be hit over the head repeatedly to look at the character of a person vs. the looks.

      For me, it took a long time to learn that hard lesson. Stupid, stupid me.

    • Hey I want to validate that you are hurt, accubond, but I am also going to call you out on something.

      “We been here just being fucking ignored or being the shoulder you cried on when said man didn’t change or dumped you or some other bullshit.”

      SPEAK UP. Risk rejection. Ignoring takes two (my XH was a classic stonewaller so I know ignore really really well).

      She doesn’t owe you a sexual or romantic relationship because you are friends and both single. She certainly is not obligated to read your mind that you wanted that sort of relationship. If you don’t want to risk the friendship asking for more, but you resent that you aren’t getting more, that’s just hard all around.

    • I was married for forty years, (married at twenty two) tired of being treated like shit so I moved on. POF was for me the only way to go, but be prepared the psycho hazmat suit is standard kit. My first date was with a farmer lady, very attractive but I couldn’t get over the dirty finger nails, couldn’t see me going dow…, you get my drift. Then a very interesting lawyer, our first date she wanted to fuck in the back seat of her BMW. I could have done that but it was in the middle of the afternoon in a grocery store parking lot “maybe I couldn’t of done that). Then a very nice Jewish lady, whose second question on our first date, was “Do you wash your hands after you have used the bathroom?” Her first question being, “Are you circumcised? Legitimate questions I know, but when she offered to buy me a gold Rolex for a party she had organized on our third date I decided to move on. Then the Chinese lady who’s first question was “You got money?”
      The point I’m trying to make here is I didn’t stop hunting for the “one” until I found the “One.”

      • “Are you circumcised?” is not a acceptable question on a first date or any date. That’s none of her damned business. I’m just glad these crazy people are out there to let those of us with a modicum of decency look like rare jewels.

    • I kind of wince at the whole “friend zone” thing and then I look at where I am and who am I dating?
      Mostly, people I have been friends with for quite some time. At this point they’ve only known me married and chose to be friends with me because we liked the same things and have a similar sense of humor. They completely understand that I don’t want to have a relationship right now (at least they say they do) which also helps.

      As for meeting people if you feel you must, try getting out and doing an activity you enjoy. You will meet all sorts of new people and those new people may have single friends. Better yet, try something new just to see if you like it. That way you get introduced to everyone and you learn a new skill. Usually everyone feels compelled to help out the new person. I took my dad’s gun to the range because I was missing him. Even though I wasn’t in a place where I felt I could date a stranger I did get a lot of attention. Perhaps I will go back when I feel like I can really date.

    • accubonded, I see your point. But it sounds to me like you need to find another group of people if you are feeling that way. Don’t friend people like that and you won’t be hurt. Unchumping is about only being with people that value you and SEE you for you and bring value to you. You sound stuck on chump. You sound like you are friending women who chase narcs. Find a different crowd or be alone.

    • Accubonded – Know what you have to offer, and don’t be afraid to ask “Why not me?” if someone you are attracted to complains about not meeting nice guys.

      I think there’s a good chance that guys who feel they’re firmly in the friend zone have not clearly expressed their desire for more. Not in general, but for the specific person they’re interested in.

      Some of us women are still reluctant to make the first move. Some of us need the 2×4 to recognize that someone else sees us in a romantic light.

      I’m a mixed bag. I have some qualities that are generally attractive, others that are a little off-putting, and maybe even a little scary at times. So someone is going to have to come right out and say they’re comfortable with the whole package.

      I actually think I may have found that someone on a dating site, but we have a way to go before it gets really serious – due to circumstances, it will be a while before I meet him in person. That works for me.

    • I’m so tired of hearing about the “friend zone”. Neither men nor women owe anyone a romantic relationship just because ONE of them wants one. If your only interest in being around a particular woman is a romantic or sexual relationship and she has no interest that way? Then either be her friend, or drop her. If you stick around acting nice because you hope she will change her mind? I’m sorry, that’s on you, she thinks you are actually a friend, do her a favor and stop pretending. You put YOURSELF in the so called “friend zone” – stop blaming the other person for believing you actually like them as friends. Say your words and deal with the answer. If you don’t do that then you put yourself in the “nice guy” category and that’s no way to be.

    • There are many women in this “friend Zone” Just because I don’t sleep around, have morals, and don’t feel the need to wait on you hand and foot (been there done that). Don’t loop all women into that accubonded

    • Ok, this was absolutely adorable and totally at least a bit on point for some. My gym buddy constantly bemoans the lack of men (and seriously continues to do so since she realized my husband “one of the good ones” was utterly vile) but her standards are incredibly high for looks, when we are both nice and soft in the middle… I am all for having a “must drive, must support self, must have decent exercise and diet and personal hygiene and hobbies” list, but expecting a 10 on the hot scale when I am a nice solid 7, 9 in spanx and a good push up bra- and additionally thinking that it MaTTERs when realistically my standards are now starting off with “doesn’t pay for sex” … Geesh. Friend zone is where you should start.

      • OMG THIS!!!!!
        Realistically my standards are now starting off with “doesn’t pay for sex” AND I might add-
        isn’t hooked on porn.

        I really wouldn’t know where or how to meet someone new and I’m certainly not ready……I’m not quite finished with the divorce yet and I’m mourning the recent loss of my mom.
        At this point, I’m sure that I have “no game” and I just don’t care.
        I realize being in my 40’s with a small child might end up being a bit of a man repellant at this point but it’s ok.
        My son is more important than anything and maybe someday I will happen onto a decent chap.

        The sad thing is, I spent my young life chasing “the exiciting bad boy” that Accubonded mentioned however; my stbx was not the proverbial bad boy I would usually pick & I initially wasn’t attracted to his looks…………I thought I was doing the right thing by picking a good guy who I thought had a good heart because he was so kind at the start in the love bombing stage. Well, the joke was on me…….almost 18 years down the drain with a cheating, lying, porn & massage addicted a-hole.

    • Many of us fell for the narkly sparkles not based on looks or “Bad boy” excitement, but on how they presented themselves to us as Mr. Nice Guy. My Ex certainly did, starting out love bombing and saying how much he loved kids (then 16 years later cited them as the reason he cheated… saying I paid too much attention to them). He is not and wasn’t back then conventionally attractive, but he attracted me with his personality. Holding open doors, saying please and thank you, fixing things for me the single mom. It was only after we were deeply involved and living in a shared household he started raging at me and pointing out my many flaws, daily. Still, never in a million years would have pegged him for a liar and cheater, so good was his mask of Good Guy. He’s still out there wearing it now, despite factually being a liar, cheater, abuser, and deviant but portraying himself as the poor sausage victim for the new woman. It’s his M.O. and how he survives.

      Lately even 2.5 years post D-Day and kicking him out, I still get lonely and it seems unfair that he waltzed right into OW’s life where he’s no doubt repeating the above behaviors (except she has no kids but lots more money than me). But I’d still rather be alone and lonely than being cheated on and lied to, and feeding and supporting a person who held me in such low regard as to actually tell me to my face that I was a good Plan B for him.

      Have looked at dating sites and unfortunately so much of it is based on looks and what they say about themselves and I just don’t want to put myself through all the anxiety of meeting in person and trying to figure out if it’s real or a mask, so I will continue to sit it out, forever if need be.

      • When all my friends were dating I held out for a Good Guy. No one was interested in dating him. We dated five years before getting married. He was my best friend. Fast forward to 36 years and I have a druggie, drunk, gambling whore shouting about what a good guy I lost and how does it feel to be alone as he sheepishly looks on like he’s a victim.
        The best outcome ever was divorcing him, working on myself and gaining a life. Good Guys don’t lie and cheat.
        I now know what I want in a relationship. It has very little to do with looks.
        I have been seeing someone for a few months as a ‘friend’. He doesn’t come close to what I’m looking for in a relationship. He could never be that as I want to LIVE. I find most men my age to be Limited in their interests. And I’m not interested in kissing fucking frogs.
        Boring has no place in my life anymore. I like myself way too much to waste my time with anyone who doesn’t bring anything to the table. Single is fine.

      • Ophelia fuck pleasing anyone else’s ideal especially a cheaters limited take on relationships. Everyone has insecurities. Take care of yourself and know your beautiful inside and out.

    • Hey accubonded, I’ve heard the same thing from my brother before he got married. As my brother used to say, “Why do girls always want to date jerks?”. Its the same reason many men want to date bitchy women. We live in a culture that heavily equates good looks with good things inside (character, empathy, kindness, etc.) My brother is a stand up dude, good looking, and really the most genuine person you’d ever meet. We share those characteristics, and our mom, the main figure in shaping our values, raised us with the adage, “Be Yourself”. We turned out super smart, loving, genuine, and could care less about being sparkly. Life is a lot more fun when you are not worried about “looking good” or looking “right”.

      At his wedding, it was the most gratifying thing to witness his friends, many of whom I had never met, to be genuine, stand-up people, all of whom were so delighted to be a part of the wedding. His wife is gorgeous, smart, funny, warm, and one of the most loyal and loving people I’ve ever met. Really, she’s a knockout babe with a big, big heart. Both of them had experienced bad relationships and both were chumps.

      I am really sorry you have experienced such pain and rejection over being a nice man who values relationships (which always start with friendship) over getting laid. My personal experience with players is that they sparkle, but they are boring both in and out of bed. Women who have sexual confidence and experience know the difference, and I’m not looking for a player. Just a man who has confidence and is willing to try out a relationship.

      One of the hardest things to find is partnership with a person who is emotionally available and ready for a relationship. That begins with learning to love oneself and knowing our self worth. I have been shit on and rejected a lot in dating. And most of those people were not great people. I hate adages, but once you get past this mourning and grief, remember, “Water seeks its own level”.

      My ex wasn’t sparkly. He was handsome, nerdy, and not ready for a real relationship. His emotional immaturity and lack of integrity as a person were what tanked the relationship. I loved the crap out of him, he drove me crazy, we were good together in and out of bed, but he wasn’t ready for real love and reciprocity, and so he sabatoged our relationship. I didn’t control that and it devastated me. It took me FOUR YEARS to put my shattered heart back together to risk it again.

      I just opened my online dating profile. Its the same as it was when I met my ex online five years ago. There’s plenty of sparkly types, plenty of players, pervs, and predators. It requires time and energy, and a lot of discernment. I hope, when you’re ready, you remember there are 7 billion people on the planet, and I am sure there are at least 100 that you could have a happy relationship with. Create some good filters, know what you will and won’t put up with, and have fun dating. And remember you are mighty, so kick those fuckers to the curb when they disrespect you. Momma don’t put up with no mess. You won’t either.

    • Better put on my asbestos gloves here, OWE! Did I use that term at all, the only thing we were owed was the loyalty that our vows promised. Didn’t happen so yes I’m bitter, what I expect is honesty. If you aren’t attracted to someone then tell them, everyone is a grown up and can handle the truth. That is my complaint, that you don’t get the honesty, and we are all guilty of not giving the honesty at times too. I was wondering what I was missing since this summer and I just found it. Getting torn to shreds for expressing my opinion, thanks for reinforcing that lesson to keep things to myself. Big thumbs up

      • Hey Accu, you’re still hurting man. You’re a good guy, and betrayal hurts like a bitch. What is just the puss and pain of healing gets labeled as bitter. With great honesty, the TONE of your post, not so much the words, tells people you’re not healed enough from the past to date yet.

        Dude, it takes me two seconds to give myself a wicked cut on the line, and two weeks before it stops hurting, and a month before its fully healed. Betrayal cuts deep into the soul. You were owed something and got fucked over. Its gonna hurt like a motherfucker for a while.

        I spent months keening over my lost love and my broken heart. A neighbor actually knocked on my door one afternoon after therapy to check on me. He said, “I heard you weeping, are you ok, is everything all right?”

        I for one, am glad CN was a place for you that you felt safe enough to vent. Braver man than I, Gunga-Din.

      • It’s okay, accubonded, I got torn up in the forums this weekend for NOT expressing an opinion. Catch-22.

        It’s true many on CL un-friendzoned nice guys to marry them, only to find out they were cheaters.

        Others of us did go for the narkly, sparkly types and got our heads handed to us when they turned out to be cheaters (raising hand, which is why I think your post had truth, but few truths apply to everyone). The same thing happens to men who want the Supermodel look and leave those of us with more mundane looks in the dust.

        And Dat is right, that we can’t be physically or emotionally attracted to every person we like. Attraction is a strange alchemy, and for people we like but aren’t attracted to, there’s the “friend zone” (which is metaphoric, so let’s not all get our knickers in a twist about the term; it’s a meme).

        Don’t stop contributing, even when it’s controversial–just put on your Kevlar ; ).

      • Man, I know not everybody in the forum is particularly great remembering stories and keeping track of people’s users. But Accu has always been a good contributor to stories. I’m really surprised that people chewed you out so much.

        I get it, we are tired of the whole term “Friendzone”, and everyone experiences are not the same.

        My Ex was also a 300lbs nerd, who only I was in awe off, then he lost a bunch of weight and became a superstar or whatever he thinks he is. Now I don’t even know what type of guy to go for, obviously cheaters and narcs can come in many shapes and sizes. I tend to be a lot more cautious I like becoming friends with people.

        In my very limited experiences these past months, sometimes I see a guy and I want to date him, we hang out and then I don’t want to date them anymore, but they are nice people and I still like spending time with them. It is just awkward if people have different expectations.

        • Now I’m very confused. This post was about knowing where all the single guys are to date! I’ve been seeing someone for over three months as a friend. I’ve never dated unlike the cheater who led a double life. This shit is all new to me. I’m told to give guys my phone number, become friends with guys, chat men uo, go on sites, and flirt. The best advice my therapist gave was to do what I am comfortable with which is having friendships with men. Friend zone to me implies getting to know someone. That is what I’ve been doing with someone I feel safe with. I’m floored to think this is viewed as sexist in any way. I’ve had guys 20 years younger hit on me, old toothless men call me beautiful and it’s refreshing to enjoy myself with someone who enjoys my company without being pressured. Accubonded, you are so very justified in being bitter. We never asked for this shit and navigating life after infidelity is difficult enough without having our honesty and integrity challenged in a place we come to for support. I’m disappointed.

      • accubonded said: “That is my complaint, that you don’t get the honesty, and we are all guilty of not giving the honesty at times too. I was wondering what I was missing since this summer and I just found it. Getting torn to shreds for expressing my opinion, thanks for reinforcing that lesson to keep things to myself. Big thumbs up.”

        You just got a big dose of honesty, as requested.

    • Bravo, Accubonded. Speaking from experience (passing over great friends for the A-holes), I can tell you NOW, in hindsight and years of therapy, that it was because this chump was so conditioned by her narcissist father that she thought it was love only if another narcissist crossed her path. i had no idea what reciprocal love was like.

    • I hear you loud and clear, @accubonded…I get the, “Whose you’re hot friend???” Whenever I go out with friends, or the ones I try to chat up aren’t interested in me “that” way, or whatever.

      I’m still in the “livin’ my life for me” right now, not really out there looking- it’s only been about 5 months since the divorce was final, and about 10 months since he moved out, so I know I’m still in the baby stages of my singlehood, but still, I know exactly what you’re talking about!!!

    • Accubonded, I hope that after going off on your angry rant, you read all the responses to it below and see how many of us chumps went for the Nice Guy and STILL got cheated on. So, you’re wrong.

      Also…I hate to bring this up, but didn’t you yourself go for the sparkly mate who turned it to be a rampant cheater? I wonder about the poor, sad women you’ve friendzoned in the past.

    • You know how it is, right, ladies? You know a guy for a while. You hang out with him. You do fun things with him–play video games, watch movies, go hiking, go to concerts. You invite him to your parties. You listen to his problems. You do all this because you think he wants to be your friend.

      But then, then comes the fateful moment where you find out that all this time, he’s only seen you as a potential girlfriend. And then if you turn him down, he may never speak to you again. This has happened to me time after time: I hit it off with a guy, and, for all that I’ve been burned in the past, I start to think that this one might actually care about me as a person. And then he asks me on a date.

      I tell him how much I enjoy his company, how much I value his friendship. I tell him that I really want to be his friend and to continue hanging out with him and talking about our favorite books or exploring new restaurants or making fun of avant-garde theatre productions. But he rejects me. He doesn’t answer my calls or e-mails; if we’d been making plans to do something before this fateful incident, these plans mysteriously fail to materialize. (This is why I never did get around to seeing the Hunger Games movie. Not to name any names, but thanks a lot, Tom.) Later, when I run into him at social events, our conversations are awkward and lukewarm. This is because the moment we met, he put me in the girlfriend-zone, and now he can’t see me as friend material.

      I must say that I find this really unfair. I mean, I’m a nice girl. I have a lot to offer as a friend, like not being a douchebag and stuff. But males just don’t want to be friends with nice girls like me. They can’t help it, I guess; it’s just how they’re wired, biologically. Evolution conditioned our male hominid ancestors to seek nice girls as mates and form friendship bonds only with the other dudes that they hunted mammoths with. It’s true–I know this because I studied hominids in my fifth-grade science class.

      So what’s the answer? Should I take up mammoth-hunting in an attempt to appeal to the friendship centers of men’s primal lizardbrains? Should I keep making guy “friends” and then prevent them from making a move on me by subtly undermining their self-confidence? Should I just give up on those manipulative, game-playing, two-faced bastards once and for all? I don’t know. I mean, I’d really like to have a true friendship with a guy someday, but it’s so hard to trust and respect them when they never say what they mean–and you never know when you might be relegated to the girlfriend-zone.

      • I think what no one has expressed yet is what a WASTE OF TIME it is for people to spend even one more moment in the company of someone who doesn’t have the same relationship goals as they do.

        Seriously. If you’ve been friend-zoned, walk the hell away now, not later. Unrequited love drives us to do stupid things like WASTE TIME hanging around with people who want nothing more than to have their egos inflated by being followed everywhere by someone whose tongue is dragging along the floor. And if you’ve been girlfriend-zoned, walk the hell away because you’ll always have your boundaries overstepped by someone who’s constantly looking for an ‘in’. Don’t encourage it. Walk away.

        On the flip side, if you’re the ‘friend-zonER’, you have to stop this stringing along and pursuit of friendship kibbles. Stop behaving like a spoiled duchess or duke who gets to dictate all terms and conditions across your fiefdom. Stop making play-dates with people who hold a torch for you and then laughing in their faces when they think it’s a signal that you might be interested. Stop bullying them. Take off your fucking crown, get down off your pedestal, put your big boy/big girl pants on, let them go, and leave them alone. You are WASTING their TIME and YOU KNOW IT.

    • Hi Accu

      Was in your position many years ago so I can empathize. Here is my opinion based on years of experience.

      You are being put in that particular box because it does serve a purpose, the problem is that the purpose is not for your benefit. You satisfy a need. You have your little place and that is how you are viewed. That is all you are to these females you socialise with. What most comments failed to acknowledge was the level of duplicity involved to keep you around. Take my word for it when I tell you the females know exactly how you feel and I am going to be brutal here, they could not care less. They could sit you down and explain how your feelings will never be reciprocated but then again it is not in their interest to acknowledge this fact, is it now? 🙂

      There are other men in your female associates lives that full fill other needs. Some are brothers, others are cousins, fathers, gentle lovers, rough lovers, sensitive males, stone hearted bastards, sexist “misogynist pig” bosses, gentle feminist metro sexual colleague,agony aunts, kind and protective gay friends etc. Take your pick, sky is your limit just like female needs.

      They all serve a purpose and they never get mixed, incest aside. Everybody is categorised and put into a certain box where they may be accessed in times of need. That need may or may not arise in the next 20 years. It does not matter, what matters is that you serve a purpose. You are an useful asset and will be kept around. It is almost impossible for a male to progress or transition form one box into another. Even if you succeeded it would be a futile and wasteful endeavour. Unless you are gasping for female attention and validation. You could dedicate your time to something much more satisfying and productive.

      The above is female strategic thinking and survival planing 101. Always keep a pool of assets around, you never know when you might need one.

      I have no problem with that in a world such as ours and considering what has been done to women since the beginning of time. But I used to have a problem, don’t care much any more, with the smoke and mirrors tactics used and men being kept in the dark. Considering due process, rule of law, legislation, career availability, family law and everything else that enables women to enjoy successful lives I am of the opinion that this kind of duplicity is an archaic thing of the past and has to go.

      I would suggest reading The Manipulated Man by Esther Vilar which came out many years ago. The cat is out of the bag, and has been for some time, and from what I have seen there is no way most young men today would either put up with the nonsense or make the same mistakes my generation made. They are just too self absorbed to begin with and sexual roles have become almost meaningless.

      Hope I have been of some help. Don’t pay attention to wannabe roosters, always seeking female validation, and negative commenter’s. You are into something here and I can tell you that you are on the right path. What you do next is up to you. Best of luck.

        • Dubito

          You have a lot of self righteous anger in you. Why are you so angry? What are you trying to prove? Who are you trying to impress? Are you not capable of empathy for a fellow human being in distress?

          People come to this forum hurt, damaged or wounded whatever you want to call it. I don’t think Accu is very much interested in your feminist credentials. I know I am not.

          You are a feminist? Good on you. There is no inherent virtue in being a feminist nor is there any inherent vice. It is just an ideology which has become obsolete. It does not provide real answers to 21st century problems. You want proof? Where are the most militant feminists when it comes to Yazidi women? How about Greek women selling themselves, in the name of fiscal responsibility and austerity, for 15 Euros to feed their families I guess the fire brands are too busy chasing the toothless “privileged” Caucasian males on MSNBC and SALON. And no, I am not of European descent myself.

          I don’t know who Accu is but I don’t tolerate attacks on people who have suffered enough so I show him my support.

          Challenge accepted King Kong. That is the projected image after all is it not? A confident “alpha male” gorilla? Who knows you may even get to impress a “little” blonde around here.

          By the way I came across this hilarious website some time ago. Talk about obliteration of self and Ishtar worship. Have a look, I think it is right up your alley just like Jezebel.


          Please don’t curse, it is not good for your blood pressure and after all you are the last of your kind 🙂

    • Reading the back and forth comments was a bit disturbing to me. We are among chumps, which means our decency, and basic needs for respect and acceptance of our views of the world have been violated in the most vicious of ways by people who were supposed to have our backs.

      I believe that yesterday’s debate on the “friend-zone”, feminism and how to treat others heating up was a symptom to our chump wounds. If your life with your cheater was anything like mine, becoming vulnerable by expressing my opinions, pushing to be understood and respected for my views is central to re-build my self-esteem.

      One super helpful approach I’ve learned is to manage my 90/10s. 90% of the emotions I am feeling about a certain situation stem from my traumatic experiences that the situation reminded me of, and only 10% of the emotions I am feeling are warranted by the situation itself.

      Basically, when a situation elicits a big rush of emotions in me, I retreat before reacting. I draw two columns on a piece of paper, and write down 10 on top of the left column and 90 on top of the right column. Then I get to work on what emotions are really legitimate to the situation (list under the 10 column) vs what emotions are triggered by the situations but are attributable to the trauma I am recovering from (list under the 90 column). This helps me re-attribute my emotions to the right sources (current situation or trauma re-ignited by some elements of the current situation), and react and respond to situations in what I hope is the most constructive way.

      Well, except when a situation is created by my X. In those cases, I still react with the subtlety of a Balrog.

      Let’s forge on to Meh CN, with compassion, constructive criticism, and supportive accountability!

  • Love your comment accu and you are right! I’m gonna remain single but I would love to meet nice guys for dating and just plain friends. My daughter let the only nice guy she ever dated get away and all her relationships have been bad boys and awful. I always appreciated nice guys I married one but he let the demons out after thirty years. He’s still nice but he hides the horns. Good luck to all of us. Rock on accu!

  • Accubonded your reply reminds me a bit of the very famous Toby Keith song “Who’s your daddy?” Tracy, your post reminds me of words from heaven. It’s so true. Happiness is not attached to a member of the opposite sex. Right now, I consider myself to be “dating women” but not in a sexual manner, you pervert! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not my orientation.). I am enjoying getting to know PEOPLE. And looking for travel buddies so I can spend the awesome settlement I got! Accubonded, you will be found and that lady will be damn lucky!

  • Someone who recently entered the dating pool, I have/had the same questions. First, there are reasonable ground rules to go by.
    Are you really ready? Are you positive and happy with the momentum in your life? Do you know with certainty what characters are essential for a partner? What are deal breakers? Are you willing to stick like glue to those boundaries?

    Online is great – for data collection. Read as many profiles as you can, get comfortable with introductions. Every dude considers himself “laid back, likes outdoor (free) things and “the big game. Wants “no drama” and “fun”. Once you have an understanding of male post 50 courting lingo, you may proceed to communication with a few, if you are brave — but we know all chumps here are…

    The search is harder after 50, but there are many men out there, that I can tell who are just as perplexed as you are…

  • I used eHarmony successfully…found Ms. Fiestypants. However, we all have our own ways of meeting people and connecting. I wanted to use a service that helped me learn about myself and matched me with folks who fit well with my values/personality. Did the whole find someone on my own thing once, and it did not turn out so well for me 😉 However, I am in my 30s, too.

    And I totally agree with CL, finding a partner ought not to be the Holy Grail of Happiness. That is to make our well-being contingent on external circumstances not under our control, which is a recipe for misery. Best to discover peace and contentment with ourselves first. That way we are less likely to settle as well.

    • @ Divorce Minister.

      I tried dating sties at the urging of friends. I tried eHarmony,

      it was a rip off. I have read that the males on the site get more matches than the women, that eHarmony sets it up that way on purpose.

      I am a woman. I was a paid member on eH for about three months. Once I stopped sending them money, I stopped getting matches, and even though I changed my settings to include anyone in the entire USA (which you would assume would mean I would get more matches but that was not so).

      When I was a paying member, eHarmony only sent like maybe 3 or 4 matches in total. I cannot recommend eHarmony to anyone, especially not single women. The site seems geared to cater to men, not to women. I get more interest on other dating sites, lots more matches.

      Oh, also. The Christian men on there are all about sex. I don’t think Christian men on there understand that mentioning sex up front on their “must have” list or profiles, or their vulgar sex jokes on their profiles are total turn-offs to many women. I know it turned me off. Guys who think it’s okay to mention “I really dig sex” on the “must have” list or who joke about sex on their profile page sound like perverts to me, so I instantly clicked “Not interested in this clown” on the site.

  • I’m getting married Saturday! EEEKK. But let me tell you it was a long, hard road to get to this point. I’ve been divorced over 7 years now. I didn’t even try and date for well over a year and then I’d have friends invite me to dinner and I’d arrive to find my girl friend had brought a date for her and a date for me. He’d say how pretty I was and ask me to go play pool after dinner and then she’d drop the fact that I had three kids and then he went to the bathroom and came back after a long time to say, “UMMM<> UMM, I totally forgot. I have a girlfriend. Yeah. and her name is… her name is.. Sarah! Yeah, her name is Sarah. oh and I have to work tomorrow so I can’t do pool. BYE,” I had a lot of idiot coworkers just randomly come up to me and say, “You sure are pretty. It’s too bad you have so many kids or I’d ask you out.” I was constantly being rejected by men I didn’t even ask out. I had one guy hand me his phone number and then he saw me perusing the Toys R Us ad and he asked me why I was looking at it and I told him I had children and he took his phone number back. I met one guy at a party where my children were present. My then two year old really took to him and a friend from high school vouched for him. She said he was her boss at the Community College in the IT department so I let him pick me up for a date on St Patricks Day. He then proceeded to reveal to me that he impregnated the 17 year old clerk at the College book store and had to pay astronomical amounts of child support and that his car was repo’d and that he lived with his mother and that he was Bipolar and the meds he took for it gave him erectile dysfunction. He kept trying to slide in next to me at the booth and kiss me. I took out my wallet when the waitress came and he said, “OH< you've got this?! Waitress, she's got this!" and I ended up having to pay for the entire nightmare evening. . I have more nightmare examples of the dating scene, trust me. One day I had to go on a ride along at work. I'm in the Electric Dept and I had to ride with a guy in the water department. At the end of the day, he asked for my phone number and said he wanted to take me on a date. I immediately gave me my spiel. I have three kids. three little kids. All girls under the age of 5! That's usually when they would say, "Nevermind." Except he looked at me funny and said, "i'm divorced too. Two years now. My ex wife ran off with my best friend. I have two daughters. I want to take you out." Well, now we have a daughter of our own. Six girls between the two of us! It's still not been easy. Sometimes I have thought he's been playing ,me for a chump because I'm suspicious and have major trust issues now and put this marriage off for a while cause I want to be very, very sure. His ex wife is a horrible narcissist who didn't want him but she dang sure doesn't want him happy with me . The advice that always stuck for me from Chumplady was find another Chump!

  • Well said, as always 🙂 I’m not even remotely interested in dating yet and I question if I will ever want to after the shit I just experienced? I have 2 close friends who got very lucky with a dating site and are happily married to wonderful men.

    Right now I’m just content being me, loving my kids and working on myself. I stayed TOO long with my disordered X-hole because I just did not want to do this alone again, I wasted precious years and happiness. My goal is to plan on going it alone and prepare for that.

    For me, it truly is finally Tuesday and I found MEH. Hallelujah!

    • I am also perfectly content with my single status. Hell, I enjoy being alone. For virtually all of my adult life, I put myself last. From what to make for dinner to where we were going to vacation, I deferred to the wants of other people. At first, it was very difficult to even acknowledge that I had my own wants and needs. Now that I am enjoying my single status, I do not want to give up my new found independence. I still enjoy “drinking out of the milk carton.” My youngest leaves for college next year and that may change everything. For now, though, I recognize that I am not good partner material and I think it would be unfair of me to pretend otherwise.

      • Me too, Violet. I’m pretty content these days. My sons are doing their things as teens and twenty-something, and I’m happy just serving as their lighthouse beacon.

        While they’re out, I’m pretty content to read, or write, or binge watch TV at night with my dog. He’s almost everything I’ve ever wanted in a partner; loyal, playful, funny, athletic, a good listener, attentive and likes to cuddle. If he could figure out how to use a toilet, I’d be golden.

        The only thing I long for is lovemaking (versus sex). Married to a selfish narc meant really boring, really bad sex. It’s been over 30 years since I last enjoyed thoughtful, passionate, all-consuming lovemaking. No toy in the world can fill in for that.


        • “The only thing I long for is lovemaking (versus sex). Married to a selfish narc meant really boring, really bad sex.” Me too CandL only in my case, the 30 plus years of bad sex is all I’ve ever had as he is the only “man” (I use the term advisedly) I’ve ever had sex with. I’m absolutely terrified of dying without ever once experiencing love making with a real man who is actually present in the moment with ME. No toy is going to cut it nor is a hook-up. And then there’s my major trust issues, introverted personality and obvious geekiness (you know what’s more nerdy and offputting to the average guy than a librarian? A Law Librarian. I join you in your “sigh…”

          • I hear you Chutes and Beth, my only regret is not having that reciprocal relationship (some toe curling sex wouldn’t go astray either), I still hope I do get to experience it one day. I did dip my toe and had a few coffee dates, got dropped by text so can add that to my bucket list lol! And despite all the joking around with my friends discovered I’m not a hookup kinda gal – through this pain I have gained deeper authentic relationships with my true friends, am modelling kickass grownup behaviours to my kids and am generally a happier person than I was being stuck with Dorian. Cue Whitney Houston….greatest love of all

  • I am one of those successful, college-educated, relatively normal, single early 40’s chump sons without children. Daddy was a filthy cheater, liar and your typical standard coward. Most of us go to work and hide in our man-caves. We do play golf. Sometimes I’ll troll the dating sites for an golf partner or a hiking/kyacking partner for the day. Most of us, me included, are not really interested in a long-term relationship. Rather, we would prefer to have a pool of single women with can choose from that we can develop friendships/relationships with without any commitment.

    • I hear you. Fear of intimacy, and fear of yourself, is a very isolating thing. It’s hard to commit – it takes courage, requires a loss of total control, and a great deal of trust in the other person. It’s not for cowards. I tell my younger single friends this: ‘Marriage is not an escape – it’s the single bravest step you will ever take in your life.’

    • @ El Diabo said,
      “Rather, we would prefer to have a pool of single women with can choose from that we can develop friendships/relationships with without any commitment.”

      I sincerely hope you make that very clear up front to any women you approach IRL or on dating sites.

      I for one want a steady, committed relationship that leads to marriage. I would be hopping angry if the guy I was dating strung me along for months, only wanting a booty call or a golf pal.

      • Agreed, and I hope ElDiablo uses that term “pool of women” so that anyone responding to his on-line dating posts knows exactly how he sees women.

        • Tempest, the data from being back in the online dating scene is:

          1. They don’t.
          2. He probably doesn’t.

          People should be honest, but they don’t catch too many fish with that on their profile. Not enough to stock his private pond anyway.

  • accubonded:
    Gently, I hear what you are saying.
    Sometimes, though I find older men, instead of being more honest and realistic, are more delusional in their pairings. Commonly looking for women better looking then them, 20, 15 10 years younger – (Way above their “pay grade”) so to speak. Humorously, I also find the 50 year old seeking out the 20 something mother of three wants “no drama”, either.. — future chumps.

    If men would look for educated ladies their own age, put more attention to character than pants size, they would be happier…

    • @ Yup said, “If men would look for educated ladies their own age, put more attention to character than pants size, they would be happier…”

      I agree. Men frequently ask out women who are way out of their league in the looks, personality, or brains department, then get bent out of shape when they are not interested.

      I also see too many men, ages 35 and older, who are all chasing the single women who are UNDER age 35.

      I finally changed the age on my dating profile to late 20s or early 30s, though I am older.

      I saw an interview with a woman who was 50 years old who said on her profile on a dating site that she was 39 or 40. She met a guy through the site that way, and told him on the first date her real age – and he was okay with it. She said most men will filter out any woman over 35 or so, and the guy understood why she did what she did.

      I’m not dating yet, but when I do, I am probably keeping my age at a younger range. Then, when we meet in person (should any guy want to meet me), if they don’t like me, they don’t have to go on a 2nd date, so my age won’t be an issue. My photos of myself are current on my dating profile.

      I’ve had guys on these sites say they are 40 or 45 on their profile, but in their photos, they have snow white hair, lots of wrinkles, and are obviously over the age of 65.

      But anyway, I see a lot of men who put age caps in place on dating sites, even if they are 50 or older, for women who are like 20 to 29 years old. Well, okay then, bingo presto, I have changed my age to 23 or 34, or whatever it takes to show up on their lists. But then, I don’t know if I really want to date a guy who is THAT age obsessed in the first place.

      I do think men should date women who are within five years of their age, whether five years older or younger, but they all want to chase after women who are 15 or more years younger – it’s unrealistic. Not many women are going to want to date a guy who is 10, 15 more years older.

  • Pascale: Decent, single men are out here. But many of us are also healing from being chumped ourselves and keeping a low profile. One tends to be leery about dipping one’s foot back in the pond when the Sirens are still polluting the waters. I know that my own Gorgon ex-wife is currently sleeping with the neighbourhood, so that ought to keep a few undesirables occupied, at least temporarily. But seriously, now that you (and the rest of us chumps) have developed better bs detectors, you at least know what you DON’T want and see the red flags for what they are. I’m inclined to think that ridding yourself of a cheater must be like kicking a nasty drug addiction – you know it will ruin your life, but there are parts of the drug that you desperately crave. But those parts – the love, the trust, the closeness…were all smoke and mirrors. Better to be single and sane than having to deal with a batshit crazy cheater.

  • To heck with the dating zone; I entered the People Zone. I wanted to meet interesting, compassionate, fun people with integrity, whatever their sex. And I have, and I am happy. It also gave me the liberty to start distancing myself from people with less integrity.

    I plan to attend a Nerd night here in my town, and possibly a hiking club, not to find dates, to find friends. Should romance arise from these activities in the future, great; if not, I’ll be intellectually stimulated and fit…and happy.

    And oh yeah, the Yosemite chump meet this summer (get thee to the Private: General forums if you’re interested).

    • I am with Tempest for all the reasons she mentioned above. My life with Dr. Demento was so isolating that I just plain need good friends of whatever sex, interesting, decent, honest, with integrity. Should romance happen well that is a bonus. But I am also doing this for another reason. If I had had good strong boundaries and people sense, I would have tossed Dr. Demento sooner but I didn’t. Expanding my friend circle allows me to practice these skills. And for the record, I seem to be aces at attacting Cluster B’s. I have one trailing me right now… ha! ha! I see you coming. And I recognized the reptilian gaze in another married man the other day. There are lots of skills I need to get really good at.

    • This is where I’m at. I was isolated by XH. He was very, very needy, and extremely anti-social. I had a wide range of friends from grad school and from church. XH claimed he liked to play board games. Except he didn’t. He said he liked going to church, and was even the same denomination as I am. He didn’t go except for Christmas and Easter (and yeah, he likes to make a big deal about God and virtue). He says he likes theater and music. We live in a major university town with loads of music and theater–both of which he said he didn’t want to attend.

      Fast forward a few years, and I had no friends other than online.

      I’m trying to change that now by going out more. I do activities with my dogs, but that gets me in contact with other dog people. I also plan to attend music and theater events.

      Maybe I’ll find a nice, single man, but I’ll meet him during shared experiences, values, and friendship.

      If I don’t meet him, that’s okay, too.

      • Same here, got very isolated with ex. I’m introverted anyhow and just finding it enough to try and get the fuck out of the house and meet people with whom I can become friends. If I meet a romantic partner that would be awesome. Meanwhile I do wish I were not so timid about just getting laid, no sex for so many years is really tough.

        • I hear that, Datdamwuf. Going on 2 years for me and I miss it. I’m an attractive 63, but starting to feel it’s all behind me…

      • You are on the right track! Don’t be in a rush. You are young and beautiful and intelligent. Explore your options and do not settle!!!!

    • Exactly Tempest and everyone else who replied. I feel like I have been isolated for so long from the shame I felt from EX’s affair that I forgot how to act natural and just talk with people.I have one really excellent friend but I think I need more friends than that to survive. Forget dating, But I have major trust issues now.

  • Dating has not even crossed my mind yet and I’ve been divorced a whole two years. I realized at some point in my journey that I made some very foolish choices in my youth and beyond based solely on my fear of being alone.

    I need to truly love myself and value my worth before I consider letting anyone into my life romantically. I also need to be done healing from the disaster that was my former marriage. I need to be selfish and focus on me and I can’t reckon how to be in a relationship while I’m being selfish. Doesn’t seem fair.

    How ever long that takes it takes. Right now I’m just trying to enjoy my life as it is right now and I’ve made progress. For the first time in my life I am okay with being alone.

    • Well said. I haven’t really done anything about dating; I’ve been enjoying a pretty full life, and I have no idea how I’d fit the rigors of online dating into it. It seems like a lot of work that I’m not particularly interested in doing. I guess I sort of shrug now and think, “If it’s meant to be, it will happen.” I’m open to meeting someone, but I’m not interested in putting a great deal of effort into it. Perhaps that means that I will end up single for the rest of my days, but I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. My life is much quieter and less complicated now, and I really do enjoy that. I think it makes me a better parent, relative, friend, and colleague.

      I wish I had felt this way about life several decades ago; I think I would have chosen a better partner for myself, but like you said Cheaterssuck, I was so desperate to find someone. I thought that being alone was a fate worse than death. What a shame that we don’t encourage young people to stay single if they’re happier that way. We pressure them into marriage and having children because that is what’s done in our society. I will never do that to my kids; if they all stay single and are happy, that will be fine with me.

      • Unlike my own mother, the words when are you going to give me grandchildren have never and never will pass my lips. They can have children if they want to not because of me. I would love that but their choice not mine.

  • The whole thought of dating or bumping uglies with someone gets me nauseated. I dont have then energy nor the desire to be ‘ in ‘ a relationship. not saying I dont appreciate the view… Some hot guy jogging shirtless with his dog…..Hello???!! I prefer to gaze upon the image of him…. And let him go….down the street and around the corner… And then … The spell is broken as I step in the pile of dog shit that he didnt stop to pick up… Now he is just an irresponsible pet owner. We all have baggage … annoying habits, dirty socks and pet hair. He could be my soul mate… He could be my worst nightmare. No guarantees. Theonly thing with guarantees are appliances. Do you want an appliance? I have enough appliances. Well I could use a kitchen aid mixer… And the thing about appliances is once one breaks you can run out and replace it.
    When and if I chose to get back on the market( hate that term) I hope that I have learned enough about myself and love myself enough to chose a person that honors all of that in me. Right now I am being selfish with my time. Its my time. Time to love me.
    No urge to merge.

    • The Clip,
      I feel your nausea. 27 years of abuse from the Lying Liar Who Lies has battered my soul. My hatches are battened and my drawbridge is raised. The only thing I want now is to enjoy the blessed peace that comes each morning from waking up alone.
      In addition, our two sons live with me. Traumatized and abandoned, they need me to come home from work every night at 6pm. They need me to fix dinner, nag them about homework and listen to the latest incomprehensible rap song. They need me on the weekends for donut runs and movie nights. S16 has not spent a night away from the house (or me) since the LLWL left us a year ago.
      So, no online dating for me. No meet cute in the grocery store or blind dates with my co-worker’s cousin. Just me and the children, trying to heal.

      • I hear you, Eve! It’s year four since the cheater left for brighter horizons, and it’s me and my 17 and 14 year old sons here. I also have a daughter who is on her own in a different state in her first job after college, still needing emotional and occasional financial help here and there. I can’t imagine “being there” for them if I was having to handle the emotional demands of a romantic (drama-filled) relationship and all the “expectations” of that. Any person I became involved with would not have the investment in my kids that I have, and that, asshat-ex was supposed to have at this stage in our marriage and parenting. So, I’m doing it solo. Also, like others on this site, I’m getting used to my own preferences, bedtimes, routines, meals, activities, etc. and just can’t be bothered adjusting for someone else. Too much effort for very little payback.

        • All great points, PianoMan and Eve. I’m in the same boat, my boys are 9 and 5. Much of my Cheater ‘ s extended family inquires if “I’ve found someone”, in large part to assuage their own guilt, I surmise. I always explain to them that Cheater didn’t/doesn’t choose the kids first. If I also don’t choose the kids, my kids have no one.

          Even if we’re in our 50’s or 60’s or beyond, we’re not dead. There’s always hope to find great people in your life, new friends and even a Partner someday. Time with my kids is so fleeting and ephemeral. I know they’ll be gone soon and I’ll look back and say, “that went in the blink of an eye”.

          Doesn’t CL have a great article about her friend who found love in her 70’s? Maybe it was later 60’s. It was an inspiring story.

          • Chris, my girls are 5 and 8 and I would want them to be loved just as much as me. If I don’t choose them, who will? Not their father, who recently told the kids that ” I no longer love your mom and I’m never coming home again” as he dropped them off on the front porch, literally screaming. Certainly not that douche. Who does that? My children came inside all freaked out that they’d have another dad. (Little do they know the unpleasant surprises awaiting them from their dad). They have so little control over their sweet little lives. They are totally dependent right now on us. More than anything, I want them to turn out well.

    • Being single is a beautiful thing. Being single with a Kitchen Aid mixer, heavenly. I could really use a professional grade Kitchen Aid…..

      I loved being single. Really and truly. I was happy, and still am happy. Nothing like Saturday morning all to yourself with a pot of tea, gazing out the window in my city apartment at the big blue sky.

  • It’s usually been my experience when I’m actively looking for something, I’m far less apt to find it. A missing shoe, misplaced bank card, important piece of mail, etc. And when I was actively working on trying soooo hard to “get over it” in the beginning and really felt like I needed that fantasy of a relationship back and a shoulder to cry on (and maybe a good night or two of angrysex), it just wasn’t happening. The cosmos knew better than my rage and loneliness-addled brain that I was nowhere ready.

    So time has passed, I’ve learned that my feeling like I needed someone was part of what got me here and set about trying to get through on my own. Gradually I understood that maybe I wanted someone, but didn’t *need* someone. And why did I want someone? If someone were to fall into my lap tomorrow, would I make the same mistakes, dismiss the same problem behavior and grab my paint can and brush to gloss, gloss, gloss away the flaws? All those thoughts gave me pause.

    Today, I am kinda sorta more than friends with a very sexy Brit with whom I’ve been friends for years but who (surprise surprise) never even took it there because I was married duh, and cautiously getting to know a lovely person about an hour away with whom I have a lot in common. But I am not looking for long term, for someone to rush over when I’m having a shit day and hold me in their arms or someone to steal a city bus and just happen to plow over the 40 Year Old Toddler and The Whore when they’re staggering home after a booze run… Though that last one is tempting.

    It’s my hope that I can keep building healthy understandings of relationships, decide what I want and make that happen (or not), practice my improved communication skills (“If you’re not emotionally available, don’t bother.”), to build up my friend network somehow (if you like a blind, broke single mom of four with a Masters in exhausted sarcasm and sleeplessness, I’m your girl) and just someone to grab a coffee with, to have spurratic good times with and talk to in the wee hours.

    It’s scary standing on the cliff of potential singledom and staring into that abyss as the other herd animals wander off in their pairs, and to think this could very well be my indefinite future. But I can stand there and stare, or I can build my parachute, jump and trust I’ll land on my own two feet and don’t need someone there to catch me.

    Oh, and to the poster above who was not happy being relegated to The Friend Zone, I actually fell for The Toddler’s best friend first, but Toddler told him if he kept putting the moves on me, Toddler wouldn’t be his friend anymore. Besides making me feel like a snack cake on a kindergarten playground, it put the brakes on our delicate bud of a relationship quite quickly and I never understood why… Until after The Toddler and I were married and he laughed about it and told me one night. So my bad boy threatened the good boy away, and the good boy didn’t risk the friendship to stand up and fight. However, I only do friends first these days, so who knows?

    • My psychologist suggested I join a dating site nowhere around where I live when I said I used to think I was attractive until my 40 year old toddler slept with many whores…I did and it was an ego boost until I started getting the questions, uh ya so I have 3 kids and had to move home with my parents. Took myself off the site realizing I have nothing to offer anyone.
      Somehow, someway, someday I’ll be on my feet.

      • For what it’s worth, moms with kids are attractive to men.

        I’ve known a couple of men with successful careers who have hooked up with women with children. Both men loved the children and being a dad to them. I realize that n=2 isn’t a great statistical sample, but it’s certainly the case that the right man is the man who wants to embrace a large family.

        • Thanks for this kb-
          “For what it’s worth, moms with kids are attractive to men”

          Although I’m not ready to start dating, that was good to hear. I was feeling like being a single mom with a small child might not be attractive to most men. In order for me to consider anyone as a potential mate, I would have to consider them as a father to my son. Sigh……….that thought terrifies me.
          At this point, I’d just like to work out some kind of “service arrangement” … LOL!

          I know it was rare that my dad married my mom in the 60’s when she was divorced with 2 small kids but my dad was truly one of a kind. Not only did he marry my mom with 2 small kids-he legally adopted them too!
          It is hard for me to believe that there is another man out there like that.

  • Pascale, There are good men out there. I’d recommend trying Harmony, Match, or one of the sites with common interests, i.e. Christian Singles, etc. I met my boyfriend on OKCupid. I went on a lot of dates. As CL says, it helps with the honing the picker. Decide what are the most important qualities in a partner and focus on that. IMHO, rejecting anyone based solely on appearance is ridiculous. I can’t tell you how many times the first question from friends, upon hearing I went on a date, would ask “was he tall” and “does he have a full head of hair”. Really???? my BF is 5’6″ and balding. I think he is smoking hot because he is a fine man, awesome dad to his children, and treats me with great care and affection. We have been together 4+ years now and plan to stay together forever.

  • For the past few years, I’ve read TONS of posts about women who can’t find date-worthy men. So many single men seem to want the BENEFITS of a relationship without the actual relationship! They seem to be mostly interested in sex and I’ll tell ya…it’s a turn-off!

    I just ended a “non-relationship” a few months ago and I’ll tell ya…me and my 50-something slightly saggy boobs are just about ready to give up.

    • 🙂 Same here Gypsy57!

      I really like my friend but I’m just not a ‘friend with benefits’ kinda gal. I’m gonna stick with me for the time being and hang out 😀 It’s a real eye opener learning that I am ok alone and I am mighty just as I am.

      Like Tempest, I have been meeting new friends and just enjoying myself being with them and just being myself for a change – not somebody’s anything.

      I am grateful for everyone and everything in my life. I am a little over a year from my much needed divorce and I am just not ready to jump into a relationship, especially one with no commitment…and I’m not ready for a commitment anyway.

      I enjoyed being married but I am learning that I enjoy being single also.

  • CL, often new chumps in the forums go on about their fear and grief in being newly chumped which almost always includes moving on to someone new and I feel like a broken record telling them to hold off on that — they need to explore themselves first. I’m like the Debbie Downer of advice because no one ever wants to talk about giving themselves plenty of time before embarking on the dating scene.

    The last two+ years since d-day are the only time I’ve been alone in my adult life. Yes, it filled me with terror at first, but now I am really enjoying the freedom. Of course I’d like to share my life with someone, but I also feel that I’m more selective than ever, and I just may not find someone who is truly deserving of my time.

    I’m comfortable in my own company, enjoying the company of new female friends of all ages, and am open to what may come. To be honest it just feels great not to feel desperate!

    Slow down, chumps. Get to know yourself — learn to love yourself before you put yourself out there again!

    • I second Moving Liquid. S L O W D O W N . . . you are self contained. Everything you are looking for, you already have….in yourself. Now is the time to invest in who YOU are and the rest will follow.

      There is nothing more attractive than a good person confident in their own skin.

      • +1… Except my skin is not that of a young woman… I know that I am a good person and have a lot of love to offer. Over 50 and experienced and not shy, but I don’t have the body of a younger woman. I have flaws. It’s not a lack of confidence in myself, but rather finding that needle in a haystack who isn’t superficial… I have laugh lines and crows feet and few grey hairs… things are not as tight and perky as they once were, so I can’t compete with my younger counterparts when men are looking for that… It sucks getting older and I hate that my ex was not happy with me because I looked forward to growing old together with him — now I am starting over late in the game. But, I AM happy to be free and living alone has its perks.

    • Almost three years since dday and two months divorced. I have absolutely no desire to date and i dont want another serious relationship again at least , no marriage, no living together. Exclusive maybe but no cohabitation. I need to heal me a get comfortable in my own skin again. The whore even said to the ex why dont i just find somebody already true true whore she dumps them and humps the next one. Me i just want to be me and free. You rock moving!

  • Sorry to hear that has happened to you accubonded. I’m thinking that the right lady just hasn’t come along yet. You know, the one who gets you on a deep level and has the maturity and good character to recognize a good guy when she sees him. The one who likes you just as you are and celebrates the uniqueness that is you. She is out there, you just haven’t met her yet.

    Personally, I don’t have any male friends. It’s not that I’m not friendly, they just don’t seem to be interested. While most people peg me at about 45 or so, (I look young for my age, I’m 63) and haven’t scared any small children lately, there seems to be a thing going on that if a woman is past a certain age she becomes invisible. I’ve experienced it many, many times over the years. Like your experience, accu, it feels like a steady diet of rejection. Very hard on the self esteem.

    I decided, to hell with it, I am just going to live my life. I’m going to be as authentically me as I can, follow my dreams and do the things I have always wanted to do. I’m going to try to leave the world a little better place for having been here. For me that translates into rescuing strays and finding homes for them, and having a volunteer job as a senior companion 5 days a week. It means designing my own tiny house, and taking up recumbent trike touring. It means making patchwork quilts and doing zombie portraits for folks in watercolors. It means teaching classes in metaphysics and doing readings for people. It means loving and supporting my little family to the best of my ability. It means treating myself well.

    It means my life is happy and full just as it is. There is always room for another, but I am pretty choosy. I’ve thrown a few back when they have shown signs of being disordered. I would welcome a nice gentleman friend, but he would have to be reciprocal and patient with me. The ones I have run into in the last few years seem to be looking for a maid, or a cook, or a mommy, or a bed warmer, or a paycheck. I don’t know if its my age bracket, or if somehow I still come off as narc bait. In any case, they get shut down fast, and I keep on stepping.

    So if someone suitable shows up, great, if not, thats fine too. I’m loving my life and grateful to be where I am.

    • The Nurse With A Purse. It’s sadly very common for older guys to be looking for her. Or an exact replica of the Wife Appliance that either left or was discarded.

  • Well as someone nearer to 60 than 50, three years post D Day, all I can say is “Thank fuck I don’t HAVE to get involved again if I don’t want to.

    It used to be a given that what comes with age is wisdom. Since the Botox era arrived we older women are supposed to be either hanging on to what vestiges of youth we have or quietly disappearing. Despite Feminism (another great F word) women still get corralled into Being (ornamental) as opposed to Doing (what you were born to do).

    I’ll admit it’s taken me a long (too long) time to get to this point . And yes Accubonded, I did date/cohabit with/marry the bad boys and ignore the ‘boring’ good guys right up to Cheater X. But that brings me back to the wisdom bit. To quote Natalie Lue from Baggage Reclaim- “ I’m not that woman”- now.

    CL is, as usual, spot on with every response here but especially you don’t require a partner to be happy. I’m not saying I’m against sharing my life again, but you have to have the life you want first before you start sharing it. And that’s sharing, not throwing it away at somebody who is not going to appreciate it.

    And as for this age thing- it’s a soul problem rather than a ‘find your man’ problem. I suggest reading ‘Women who run with the wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and find your inner wild woman instead.

  • I have a couple thoughts, as a former single mother of three under the age of three (at the time of my divorce). I am now happily married – with two more. (!)

    When my kids were little, they were desperate for a “Dad in the house,” which meant anytime we were out in public, any man they thought was interesting would be asked to come home with us. Including the 7 ft unwashed homeless guy. Any time a man came to the house to do repairs, he was bombarded with questions, requests to see their rooms or a drawing they did, and if the man was single, he would get asked to marry me by my oldest (who was between 4 and 5 at this phase of things), even if the man in question was an 18 year old plumber’s apprentice or a 60 year old man who reeked of beer and urine. Don’t get me started on the Wookie they found at Wal-Mart. The point here is, other people may have your best interests (and sometimes their own) at heart, but they might not know what you yourself are looking for in a partner.

    My mother is a fiercely independent chump who was approached by an older man in her driveway, because he was amazed to see a woman wielding a chainsaw and taking care of a dead tree on her own. My mother wants absolutely no entanglements, but the lesson to learn here I think is to be your fullest self, and love will find you.

    Also, don’t have an age bracket, or a type. My husband used to exclusively date only tall, slender women in their late forties or fifties (he is 38 now, he liked being with experienced women). Me? The woman he married? I’m short, with Jessica Rabbit curves and I’m his age. Don’t tell love where it can, and cannot, be found.

    Myself, I did a lot of work. I was single for almost six years, and I used those years to get my bachelors and masters degrees in Accounting. The self esteem boost from getting my degrees refined my picker dramatically. I dated a lot of losers, but my patience for bullshit got very short. My profile on Christian Mingle was terse and probably off-putting for most (I got a lot of criticizing comments, which I deleted), but it attracted my husband. Chump Lady is right – put yourself first, live for you. The longest love story you can ever have is the one with yourself.

  • I am a hopeless romantic that refuses to give up on love….have I dated since he left? not yet. I am fixing me first and getting my head and heart in a good place and making a life for myself, so when I finally do go out, I can speak of myself and not the narcissistic tornado I have been sucked into for half my life.
    I want to bring something to the table and not be a barbed wire monkey looking to cling on to someone. I am learning that their are givers and takers in this world and I am looking for a giver.
    during this time of self growth I am also learning, that nice doesn’t mean good and to run from love bombers (big red flag), In my younger years love bombing was romantic now its creepy and weird. Being single is not so bad, not having to compromise with someone right now doesn’t suck.
    I am more then happy to be in the friend zone with men right now and if love comes my way again, I will be better prepared this time.

  • Well as someone nearer to 60 than 50, three years post D Day, all I can say is “Thank fuck I don’t HAVE to get involved again if I don’t want to.

    It used to be a given that what comes with age is wisdom. Since the Botox era arrived we older women are supposed to be either hanging on to what vestiges of youth we have or quietly disappearing. Despite Feminism (another great F word) women still get corralled into Being (ornamental) as opposed to Doing (what you were born to do).

    I’ll admit it’s taken me a long (too long) time to get to this point . And yes Accubonded, I did date the bad boys and ignore the ‘boring’ good guys right up to Cheater X. But that brings me back to the wisdom bit. To quote Natalie Lue from Baggage Reclaim- “ I’m not that woman”- now.

    CL is, as usual, spot on with every response here but especially you don’t require a partner to be happy. I’m not saying I’m against sharing my life again, but you have to have the life you want first before you start sharing. And that’s sharing, not throwing it away at somebody who is not going to appreciate it.

    And as for this age thing- it’s a soul problem rather than a ‘find your man’ problem. I suggest reading ‘Women who run with the wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and find your inner wild woman instead.

    (I put Natalie Lue and Clarissa Pinkola Estes links in but the moderator ate the post so here it is minus links…)

  • Also, even though there is still somewhat of a stigma with online dating, I came to prefer it (as an introvert). Yes, both men and women are notoriously superficial, but those individuals are easily weeded out (and yes, there is a lot of weeding). I found that I would much rather develop a friendship by messaging on the site (and emailing if things looked more promising) than trying to meet someone at a bar or whatever. I met my girlfriend on one of the pay sites (Match). We’re both chumps. We talked online for quite a while before meeting in person and connected very well intellectually. We discussed personal values, our family lives, our emotional issues, mutual interests, spiritual issues and so on before our first date. And even if our relationship hadn’t worked out as it has, I’m positive we would be good friends. I don’t think online dating is for everyone, and definitely not foolproof (I’m sure there are countless scumbags who effectively play the system for hookups) but it does allow you a first pass at filtering out most of the fecal matter (and bad bacteria).

    • Another introvert who finds online dating preferable to trying to meet people in person. I write much better than I speak, and in the early phases, I need to be able to communicate clearly what I’m looking for, and what I am not.

      It’s a hell of a lot easier to tell a guy “Whoa, take it easy, you’re moving too fast” online than in person. At least for me. I did, he pretty much ignored it, and I was able to easily block and move on, whereas that can be more difficult with someone you’ve met in person and might possibly run into on a regular basis.

      I tell you guys, if you send a message that doesn’t indicate you find something about her other than her photo interesting, you’re probably not going to get many replies.

      When the time comes to actually meet someone with whom I have chatted, my walls of shyness will be easier to scale.

  • Oh how I needed this Chumplady! A good laugh is in order after my horrid first date in 40 years on Saturday morning – thankfully just breakfast. How incredibly unready I am. Met him at a singles night at my club. He said just to make friends when he asked me, but during the date explained away his two failed marriages and the end of a 6 year live-in relationship in October. Since then he’s been on 3 dating sites, but said I was the most interesting. RIGHT… And that we humans are designed to be in relationship with others and that he is looking for a relationship. So much for the friendship ruse when he asked me out.

    Back to work making myself happy and doing more of those wonderful things Tracy and Tempest and so many of you talk about. This is the second blog I’ve read in 2 days about dating – God is so good! The best people I’ve met at singles nights are wonderful single women friends. Three of us are taking a cruise in April. Two of my new year’s goals are met – figure out how and who to travel with, and sing in a choir again. Now to add the next things on my list. And no, dating won’t make the list…

  • Where are the single good men hiding? I can’t speak for the other men out there but I am not hiding, I am just living. I am living overall the same way I was when I was still married. My priority is loving and raising my 3 young kids. That’s what I do most and gives me the most joy. I also go to work, I cut the lawn, I get involved in hobbies that I have passion in, I have yearly family vacations, I exercise, I cook, I joke, I have fun and I am super grateful to have found serenity (most of the time –even after dealing with this cluster of cheating). Do I miss having a wife to come home to and hearing about her day and sharing a life with? Absolutely, but all the other blessings in my life seem to supersede that feeling. I am certain that I will have that special woman in my life but until then, I just live today as a single-good-man.

  • It has been 3 years post D-day for me, and I’m now 41. It is so nice to be able to do whatever the FUCK I want! I don’t have time for a boyfriend, even though all my friends say, “We need to get you a man!” What a crock. I am whole, complete, independent, and my dogs and I are just fine, thank you. I enjoy male friends because girls don’t know crap about sports, and the girls my age are all obsessed with their kids. A man who cannot be happy just being your friend should never be your partner, because he apparently NEEDS a woman to be happy. Lao Tzu said “Do you have the patience to wait ’till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving ’till the right action arises by itself?” My water isn’t clear yet, Pascale, and if you think you NEED a man to be happy, neither is yours.

    • I was blessed to have the companionship of an old acquaintance while going through my divorce. He was encouraging and positive, always telling me to let the pain and bitterness go. We have a good time together and do things on the weekends. He is supportive and we call and check on each other every day. For many reasons this is enough for me right now. I’m just trying to appreciate our relationship, but for many reasons I don’t foresee being able to marry again. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to big a risk so close to retirement when I depend on my ex’s spousal support. What if I married again and it didn’t work out and I lost my job? I’d be in a real bind. My marriage taught me that I’d better look out for myself, and I’d better always be able to stand on my own two feet. I’m feeling really happy now. I enjoy being able to explore my own interests and challenge myself through learning new things. It seems like enough. I sacrificed so much of my own dreams and interests to support my family for 30 years, now it seems like my turn to follow my dreams. I’m happy to have a relationship, but I think I would be okay without one too. That’s huge progress from clinging onto a dysfunctional relationship that’s hurting me because I’m so afraid to be alone. I’ve come a long way. It feels good to know I can count on and trust myself, I don’t need to look for those things in another person.

      • You really have come a long way! Seeing your progress to peace, and happiness has made me smile many times, Lyn. I can really relate to your self-protection, too. Keep up the good work!

    • This is funny. I am at the grocery store all the time and I sometimes see attractive women without rings on their fingers and I wonder if I should make a move. But the ridiculousness of it all then hits me. Can you imagine asking someone for a phone number while pondering a chuck roast or a bag of snow peas? Maybe I’m just not that slick!

      • Charles I have been approached in stores a lot…one guy actually followed me home! Scared the crap outta me! But, I smile at everybody, I always have, and will chat with others in stores. I don’t find it creepy, well, till they follow me home!

        I have noticed that most people in the public don’t even look at each other. Sad. You never know where you will meet a new friend 😀 I met my Tai Chi teacher when he approached me in a store 🙂 We have been friends for over 2 years now. And the lessons considerably LESSENED my C-PTSD! A win for me!

        • Well, I live in the south (moved here from the midwest) and people here generally are very friendly at first — but it’s not indicative of anything. It’s just an initial openness that I at first misunderstood. So people are actually friendly (sort of) in the grocery store. They don’t really stay that way though. I need to try Tai Chi because my post chump PTSD is through the roof!

          • You will be amazed at how much better you will feel Charles! I hope you actually try it. It helps so much with the anxiety and circular thinking and being able to sleep 🙂 aaahhhh!!!!

            And you will meet other people too!!! Win – win!!!!

      • I see attractive men in the grocery store… I get smiles and hellos but haven’t been asked out on a date there. I did score a couple of unexpected dates shortly after my divorce while out running other errands, however – one was while I was helping my daughter shop for a car (a car salesman asked me out) and another while at a repair shop (mechanic walked to me my car after I paid my bill). I’ve been set up on a blind date by a friend. I also dated a few men whom were acquaintances/friends who I knew were single. I signed up for online dating and talked to some men in the beginning of my “singledom” but never went out with any — I was too scared and I lived in a rural area which meant traveling some distance to meet someone. Most of my dating experiences have been good. I met some interesting people and made some new friends. I have had a few weird dates over the years that are funny stories to tell now. I’ve had my heart broken again, too. Never thought I’d be dating at this stage of my life!!! If I go out on a date, I just want to have fun — nothing too heavy — and I very much pay attention to my gut feelings! If I get any bad vibes, I move on. I’m in no hurry to get remarried — I’m very content with being single.

        Charles — I, too, left the midwest for the south and I LOVE not dealing with the cold and snow anymore!!! 🙂

      • Charles – Its happened to me a couple of times at the grocery store and they just handed me a business card. You don’t need to risk massive rejection it’s all in the execution. Time your leaving at the same time as them, as you’re both walking out and still safely near the entrance (no deserted parking lot spot!) just say “you’re lovely, may I give you my business card? If you’re single and dating please consider calling me.” Hand it as you say it and just walk away.
        I’ve never followed up on one of these times as I wasn’t ready to date but rather than scare me or offend me it made my day. You just complimented someone, nobody hates that. I was newly chumped with my self esteem in the gutter and those incidents were lovely gifts from strangers. Don’t be afraid to take that risk.

        • The business card is weird. I strike up conversations in the grocery store sometimes and if there were any interest I might ask the person if they’d like to hang out but give them my card? No. Of course like Tessie above, I’m mostly invisible to men now so sometimes if I talk to people in ways I always have they are really weird to me, they will pretend I don’t exist, ignore me in really big ways by turning their backs. Dudes, I’m not HITTING on you, I’m just making small talk in line…sheesh.

          • I’m wondering if this is a geographical thing?What kind of arrogant bag of dicks assumes you’re hitting on them just because you make small talk? I’m losing my faith in humanity.

      • I can’t take the thought of meeting someone romantically in a supermarket seriously, as it always reminds me of the encounter over the size of vegetables between Otter and Dean Wormer’s wife in Animal House.

        • LOL!!! You never know! Maybe our eyes will meet as we both reach for the frozen lasagne for one? Naturally he will be 6’4″ solvent, car/home owner, love dog walking, kayaking, windsurfing, and rock climbing all whilst looking fabulous and taking selfies. Have his own teeth and hair and enjoy long walks on the beach and evenings in/out. My other must haves include being able to fart the national anthem and owning a pet dinosaur. Obviously.

      • When I was married, someone approached me in a warehouse store, called me by a different name and when I said he must be mistaken, he insisted that I used to be his fiancee. Creep.

      • My god we humans are ridiculous! I have a hard time differentiating between behaviors that are intended as come ons and simple friendliness.

    • I had an older gentleman follow me out of Target last year. His line was:” I noticed you are not wearing a ring and are attractive. Do you want to go get a coffee?”

      Freaked me out. I’m not trolling the aisles for a date. I’m trolling the aisles to feed the two 12yo’s I have still at home. I politely declined. And thought that guy just took an enormous risk, WayToGo, Target dude!

  • Maybe i’m still too early into my journey to really know exactly how you feel. In the beginning, I wondered if I would ever have a partner again. It made me sad to think I may never again have a partner in life. Now months later, I don’t want to be partnered up. I’ve glanced at match, okcupid, etc. just out of curiosity. I can’t imagine going that route. It just seems like it would really be easy to have your self-esteem crushed again if you didn’t get a response from those you are interested in. So, now i’m at the point like many others here that i’m just going to focus on my life. Like Tempest, I just want to find true real friends at this point. People to do life with. I want to find happiness without someone else. Learn to enjoy what I have. Find hobbies that bring me fulfillment. I can for the first time in years decide what I want. I’m almost 50 now. I don’t want the big house and six figure income any longer. I want to buy a cabin and a dog. I want quality not quantity. Spend my money on experiences, not designer clothes and cars to impress others. It doesn’t bring me happiness. So, for now i’m going to focus on guiding my daughters into adulthood and finding real friends. If through my hobbies or other activities I find another partner then that will just be an added bonus. I’m just going to move forward just being the best me I can. And I hope to be a good man and father. I’m not sparkles. I’m dependable and fiercely loyal. I take care of my responsibilities. I love my daughters. I’m an introvert. Don’t like bars or parties. Some socializing I enjoy but it has to be with friends. I go to bed early and get up early. I have my issues and am not perfect. I’m 5’9″, 160lbs and losing hair on my head fast. I find women my age much sexier that 20-30 year olds. Maturity is sexy to some of us. Personality definitely carries a lot of weight with some of us. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. For those of you navigating the dating world, I wish you all the luck. For me, it’s just not important to any longer.

    • Loved your comment lostntx, I am swinging back and forth between being on my own and letting someone in again.

      Your perspective helped me clarify my path forward, thank you!

  • Yes, what Accubonded said. Perhaps it was not phrased in the most PC or polite way, but it is 2 sides of the same coin. I want to PUKE when I read some of the women’s profiles on Match or JDate, and a list of their “requirements” 20 miles long. Ooooh, she scaled the Andes Mountains. And she saved baby seals in Norway…..and needless to say, she runs the Boston and NYC marathons every year. And wants her man to be a World Explorer also, have 6-pack abs (but preferably 8), make over $150k (that goes without saying) and wants someone 6 ft, 3 inches at a minimum.

    And mind you, these are 40-45 year old women putting out these profiles, not 25-year olds. These women say they “do not want to play games”, but their profiles basically scream “I WANT a player”. “Wait, scratch that, I want a rich, tall, douchebag player”. So as you can see, the frustration is double-sided. You gotta excuse Accubonded for some of the cursing. It may sound disrespectful, but I am on his side. A lot of us guys, especially the non-player ones who get passed over, feel the same way.

    The only humorous part in all of this: Five years down the line, when these same continent-hopping, marathon-running, baby-seal saving “princesses” turn 50, you should see how dramatically their Match requirement list shrinks. They no longer need $150k-plus, now $75k will do. And they no longer need a 6 ft 3 inch guy, 5 feet 10 will do.

    Mind you, I am not talking about the 45-year old princesses passing over fat slobs or unattractive guys. That would be justifiable and understandable. I’ve been told by my new “platonic” lady friend, that I look even better in person, and I can sense even through my depression she is physically attracted to me. She reached out to ME on Match. Ordinarily, I would not give it much stock, but she herself is objectively VERY attractive. This past weekend I took her to a Singles Meetup bar event, and then I stayed totally out of the way, by design. There were more women than guys in the place. But she was getting hit on by almost every guy in the place.

    I only stopped over once to buy her a wine re-fill, then bolted to the other side of the bar. One nice guy (older and grayer than me) realized I was in the picture somehow, and tells me “Dude! your girl is absolutely beautiful.” To which I give him a 30-second summary that she’s not “with me” and that I am actually a separated, cheated-on, depressed wreck. He was VERY empathetic and said, “your STBX is an f-ing ho and she will get her due justice at some point. You just get yourself a killer lawyer. And you will get better buddy. Trust me, women will cling to you.” I know he meant well….but all I could do was try and keep myself from crying right then and there. With a huge lump in my throat.

    She herself gets a “pass” for keeping me in the friend zone. She is in a good place, while I am a jobless, clinically depressed wreck whose hands and stomach tremble half the day, and who cries himself to sleep every night. And let’s not forget the memory loss from my weekly Electroconvulsive Therapy sessions in the hospital. All I can really manage is to clean myself up for when me and her hang out together. She can sense that I am in a place of super-retarded pain, so she gets a total pass from me for keeping me in the friend zone. I understand her, I would not want to be with me either. I am staying non-aggressive, because I do not want to push her away as a friend. Even as I secretly dream she will give me some “pity sex”. 🙁

      • I thought I got what Accu was saying, and the cursing doesn’t offend me. It would offend the douchebag cheaterass POS I married, because apparently it’s my salty language that’s the REAL problem (not his disgusting cheating) and he’s had the nerve to say “all the swearing is highly offensive to me and is really off the charts Chumpedupchik.” Wtfh?! What’s off the fucking charts is HIM. And men and women like HIM. The hurt and anger is there for a very long time and it comes out all kinds of ways. I took Accubond’s statement as an angry, maybe even a bitterly angry, observation or venting about how all too often it seems the good guy (OR gal) still finishes last. I’ve been pissed as hell and bitter at times too. Venting helps. Hard to be eloquent when you’re raging with hurt. It seemed within the boundaries of the kinds general venting I often read here and didn’t strike me as personal. If something about it is a trigger or hot button for someone (as the words “friend zone” appeared to be), then I get the different take on it. I don’t think it was meant that way even still.

    • Jedi hugs to you, Sammy. It’s been 18 months since D-Day, 12 since divorce, and I still cry almost daily. Just keep going, you’re doing ok and you’ll do better as time goes on.

    • Sammy

      I feel your pain, I wish I could do something to take away your suffering. Your post has a great mixture of heart ache, tragedy and a dark sarcastic humour. I hope you get better soon.

      Know this, I have no job, no real future prospects, fast running out of little money I have and sleep in roach motels dragging my battered suitcase around. But you know what? It does not matter any more. This shall pass too. The whole thing is just one big exercise in futility, sound and fury signifying nothing as old Bill put it. Which makes all these barbaric acts of inflicting pain on each other even more absurd. Maybe someday you come to the same conclusion, maybe. If you do you will find peace.

      In the meanwhile I leave you with the magnificent, supremely talented and beautiful diva Jessye Norman. Eichendorff’s poetry is masterfully poignant. Strauss never really finished the composition before crossing over. An absolute masterpiece in my opinion. Hopefully it will bring you some peace of mind. 🙂

  • I like this advice. We don’t all get *all* the pieces of what we equate with a happy life, and some of us only get a few…which may not include what we thought were the “big,” important things.

    Frankly, this helps to remind me of how fortunate I am. Even now, 1.5 years since my divorce was finalized, and 3 years since I first suspected my wife was cheating, I can find myself having a mini pity party at the ways my life isn’t what I wanted or expected or planned. It’s easy to look around and say “look at how this all turned out. I’m not as happy as I thought I’d be.”

    But there’s always another day to figure out how to be happy. Idealizing the life that I thought I wanted, or thought I had, doesn’t do any good. Fact is, that life turned out to to make me very unhappy (or at least the most important person in it did.)

  • I have to admit, that dating post-divorce is a little weird. I’m almost a year out from when my ex-wife cheated and moved out on me. I consider that the end of the road. The actual divorce was just a formality. I’ve been on several dates in the last couple of months and I’m not sure if my heart isn’t ready, or my picker is that much more sensitive or both. I don’t make excuses for people anymore. If they seem a certain way it’s because they ARE that way. Which is why I think it seems like a good woman is harder to find.

    I didn’t get married until I was 41. Divorced at 42. On one hand I want to take my time and really get to know someone before committing again. On the other hand I feel like the clock is ticking. And also, right now I’m content by myself so I’m not sure if I want to upset that unless it’s for someone who is well worth it.

    It’s been liberating though, being able to date without banking my happiness on it like I did before.

  • This month I am 3 years out from D-day, and a little over a year since divorce. At first I thought I had to go find someone, so that I wouldn’t be lonely. I tried online, but didn’t really connect with anyone. I have several friends that I enjoy hanging out with, but haven’t wanted that to go any further. Not sure if I am wary of commitment still, or if I just am not wanting to go down that road yet. I am a 51 year old guy, that is learning what it is to be single after 26 years of being in a dedicated relationship. At first I was scared of the aloneness(is that a word), but have come to embrace it. I love my friends, but I also cherish the times that I am by myself doing whatever it is that only I want to do. I guess I enjoy dating myself right now. I don’t have to do the “What do you want to eat” dance with someone, or debate over what movie to go see. When I date myself I know that I will get lucky that night if I want to.

    • Totally! At first everything felt like I was doing it alone. Waking up alone. Going to bed alone. Eating dinner alone. Grocery shopping alone. But I embrace it now.

      Also, the “what do you want to eat dance” Ha! That conversation for me usually went like this:

      “What do you want to eat?”

      “I don’t know”

      “How about this?”

      “I don’t want that?”

      “How about that?”

      “I don’t want that.”

      “What do you want?”

      “I don’t know.”

      • Exactly!!! I don’t mind making a suggestion as to where to eat, but when I am the one suggesting and every suggestion gets shot down, but your partner isn’t suggesting anything, it’s just the most frustrating thing ever. Now if I want a burrito, I go get a burrito. Simple.

        Don’t have this problem going out with friends either.

        • Dudes,

          I’m not sure why this “what do you want to eat dance” is so prevalent between men and women.

          I too had to do it with my STBXW. I tried this approach: “Why don’t you throw out three possibilities.” She’d say, “okay, how about x, y, and z.” I’d pick one, and she’d say, “nah.”

          FUCK IT THEN!!! I’m going to drive us home and make rice and beans.

          • Yes, that would happen all the time!!!!

            Me – “OK, do you have any suggestions”

            Her – “I don’t know, what sounds good to you?”

            Me – “I just suggested 3 places that sound good to me, but you didn’t want any of those”

            Her – “Just pick something”

            Me – “OK, how about (insert place)”

            Her – “No, we had that 2 Thursdays ago”

            Me -“AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!”

  • I am close to retirement age, and I have been divorced for a good while now. I am just now achieving some of the goals I set when my “status” changed, and I had to face the fact that I might never meet someone to date, much less desire to marry, again. I am beyond ok with not being married — it is not necessarily in my best financial interest to be married, and I am really enjoying my personal freedom and living by myself. I was the oldest child, I married young, I had children, and every moment of my previous life I was responsible for others. I was taught by a great codependent mother and a social culture that being responsible for others was my job. Guess what? I am much happier now that I don’t have that job anymore.

    Everyone will have different desires and needs when it comes to seeking a “significant other”. Age, economics, life experience and goals all affect your choices. Just be sure that you take the time to figure out what your needs are — and that you don’t spackle and dance and adjust your life to have a significant other unless your needs are going to be met. You are important, and you are worth it. Anyone who does not see your needs as being just as important as his/her needs should not be considered worthy of your time and attention.

    I have a news flash for anyone who does not believe people of the opposite sex can be friends. I will never date anyone I do not consider is friend material in the first place. I go to places and activities that attract my interest, and I have a good time whether or not I meet a male or a female “potential” friend, or not. It is ok to go places by yourself. It is ok to go with friends you have already. If you are interested and interesting, you should be able to talk with people without evaluating them as a dating partner. If you find a new friend, someone who is interested in something you are interested in, and interesting to talk to — consider yourself blessed and lucky. I have made several new friends, of both sexes, and I consider myself blessed and lucky. I actually enjoy having friends of both sexes, it keeps my perspective fresh.

    For men who don’t want to be relegated to the “friend zone” — try it. You might not want anything further once you get to know the person. Friends don’t have to invest a lot of time or money into new friendships. You are not obligated to love someone forever, and that someone is not obligated to provide you with sexual favors if you attend a movie or a concert together, or have dinner, or any of those entertaining things that friends can share. Just discuss the friend expectations up front. YES, YOU HAVE TO COMMUNICATE!!! It does not work, otherwise.

    I am currently dating a man I originally went out with as a friend. I explained to him, when he asked me out on a date, that I did not know him well enough to date him, or have any idea if we would be compatible. I suggested we see each other, as friends , for awhile, and see if we wanted to continue as friends, or if we were compatible enough to actually date. After about 5 weeks, I saw him once a week at a common interest group where we met, and about once a week at dinner or a common interest event we attended together, and we spoke on the phone, he told me he still wanted to date me. Since he had kept up his end of the bargain, and had not tried to jump my bones or act inappropriately — and since we had discovered we were compatible in several ways, I agreed. If I had not developed a physical attraction for him, I would not have agreed to date him. I may have lost a potential friend at that time, or I may have just seen him at the weekly event we both attended and just stayed friends in that manner – but I based my decision to date him on more than physical attraction and proximity. Who knows if it will last? All I know is that it is much healthier than any other relationship I have ever had, at least so far. He is not perfect, and neither am I. So what? Also, during the 5 weeks of friendship we shared expenses — sometimes he paid, sometimes I did. I made sure there was no financial hardship or obligation created by our being friends. If I had not had any basis for seeing him other than physical attraction and being a bit lonely, I would not have seen him. If I had not felt any physical attraction, I would not have seen him — knowing that he originally was attracted to me as a date. I believe that there has to be a spark of attraction, but I know that sparks can fizzle out, or they can kindle into a nice fire.

    Maybe this will work for you — maybe not. It is certainly safer than online dating and it is a lot less trouble. I find that I make much better decisions if I take my time and use both my head and my heart. It took me a long time and a lot of thought to find my true self and meh. I also had to heal from the hurt, and be ready to trust (a bit) again. You have to know who you are and what you need to be able to introduce yourself to someone else. Just be your true self, and be cautious when you “put yourself out there.” There are good and bad people in the world, and you have to live with your choices and evaluations, so take your time. If you don’t find a significant other, at least you can be happy with yourself!

  • Well soon to be single….. And not in the least bit interested in finding someone else….. One self esteem is crushed….. Two I do recognize I need work….. I agree (not excusing adultery) no marriage fails because of one person. We all have our issues and demons! One needs to fix self and be comfortable with self before looking to another relationship. I know it’s easier to blame cheater for all that’s wrong in the world. Truth is I suck also. And I don’t want to burden another person with my issues until I fix what is broken inside me!

  • I keep coming across memes on the interwebs that address this dilemma perfectly. I can’t upload them here so I’ll just copy the text (you’ll just have to imagine the quirky ecard graphics to go with):

    *I’ve been single for a while and I have to say its going very well now. Like…it’s working out. I think I’m the one.

    *I talk about wanting a boyfriend. But I don’t even know what I’d do with one. Like what do you do just kiss him and leave him alone in a corner. How often does it eat?

    *I want someone I can share my entire life with who will leave me alone most of the time.

    *The best way to a man’s heart is thru the fourth and fifth ribs.

    *Follow your brain. Your heart is stupid as shit.

    *if you can’t handle me at my worst, I don’t blame you. That shit is ridiculous.

    And so on and so forth in that vein. I’m so lonely and scared I know I would be a hot mess trying to date anyone. Its only been 7 months since i kicked the disordered fuckwit to the curb, so i know i need to take some more time and fix my hurt brain and stupid heart. But damn do I miss sex. Argh.

  • Pascale, you are mighty for wanting to date. Don’t let people tell you that you should just be happy being on your own, if you want a partner and you’re ready. Go get ’em! There is no shame in wanting to find someone. I’m 1.5 years post D-day and have been on Match for about four months. It’s a jungle out there, but I have met some really good guys. Nothing has stuck yet but I’m being patient and in the meantime I’m doing fun things. Two keys for online dating: Have kick-ass photos and a kick-ass profile. Don’t just talk about your hobbies, make yourself unique. Don’t worry about being different–it will make you stand out from all the vanilla profiles out there. Have fun! Good luck! You can do this!

  • Where are all the single men and over 50? Humm. First, you MUST ask, if that man is over 50 and single and NOT widowed.. why oh why is he single? Is he someone else’s sloppy leftover? OR he is a chump like you?

    Okay dating sites, YUCK. Most men on them regardless of age want YOUNG. Only dating site I would consider is that one where it is for only folks over 50, that way at least the men on there are the desired age and are really mature enough to be in search of a real companion rather than an object. But still, why is he over 50 and single? If he is not a chump, he will tell you they grew apart. She was miserable and he couldn’t take it anymore. Get your red flag clipboard out and get ready for lots of red pens.

    Okay, so you meet someone… the amount of variables to overcome are huge. We are not young full of hormones, dreams and all that crap. How long before you find that he is not what it all seemed? How much wasted time to be chumped yet again. This is all if he is into you.

    In my opinion, if “he” is a good man, you will NOT find him. He will be home with his wife being a good man. Yes, you may find a good man widowed or chumped .. narrows the pool down and then each of your histories, baggage, kids, grandkids, on and on and on. The odds that you will partner with Mr Right late in life are slim in my opinion. Better chance of winning the lottery. BUT POSSIBLE. We all search and hang onto that possible. BUT if you were a chump, man oh man, it really is best to properly heal and discover you before going on that LOVE venture.

    I met someone a year after I was chumped and dumped of almost 24 years. He was coming out of a car below my terrace.. eyes locked, talked and dated. He was 4 years older in his 50’s divorced with custody of his boy. His wife was 12 years younger and had son late in life.. he was only 8. He said wife just was not interested in he and his son.. she sounded like a Narc. I fell for him for sure. Sensitive, caring, heartfelt, kind, affectionate, not clingy or needy, Independent and really fun. We were intimate.. really intimate what intimate should be.. a girls fairytale.. I could only think everything happened for a reason and he was it.

    So some months roll by.. and out pops the Weasel! WOW. He was not a Narc he was a full out Sociopath. Both do Narcs and Spaths know how to do those fall in love months. Stepped on that toad and kept walking.

    I am not looking. Won’t look. I go about my life same as I always have. I keep busy, do my thing and am in the best place of my life that I have ever been except that I carry of broken heart. I still grieve and mourn but my heart is catching up to my head.

    Life YOUR Life. If you feel the need to search for another love.. why???? Give what you think you will get from him or her to yourself. Get some toys if you want sex.

    And if you should find another and begin to fall. Please, do a background check. Make them get STD tested and show you results. DO NOT HAVE sex for long time as you will get attached. Hire someone and find out how many profiles he has out there and on those uck sites and regular ones. do you homework. Let love in, absolutely, but make sure you are not letting in another one of what you just got rid of.

    It is slim pickings and if you find anyone there are so many variables. Don’t let anyone tell you you will find love again, you simply may not. Do your thing and just live life. If it happens great if not great.

  • Also, I don’t know if this is internal or external or how to account for it or if its even real, but I have noticed that the world has changed more than I have. When I was young, men were bold. 25-30 years ago, before I met the disordered fuckwit, I was approached constantly by men. Some creepy, lots nice and interesting and worth getting to know. Good times were had by all. Then, when I was married, I think I put off some kind of vibe or odor, because I was never hit on again, not even once. Now Im single again and don’t get a glance. And don’t get me wrong, I’m 44 and don’t try to hide my age, but I have to say it looks good on me. I am in way better shape than any time in my life, finally comfortable in my own skin, and generally outgoing and easy to talk to. I bring a lot to the table! But i have never been the forward initiating type. Probably hopelessly oldfashioned of me, but wasnt an issue until now. Now, I swear men take exactly zero initiative, IRL. Maybe these activities and interactions that I used to associate with public places, meeting people, introducing yourself, striking up a conversation, expressing friendly interest, has been completely relegated to online dating forums? Idk, I don’t think I’m ready to swim in those waters tho…

    • Arlo, you have hit an important nail on the head. Our culture has changed. I am an attractive 35 year old woman, and in my four years of being single, I have hardly been asked out by anyone. I realized the other day after a great conversation at Trader Joe’s in the liquor store with an attractive young man, that we were both attracted to one another, and neither of us would ask out the other one.

      Our culture lacks important social skills, and courtship is a lost art. This is where I disagree with ChumpLady because I am one or two generations behind her, depending how you count it.

      • What I meant was, because of the changing culture, dating for younger people is actually quite difficult if you are looking for something beyond a hook-up. We socialize differently, and as people mentioned above, even in a totally public place, such as the grocery store, civility, and basic human interactions are looked upon as creepy or inappropriate.

        I am a Midwesterner. My culture of origin means I make small talk, talk to strangers, and try to smile. I have good boundaries, but I was raised in what is now a rarity: an intact community. Modern urban culture has a lot to learn about civility and people skills. I think we have often traded being PC for being human with one another.

        • ChefBella, don’t change! You are great as is. I must be a Midwesterner at heart because I make small talk with strangers, even in snooty Seattle where it’s so not cool. I smiled to read your post.

  • I know “Fashionable Ferndale” and all of those fun, great single guys and gals are at some very fun venues!

    My reply is this: the goal should be finding PEOPLE to share experiences with, not finding a mate. I think that’s why I go to Meet Ups, REI & LLBean sponsored hiking/ biking outings, and focusing on living an active life. It doesn’t have to be focused on fitness, it should be focused on your curiosity. I love the after hours Museum talks and mixers. My goal this year is to attend a few and date myself more.

    Sure, I have Friend-Zoned some very great, decent men in the past. At that time of my life, I was not ready for a romantic relationship with them. They are in happy marriages or relationships now. But I never think I let a good one go. They are Mr. Rights. They were not my Mr. Right and I’m very happy for them.

    If you define your happiness on being coupled, you run an enormous risk of being very sad and disappointed. I have never felt more lonely than being in my 20yr marriage to the serial cheater.

    • Yup, never more alone than when I was coupled with my serial cheater. Now alone and more content and at peace than ever.

      • ‘If you define your happiness on being coupled, you run an enormous risk of being very sad and disappointed. I have never felt more lonely than being in my 20yr marriage to the serial cheater”

        This says it all. It makes be look back and say, “Well, I’ve been there and done that. Certainly wasn’t the experience I’d hoped for. It just might be better to be alone, and not lonely in the way I was in that marriage.”

        I’m looking forward to living my life in a way I never considered before I met the cheater (too focused on being un-coupled), and certainly wasn’t able to do WHILE I was with him, burdened with his narcissistic/alcoholic misery.

    • ANC,

      Since you have friendzoned some decent men in the past I have to ask you a question. I am a chump, its been about a year and a half from d-day for me. Divorced for almost a year. I have done a lot of work on myself , spent a lot of time alone etc. By all accounts I believe I am a decent guy and a reasonably good catch although I hate that phrase.

      I met a woman who I really liked a couple months in. Way too early for me. She told me how she was attracted to me and wanted to spend time with me etc. I pretty much let her know I was in no way ready for sex , a relationship , dating, however I did find her attractive and would like to spend time as friends as I could really use someone who did not know me as part of a couple to hang out with.

      So here it is more than a year later. We spend a lot of time together, I have met her family, she has met mine. We go out together all the time as a couple and do couple type things. We have gone on vacation together. The thing over the last couple months I have healed quite a bit and I want to have a physical/real relationship with her. I have always been honest with her and I let her know that I am mentally and physically ready for a gf.

      So here’s the rub. She tells me she is attracted to me, I am a great catch, etc, but she is not ready for a relationship right now. She says she is not interested in anyone else but she is not ready for a relationship with me right now. Now she does have some issues and has been hurt badly by men in the past. Physical abuse from ex-husband as well as long term bf.

      I don’t pressure her as I am not really in a rush as I am happy by myself. But I really do like this woman.

      So to recap I have been honest with her about my feelings, respected her wishes, been her friend without benefits for a long time now. Do I cut her loose and start dating others? I really do enjoy her company and don’t feel entitled to sex or anything like that. But honestly, we spend so much time together everyone we meet and all our friends assume we are a couple so it limits my ability to meet new women. And she indicates she is still interested but gets vague when I gently push things.

      I know you don’t know me or her, but would like your opinion based on what I have told you. I also know this is not a dating forum but I need all the help I can get. I was with my wife for 35 years before I was chumped, so to say I have limited dated experience is an understatement.

      And if anybody else wants to chime in feel free. I respect everyone’s opinions, particularly fellow chumps.

      • Chew, Does she ever discuss if she sees anything other than a plutonic relationship with you? Does she think she can/will get past whatever it is that is holding her back from a physical relationship? You have made it known that you have strong feelings for her. It sounds as though you’ve been patient and understanding – over a year is a long time to get to know each other. If she is content to leave things as just close friends and be vague about discussing anything deeper, then you will have to decide how long you are willing to wait, if you are willing to continue to wait. Another month? 6 months? A year? I’m sure you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings, but it sounds like you are beginning to feel unhappy. She likely will be upset, but you’ve been up front with her so she can’t really fault you if you decide you want to date other women.

        • We have discussed it at times. Her answer is always friends for now, not never but not now. I used to think she wasn’t interested and was just unable to blow me off, but we are basically a couple without the physical connection. We host parties together, I spent Christmas with her family, she spent Christmas eve with mine. Her family even gave me presents. No one believes we are not a couple and thinks we are lying about it for some strange reason. We talk almost everyday, she makes me dinner a few times a week and we go out a couple more. She even cleans my apartment.

          I really do enjoy what we have but I think I may be fooling myself that we will be something more. Note I am 55 and she is 58 and post menopausal so lack of sex drive on her part may be part of the issue. She has always been controlled by men and is enjoying her independence and that may be a factor also, although I am not looking to cohabitate or anything like that, just add sex to the relationship that we already have.

          I will leave things as they are for a while longer. I don’t really have a timetable. I hate to let a 90 percent relationship or non-relationship go, but sex by myself is getting redundant. And I don’t want her to become physical with me just to keep our friendship going, I want her to want it.

          She is much more experienced then me having been married 2 times and having 1 long term bf who passed away. I just hope if she has decided we are not going to get together 100 percent she will tell me. I will still be friends, it will however change the dynamic. After having my wife chump me after 35 years, I can pretty much survive anything.

          thanks for your comment

          • Chew my man,

            First, tell her you are going to go have sex with another woman. Then, go have sex.

            She’s a friend now. Later? Who knows. Judge her by her actions. She has told you for a YEAR who she is. Protect your heart bro.

          • If you are acting as a couple but not being physically intimate, it might be that she has all SHE needs in terms of “coupleness” and a companion but can get that without the risk of intimacy. So what I wonder is how emotionally intimate your relationship is? Do you hold hands? Kiss? Snuggle up to watch a movie? Talk about your triumphs and failures? And so on. My first instinct is that if people are behaving like a couple and 1/2 of the couple avoids intimacy on a wide spectrum, things are probably not going to change. So maybe start with a little hand holding and see where it goes.

            • LAJ,

              Handholding, hugging, walk with arms around each other etc. I suspect you are right, her needs are being met, mine not as much. I believe both you and Ian are correct. And the real answer is the same.

              It is time to move on.

              • One more thing chew.

                I’m sorry. This is going to hurt you. You are invested in her, and it’s a painful lesson. Thank you for being vulnerable here.

                {{{Jedi-hugs}}} (is chew a Star Wars reference?)

              • Ian,

                No reply button for you so I had to reply to myself. You know it will hurt, but not as much as you would think. I really learned a lot from this experience. And I really was not ready for someone when I met her and we had a lot of fun together. As I mentioned we still do. And I gave it my best shot. If I had been silent about my needs and desires I would have regrets. But I have always been open with my desire for more. And she has been somewhat honest with the friends for now thing. Although it would have been better if she said she was not interested in more than that. Rather then leave me hoping for more.

                Funny thing is I bring much more to the relationship in the traditional measures. Looks, health, wealth , etc. I know none of that really matters but its still interesting. Time for me to stop chasing and go back to my new hobbies, friends, my family and other pursuits for a while. I need to lick my wounds for a little while.

                You know we just planned a vacation a few weeks ago, us and another couple. She made a point that the two of us get our own room rather then stay with the other couple. Should be interesting since we are sharing a bed. I suspect that will define what we are once and for all.

                Being single at this age is interesting. And you know what, all and all I am enjoying it.

                And yes its a Star wars reference

              • Chewie, STOP RIGHT NOW.

                You’re going on a vacation with her, and you’re going to be sharing a bed for the first time?

                YOU NEED TO TALK. You and lady friend need to have an honest talk RIGHT NOW about what’s going to happen in that bed.

                Because if don’t have an honest conversation first, and then you get all hot and friendly in that shared bed, and she changes her mind, that’s going to cause you a lot of anguish. And at worst if you both get carried away and then regret it, what’s to stop her claiming you raped her?

                ‘We were just friends. Never more than friends. I wasn’t ready for this. I trusted him, officer; I really thought he’d be a gentleman.’

                You need to be more careful not just with your heart, but with other bits of you as well!

              • Lola Granola,

                Thanks for your concern but this is not an issue. We have traveled alone before. As this is an internet forum I did not provide every detail of our approx year long relationship. This will not be the first time we have shared a bed, nor would it be the first time things got heated between us. As I mentioned in the beginning she was the one who was attracted and interested first, while I was keeping her at arms length. We were sexual during that period but I was not ready and put her on hold.

                We are really very close, friends at least and if we decide to go there again(which I would obviously prefer at this point) it would be mutual. I would never take advantage of her because she was drunk, passed out or anything like that. In order for me to be sexual, I require both interest and willing participation from my partner. Though I am new to dating, I was with my ex for 35 years. I have control of my sexual desires.

              • Thanks, Chew, for the response; that clarifies things a lot. I think the technical term for what you have is ‘Friends With Benefits’? This is a term well understood here at Chump Nation, so don’t be shy. It’s a very quick way of explaining what’s going on, and it stops people (like me) getting worried for you.

                FWB is just what it says on the label, till someone decides they want to be a proper couple, and you’re in that situation now.

                Sadly, most people don’t ever get the courage to leave the FWB situation until they actually meet another person, IF they can meet someone. And then it’s not unusual for the other FWB partner to accuse them of cheating, and perhaps not without good reason.

                I would be very cautious of getting involved with a man who’s been in a FWB setup for any length of time, because it’s made him used to what I would consider a ‘pretend relationship.’ I think I’d be happier to know that a man had been spending time doing the work on himself, recovering from messy issues or breakups, and getting his life on track and his head straight. It’s hard to do this if you’re in a ‘pretend relationship’.

                I was in a ‘pretend relationship’ – FWB and cohabitation – for three and a half years. It suited both of us, and had zero commitment. And at the end, I left him, the state and the country to pursue my dreams elsewhere as a single woman. He was gutted, but he couldn’t stop me, because I’d asked repeatedly if he wanted more commitment from me, and the answer was always no. He had plenty of opportunities for what they call ‘conversion’ in English football, when you get the ball and then turn that into a goal. But he refused to take any of them, so fair enough. I went No Contact, which was best for both of us. He’s now very happy with someone else.

                I remained single after that for eight years. I dated a bit, but I didn’t have sex with anyone, and I decided after a while that I just wanted to be single, recover, get my head straight and live my life.

                Sadly I didn’t do a very good job on fixing my picker, because my next relationship was with an emotionally unavailable man who managed to have a string of emotional affairs with other women, while gaslighting and accusing me. He was one of those largehearted souls who will do anything for anyone, and was Such A Nice Guy, A Churchgoer, and A Real Catch. He’d never had a girlfriend, and he was now 40 years old. I was wretchedly unhappy and couldn’t work out why …

                … and here I am now!

          • CL makes the most important point: we have to be OK on our own before we can be good in a partnership. I don’t meet a lot of single men in my day-to-day life, but when I tried a new activity, I met a number of them, reasonably appropriate as to age (I’m 64) and one of them turned out to be someone I like to spend time with. So go out and do things you love. When you are happy and fulfilled on your own, doors may open for you. This is harder in rural areas than in cities where there are many opportunities, but I think the best way for someone to see the “real me” is to be in a place where I am fully myself.

          • Chew, you need to cut her loose. Nobody decent will date you when you appear to be in a relationship with her. They’ll think you’re cheating. Give her the opportunity to take it to the next level, but if she’s not willing, then end it.

            • I agree, Elizabeth. The ‘pretend relationship’ works for two people who are commitment-phobes, until one of them starts to want to commit.

              After that, it’s just a liability, and it scares away other people.

              I always remember a line from Will and Grace, when Will comes to visit Grace at work one day, and her bitchy secretary lets her know this by saying, ‘Oh Grace – the reason you’re not married is here’.

      • I would let it rest and move on. In no way should you be saving yourself for when she is ready. That’s not to say you have to excommunicate her from your life. You need to switch gears and begin to develop new relationships with other people.

        And I would also not think of it as a wasted investment of your time either. You have been upfront with your feelings and she’s told you how she feels right now. You sound like a respectful, considerate person. Believe me, there are millions who would appreciate having a meaningful relationship with someone like you.

        • Thanks ANC,

          I definitely don’t consider it a waste. I really enjoyed and enjoy my time with her. I just think it is probably time to move my life forward. And I hold no animosity towards her. She really is a wonderful person. As am I. lol

          That does not mean we were meant to be together. And I never stopped meeting new people because of her. However I did prioritize her above everyone else and for starters that will be what I change. I will still see her, just with a different perspective.

      • Chew, I think she’s keeping her options open. Are you okay with that? Are you okay spending months or years constantly auditioning for the part of a boyfriend in an amateur production, but never being officially offered the role or recognised as such? It seems to me that you’re doing an awful lot purely on trust — too much, by the sounds of it — so you’re building something with no foundations on shifting grounds. There comes a time when you need to stop, take account, and ask for those foundations before you invest any more of yourself.

        • H and G,

          I like that. Auditioning for the part of bf but never being sworn in. That is pretty accurate. You know I have gotten great advice from everyone on this site. And no I am not ok with that. Not for much longer anyway. It was really nice to have her as a friend while I was/am healing though. Its just that I met her before my boundaries were/are clearly defined. I pretty much hold myself responsible for the position I find myself in. But you know you learn something from every “relationship”. I sure learned a lot from being chumped. And i learned about protecting my heart from this one. Onward and upward.

  • My ex lead a double life for many years. He told me and everyone he met how much he respected, loved and adored me. All the while, however, he was cheating on me. He and his AP’s loved to play very sick games and he enjoyed having his AP’s come into contact with me and our children. It was passive-aggressive gaslighting at its most evil. So when D-Day hit the whole thing exploded like an atomic bomb. I was 51 years old and sure my best years were behind me.

    I tried online dating, but I was too shy for it. So I decided I would dedicate myself to my children, my house, and my career. We adopted another puppy to love (Balto aka “Divorce Dog”). I reconnected with old friends and took better care of myself. I looked and felt better than I had in many years. It was like crawling out of the fog and into the light.

    And then when I least expected it, my brother’s best friend and I connected on Facebook and decided to meet for a drink. He was a former chump and had divorced years before. I was terrified and almost canceled. But then I thought that I’d be damned if the last story in my romantic life was going to be the horrible things ex did to me. Within a few dates, I came to realize how shallow ex was and how little we really connected, because the contrast was so obvious. How had I missed this for so many years?

    My husband and I married in June 2014 and we are both so very happy and thankful to have found each other. He is a true blessing. It is hard to believe I lived in that cold dark place for such a long time without even realizing it.

    • This is how it usually happens. When you least expect it, when you really aren’t looking for it. And, I think that is what the biggest issue is. Everyone isn’t really looking to “date”. They are looking to find “the ONE” in the guise of dating. It always reminds me of the commercial for one of the dating websites where everyone is speed dating with the questions coming fast and furious. I realize we have all been chumped which makes us more careful in those we choose to associate with, but I think we have to just let things be. You never know when the guy in the grocery line will be 10 cents short and you come to the rescue which gets you a cup of coffee or you end up with a flat tire being fixed by some cop on the freeway. Who knows where Mr. Right is? Like me … Mr. Right could come up and sit down in the chair in front of you looking to join the church you work in or it could be your brother’s best friend. Just enjoy each day as it comes and live your life to the fullest. When the opportunity to go out presents itself, go and have a good time without trying to figure out if this person is the ONE. There are worse things in life than ending up alone…I think we have all lived it.

        • I think the “it’ll happen when you aren’t looking” trope is as tired as the “grocery-store-hookup.”

          It’s more accurately; “Do What You Want; Be What You Are” (Thanks Hall & Oates.)

          • Some chumps found love and married again when they were looking (see Divorce Minister for instance who met his current wife on eHarmony). Others found love again when they were “not looking”, or even only after giving up the hope of meeting anyone special. Many chumps took a long time to recover and grow stronger before jumping back into the dating pool. Certain chumps decided dating or even seeking a long term relationship sooner rather than later was best for them. And of course some chumps do not meet someone they want to date, while others choose never to get into another relationship or marriage again.

            I think the thing I have learned from the members of Chump Nation is that there are many “right” answers.

  • Put on your best outfit and go out somewhere just to get some attention. I’m not saying “hook” up, but just for the attention to boost your confidence. When out in public walk around like your “boss” men will notice and eventually one will strike up a conversation with you. Most of us that are single were all chumps at one time so we all keep are guard up at first. It’s a process but you got this!

  • I’m just 8 months out from Dday. Right now I don’t have the mental or emotional energy to date. I need so much more time to heal. I had two cheaters in my life, know my picker is off and needs some work. That said, I just don’t want to meet another man. I don’t want another person in my life making asshole decisions that affect my future ever again.Maybe one day I will change my mind, but it certainly is NOT in the near future. I’m out making new friends, trying to find out who I am and what I want. I may be alone, but not lonely. Lonely was when he was home, texting, watching TV, etc. when I was trying to engage in conversation. You all know the drill. So, for right now, I’m just going to enjoy my peace and independence. 🙂

  • anyone else kind of gave up on dating? I’m learning how to self-love and self-care more so I am not relaying on anyone else for self-esteem and validation. I just don’t think I could go through the pain again.

    • Fifth generation Detroiter here (although I suppose I don’t qualify any longer, as I moved away after college). My mother’s family all still live in the metro area, though.

      When I knew Ferndale, it wasn’t “fashionable.” LOL.

  • I do want to date. End of a 35 year marriage. Nine months out from last D day and divorce papers are signed. End of a very long five years where I fought for my marriage while he already had two feet out the door. Just kept coming back for a little cake. I am so lucky. A good job. A good friends. A great divorce lawyer. But a broken heart and a heart broken and disappointed son. I do want to have the things I did not have with my stbx. I do want someone who will be happy to see me, will be interested in what I have to say, and who won’t tell me I am fat (and won’t care either). I do want the fun and pleasure of having a real partner rather than the sad child I was married to. So, will I meet this guy? I don’t know. Right now I am taking the time to heal. I live alone but I was alone for so many of the last years he was with me in body but not in spirit. Now it’s her turn to get cheated on. Let’s see how she likes it. Let’s see if she can fix him. Anyway, I have a good life on my own but i do want that partner i didn’t have. I do want it.

    • Lost and Found, I feel just as you do. I want what I thought or hoped to have with my STBXH but didn’t’. I would love to have a healthy marriage as it was what I wanted all along. The clock is ticking and I have so much to square away financially etc. It is daunting. I fear I will just be a lonely lady with my two parakeets…

    • lostandfound, I know. I know.

      But I’d be cautious – it’s very soon after DDay and divorce.

      Is your picker fixed yet? Otherwise you run the risk of falling for the same type of man again, and with the same awful result.

  • Online dating. Startled messaging one and when asked what is the one passion you would want your future partner to share? I expected football, sport, church. No I got ” walking hand in hand along the beach and later siting on the grass sharing wine and canapés as we watch the world go by.” Seriously what straight man uses the word canapés? The next message from him was that he was going through a rough patch and would I be willing to talk to him? No sorry. I judged. And I am ok with that, about to set off on a single adventure to New York from Australia while my gay ex husband marries another woman.
    Happy to be single.

  • I am so done with the grocery aisle advice from everyone and their spirit guides too! Even my shrink. But I’m much more excited about the new group of gal pals that is developing in my apartment complex, than about dating. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to hook up with a compatible guy. I like men and I miss the companionship and small moments of fun, intimacy, and idiocy that can happen between the sexes. But after trying to force it on for awhile, I’m just going to let things be as they are for the time being.

    • Me too.

      I always suspected that the ‘I met him in the grocery store’ was actually a cover-up for ‘I met him online and I am too ashamed to admit that I am using online dating’.

      But I am amazed – people really ARE meeting in the grocery store, even if it’s only weirdos pursuing you to the carpark and beyond!

      This blog is an education in itself.

  • Pascale, Chump Lady (and Tempest) is(/are) spot-on. My life-goal now is to be happy single. It wasn’t my goal before I met my wife 10 years ago. Why the FUCK would I ever get married again? Co-habitate? Perhaps. Mingle finances after 40? Fuck.That.Shit.

    I too think that a dating profile in a different city is a useful tool. I had some sexy fun chats and phone calls early-on in this slog. It made it clear to me that I got junk to clean up in my life. But a B.o.B., (thanks for hipping me to this acronym Chump Lasses.) or one’s own hand can cure a lot of pent-up problems.

    Sex? It’s just sex. If you want sex, go have sex. But if you want babies, herpes, HPV, Hep-C, and HIV they are waiting out there for you too.

    I am a very attractive 6′ 2” bald man. (And so modest too.) Bald-haters begone. Some of the women I’ve loved have had WAY more hair on their body than I’ve ever had on mine.

    Accubond, DUDE. The “friend zone” link from the article is gospel. A guy bandying about the term “friend-zone” in 2016 is code for “I’m a sexist fuckwit.”

          • @ChefBella,

            Oopsie! Did I mention I’m married? But:
            1. My wife is crazy
            2. She’s cool with me “swinging”
            3. Condoms are anathema to good sex
            4. I’m only looking for twu lurve
            5. I don’t have any STDs
            6. I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday!
            7. Bring cake
            8. I’ve never done this before
            9. My kids are cool with it
            10. Please don’t call my wife
            11. I have to go NOW!


            • Ian, there is the 18th circle of dating hell, far far below the friendzone. You just went there….don’t make me “friendzone” you…. 😀

              *Smooths fur, proceeds back into wilderness of online dating*

  • cAN someone feed my ego and self-esteem please? I am about about 40 pounds and 40 years old. Otherwise attractive. My ex shut my self-esteem by constantly calling me fat and telling me that men don’t like “fat” women. Naturally, I’m scared shitless to put myself out there because I don’t think I can handle the rejection. I do realize that many women who are overweight find love and are happy but for some reason, I am still terrified.

    • Howdy Ophelie, You sound like a srsly hot babe. You’re gonna get all the lovin’ you want. Straight men like to fuck women. Your time is coming. (Entendre intended you sexy-thing.)

    • Ophelie, my adorable second hubby and I are in our 50’s. We are both certainly not the beauties we were when married to our ex-cheaters. We should both lose weight, he is now bald, and I have to dye the gray out of my hair. Oh and I’m noticing that sag in the jawline and some wrinkles. But we have a true and deep connection, and he thinks I am beautiful, smart and wonderful. I think he is the sexiest, kindest, most awesome man I have ever met. I get the fear, it is only natural, but not everyone is a superficial jerk.

    • @Ophelie,

      Girl, you are a gorgeous, voluptuous goddess. Your curves are beauty, fertility, and life. Believe me, a lot of men actually prefer larger women. Not everyone goes for the slim ones.

      Take good care of yourself. Eat well, do gentle exercise that brings you pleasure, like walking, swimming, dancing. Enjoy living in the beautiful healthy body you were born into. When you like and treasure yourself, other people see that, and are attracted to it.

      And yeah, I second Ian, your time is coming….hee hee.

  • Hi Pascale,
    I wanted to share something my therapist recommended to me that made a lot of sense…
    Grab a pen & paper and start dreaming. What would your ideal partner look like? Not necessarily in physical attributes, but personality/character. Picture him in your mind. Get detailed. What would you do together for fun? Rock-climbing? Spend hours in a library or art galleries? Area foodies, maybe? Square dancing? Anything goes. Once you have Mr Dreamy in mind, then start putting yourself in places & situations where you might meet people like that. Volunteer or join social groups that participate in those same types of activities. Not only does it get you out and enjoying activities that you love, but you may just meet Mr Right in the process.

    Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t guarantee we won’t run into more cheaters. So, I agree with the others that posted warnings about making sure you are really ready. Boundaries securely in place and with eyes wide open to spot those red flags.

    My grandmother found new love & companionship at age 85 (several years after my grandfather’s passing), so I believe there is hope at any age!

    • ChumpBadge is spot on. Make a list of what you want. I made one and my STBXW doesn’t have MOST of these qualities. Put yourself (online or otherwise) in a place to meet those people, and have at it. I have found that I enjoy my new-found Cheater-dar skills. There is some research that show that simply asking a narcissist, “Are you a narcissist?” will evoke an honest and telling response. Get thee the fuck away. Or torture him for fun if you’d like. (Feeling a bit angry today.) My point being, don’t shy away from the cheater detective role. You are a finely honed weapon of narcissism detection. You got this.

  • I’m in the camp of not interested in dating again. When the final D-Day hit, I was very vulnerable and I really believed that if I just had someone, I would be better. My counselor and divorce support group grounded me in a hurry. My counselor told me that if I did not give myself time to heal, I would end up with someone similar to my serial cheating ex. I’m glad I listened. I will be divorced three years in the spring, and I am loving my single-blessedness. I’ve made a lot of new friends, picked up new hobbies and keep on getting to know myself better. I will only be in a relationship if that person adds value to my life. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. In the meantime, I will keep on being true to myself, being surprised at what life brings and just being open to whatever comes my way. I am investing in myself.

  • Today’s post hit me with the memories of my attempts of re coupling in the past. I finally got to a place where its no longer an issue whether I am single or married.I am just Happy and content with my it is now.
    It has been a long journey for me being a single mom and dealing with the ups and downs of a broken family. The men I dated where unavailable for long term commitment.They all had issues with their kids, ex wives college bills,,living arrangements etc.Since I was able to provide for myself and my family It would have been a big mistake to get involved with a free loader. They are out there, charming and ready for a roll in the sack ,
    My dd day was 35 years ago it was a devastating experience. I was emotionally and financially raped by the so called love of my life . After 12 years of marriage I could not tolerate his serial cheating, and I had enough.
    I survived My son survived and we are a close team. Surprisingly his father is not in his life what a shame that he was thrown away …….the ex had more important things to do then spend time with his kid…
    I hope that in time you all get to a place that is full of love and friendships. AnnaZ

  • Depends on age. Did you know human genetics is such that there are more boys born than girls. The ratio at birth is 21:20. But we do die earlier. For that reason there are actually somewhat less single available man ages 45-65 than women in the same group. Sorry Ladies.
    In part the answer is “dead”, although others seem to be chasing women 20-30 years younger than themselves without much success.

  • I am the OP who sent the question to Chump Lady. Please allow me to elaborate a bit as the initial query might have been a bit limited in scope. My take on finding a new mate comes from witnessing two very dearest family members who remained single for many years. First is a woman people might have described a a typical “little Susie Homemaker” who was dumped like an old appliance no longer wanted and left at the curb. Pulled herself by the bootstraps, took Celestrial Navigation courses, became a Ocean going Sailboat delivery crew member when in her sixties. Hardly the type to stay at home and eat bonbons… strong and independent and all that jazz. Confided too that after 33 years of being on her own the lack of a soulmate became increasingly difficult to bear as the years went by. Basic human yearning deed down. The other was my father, a widower who told me before he passed away that when as beautiful the Pyramids are, and rewarding for your soul restocking the local Food Bank shelves is, once again, the most many-slendor thing is a companion to share your heart with. Children grow up and live their life (as they should), friends have their own things and/or spouses to spend time with. So yes like all of us, even if I have a great life now, happier than ever since no longer having to deal with the “you are not making the mark, I am so entitled to so much more” behaviours, also have a great job, two great grown up kids, friends and activities, I can see down the road the accumulative effects of being on one’s own for year after year. It is fair to anticipate and perhaps seek partnership eventually ( even if one is not quite ready to date as of yet, at least to set your mind on the possibility of dating again) . Apologies for the long post, hope this makes sense…

    • Yes that makes total sense. What I probably should’ve added is that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be coupled up. I totally GET IT. And if it means that much to someone like your widowed dad (a single widower, really?) then he needs to put himself out there and bust a move.

      As the saying goes “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” You have to risk the rejection, have the awkward coffee dates, and make yourself vulnerable again.

      And yet still that is no guarantee, is my point. I think the odds are pretty EXCELLENT that you can find someone to love, but I truly think you have to say fuck it, and live your best life anyway.

      This is a weird analogy, but I have a friend who’s always wanted to live in Norway. She doesn’t live in Norway, she lives in a very lovely other exotic place. She learned Norwegian, was an exchange student in Norway once, still in touch with her host family. And yet, she told me that she feels she can NEVER be truly happy because she doesn’t live in Norway. Norway would be PERFECT. Norway is democratically socialist. It’s paradise.

      I don’t know why life conspired to not have her live in Norway. But she doesn’t. So why let it stand in the way of a good life? Why not appreciate your other blessings?

      Finding a boyfriend, IMO, is probably a lot easier than immigrating to Norway.

    • I loved your question, Pascale, and I loved CL’s answer to it as well.

      You talk about ‘being on your own’ – but being single isn’t the same as being on your own.

      In both the stories you tell here – of your friend and your father – I see a common problem, and that is a lack of intimacy in their lives. And so naturally we see the source of intimacy as being in a partner, and we think if we had a ‘soulmate’, that nagging pain would go.

      And yet so many of us in Chump Nation have found the opposite to be true – that we were horribly lonely in our ‘intimate’ relationships because the other person had checked out and/or was treating us badly.

      The yearning will always be there. I think every human being is going to have unfulfilled longings at least sometimes in their life, whether they’re happily married or happily single. But that pain can be reduced if you allow real intimacy into your life through friendships and family. If you have even just one really good, intimate friend, you are very lucky indeed.

      I try to focus my energies now on being a good friend to others – letting my defences down, and allowing a select few souls ‘into me see’. It’s really helpful if you are single to foster and nurture these kinds of good, healthy, upbuilding relationships. They help to ease the pain of feeling ‘on your own’, to the point where I now think that if I could just have one or two really good friends, and a broader circle of acquaintances, workmates, and other fellow travellers, I could go through life never marrying.

      I love that CL says we should ‘love again’, and that’s what I have learned to do, and I’ve really had to learn for the first time how to be a good friend to other people. It’s hugely rewarding, and it’s become for me the highest form of love. You can keep your romantic shiny stuff that doesn’t last; a good friend is above rubies.

      • Lola, indeed. I have learned a really valuable lesson about what a true friend is and does…from my friends during this excruciating time (4 months past Dday, blindsided by serial cheater in ostenbily happy marriage). I realize that I haven’t been truly available for my friends, and spent far too much time “spackliing” and blaming myself for a vague unease and passiviity….I know I am a better friend and person now. Even though I’m in anguish. I understand this feeling will pass, and when it does, I am and will be a more compassionate person and friend.

    • MehWBSG, I can feel how eager you are for the possibility of a good healthy relationship — and why not! Learning to abolish people who’ve caused us pain, and finding enormous value in living on our own, doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t ‘give that up’ and find someone new in future to share our lives with — someone healthy and empathetic and available and valuable, and someone who’s equally ready to share too.

      I think someone upthread said the great guys are out there just living their lives, and I think that’s right. And they’re doing guy stuff — going to hardware stores and petrol stations, attending sport events or watching them in the pub, reading the Sunday papers at the coffee shop, going to gigs or concerts with the kind of music that guys like, doing some fitness, walking their dog. I have two very ‘long term single’ female friends who’ve just about given up trying to find a good man, but I think they’re doing it wrongly. Rather than going to places that have lots of fellas and their male friends in attendance, they only ever want to do things that groups of women like doing and where they mis-believe are good places to meet ‘cultured’ men: the ballet, the art galleries, plays, foreign cinema, going to see Rod Stewart (sorry Rod!). Sure, there are men at these things but not many — and they’re with their wives or girlfriends. Or their mothers! What single hetero man attends the symphony orchestra to scope out women? None. Or weird ones, like the mysterious killers in Agatha Christie novels. And these lovely ladies refuse to break out of this pattern of only attending girl-stuff and cannot understand why they are permanently single. It hasn’t dawned on them that single men are highly unlikely to say to their mates ‘Hey, let’s give the beers and rugby a miss this afternoon — I hear the new Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art is tremendous.’

      So where did I meet my current beloved? Somewhere I was surrounded by men — at a cover band gig, retro rock, where the audience was about 75% male and 75% of them were over 40. Perfect! He was much too shy to initiate talking, so his louder and more outgoing married friends kindly pushed him in my direction and cheekily promised me he’s a good dancer who likes to dance. He is! And he does.

  • When my husband first left me I absolutely hated the idea of being single. I just did not want to be single at all. However because I had cancer I had no opportunity to date or anything for a year and a half after D day because I was having chemo and all the rest and was very ill. Not to mention bald. I lost all my confidence completely and was unable to even look in the mirror (except a quick check that my wig was on straight!). Not helped by my husband ‘I preferred you with hair’ type of comments.

    So when I ventured out eventually I was quite surprised to be asked out by a couple of guys and even last year dated a guy for 5 months. I met them through social dancing rather than through any dating websites. I did try a dating website but didn’t get on with it very well. I really did think that no man would want me, especially when they found out I’d had cancer. Proved not to be the case, to my surprise.

    However what I did discover is that I’ve had such a rough time that I am not really sure now if I can cope emotionally or physically with a relationship. It’s too intense. But I’ve changed in the last two and half years and now I really feel ok with being single. I quite like it even. I do my own thing and have a much better social life than I ever did while married. This year I would like to be successful in my work, do a lot of dancing, see more of my friends and family and hopefully do some voluntary work. I realise that if I had a man in my life I’d not be able to do a lot of what I want to do – there’s only so many hours in a day. I am sad about the 7 years wasted with my ex-husband, when I could actually have been having so much more fun. And I’m absolutely gutted that I couldn’t have kids, and don’t see that as very likely to happen now because I will be 40 this year. But like CL says, no one gets all the good stuff in life so I am grateful for what good things I do have, like a nice home and good friends. There’s nothing like cancer treatment for making you appreciate the small things in life – like having eyebrows! Yay eyebrows! 🙂

  • The four last posting are absolutely true and very very wise, we change and better ourselves through the dance in the fire. As my mother used to say ( a well-known sentence actually ) ” I have been rich, I have been poor. Rich might be easier but poor made me a better person, a much much better person actually”…. If I compare her stand to my previous “trust fund baby” ex-father-in-law’s general opinions and behaviours I know this to be dead on accurate statement. Thank you friends, Pascale

  • Doing some thinking out loud here.

    Wow, friendzone really was like dropping a grenade in an outhouse…

    CL’s post was certainly more artful, but both the OP and the comment that started a firestorm reflected the frustration surrounding relationships.

    Not just romantic relationships, but even the anonymous internet forum response relationships.

    Both are very similar in that there are good actors and bad actors and sometimes naive or inexperienced actors in those relationships.

    We enter most if not all relationships with some expectations. When we ponder entering romantic relationships, we are hopeful that our feelings are reciprocated. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they are not. It’s certainly no fun to feel rejected, or to be the one who cares more. But by virtue of being here, we’ve all experienced that in our lives. We’ve been chumped. We cared more about our marriages and what those vows meant than our cheating, disordered (ex)spouses.

    And just like those marriages, sometimes the friendship or dating relationships involve people who take, take and take without giving or even being aware of the needs, wants or desires of the other person.

    I approached accubond’s post as an expression of frustration about one of those scenarios. Someone who just might be a great friend. Who just might be the most reliable, caring, loving person this side of Jesus. Who hears the laments of his female friends complaining that their latest lover isn’t more like him. But won’t give him a second glance.

    Even if he has no interest in them, if he’s been dateless, or worse, cast aside by someone who vowed to be faithful, how does one think that registers with the man?

    Again, and I’ve said it over and over again, no one is entitled to anything. So if you are reading this as some sexist, misogynistic rant or siding with him, then I’m afraid we are not clearly communicating. I’ll be happy to clear up anything I may in-artfully say. But I’m trying to express this as respectfully as possible.

    I believe there is a certain truth in the notion that men and women generally frustrate one another. Not on purpose. I don’t think it’s done maliciously. It’s just that we are different in enough ways to both attract one another and irritate one another.

    Apparent contradictions are one of those frustrations. Neither gender has a unique lock on that.

    Women will say they want a real, honest man, but wear make-up and Spanx and get a boob job…

    Well you get the idea, you say you want real, but your tackle box to fool and attract will rival any professional angler.

    A guy will say he wants a nice girl like mom or the girl next door and then chase anything that has a short skirt and big boobs.

    So yeah, frustrating for those who hear the message and see how the behavior doesn’t match.

    I think that’s the frustration. We hear one message, but we experience a different behavior.

    Isn’t really much different from what happens when our spouse cheats. They tell us they love us, or that we are the one, or that we are ok, etc, and bang, they are falling on the penis of a man old enough to be their father. Or they are doing it with the waitress at Applebees.

    It’s not sexist or juvenile or whatever to ask why doesn’t the expressed behavior match the words coming from someone’s mouth? It’s a sign of critical reasoning.

    So while it may hurt to be friendzoned or hurt to have someone point out that your actions don’t match your words, perhaps you can be thankful.

    After all, if someone cares enough to be honest, then why would you shut them down.

    As in-artful as accubond’s words may have been, at least he cared enough to share how he feels.

    Which brings me to another apparent contradiction, why does it seem that women want a man to share how he feels and as soon as he does, he’s labeled and the response sends the message that his feelings are not wanted, or not appropriate, or not the “right” feelings, or not mature enough, or to base, or whatever.

    If we really want people to share, to communicate, then what does it benefit us to shut them down or reject how they are feeling?

    Coming back to being thankful for being friendzoned. Well, if they don’t care about you that much, do you really want a more intimate relationship with them? If they’ve demonstrated that they have little or no interest in caring for you, then are they really spouse material? If some denigrates or otherwise discounts your feelings, or has to label you, do you really want a deeper relationship with them?

    On the other side of the coin, if one is all pissy at you for your “putting them in the friendzone”, well, that’s confirmation that you did the right thing by not moving into a more intimate relationship with them. It may be confirmation that they are not even worthy of being a friend.

    • Well-said, Uniballer.


      Sorry to shout, but haven’t we learned our lesson from living with cheaters who clearly did not value us? If a person has indicated that he/she just wants to be friends with us, take it at face value. Don’t ask for explanations, don’t try to convince them you’re the best they can get; either stay friends or decide you can’t and exit. Attraction is a weird thing. A person can think you are, objectively, the best thing since emoticons, but still not be physically/romantically attracted to you. Do you really want to know that? I don’t.

    • Well said, Uniballer, well said.

      Men and women are completely capable (and culpable) of saying one thing and doing another.

      Attraction is a mysterious process. I have been saddened by my own aesthetic preferences, clearly a wonderful person, but for some reason, even pushing and prodding around it, I can’t change how I feel. As one friend says, “there’s just no pants feelings, even if there are head noddings”. I don’t let men hang out in the friend zone, if I feel there is a no mutual attraction. Its not fair to either of us, and unkind in the long run. If they really are my friend, hey cool. If they are sniffing around, hoping to get laid, no thanks. Nobody really likes a pity fuck anyway.

      Sometimes too, not mysterious, just people responding to the scripts of their childhood. I remember a handsome bartender at a place I worked years ago. He was a catch. The entire staff marveled at his relationship with an attractive and narcissistic woman. None of us understood why he stuck with her. She treated him like dirt on her shoe. Half the female staff would have gone out with him in a heartbeat. Looking back, it was probably a familiar emotional pattern wrapped up in the kind of body a man in his mid twenties found very attractive. I always hoped he found something happier for himself. More than likely, he married her and we will find him here in the ranks of CN someday.

  • Pascale,

    The grocery store has yielded approximately one actual offer for a date in my life. Maybe before online dating,like back in 2005. I used to live near a grocery store, a King Soopers, in a historically gay part of Denver, and it was truly hilarious watching gay men cruise. They used the park down the street for actual hookups. The neighborhood referred to it as “Queen Soopers”.

    Seeing as you are not looking to cruise at the local grocery mart, please bag that idea.

    Online dating does work. This is what you need to be successful:

    You will have to spend a lot of time creating a profile, reading profiles, and practicing discernment. Its very safe, if you stay within the sites, and use the internal email systems. Then always meet in a public place for a quick coffee date. Online dating often yields a lot of coffee dates that are not successful, because people socialize differently online and offline.

    Use and trust your gut. It is vitally important that you are ready to do so. If you are not ready to trust your gut, don’t go for online dating. The extra steps of creating a profile make it easy for personality disordered people to hide their BS. It usually comes out quickly in person, once you know what you’re looking for. You must have strong boundaries, well drawn out ideas of what you want, and what is acceptable to you. And you have to communicate clearly, and learn when to walk away, and dump people. Online dating requires a lot of assertiveness.

    If you are savvy, research the dating sites that focus on the type of relationships you’re interested in finding. For the record, Plenty of Fish is a hookup site, Tinder is still young people hookup focused, Match is probably a generally good general site, and eHarmony is great if you are looking for long term relationships, have a Christian worldview and are not LBGTQ. I am on OKCupid, which has a lot of quirkiness and is free.

    CL gave you great advice, which is “a relationship is not the only blessing in life. Go enjoy and create your own happiness in life”.

    I agree with that. If you are happy and healthy in your own life, you will be much more likely to attract other healthy happy people, which is where good relationships begin. Recovery from a narcissistic or just generally shitty relationship is like being ill. Narcs are like germs, and being a healthy person is like having a good immune system that can identify, neutralize, avoid and kill germs. A lot of us have old FOO that are like having a damaged immune system. I believe, with time and a lot of work on self and boundaries, we can change our own patterns that allow us to be attracted to and find a relationship with a PD “normal”, “comfortable”, or “familiar”.

    Make sure you are feeling at your best: a healthy, happy, grounded individual. From there, dating is a healthy choice, rather than a reactive choice to medicate the pain of a breakup/divorce. If you’ve been mauled by a bad relationship, take some time, heal up those wounds, ask yourself why you didn’t see it was a lion’s den to begin with, or run away when it obviously became one. Make some sense of your bad experience, learn from it, heal up.

    Then, you’ve got to get your sexy back _FOR YOURSELF_. Seriously, everyone has something sexy about them. If you’re self-confident, you can rock whatever that is. Everyone has got game, really. Not everyone has the courage to rock their game.

    Players, narcs, whatever, often give an interesting shadow show to co-dependents, chumps, folks with low self-esteem. These people, who often have no true Self or Self love, are master imitators in the jungle of folks with real Self, Self-love, and Self-confidence. In biology, this is known as mimicry. My favorite example, the Monarch butterfly is toxic to its predators because the insect species consumes a diet of milkweed. The brilliant colors of the wings send a clear message to predators they will get an unpleasant, if not deadly mouthful. The Viceroy butterfly mimics the Monarch as a way to use that collective evolutionary experience of a predatory species into avoiding certain colors on sight. However, a Viceroy butterfly is a very tasty mouthful.

    Narcs, players, people without that “I found my real Self” swank, they are just fake copies of the real deal. A diamond takes a long time,under intense pressure in the earth to come into being. Its a long alchemical process. Healing from Narc abuse is your time in the earth becoming that diamond, and then you will be found, shaped and faceted into a beautiful gem. Narcs are the cubic zirconia of life. After all that bullshit, man, you’re going to be an expert out there, discerning gems from fakes.

    Chumps, in the long run, you’ve got it better. Take that toxic narc diet, and transmute all that poison into wisdom. And then step out there like the beautiful regal Monarch butterfly with those gorgeous wings. And diamonds, while beautiful, are also used like lasers. You got some awesome BS detectors. Cut through the bullshit, and GET IT.

    • Lovely reply, Chef! It was a pleasure to read your take on The Chump Vs Cheater Smack-Down. (No, I am not exactly eloquent!)

  • I just wanted to say that what we really really need is a Chump dating service. Chump meets chump. At least we are really really clear about what we are looking for. Someone who is not a cheater!

  • All the good men are out there hiding from gold-diggers. They’re scared of us and we’re scared of them because once bitten, twice shy.

    Humans are so fragile, and emotionally unevolved. We seem destined for constant turmoil and strife. Dare to be content and be accused of stagnation and being boring. You cannot win.

    All you can do is survive. Love yourself, take care of yourself and survive. There is not someone out there especially meant just for you, stop believing it. There are people out there struggling just like you, wanting love and there are monsters out there looking for prey. Pray you can tell the difference.

    Give someone a chance but be on your guard, Even the happiest lives can explode in an instant.

    Good relationships take work and a WHOLE lot of pure dumb luck. Live your life outside your house. Increase your odds by whatever means you can. It’s a numbers game and you’ve got to kiss a LOT of frogs before you meet a Keeper.

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