38, single and almost loving it …

I was out to dinner with my mom the other night and due to my most recent Instagram posts, she asked if I was in that place again. You know that place where you start focusing on the negatives and not the positives. That place some people would lead you to believe doesn’t exist. Well I was, but not as deep in the depths as I have been in the past. I’m able to bounce out of those black holes a lot quicker now. A culmination of recent occurrences led me to writing in response to the title above.

I knew being single again wouldn’t be easy (well truth be told, I thought it would be at first, hi ego), but I never imagined it being emotionally so hard. I have no attachments! No children, no child support, no ex bleeding my funds dry, nothing. Sounds like a pretty easy life right? Well it is, and it isn’t. On a recent solo trip to Philadelphia, I was once again reminded how much I miss an intimate human connection. I’m not talking about a swipe right, your hot, lets get drunk, fuck and never speak to each other again type of connection. I want to be able say “hey let’s get ice cream, sit in the back of my truck and talk about the world”, or “hey lets sit in the park, lay back and watch the clouds float by, searching for dinosaurs” type of connection. Why it is so hard for me to find someone to do that with even platonically boggles my mind, but I’ve also learned to accept, I’m not your typical 38 year old American.

Not a day passes by that I regret not having walked down the traditional road of school, workforce, marriage, kids (should we add divorce), retirement, death. It just wasn’t meant for me. I would never say never on having a mini me, because I think I’d make an amazing dad, but right now it’s just not part of the plan. I commend the parents out there though who have decided to responsibly have children, you’re much more strong willed and sacrificial than I could ever be. Well I guess we’ve both sacrificed things, but in different ways.

I’ve been single for close to 3 years now, add in a couple more because the final years of my last relationship was a shell of that. As time passes by, I’ve really started to question, why not me? Why haven’t I found that thing, that so many others have claimed to have found? What am I lacking? Do I smell? Am I intimidating? Are my standards too high? Do I come across as arrogant? Do I seem desperate? Am I not man enough? Am I too soft? Am I gay? Am i destined to be alone? There are times I seriously feel like I repel people away.

Do I really think I’m lacking? No, I don’t. Do I really smell? I don’t know, you tell me. Are my standards too high? No, I’ve settled once, and I won’t do it again. Do I seem desperate? I don’t think so, I’m quite content doing my things by myself and spending time alone. Am I not man enough or too soft? No, I’m just being me. Am I gay? No, I’ve never once been intimate with a girl thinking this just feels wrong. In fact I’d argue that being in the presence of the right woman is one of the most beautiful things a man can experience. Their skin, hair, touch, smell all intoxicating. Am I destined to be alone? No, some lucky girl will eventually scoop me up. Unfortunately underneath the clarity of it all, is a core wound that I’m worthless, unlovable, and unwanted. Excavating those feelings has been one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever had to face. Especially when you finally think you’ve gotten over the hump, but the same things keep happening over and over and over again. How do I make it stop? Will it ever end? We can practice self love techniques all we want, but at our very core, we’re still humans seeking a real connection. A person to call our home.

I look back on my life and sometimes think to myself, geez Ryan you’ve gone about it all backwards. I isolated myself during my high school years, when I should’ve been experimenting with life. I had a little bit of fun from 19-22, had my heart crushed at 24, spent a year not realizing how hurt I really was, then spent the next 10 years in the prime of my life, unbeknownst to me at the time, with someone not compatible to the person I was becoming. Now here I am, feeling like I’m in high school all over again, but at the age of 38. Although this time, I’m not purposely isolating myself. It just seems to be happening. I’m watching some of the adults around me isolate themselves, while I’m out experimenting with life. Did I miss something while I was growing up? Am I supposed to be healing high school trauma now, that at the time I didn’t know was simmering inside?

Would I’d rather be alone dealing with uncomfortable human emotions, than settling for some monotonous, half assed forced connection? Most definitely. Would I trade in being alone, to be able to write an epic real life love story experience? In a heartbeat. I want another chance, I deserve another chance. Maybe I need to stop looking, stop searching, wipe out every idea of the person I have in my mind. Go out, continue to do my thing and let love find me. I question that method though. What if we all stopped looking, all stopped searching, would anyone be able to find each other? Or would we all just be aimlessly walking around hurt and injured, silently looking for the same thing?

Am I enjoying the freedoms of being single, pretty much having free reign to do whatever I want, whenever I want, yes. Do I miss the intimacy of a one on one connection, yes. Can I have both, yes. I just need to find another like minded soul who says, we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Someone told me today to enjoy my freedom while I still have it, because once I’m locked down it’s over. I snickered, but I don’t believe in that at all. Life is what we make of it. We’re in control of every decision, good or bad, that we make.

If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that I’ll be ok. I’ll still have some days where I swim beneath the surface, but the days spent floating above enjoying the warm rays of the sun are becoming more and more. I’ve made it this far on my own, and if it takes another week, month or year(s), I won’t give up. I won’t stop longing to be touched again by an angel who this time will not only know how to hold my heart, but how to sing to my soul.

13 thoughts on “38, single and almost loving it …

  1. Hi Ryan,
    You’re not alone with your experiences and thoughts. My life went down a similar way and now I’m at a point where I can’t seem to connect to anyone anymore, not even platonically. The few times it still happens, it’s usually with guys 10+ years younger than me and of course never works out. In my case I thinks it’s due to the fact that I refuse to accept what others say on face value and asking questions and therefor forcing people to face unpleasant truths is despised these days. Fakeness is everything.
    Not to mention that most people my age have nothing in common with me as all they can talk about is kids and family.
    Nothing I care for nor could relate to.

    I’ve not made my peace yet with the isolation and loneliness, although I’ve somewhat accepted that that’s what it’s going to be like for me for the rest of my life.

    That said, I believe every pot has a fitting lid. It’s just a matter of finding it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Samantha, thank you for the nice response. When I wrote this piece, my hope was that someone else out there would connect with it. You obviously did, and even if it’s just one person (which I know is not the case), it means the world. I can relate with connecting to the younger crowd. I happen to do the same, but at the end of the day, age with experience does matter.

      As far as relating to people my own age, I get where they are at. I don’t have the wife, the kids, so I have a lot of free time. They don’t! So, I spend most of my time alone doing things I enjoy, because what other option do I have?

      I don’t think it’ll be this way the rest of our lives. If one thing traveling has taught me, the world is a huge place. If there’s one of me, there’s one of someone else. Sending hearts and hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Ryan,
        Good to hear from you! =]
        I think there are others like us, but they, like us in a way or provably more so, don’t talk about it or acknowledge it to themselves and/ or others, specially men I would imagine, as it would seem like a failure.
        I myself tend to not have a lot in common wih people in general. I’m not the girly kinda girl and so mostly other chicks just annoy me with their make-up, fashion or celebrity talk xD.
        I very much prefer travelling and thinking, science and philosophy, and I’m an avid gamer. Not things lots of people connect to, and if they do ahare my interests, then usually personality-wise it just doesn’t work.
        Hence why I tend to connect to younger people more easily, or to people a lot older than myself. Then however the difference in life experience comes into place and different values which also make it not work.
        Not romantically and neither platonically. At least never for very long.

        I also find that isolation can leave you very bitter since you have nought but your own counsel and thoughts to draw conclusions from, making it difficult to not draw away from others when you seem to find yourself in a situation similar to one from your past.

        As for travelling, I’ve lived in four different countries and found that people are the same no matter where you go. I couldn’t find a connection in either of the places I lived.

        That said though, I’m sure somewhere there’s someone for everyone. It’s just a matter of time and willingness to find them.

        Hearts and hugs right back at ya! =]

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “I also find that isolation can leave you very bitter since you have nought but your own counsel and thoughts to draw conclusions from, making it difficult to not draw away from others when you seem to find yourself in a situation similar to one from your past.”

        You nailed it. Isolation can be good at times, but it can also be a very nasty place if left alone in it for too long. I’m not actively choosing to be alone, it just seems to be happening. So you just throw your hands up at some point and say, it is what is.

        Coming from a males perspective it’s equally as hard. This is stuff you typically don’t talk about. Writing is my release, and I’ve finally found a way out. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Very true. I don’t think anyone ever truly chooses complete isolation. As you said it just happens as a defense or coping mechanism. Getting out of it is hard though. It’s like a downward spiral if you don’t watch out.

        Regardless though, I’m not going to bore you with my ramblings. I’m glad you found a way for yourself to get away from it or at the very least deal with it.
        If you ever need a pair of open ears, don’t hesitate to shoot a message my way.

        All the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ryan, thank you for such a great piece. I’m 30, female, single with no kids. I often wondered to myself if I’m abnormal. At 23, an ex asked me how I avoided “Life”, according to me, I wasn’t avoiding life but now as I reflect, I was always saying I would never ‘go with the flow’ but now I think that walking my own path, which was supposed to lead me to greatness, has led me to a huge void. I realize that the white picket fence and the 2.4 kids is something I would love to have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my piece and your kind words. Define normal? Maybe we’re the normal ones and they are abnormal, actually living life the way it was meant to be, free. Sometimes I think if I’m “avoiding” life myself. Should I have the 9 to 5? Should I be saving for retirement? Should I buy the house? Life is too short to be held down by such constraints though. Especially when we’re so young and still full of life. It wasn’t till I was 32, I began feeling the way I do (although through high school, I always felt different.) A trip down to the Caribbean made me realize how much more to life there really is. Maybe the point of you walking against the grain for so long was to get you to this spot where you realize you now want a family? I’d also check to see what’s making you feel this void. Maybe there’s more to it than what you think. Whatever path you choose, I’m sure it’ll be the right one for you. Sending love back!


  3. Thanks!! Just last night I imagined what having a family really entailed and I realised I just might not be ready for all its aspects. I am generally a happy person but recently I google search “how to find happiness” to often, with full knowledge that there is no set answer. I want it all, just not now but I feel like I’m running out of time but maybe I’m that millennial who’ll live to 200. And you are right, maybe WE are the new norm. You have put a lot of things into perspective for me. Happy blogging, I’ll be looking out. Sending my gratitude all the way from my little office, after sitting in traffic, skipping breakfast because that meant being late for my job where I need to clock……. you get the mediocrity of this ‘norm’, in South Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our elusive chase to find happiness. From my experience, you’ll just feel it inside. Thanks again for reading this particular piece, I’m glad you were able to resonate with it. Keep at it, you’ll find your way. Don’t ever submit to what doesn’t feel right. Cheers!


  4. Man..!! 😇😇 Ryan.. this was the most amazing expression of Self-Love & Life piece i have ever read here on WP!! I am not 38.., but i so much resonate with your words and affirmative thoughts✨
    Thanks a lot for such a beautiful & honest write-up.. !! 🙃✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I emptied the tank with that piece. It’s hard sometimes to realize just how much work and effort you’ve put into growing and evolving, when the world around you seems so stagnant. You question if it’s even worth it. I have to believe it is though. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seriously.. and so true you’re!! I feel your words and the helplessness they echo..!!
        That’s the spirit.., We got to believe into the worthiness of our efforts for all the endless growth we seek and desire.
        And may be someday.., someday the world won’t be this stagnant!
        You gave your emotions wings.. keep them alive.. 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

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