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 julystorm22
Joined: 6/15/2018
Msg: 1
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Learning how to be happy alonePage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I'll acknowledge the fact that I have issues right now. My life is chaotic and I think anyone who would be in my predicament would probably be feeling some of the same things. I am in a custody/support battle with my kids' dad, I live with a mom who resents having us live with her, I work a lot, I have no money, my dad is dying of terminal brain cancer and I am being investigated by the Canada Revenue Agency who says I owe them money unless I can prove I have had the kids the majority of the last year. But I came on pof for the same reason many did: loneliness. I don't even know if its a relationship I'm really after. I think there is just too much going on that is stressing me out and going online to chat with people is a way to deal with it. I did see a counsellor for a bit. My work paid for 8 sessions for an online therapist but I didn't click with her, and because it was through work I didn't have the option of switching. And besides that, I really don't think my problems are mental so much as just current situations which I have to get resolved.

I talk to guys online and sometimes I even meet them. When I'm talking to someone that I like, I am in a better mood, happier and I feel more excited about life in general. It's kind of an escape. And when I'm not talking to anyone, I start to feel myself becoming a little bit glum, feeling a bit of despair about the future. I haven't been good at coping with loneliness. And I know that I need to learn how to accept it, and find a way to be happy being alone but right now I have no idea how to do that. I don't know how a person is able to do that. I go to things with my kids and I see other couples together, I see good dads with their kids and it make me sad knowing what I don't have.

I realize that my life is one hold right now. Every so often I finally convince myself to quit online dating because I'm not in any position to find anyone but it only last a short time because the evenings get lonely. I acknowledge that I daydream of finding someone and being in a relationship but I also acknowledge until my custody and tax issues are settled and I'm moved out of my mom's to my own place with my kids, my life is on hold so I need to accept being alone for the mean time. My question to you is, how do you manage to be happy being alone? Everyone keeps telling me that's what I need to do but I am wondering how they themselves have achieved that?
 2ufo
Joined: 12/25/2017
Msg: 2
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/28/2018 2:48:53 PM
What makes me happy is solitude and a good book.
Obviously the solitude isn't your thing.

Perhaps you should make a list of activities you really enjoy doing... everything from roller coaster riding to hour-long bubble baths (or whatever else floats your emotions).
Figure out why you enjoy them, what about the activity makes you happy. (This might be the hardest part - especially if you think that the reason you love soccer is because you get to socialize with cute guys.)
Do more of them.

For example:
I like reading.
It puts me into a different world of possibilities (i.e. fiction) or it makes my brain active with all sorts of question to figure out (i.e. non-fiction).
To relax or reward myself, I spend an hour at the library or I get myself a free/cheap Kindle book.
Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/28/2018 3:32:43 PM

how do you manage to be happy being alone? Everyone keeps telling me that's what I need to do but I am wondering how they themselves have achieved that?

I prefer being alone. I keep myself busy though, I manage two businesses, one which requires preparing cases for small claims court. I usually do most of the case prep in my free time. I own a home with a pool so that needs upkeep. I have family and friends who I try to spend time with each week, I volunteer for a few hrs each week, exercise daily. I head over to pof forums and argue with people about silly things to blow off steam. The biggest thing though, is realizing, long ago, that happiness comes from within.
 julystorm22
Joined: 6/15/2018
Msg: 4
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/28/2018 5:50:12 PM
Well, as for things that make me happy:

Going places out of town with my kids - This year I really wanting to take them on a couple camping trips but that never happened due to finances. I take the kids to the park often but I admit to not having a good time there. My older two go off and play with other kids and my youngest only wants to go on the swing and I push her on it for a long time. Going to garage sales is a lot of fun with them.

Having a nice hot bath ALONE - At night I like having a nice hot bath for like an hour.

Swimming - I could spend all day in a swimming pool. We got to go to the swimming pool a couple times this summer but my 2-year-old absolutely hates it and so I spent the better part of 4 hours sitting beside the pool with her watching my other kids swim.

Reading - I like to read. Spent a lot of my life as a bookworm. However, this past year, I haven't liked reading as much, I get antsy. Same with tv-watching. Used to binge-watch tv shows all the time. For some reason I get bored doing that now. I guess I'm tired of daydreaming about a fictional world.

Soccer - I really enjoyed playing soccer this summer. When I was a kid I used to scrimmage with other kids for hours. I really looked forward this summer to my Thursday nights. This week is the last one though which sucks and I can't afford to sign up for the fall season.

Cooking - I really enjoying trying out new recipes and cooking for people. Living at my mom's though, she hates 95% of what I like to cook and my kids like what she cooks. I guess that was the only thing my ex was good for is he liked my cooking. Also, I can't afford to buy most of the ingredients that I want.

Biking - I love getting on my bike for an hour for a ride. This year I only got to ride about 3 times so far. With a 2-year-old its difficult to just take off for a ride and my mom watches the kids so much as it is that I don't ask her to watch them so I can go for a ride.
 siisaa
Joined: 8/6/2017
Msg: 5
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/28/2018 5:54:36 PM

My question to you is, how do you manage to be happy being alone? Everyone keeps telling me that's what I need to do but I am wondering how they themselves have achieved that?


I feel the same way. I honestly don't know what makes me happy anymore. I try to look at the positives: I'm gainfully employed & I make good money but I am lonely. What's the plus of all this money if you're lonely? I moved 1,000 miles away with my then-boyfriend-turned-fiance and now we are no longer together. All my friends & family are also 1,000 miles away and it's just too miserable to stay here without anyone. I've tried making friends and we'd hang out once or twice but that was it. It was always me who'd be contacting them. After hanging out a few times, they'd either flake or just not respond and I grew tired of that. I'm not going to beg for someone's time or attention. At this point, I just need to move back home. I wasn't happy when I lived there but at least I had my friends and family.

Reading, working out & creative writing make me happier but they don't do much to stave off the loneliness. I'm thinking of joining a hiking meetup group or class at a local community college just to meet like-minded people and get out the house. I've nothing to lose at this point.
 julystorm22
Joined: 6/15/2018
Msg: 6
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/28/2018 9:43:54 PM
I've had the same experiences starting friendships. I initiate things, ask another girl to go for coffee or go for a walk or something and then they don't reciprocate. After I initiate a few times but they never do, I take it has a sign they aren't interested in friendship. To be fair, the girls I've asked haven't had a lot of the same interests but they are the ones I have an opportunity to befriend. Trying to find a girl for a friend is more difficult than looking for a boyfriend I find.

My best friends that I've ever had all happened naturally. Most of the time it was because they were in the same boat as I was, also looking for friends. For example, kindergarten or the beginning of high school. My first year of university I met so many great friends. Since my first couple years of university though, since about 2005, I haven't made any good friends. One time at my job in about 2010 I met a girl I really clicked with and I thought we were going to be such great friends but then the next week she got a job up in Fort Mac as a cook so she was gone and we never talked again. And there was one girl here that I thought we were maybe clicking but our daughters turned enemies and everything got out of hand because my ex said something to her that made her furious with us and so that was that.
 _Rise_Above_This_
Joined: 1/14/2018
Msg: 7
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/28/2018 9:53:15 PM

My question to you is, how do you manage to be happy being alone?

July you're asking the wrong question. This is the question that applies to you.

"How do you keep from becoming unhappy when you're alone?"

I knew you were unhappy and lonely when you first came to the forums and of course it extends back into that relationship with IT. Do you have any idea how long this loneliness has been going on? I don't need to know the answer, it's just something for you to think about.



I haven't been good at coping with loneliness. And I know that I need to learn how to accept it, and find a way to be happy being alone but right now I have no idea how to do that. I don't know how a person is able to do that.

Are you talking about accepting loneliness or being alone? Doesn't matter since loneliness is negative emotion which is a result of being alone. Accepting that you'll be alone will not vanquish loneliness. By the way it's affecting your mental health. I'll explain that tomorrow.
 _Rise_Above_This_
Joined: 1/14/2018
Msg: 8
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 12:53:08 AM
Now I have to correct myself. I meant mental state not mental health. Mental state being a temporary thing.


And when I'm not talking to anyone, I start to feel myself becoming a little bit glum, feeling a bit of despair about the future

You just described mild depression. Would I be right if I said that those feelings also creep in when your mind isn't occupied by other things? After all your "evenings get lonely" though I imagine it doesn't happen till after your kids go to sleep.
 Seahorse_Jockey
Joined: 8/24/2018
Msg: 9
Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 8:38:07 AM

One time at my job in about 2010 I met a girl I really clicked with and I thought we were going to be such great friends but then the next week she got a job up in Fort Mac as a cook so she was gone and we never talked again.


I've had that happen to me a couple of times. I was friends with one of them from childhood, and with the other, we were friends from work and we started hanging out together outside of work, and became good friends. In both cases, they moved out of the area (at different times) and said, once they get set up in the city they moved to, they will contact me and give me their current address and phone number, and we'll maintain contact, and spend time visiting each other. That was the last I heard from either one of them. This was during the time before the internet and social media and cell phones, so I couldn't look them up. I was thinking of contacting one of their family members to ask them for their current phone number or address, but I thought afterwards, if these so-called friends won't make an effort to give me their new phone number or address after they said they would, what's the point of looking for them?

Getting back to the topic, you mentioned in other posts, that you never loved you boyfriend or even liked him that much, but you had a bad case of baby rabies, and he was available. So you used him basically as a sperm donor, and hoped that someday you will learn to love him and live as one big happy family. But obviously, you didn't have the fairy tale ending and happily ever after life you were hoping for. Which leads to the question: Do you regret having kids with him, and maybe see the kids as a roadblock to finding Mr. Perfect Forever, since having 3 kids will scare away a lot of potential suitors?

Trying to find someone who is in the same situation as you isn't necessarily a solution to your problem, like you think it will be. There could be issues with the other person's ex, who will never be out of the picture if they're co-parenting, money issues if the other person is paying child support and maybe alimony, not knowing if your kids and the guy's kids will get along, deciding who pays for what, and so on. It will be a lot more stressful. Be careful for what you wish for.
 siisaa
Joined: 8/6/2017
Msg: 10
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 9:07:41 AM

My best friends that I've ever had all happened naturally. Most of the time it was because they were in the same boat as I was, also looking for friends. For example, kindergarten or the beginning of high school.


Same here. All of my genuine friends are people I've known for at least 12 years, most of them I met between the ages of 6-18 while we were all either in school or at my first job. I agree with what you said about finding a female friend is harder than finding a boyfriend. I could easily get dates and maybe a boyfriend if I were to settle for someone I'm not attracted to, since the men who like me I have absolutely no attraction for.
 julystorm22
Joined: 6/15/2018
Msg: 11
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 9:46:19 AM
I think that this feeling of loneliness and not willing to be alone has to do with a few big emotions that I'm trying to keep at bay:

Anger - That I'm the one stuck living at my parent's and always with the kids and paying for everything like childcare and clothes and school fees and paying off all our accumulated debts and my ex gets off scot free of all of that. He gets a house on an acreage and doesn't work and has a girlfriend who is way hotter than me. How is that possible? And what makes me angrier is that I have go into worse debt, probably by the time its done about $10,000, paying a lawyer and he has a legal aid lawyer to do all his legal stuff for free. And to make things even worse, he told Revenue Canada that he had custody of the kids so I had my benefits frozen while they investigate, which could take up to another 6 months from what I've read of other peoples' experiences online.

Hopelessness - For the near future, things are going to suck. I'm going to have to wait another half a year probably before I can do what I want which is to find a place of my own for the kids and I to move into. Living with my mom resenting us being there and living with her rules, not being able to enjoy any independence from being single. Living out of boxes because there's no room for my stuff here. And knowing that the financial situation for this next while is going to be extremely bleak until my benefits are reinstated. Add in the fact that work has issued me a warning that I have not completed my certification on time and I know I don't have the money to take the classes I need right now and I live in constant fear that I'm going to get demoted back to a lower-paying position.

Sadness - I'm mourning the end of a dream I had to be in a happy family. We never were a happy family when I was with my ex but when we were I was always optimistic that things would be good in the end. And a lot of things were easier when being part of a couple. And I often think about how now I've turned into my mother, a single mother of 3 kids in her 30s except my dad did pay child support and took us kids a lot. I had to be the stupid one and have kids with a deadbeat I always thought would be able to improve. And I wonder now if I will be alone for the rest of my life.
 2ufo
Joined: 12/25/2017
Msg: 12
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 10:16:35 AM

And I wonder now if I will be alone for the rest of my life.

And if you are, what then?
 julystorm22
Joined: 6/15/2018
Msg: 13
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 10:28:05 AM
Then I will be exactly like all the countless single old people I see on my job as a home health care worker. Trust me, there is no job in which you see more lonely people than in mine. I have had to walk out of so many homes after listening to someone cry about how lonely they are and how much they wish they had family nearby or their husband was still alive or that they had gotten married. The ones who are loneliest are the ones who never married and the ones who never had children or nieces/nephews involved in their life.

Then there's my mom and aunt, two ladies who were always fussy about boyfriends and now spend their evenings at the casino together or playing yahtzee at the kitchen table a couple evenings a week. My mom has told me several times how lonely she is. I don't want to be that way 20 years from now.
 Seahorse_Jockey
Joined: 8/24/2018
Msg: 14
Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 11:38:26 AM
Your mom has you and her grandkids living with her, and has a social partner in you aunt, and I assume any other family members are close by. So having a new partner, will not automatically make the loneliness go away forever. It will temporarily, but when the newness wears off, whatever ailed her before will come back. It's like a kid who gets a new toy at Christmas or for a birthday. They are thrilled to bits-especially if it's something they wanted for a long time. But after a while, they'll whine "I'm bored", and ignore the new toy when the thrill of getting it wears off.
 cooldog65
Joined: 6/27/2011
Msg: 15
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 11:45:41 AM

I feel the same way. I honestly don't know what makes me happy anymore.


I had no idea you felt this way. This was a surprise.



I moved 1,000 miles away with my then-boyfriend-turned-fiance and now we are no longer together.


I remember seeing pictures of you together. What happened?



I wasn't happy when I lived there but at least I had my friends and family.


Why were you unhappy?
Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 4:08:20 PM

and always with the kids and paying for everything like childcare and clothes and school fees and paying off all our accumulated debts and my ex gets off scot free of all of that.

I don't understand why you had kids if you didn't want to be with them and be responsible for them. Children are a gift and you should be enjoying every minute with them, NOT resenting them. Did you not know that school fees and activities cost money? As for the ex getting off scot free, If he was a big a jerk as you let on, Its more than worth 10,000 to get rid of him.


I'm mourning the end of a dream I had to be in a happy family.

hmmm, but you are in a family. Too bad you can't recognize your kids as family, and be happy with them.

Have you ever seriously considered letting the kids go live with their father? I think you would be so much happier. There really is nothing wrong with just admitting you should have never had kids. Not every woman is cut out to be a mother.
 2ufo
Joined: 12/25/2017
Msg: 17
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 4:34:06 PM

Then I will be exactly like all the countless single old people...

If that's what you chose to be then that's what you will be.

You just have to realize that it's a choice to be lonely... to be so caught up in someone else that your self is identified by them.
 siisaa
Joined: 8/6/2017
Msg: 18
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 8:37:18 PM

You just have to realize that it's a choice to be lonely


It isn't that simple. Consider the people that July visits in her day-to-day work: no spouse, no children, no other family members who visit them and likely no friends or support system. How are they NOT going to be lonely? Those sound like extreme cases but circumstance counts a lot too. All my friends and family are 2 states away. I have no boyfriend or significant other. I've attempted making girlfriends here but no one is interested in being my friend. Believe me, this loneliness is not a "choice".
 _Rise_Above_This_
Joined: 1/14/2018
Msg: 19
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 9:17:46 PM

You just have to realize that it's a choice to be lonely

Don't be ridiculous. Loneliness is an emotion and you don't choose your emotions
 _Rise_Above_This_
Joined: 1/14/2018
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 9:32:40 PM
5
Reading, working out & creative writing make me happier but they don't do much to stave off the loneliness.

Do they really make you happy or is it just a distraction from the unhappiness caused by your loneliness that makes you seem happier? When you're involved in those activities isn't your mind concentrating on them leaving you no time to think about your loneliness?
 julystorm22
Joined: 6/15/2018
Msg: 21
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/29/2018 11:20:30 PM
I don't resent having my children. What I do resent is that their father gets to live the good life and I'm left with all the responsibility, particular the financial responsibility and he's made it even worse for me by getting Revenue Canada to freeze my child benefits and doing things which necessitate me needing to get a lawyer and pay tons of legal fees. I think I'm allowed to be resentful of that. Wouldn't you? Nobody goes into a relationship and has kids with someone with the intention of the relationship failing. I always truly believed he'd get his act together and be a provider. Does that make me stupid and naive? Maybe, but that's the situation and there is no going back on stupid decisions now.

Loneliness is an emotion and _rise_above_this_ is right. You do not choose your emotions. Due to the things in my life, sadness and envy and anger are going to be present and I just have to find outlets to deal with it so that I am happier and can continue to be a good mom to my kids. This current situation I am in won't be forever. I need to remind myself of that. For now though it's going to be tough.

Note: I'm not sure what Somewhere_in_the_Stratosfere expects. No matter what I say its like she's trying to provoke me. She strikes me as a generally angry person.
 oldwxman
Joined: 7/22/2018
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/30/2018 2:07:50 AM
*Loneliness is an emotion and you don't choose your emotions
** When you're involved in those activities isn't your mind concentrating on them leaving you no time to think about your loneliness?

He's right about the first statement but a little off on the second. The reason that those activities don't crowd out your loneliness is because they are just activities not passions. The best way to deal with an emotion is to displace it with another. I suggest ambition and determination. Pick something that you have always liked and then take it to the most outlandish extremes that you can imagine and decide to do it. Like to hike? Decide to climb the Matterhorn. Like the ocean? Decide to sail around the world single-handed. Like school? Get a PHD in Astrophysics. Starting from where you are doing any of those things will take years and that is the whole idea. Pick one thing and make it take over the rest of your life. Along the way, you will pick up new friends. Other mountaineers, other sailors, other physicists. That won't matter though because you have a goal that you devoted your life to. One day, you will be in a position to fulfill your life's ambition. Do it and coast the rest of the way on your memories.

Some people will try to tell you that you would be neglecting your children. Rubbish! I'm childless but I do know this about children: Children are proudest of and most want to emulate parents who are trying to do something. Heck, they might even be eager to help you.

I did this very thing when I was just a little older than you and it worked.
 _Rise_Above_This_
Joined: 1/14/2018
Msg: 23
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/30/2018 3:47:59 AM
^^^

The reason that those activities don't crowd out your loneliness is because they are just activities not passions.

You should have taken the time to read what July wrote.


When I'm talking to someone that I like, I am in a better mood, happier and I feel more excited about life in general. It's kind of an escape. And when I'm not talking to anyone, I start to feel myself becoming a little bit glum, feeling a bit of despair about the future.

Talking with someone isn't a passion it's an activity.


The best way to deal with an emotion is to displace it with another.

Oh so you're saying you can control your emotions. Fine tell us what emotion you would use to displace grief or depression.

To me what July and siissa are doing is carrying on with their daily live. They have no control over when loneliness arises because it is an emotion. When they are involved in an activity they are focusing their minds on the task at hand and making it difficult for loneliness to creep into their thoughts. Only they can confirm it but I believe when their minds are at rest without anything to focus on loneliness returns and becomes stronger the longer their minds are inactive.

I've spent essentially the last 20 years alone with out feeling lonely or suffering loneliness and I don't know why. I suffer from depression and they should actually be my constant companions. Hopefully I can learn something from the July and siissa.
Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/30/2018 4:59:02 AM

I don't resent having my children

From some of your posts that is not the impression you give. What with all the baggage they are and money they cost you, time you have to spend with them.


What I do resent is that their father gets to live the good life and I'm left with all the responsibility, particular the financial responsibility and he's made it even worse for me by getting Revenue Canada to freeze my child benefits and doing things which necessitate me needing to get a lawyer and p ay tons of legal fees. I think I'm allowed to be resentful of that. Wouldn't you? Nobody goes into a relationship and has kids with someone with the intention of the relationship failing.

Do you think you are the only one that has been dealt a raw deal? Plenty of women have been exactly where you are. My marriage ended with police and a restraining order. Yes, I got stuck with all the bills and by the grace of god because he proved himself violent, I got full custody of my children. I certainly didn't whine and complain when I paid for their school supplies or outings. Yes, he pulled the same crap with Revenue Canada. I went sometimes years without buying new clothes for myself to make sure they had what they needed. After all, it was my choice to bring them in this world. so yes, they were going to be looked after and loved. I certainly didn't enter my marriage with the intent of it failing, but it did. Let me tell you this, I never once thought of my children as baggage or complained about buying them new shoes. It was and still is an honour to be their mother!


I'm not sure what Somewhere_in_the_Stratosfere expects. No matter what I say its like she's trying to provoke me. She strikes me as a generally angry person.

I expect you to quit acting like a petulant, hurt, child, and be a mother to your children. Quit thinking of what's best for YOU and start putting THEIR best interests first. They have just gone through the trauma of a family break up, dad has a new girlfriend, they are now living at grandma's with a stressed out mom. NOW YOU want to meet MR. Wonderful and drag a whole new idiot into their lives. Have they not had enough? Add in the fact, they know dad is playing games against mom, MOM is emotionally absent. Has referred to the kids as baggage in the past, resents being stuck with them. This is a recipe for disaster! You wonder why they are angry? Good grief, I bet that's Not all they are. Do you even have to ask why I think Dad may provide the more stable environment, that these kids sorely need?!

I'm not generally an angry person. I just won't stand around letting someone screw up their children needlessly and NOT mention it to them. Sorry if the truth hurts you! Someone needs to give you a boot in the ass.
 spot4username
Joined: 12/15/2015
Msg: 25
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Learning how to be happy alone
Posted: 8/30/2018 5:47:14 AM
I tend to agree with Stratosfere on this one.

I won't even address your decision to have child after child when in the relationship you were in or your possible desire to have more children with another man. MANY people have been dealt a far harsher hand than you chose to deal yourself.

I could go full-on norwegianguy456 and go point by point with all of your issues but I really only care about the innocent children in your care and I will only touch on it briefly.

July you are always I. I, I. Well that is not what your life is. Your life is a we. You are responsible for rearing three children into critically thinking, responsible adults. How can you do that when you yourself are not one?

You have said your children are boring /you are bored with them. You have said they made you fat. You have said they hate you. You have said that you cry yourself to sleep at night and you share a room with them. You do not seem to have a good relationship with the person putting a roof over your heads and feeding you - showing them that you don't have gratitude. You show your animosity towards their father and his girlfriend in front of your children. You are jealous of your ex and his girlfriend. You are resentful of the position you put yourself in I don't believe for a moment that it doesn't show every moment of every day.

Every single thing you say and do is observed by your children. They are sponges and the things you are giving them to soak up are toxic.
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