When you feel the single shame

You’ve been single for a few years. How do you feel when people ask you about your relationship status? Do you feel ashamed for being single? Do you feel embarrassed you have no relationship news and you are “still” single?

Or do you simply get annoyed and angry they have so little tact? After all – it’s not like you need to be reminded of it all the time.

Watch the video to find out how to fight those feelings, and why do they appear in the first place:


When you’re single – what do you do when someone asks you about your relationship status?
How do you feel in such situations?
Please share your tips and experiences in the comments below.

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11 Responses

  1. Wonderful advice Petra! It makes me feel a lot better about being a single young woman!

  2. Tara says:

    Hi Petra, I love reading your posts, thanks for all of your advice! I want to attract an extraordinary man into my life and I know that I must become what I am looking for in a partner. I have done years of soul searching and have reached a place in my life where I feel happy and unaffected by the fact that I am single. I would love to be in a loving and harmonious relationship with a man but there is one thing that I believe is truly holding me back. I have an idea of a man in my mind and I can’t seem to work out whether this idea comes from a place of love within me or ego desire. I think I am clouded by a fear that love won’t bring me what I want. I know that sounds crazy because love is who we are and why wouldn’t we want to attract the very essence of ourselves. I just can’t seem to shake this “rockstar” image of this man in my mind. Are you able to share your wisdom and give me some tips as to how I can trust in love and receiving everything I truly want in a partner. Hope that makes sense. Thank you for your time 🙂

    • Petra says:

      Hi Tara, that’s a great question. We often don’t really know what kind of person will truly make us happy. Nevertheless we make our detailed checklists of desired partner qualities. One tip for you – try to think of what will make you truly happy – longterm. What qualities this man needs to have – as a person, like psychological qualities, not so much physical. If you have trouble thinking of those, start with your own list – what kind of virtues you possess, and which of those you’d like to see in your partner. What do you value most? Think about long term, think about living with someone, think about sharing your life and making babies and spending a lot of time together. Think about solving problems and challenges together. The person you want beside you, will be the one you will have least conflict with, because life will give you enough challenges. Also, when you look for dates, be a bit adventurous – don’t dismiss guys who are not your type immediately, give people a chance. It may not work every time, but you might get surprised. You might have a problem, like many women – that you want a “cool” guy, but then when you date him you realise he is not very nice. Giving more guys a chance will help you understand what’s really important to you and will gradually switch your attraction criteria.

  3. Ms Jones says:

    Hi Petra –
    I like this video very much.
    Although I wish that I had a good partner, the fact is that I am single and have not yet married.
    Every day of my life I am faced with the challenges of making a living, taking care of my health and my home. I also believe that some are “luckier in love” or perhaps, as you mention, have settled on something less than optimum.
    The fact remains that I am a human soul who must go about life’s daily challenges. I must respect myself and my position. I keep my own counsel because I must. I have a spirit and as much of a right to be master of my own domain. In actuality I am required to be as respectful of myself as singly as I would be if I had a partner. This is the reality of life. I do not make an excuse for standing up for myself or my sense if right and wrong even though I have no partner. As a matter of fact, even those who have partners have independent activities and often seek comfort from friends in difficult times.
    Some of my experiences in life is helpful to others who have a partner. I am grateful for those who have partners that support me. What if I had married and my spouse died? Would that make me any less of a person with rights and responsibilities?
    Thank you for this thoughtful video.

    Ms Jones

  4. Sheila says:

    Hello -a very supportive post thank-you,
    This single ‘shame’ gets inculcated by a society that loves conformity, feels safer with it. So naturally the individual who ‘stands out of the fold’ feels this shame.
    If coupledom is held to be most desirable then if you ‘fail’ to achieve this state then indeed you are a failure.
    Being contantly bombarded with messages about ‘partners, weddings, boyfriends, girlfriends, sex and so on’ (and of course how fulfilling and wonderful this is) makes anyone disconnected from this for whatever reason or lacking the opportunity to participate in the ‘party’ feel distress.
    What is needed is more positive support for the single status. If you are not ‘dating’ (whatever that means) you are not a freak,
    I think China celebrates ‘singles day’. There are so many singles across all age ranges – curiously the huge implicit market therein is not being ‘picked up’. By that I mean goods and services relating to everything OTHER than dating/partnering/romance/sexual fulfillment (with a partner). In other words goods and services helping singles thrive. Once this market is ‘discovered I think single status will improve.
    There are lots iof things to do. Things that partnered people might find difficult because they lack the freedom of singles.
    Acknowledgement needs to be made of the issues of younger women wanting children but who are feeling pressure as they age without finding a suitable partner.
    Likewise it is important to recognise that (some) singles also feel distress because they cannot experience the intimacy of closeness, sharing and sex that partnered people (might) enjoy.
    Thus needs to be compassionately managed but alas never appears to be discussed. Both of these scenarios are a cause of considerable shame.
    Best wishes

  5. michael says:

    I am single and have been for an uncomfortable amount of my adult life. I was married once and we produced 3 beautiful children who bore us 6 grandchildren. But now in this text message world, I have come to the conclusion that a solitary existence is my inevitable fate. I have always had good jobs, gotten a decent education, am striving to learn new things and kept myself physically fit – way above average for my age group and that is never good enough anymore. I’ve concluded that I have to have the wisdom of Job, the 6 pack abs of Will Smith and the smoothness of George Clooney to even get a second look from emotionally frenetic woman. . Since none of those things are likely, I guess I’ll be alone. To women in general, good men are out there, we’re just tired of being a ‘nice guy’ and getting rejected for it. You seem to prefer that we treat you like sh*t. I don’t/won’t do that and guess I chose personal integrity over ‘the game’… See ya… Peace. I’m out…

    • Ms Jones says:

      Hey Michael – Sorry your marriage did not work out. That is never “fantastic”. But how lucky you are to have all those kids and grand kids! I am 57 years old and have neither.

      I would count my blessings if I were you!!

      As far as bad boys go, I can personally tell you that I have received many overtures from young buff guys. They are for the most part crude and feel they are doing me a great favor in giving me a second glance.

      I keep myself in great shape. Maybe the women you are meeting have never had the “cougar” experience and feel they are missing out. These women are definitely not for you!

      If you are trying to date younger women, they are likely to be interested in younger men. There are lots of very well preserved women of all ages who have “been there, done that” on the dating scene.

      If you are a guy who has had little experience before your marriage, you may want to date young women. Be mindful of the fact that younger women tend to date all around their age bracket, especially those that are in good shape. They want to see what they have been missing if they are recently single.

      If you want young girls, go to Vegas. If you want a woman more close to your own age, be patient. There are loads of us out there. Perhaps they have a midlife crisis to contend with.

      I for one NEVER put up with a man that doesn’t treat me well, regardless of his age. And no man or woman would ever become intimate with a partner they did not feel physically comfortable with.

      I recommend an honest evaluation of where you are at. If you are pretty sure you know where you’re at, do what is reasonable and feasible at the moment.

      If you are the type that always acts with integrity, I suggest you keep it up. No reason to lower your standards just because everyone else has. I don’t, and never would.

      Just as a caveat, a friend of my mother’s – a widower – swore he would never marry again. Well, he is not married, but about 5 years after his wife passed away he has finally met a companionable woman that he is happy with.

      It is important to remember that finding a gem does not necessarily happen overnight. And believe it or not, even though there are no moral boundaries that say so, not every attractive woman is hot to trot after the first date.

      I have never been the type to sleep with a man that I just met. Some women do this, but not me. All my boyfriends, even since I was young, were men that I dated and knew at some length before the fire started burning.

      Excuse my crudeness, but middle aged people are not all “horny teenagers”. Some of us never were! We are the slow starter types.

      Wine ’em and dine ’em and have fun. Romance does not necessarily blossom after every date. I would rather go out with a man and have a fun date than eat alone every single night if my life. I am sure there must be one civilized woman in your area you can go out to a pleasant dinner with, or go see a museum exhibition with, or a baseball game or whatever amusement you like.

      Most women these days have worked very hard. They want to have a pleasant time in their “spare time”, if they even have any.

      I am going on a date this Saturday night with a man I have only spoken on the phone with. I do not expect that he has washboard abs and I do not believe he expects me to have sex with me after 1 date. (Well maybe he does – but it is unlikely to happen.) I could hardly picture myself going home with a manI just met. I am far to safety conscious for that!!

      I think both of us are looking forward to a nice evening over a drink and something to eat with a member of the opposite sex. It’s called a “date”. Remember those?

      Believe me Michael, the average middle aged woman would love a “date”, especially if you are a kind, reasonably attractive and good hearted man.

      Good luck Michael!

      Ms Jones

    • Petra says:

      Would you believe me if I said there are a lot of women out there (and even on this forum) who feel just like you? It’s not a gender thing, it’s always individual, and what happens to us in the dating world is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and our chances to find someone.

    • Sheila says:

      I drew myself a little cartoon. Men and women (who felt they wanted partners) wandering around in a big space all with blindfolds on – never touching unless by sheer chance. Essentially that is what the partner hunt is like (probably at all ages of life)
      I know well enough that there are good men out there – and that there could be/will be one for me (I’m 62). There are loads of reasons why we fail (or take ages to touch) .
      Ps I’d date you like a shot Michael!
      Best wishes

  6. Sheila says:

    Answering Michael again – I dont know if this is an impression (may be) but it could be there is acrise in the number of ‘players’ out there. Pick up artists who are out to do harm. There are more men in the game than women.
    Women get stung because of this behaviour and end up thinking all men are players and so reject the good guys. Simples.
    What I have described is a generalisation from anecdotal evidence but nevertheless coukd be a possibility.
    Best wishes

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