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Lost in moving on

Community Member
5 years ago I came out of a sexless marriage that left my self-esteem in tatters. The abuse from the marriage has scared me in a few ways that I know will never heal, my trust issues and fear of this happening to me again resulted in me getting a vasectomy. I have been through the worst of the family law court system here and after spending a fortune, it was all put behind me 12 months ago.

Five years on from the marriage ending, and a year after the whole thing was finalised, and I have got myself into a good space, lost weight, eating well, I have my kids half the time, career is going ok.. Yet despite this I can’t shake loneliness and short periods of depression. These are typically linked to poor experiences when I attempt dating. I find the women my age who are single horribly toxic and are either unemployed, want more kids or someone to support them financially and to be honest – id rather be lonely then deal with that (again). My standards are not overly high, but I am not willing to enter into something high risk for the sake of my children and won’t risk my children’s home for a relationship. The online thing only made my self-esteem issues take a backwards step after so much progress. I cant meet someone who can take the more serious end of moving on slowly and it has started to dawn on me that im probably undatable and will end up being a loner for the rest of my adult life, well a loner after my kids grow up – they and my career are my focus now.

I am posting to see if there are others out there in a similar situation? If so, how did you come to terms with the idea of being single? I don’t need or want advice on how to meet people – I am more curious to know how others have got on being single fathers and accepting that they won’t be having another woman in their lives.
6 Replies 6

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi SD, welcome

Glad you survived the first few years of post separation. Been there and nearly didnt survive.

So I thought I'd merely mention what has occurred since my separation in 1996. Single for 2 years I built my own house in regional Australia, had my kids fortnightly then met a lady and rushed into that relationship.

Unfortunately two things developed- 1/ she was a closet alcoholic not realised by me for 3-4 years even though we lived together. 2/ She ended up being the step mother from hell.

At 12yo my oldest daughter came to live with us. Financially with no child support things improved but the home was not a happy one after my diagnosis of bipolar.

Anyway single again after 10 years I thought I'd stay single forever. Oddly enough my ex brother in laws wife was also single at the time 10 years ago and we married. I've never felt such ongoing happiness.Extraordinary compatibility.

I think there are women out there that also dont want to rush into a live in relationship. Women that are very independent in every way, you just need to be firm on yourself in your needs and desires. That might mean breaking off relationships and hurting people by hey, thats how the dating game is.

I hope you get more direct answers to your questions.


Community Member

Hi SoloDad, I've bee single for 7 years after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship with the father of my son. Tried internet dating on and off for a year and yes, it can be quite depressing... They say you need to kiss a few frogs until you find your prince or princess but I am not willing to kiss any frog really... not good for my self esteem.

So I just focus on my , myself and my career (in that order) and keep an open mind about meeting someone right for me without looking actively. Yes I do feel lonely especially when my son is becoming more independent each day but such is life...

Don't despair and keep your eyes open!

sorry for the typo... I meant "I focus on my son, myself and my career".

Thanks for the positive words TonyWK. I don’t drink and actually I find it a barrier to meeting someone in regional Australia (I live in a vineyard catchment). I can relate to the stepmother from hell issue, my ex wife has not been the best role model to my oldest child who isn’t hers and its been something I have reflected on a lot, holding guilt that I failed to pick someone who would be a better role model.
In my case I have gone my own way and I suspect that I won’t meet a woman now, to be honest I don’t think I could put up with someone unless they were an equal financially and intellectually and has as much to offer me as I do her, to be blunt, that’s not what I’m finding in my local area, so it’s easier to opt out.

HannaMelb said:

sorry for the typo... I meant "I focus on my son, myself and my career".

Yes I assumed that. Unfortunately for men in my area, we are not kissing frogs, its more like kissing vampires so its easier to just opt out entirely. I’m 38 and don’t date older ladies, so honestly the only real option is to focus on my girls, myself and my career. The kind of men women in my area are drawn to (muscly tattoo tradie types) is a stereotype I don’t fit into, I’m ok with that and in many ways it makes it easier – BUT the loneliness of an evening and when the kids are with the ex make for some tough times. I have hobbies to occupy myself but even that isn’t an adequate distraction at times when all you want is a little intimacy or someone who just gets it and can chat until the sum comes up.


I do get you a lot. I do however think you are putting barrier in there that might not be justified.

You dont need a full on relationship, but can opt for a friendship that is special. Advertising yourself on a dating site you can list what you are after. My daughter met her husband on there and both are teachers. A match in heaven. My friend from far north WA met his friend online. She is in Perth and he flies there every 2 weeks for a couple of days on business and they spend a few days together. Occasionally they meet up north. Both are happy.

My wife and I were exactly matched in terms of equity when we dated. It happens.

I've met a couple that do caravanning together but when not they live 100 kms apart but it works for them.

You are right though the older you get the more difficult it is to be compatible in areas that when you were young it didnt matter as we all started with nothing.