Aug. 13th, 2005

Dear Wendy,

Congratulations on a wonderful website.

Being single still has been very difficult for me lately. It just seems to be my lot in life--as I can't seem to find a guy with values. It is very very hard. I do think remaining strong against the onslaught is particularly difficult as you get older. People treat you like rejected old inventory, and it stinks. But I know deep down, under the painful tears, that my tears are less painful than being used by a string of men. But I still get rejected for not being a trashy girl, and it still hurts as much as it did when one is 13 years old.

I also do the rejecting sometimes, the last two guys that pursued me--one had a live-in girlfriend?! He'd email at multiple times a day, sometimes a couple of times in the middle of the night (while she is in bed in the other room!?) He'd ask me for ideas for poetry he should write--I'd get poetry emailed to me?! To meet him for lunch. To be his tennis doubles partner. To go lead a trip with him (without her!). Oh my. It was just bizarre. I said "no" to all, and finally told him off and he just "exited stage left".

And the other man? Didn't tell me but he was engaged to someone. Now what on earth?

My theory is, if we knew how to be powerfully single and set higher standards, we will be much more powerfully married. I think people in society buy into the whole premise that you must be in sexual relationship to be "full" in life. If they are not "in bed" then they are hollow, less worthy, not loved. And it doesn't help that everyone says love is when two to become one--meaning you must only be half a person before hand. So to fill up, get full, not run on empty, they sadly go to the cheap Love Gas Tank to fill up every weekend because if they don't--they are only half a person.

As you write about too--the problem is that the price of cheap love gas is an expensive fuel in the long run. Like a drug, they end up breathing from the exhaust pipe the morning after. The weekend love tank finishes its business, burns up your soul's fuel and then it’s gone. And its residue is smelly exhaust that you have to keep breathing. The sad thing, when men leave, their painful residue on the heart often doesn't.

Yet society makes single people like me, who have avoided that problem, feel like if you are close to 40 and not married, you are a massively deformed human being--like I screwed up and I wouldv'e been better off had I partied and had hard core sex all the time. I think of it as being powerfully single, in God's eye, strong at heart, but still weak in the knees when love arrives, but stamina to avoid breathing down that bad love's exhaust pipe, to know that God is still giving you a powerful life even though love hasn't knocked. Creating new definition of love and power in life.

How do you find meaning in the midst of the all the rejection, awful comments, the
insensitivity to being childless, and still smile and blush at the possibility of true love? The same goes for those men too, that have had to face ridicule to stay strong, those men are out there, and I admire them tremendously. I just wish he was somewhere closer to me! :-)

Take care,



I love the idea of a Love Gas Tank. Reading your letter made me appreciate that sometimes, the greatest insights come out of painful experiences (unfortunately).

Now, the pain of being rejected for not being “trashy” may hurt as much as it did when you were 13, but you know what else is the same? These men are not men who appreciate the value of who you are, therefore a.) you wouldn’t want them either, so it works out perfectly; and b.) they didn’t reject “the real you,” anyway, since they only wanted to use you.

What is up with these guys? A live-in girlfriend? And engaged? That is like
out of Cosmo or something: "My boyfriend has a live-in girlfriend. . should I dump him?" "No! Of course not! Just join in the fun!"

Yikes. I am just tossing this idea out: are there any activities/interests you
have which might draw a more traditionally-oriented type of man? A friend of mine
met her husband at a Renaissance-singing dinner; another, at swing-dancing lessons. I'm just thinking, if there is any place to make it more likely to meet marriage-minded, normal guys, then obviously, we have to find these places.

Have you asked married friends you trust to keep an eye out for you? Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their lives, it doesn’t hurt to remind them that you’re still single.

I think your point about God's eye is really what it's all about. If you're single, then God
must have a lot of faith in you that you can pass this test, and contribute a great deal-- just as you are now. I once heard a rabbi say that we're all single in the eyes of God, and at the end of our lives we all have to face God alone and account for our lives. When I was single, that helped me for some reason. It gave me comfort. I guess because the most difficult thing is society’s not-too-subtle message that only if you’re part of a couple is your life worthwhile. But really everyone is in the same boat and just trying to lead meaningful lives.

But do trust that it is going to happen! I have several friends in their late 30s who got engaged to wonderful men. They really do exist. (Both my friends and the men, I mean.)

Suffice it to say, I am praying for you and rooting for you.

Take good care,

Have a question for Wendy Shalit? Submit it here.

About Us | Contact |Thanks | Copyright 2005-2007. All Rights Reserved.