Better To Be Alone

August 16, 2011 § 52 Comments

Someone said yesterday, better to be alone than with the wrong person.

I want you all to know that I do know that.  I hear it practically every day and have always lived by it.  My mother has been telling it to me since I was about five years old. 

“There is nothing more lonely than being with the wrong person, better to be alone,” are her precise words.

We all know it.  It is a cliche.

So it is most planktons are not with anyone because the right one has not materialised and they value their aloneness sufficiently not to sully it with the wrong one. 

I think of the man I met at an easy-going and very friendly kitchen supper in Notting Hill some months ago who boasted about writing for one of the more depressing tabloids in existence and said he preferred a formal dining-room himself, with crystal glasses, napkins and proper silver.  I thought, what a peculiar way of thinking about the world, this aspiration to grandeur, and indirect criticism of the hospitality currently on offer.  I aimably told him I completely disagreed, and how much I prefer informality in almost every respect.

He didn’t take my number but blow me down he rang our host for it and texted me the next day with two dates for taking me out.

He was so clearly the Wrong One for me and me for him.  Sod’s Law: the Wrong Ones are often the ones that phone and don’t give mixed messages.

But it’s in the plankton’s DNA not to go along with something when we know from the outset it has no future. 

No one try to tell us again, even kindly, that it’s Better to Be Alone than with the Wrong Person.  We have got that message loud and clear, I promise.


§ 52 Responses to Better To Be Alone

  • fi says:

    I hope you thought he was the wrong person for reasons other than that he preferred a more formal dining experience otherwise I’m afraid you’re going to be alone for a very very long time. If you are that narrow minded and judgemental, and your criteria are so narrow, no-one will be likely to ever meet them!

    • Lydia says:

      If you read the Times Saturday article (right near the back) about how couples met who then are getting married, plenty of those didn’t much like each other on a first date. I think people should try a second even if they aren’t at all sure because someone might grow on you.

      I have never once found a man with a beard attractive but occasionally I speak to them and Iv’e met a few just in case it might not matter (although I find it does matter).

  • june says:

    O yes plankton i have heard it lots of times,in fact when i say to friends that living alone is lonely thats why they often say, better than being with wrong person, ive said it to when i am trying to convince myself its ok to be on your own, and i see friends with the wrong person, trying to keep the relationship together cause they are so desperate not to be alone.

    As you say do we really believe it though,do we not think sometimes perhaps like others we should just settle for anything. i had two people tell me yesterday should i perhaps be just a little less fussy, i think what they were actually indicating was that someone of my age,even someone in reasonably good shape like me,should accept quasimodo weighing 20 stone,they didnt actually say it but the inference was there.

    But im sorry there has to be a spark of some kind surely just because you are supposedly past your sell by date,you cant just have someone for the sake of it., you have to fancy them, how long would that kind of relationship last . ive sat on dates thinking im bored why am i here, we have nothng in common, let me go home. I feel so many women feel same as us, because i really feel the standard of women between say 45 and 65 on their own is much higher than men, dont know why,maybe women hang on to the good ones.

  • toyman says:

    Sadly in your case………………

    It might just be the best thing…….

    They say Mother’s know best……………

  • Sarah says:

    On the rebound you probably settle for Second (or Third or Fourth) Best. Once you’ve got that out of your system, and it’s best to before you really hit the new relationship scene (for men and women – running you back in, as it were), you can be a bit picker about Mr Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.

  • AJ says:

    Maybe it’s also better to be alone than to have your heart broken (again) like me.. I had been in a young but flourishing relationship (or so I thought) up until 4 weeks ago (17th July to be precise). To cut a long story short, I discovered text messages on his phone (I wasn’t snooping) between him and another woman. I tried to call him about it but he never returned my calls. All I got was text messages saying I had got the ‘wrong end of the stick’ (oh really..) and that he wanted some time and space to ‘think’. This is the person who, until that time, had told me he loved me, how we should go on holiday next year, making plans for the future etc etc. I have been divorced for 4 years, have dated a few guys in that time and was ready to knock down the walls I had built up around me and love him in return. Now I’m asking myself why…so, yes better to be alone, think I’ll stay that way for a good while to come

    • Bambi says:

      “Space to “think””…now, there’s a cliché…. Usually means either running scared or trying to decide which of two or more women to go for…..Either way, he hasn’t the guts to admit it….

      A sad and damaging experience, AJ, and totally knocks the confidence and makes one build up the walls again…..

      Ps. You were snooping (go on, admit it! 🙂 ), but, sadly, sometimes it may be the only way to get at the truth…..

      • AJ says:

        We went shopping and he bought a new phone so plopped his old one into my bag. The next day my 2 kids wanted to see what games he had on his old phone so I turned it on.. Couldn’t find any damn games but fell upon his messages in the process – I could barely breathe as I read the one saying “call yourself a boyfriend, are we on or are we off…..”. He probably thought everything had been copied over to his new phone by the sales person in the shop – what a fooking idiot.. so was I snooping? Probably in the end yes because I read every damn one of them with my heart in my mouth and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach..

    • Bambi says:

      Ouch, AJ….. I know that sick-feeling-in-pit-of-stomach… I snooped too – after hubby had told me re his affair and because he kept telling me it was over, while OW was saying otherwise. The only way I could get at the truth was by snooping. Once I had got the truth, I stopped. Am not proud I did it – but, oddly, not ashamed either….. If I hadn’t, the lie would have lasted even longer…. If you had no idea that he was two-timing, it must have been a terrible blow…the pain is almost physical….

      Now I can certainly NEVER reveal my identity here!!!

      PS. I did tell him subsequently what I had done. Does this mean I am absolved, I wonder…!

      • AJ says:

        Thanks Bambi, it really helps knowing someone else has been through the same.. I had no idea, none whatsoever, I trusted him completely and yes, it was totally a physical pain finding out. Feel like a fool that I didn’t see it, thought I was wiser as well as older.. he had met a few of my friends and they all said what a nice guy, how ‘into me’ he was..

        I would LOVE to name and shame him but where would that get me?

        There is no need for you to seek absolution, you did nothing wrong, you wanted the truth and it was not forthcoming so you took action, good for you!!! You’re right, had you (or I) not found what we found, the lie would have carried on…

  • Eva Luna says:

    So many times, my well meaning friends, family and colleagues insist that I lower my standards and I might find Mr Right.
    If I lower my standards, I will meet Mr So Absolutely Wrong For Me.
    I am known as The Ice Queen, I am cold, heartless, aloof, independent, disconnected, detached and unemotional.
    So few know me, so few actually take the time.

  • Miss J says:

    I know we all have a kind of wish list, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves. But let’s face it – how can we be so sure the ones we’re mentally rejecting for reasons of height, social standing, dress sense, the way he laughs etc are really the wrong ones for us? I was pretty confident he was “The One” when I married him….until it became apparent that, after 6 years and having 2 kids together, he was nailing everything in a short skirt in a 5 mile radius! The laugh that used to enchant me had begun to grate on my nerves, the way he’d look at me when he’d done something wrong that used to melt me now made me want to tie him to a post and throw rocks at him until my arms tired! How could I have got it so wrong? How could I ever trust my own judgement again?

    After my divorce, I dated a few men so completely different to what I considered to be “my type” and was pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion.Have you ever been persuaded to try on a dress that looks so totally wrong for you on the hanger only to discover it looks amazing on you? It may well be that you’re subconsciously trying to find a replacement for your ex and are using him as a kind of template. If he was so perfect for you and your judgement so spot on then why aren’t you still blissfully married? What I’m saying, I suppose, is step outside your comfort zone once in a while. I can almost guarantee you won’t find Mr Right first time but where’s the harm in spending a few hours in the company of someone who may well turn out to be interesting and funny (or a complete twat)…what’s the worst that can happen? You might just make a friend rather than a life partner or have some funny stories to discuss over coffee with the girls (or share with us on here!)

    It’s scary out there Plankton but you’re not the first woman it’s happened to and you sure won’t be the last. Stop looking too far ahead, enjoy the moments when they happen – and allow them to happen.The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same.

  • The Flying Spaghetti Monster works in mysterious ways- This might not have been a man for you to develop any kind of long term intimate relationship with, or even a short relationship for that matter, but you still could have gone out to dinner or lunch or attended some other fun activity with him- He just might have taught you the ins and outs of the art of telephone hacking!!

  • DAN says:

    Ok plangton again agree but must disagree!
    Go back to companship is all, to have someone to relate to you(i will again say) is still and always will be better than sitting on your own! every night, watching shite on tv to try and make up for that loss of companionship, no matter what your talking or dealing with!
    Wont it keep you interested in life until it does?
    Nobody is going to mind , help you, and be there when you really need them!
    When you hit rock bottom , wouldent it be nice for someone to contact you and boost your aura?
    You can deal with other shit afterwards.
    So keep the faith, freinds etc… cannot provide what we are looking for!
    Love, dependability, freindship, and a soulmate!
    Dont knock it ,i’ts what keeps us all going. Hope !


  • DAN says:


  • kidrock says:

    I would certainly be interested in finding out what kind of man your ex-husband was and why things didn’t work out between the 2 of you.

    Maybe a post on this subject soon?

  • Josephine says:

    Hi no way do I agree that anyone is better than no one, I have been a widow for 8yrs now, since I was 42, I was happily married the first time around & I truly feel I will meet somebody again that will make me happy a second time, I have had a few relationships, even a marriage proposal, but didnt want to spend the rest of my live with these guys, hey have a laugh, enjoy yours friends, keep the faith, be positive, always look your best, I dont mean be a tart, or desperate, just think of it as been temperate, enjoy the moment, after all anybody could be with somebody , Happy Hunting

  • kidrock says:


    I hope you can come up with some soul lifting music on that violin of yours.

    Who knows? The gesture might put a smile on the face of the infamous Plankton and she might decide to go out on a date with you.

    Besides, it is common knowledge that women go nuts over musicians. Maybe a good time to put the theory to the test right?

  • toyman says:

    I am blushing Kidrock……………

    I am an ordinary guy who does not write books………….

    I shudder to think what she would write if she ever met me………..

    Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn etc etc……………………..

    Take the violin bit metaphorically…………the only musical instruments I can play is the gramophone………..

  • Jo-Jo says:

    I spent 23 years unhappily married to someone who was not right for me, and I felt more alone then than I do now. I have been single for 5 years, and been on numerous dates, some were unsuitable, some were a disaster, some ended up good friends, some were great, some even led to short lived romance. I have a great crowd of friends, and my life is very full, busy and active even though I remain single……..I am never alone, life can be good, even on your own!

  • Rubycon says:

    The “It’s better to be alone than with the wrong man” bromide is akin to the always tiring, “Well at least…(xyz)” Well at least your legs aren’t on fire. Well at least you’re not dating a serial killer. Well at least no one shoved a rusty fish hook in your eye” How is any of that helpful? Oh yeah-it’s not. It’s amazing the stupid things people will try to say when they can’t deal with people who have difficult life situations. They often say it to make themselves feel better I’m convinced. Comparing your current situation with something worse doesn’t make the current situation any better.

    Also, there is something to be said for giving people a second date. A few months ago a man about whom I was not particularly crazy asked me out and we had a less than spectacular date. He walked me to my car and as he said “We should do this again!” I said “Yes!” while thinking I would never talk to him again. But he kept being persistent and texting and calling so we went out again and it was like someone had flipped a switch-he was suddenly funny, charming, and very attractive. Fast forward a few more dates, I fell for him and he stopped talking to me and fell off the face of the earth leaving me to wonder what happened.

    ….On second thought, go with your gut if someone seems like a loser.

  • fi says:

    I wouldn’t describe not having a boyfriend as “a difficult life situation”. I’m a plankton too and honestly you’re all beginning to scare me with your obsession for hunting down a man. If I were a bloke I’d be having second thoughts about our age group and definitely going younger. Maybe higher maintenance but less neurotic and desperate

    • Rubycon says:

      It is a difficult life situation for Plankton. Which is why she’s writing this blog. Which is why I said it. Taken out of context, no it would not qualify. And I used that term because whenever someone is going through something difficult, whether it’s not being able to find a life partner after 45, or death, or poverty, or whatever else-some helpful soul always seems to chime in with “Well at least…” as if it’s going to help. The point of my missive was not “Life without a man is unbearable.” Not sure why or how someone could glean that from what I actually wrote, but that’s certainly very creative

  • DAN says:

    Good on you josephine !

    Thats what i’ts all about!


  • DAN says:

    So wake up, and let them know straight away, otherwise you will hunt every compatable person away before they’re really gong to know the real you!

    Give them a chance and lighten up a little.

    Whats the worst that could happen?


    • Miss J says:

      Dan, I’ve been following your responses almost as much as Plankton’s offerings….You are in a bit of a state aren’t you? You’re talking the talk but you and Plankton are quite alike in many ways…. Oh and this is not meant as a criticism in any way, merely an observation. I’ve been where you are and can I say, things do actually get better if you allow them to. I did the internet dating thing, had feelings of “I’ll be alone forever and it scares the shit out of me!” then the “I’ll be alone forever and that’s just fine” And quite out of the blue I met someone wonderful, gave somebody a chance who normally I wouldn’t have considered my type and a year on we’re happy as pigs in shite!

      I try hard not to think of the next step, if there’s going to be a next step (we live 80 miles apart) and look forward to seeing each other every weekend and the odd midweek trip if either of us manages a few days off work. I have no plans to share a home with him right now (even though I know he’d up sticks and relocate in a heartbeat if I asked him to) We’re honest with each other about the difficulties of being apart most of the week, we enjoy the time we share together and also the time we spend apart – he has his interests, family, job etc and I have mine. We keep in touch via phone, email, text and skype during the week – thank God for technology! So, you can see that when I offer advice to Plankton, I do so from a position of having been there, done that! Who knows what will happen in the future, but for now I’m living in the moment and loving it.

      We all know life offers no guarantees Dan, but you sound like somebody who needs to take his own advice and take a chance…give yourself the opportunity to maybe forget the pain of the past and move on.

  • DAN says:

    Plangton , i just dont know what to say !

    After reading this blog again, i think you might be setting your sights too high!

    Everybody you seem to be meeting are either littary genises or the highly intellectual !

    Come back to basics and look at the ordinary joe soap !

    Then tell us how you get on .

    All’s fair in love and war !

    Come down to the real earth, and you may never know what might happen!

    Dont get too cocky !

    You might miss out on something very special if you do !


  • Josephine says:

    Hi loved your comment MissJ, I hear stories like yours all the time, Love happens when you least expect it, I tried internet dating once, I cancelled my membership before it ran out, to time consuming, most men just wanted to chat & bang on about themselves, lonely & desperate, hell I rather stuff mushrooms than go through that again, anyway I wish you all the best with your new relationship, you sound like someone with the right attitude to life

  • DAN says:

    Miss j ,you are just one of the persons i have been talking about !

    I am delighted for you .

    Give it a go and see what happens!

    Enjoy the moment and remember what went wrong in any if all your previous relationships and put that knoledge to good use .

    Good on you girl !

    Theres hope for all us planktons because of it !

    Keep us updated !


  • DAN says:

    miss j , internet dating is normally used as only a last resort !

    Travel, accommodation, drinks too time consuming etc..

    Why would you bother?

    Go local, and see what happens !

    Wish you luck!


    • Sarah says:

      You can actually find people locally through internet dating. No need for travel or accommodation.

      Well, I did anyway. LDRs are such a drag. (long-distance relationships)

    • Miss J says:

      I used the net as a means to just get chatting to men really, I’d been married so long I’d forgotten what it was like to begin a conversation with a man or be on the receiving end of a chat up line and my confidence was at an all time low!

      As for travel – well, I didn’t mind the drive and neither did he, it was well worth the trip as it turns out as it’s been a year now! We bothered because we just wanted to…and look what happened!

      To meet anyone requires effort, who’s to say the one you’e looking for is 10 miles away or 100.

  • Miss J says:

    Josephine, I’ll be honest – I’d actually given up finding anyone and wasn’t really that bothered meeting this guy (yes, on the net!) He was shorter than me, 5 years younger and lives bloody miles away so I went with an open mind…invited him for a day in my city where I’d thought I’d have a pleasant few hours doing the touristy things one never does in our own home cities and he kinda grew on me! We planned on a coffee and an hour or two sightseeing etc….11 hours later he was driving home as was I thinking…what the hell happened there? I hadn’t even kissed him goodbye!

    I planned a lifetime with my ex husband and that went tits up, so after a similar internet dating experience like yourself my expectations were low! But, once the barriers of the net were removed and the bravado both sexes use online while chatting had disappeared, I found myself in the company of a man who was normal, had been hurt like me and was totally honest with me from the get go. It’s so easy to get caught up in the well meaning friends asking questions of when we’ll move in together etc but we’re taking things at our own pace. I’m 48 by the way…So, you never know what’s round the corner to use another cliche!!

  • DAN says:

    Miss j, go for it girl !

  • DAN says:

    Sarah, i hope everything works out well for you!

    Never done that stuff and dont think i ever will!

    Anyone covering what i’ve been saying on this blog will understand !

    Will never go there again !

    As the song goes by u2 , one love, one life………..


  • DAN says:

    Brilliant !

    Keep us all updated as to how that is going !

    Hope for us all !

    DAN .

  • DAN says:

    Sarah, your on a winner!

    3 years is along time !

    Enjoy, but make sure to mind it !

    Something very special going on here with that effort by hopefully both partys .

    Delighted for you !


  • DAN says:

    Good on you sarah, your situation will certainly give hope to a lot of planktons at the moment !

    But my situation is different , i had something so special !

    And as i again face into another weekend off , will try to figure out what im going to do to get over loosing not alone my wife, but also lover and best freind.

    On a whim, when we had no children i show’d my wife the world .

    I took her to paris, and ate on boulevard houseman, went to seattle and ate in the space needle, went to cyprus and visited the sphinx in egypt on the same trip, never mind istanbul, turkey,greece, spain and portugal, which are only a few of the places i took this beautiful, beautiful, woman !
    I dont mean in looks but in heart and soul !
    But then we had children that we both spent every moment looking after!

    The best mother that any child would wish to have !
    Loving, caring,and always putting everybody else first.

    I got to make this woman to cry only twice in the years that we spent together. (28)
    The first time was when i proposed to her, and the second time was 25 years later as i needed the car to go to all my jobs, travelling miles to get to them to try and get the kids through university,one x_mas while things were very tight financially, i bought her her own car as a x-mas present.

    While i had the car for work, she was stuck at home every weekend, with no way of getting around.

    She litterally cried for two days after that one, with happiness i might add!

    She got back her independance, got involved in clubs, became chairperson of the local comunity centre, and at the age of 49 decided to go back to college.!

    She flew through the first year and in her second year was the only person in the class out of 35 to pass the part of the course covering socioligy up against pupils half her age !
    She had taken off !

    I have no doubt in the world that she is going to complete this course as social worker and if the top guys listen to her, she will change the whole system of the way social care is working at the moment, and will be a big part in changing the way children etc.. are looked after in the system , not like the so many fuckups that have occurred over the years in this area.

    I will still back her in everything that she is doing and will help in any way i can. Were still freinds and always will be !

    But that is where it ends, sadly !

    Maybe this will explain why for the rest of my life, i will always love this woman, and i know, I will never, ever find anyone to replace her

    But the rest of you planktons may not have had the same experience, so keep looking, keep trying and never give up!


    • kidrock says:

      Just out of curiosity, what was the reason for the breakdown of your marriage?

    • Jo-Jo says:

      Dan, it sounds as though you had a wonderful marriage to a beautiful woman who you still love even though the marriage broke down……how sad that such an close, intimate relationship came to end. She was your best friend and lover for all those years, and obviously gave you much happiness. Like you, I was married for many years (23) with four children, and like you my marriage fell apart, but the saddest thing is, my husband never truly loved me or appreciated me for who I am, despite all those years together. I would love to say that like you, I loved, and was loved in return, but those years we had together were sad, empty, and devoid of love. For you and your wife it is better to have loved and be loved in return, than never to have been loved, or loved someone at all (if that makes sense?!) I really hope you find someone as wonderful and beautiful as your wife……..then maybe someday you will love and be loved again.

      • DAN says:

        Thanks jojo, sorry to hear about your predicament but mabe now you might meet somebody who will really love you.
        Wouldent that be great?


  • Josephine says:

    Hi Dan, Found your comments so sad, you need to move on if you can love once you can love again, after all there are about 8 billion people in the world, Life is short you need to grab it with both hands, & move on

  • fi says:

    Dan I don’t mean to be cheeky but the message I’m picking up is that you’re finding it hard to come to terms with the end of your marriage. You think your wife was perfect, your marriage was perfect, you are very lonely and you will continue this way forever. It might help you to move on if you had some counselling? You’ll probably say you don’t want to move on, but you can’t really be happy to contemplate spending the rest of your life being so unhappy.

  • DAN says:

    Kidrock i put 3 kids through universiy at a huge cost both financially and time spent with my wife, over a 5 year period, working 3 jobs.

    I guess she got lonely and one day met somebody who happened to be a good freind of mine, and they started an affair which dident last very long. But the damage was done!
    I am still good freinds with both of them, but will never have the same relationship that we had before together.
    It’s not the situation that i would never be able to trust her again, it’s just that it hurt too much when i found out and if i took her back when she asked whose to say it wouldent happen again , usually does ,and i would not be able to survive that, so i dident !


    • joules says:

      Did she ask to be taken back? Sorry but I have had something happen to me that was similar to Jo-Jo (minus the kids I am afraid – would have liked to but kind of knew that my ex partner was already one). I think – and I know you may not give a damn what I think but here goes – that what you had with your ex-wife is not very common. That all humans make mistakes – could be a universal defining charachteristic – but some of us learn from them. I think you should take her back – you probably won’t like it but you should go through some counseling – all good fights need a referee – and just see where it goes. I know it will be scary but life is scary. And you might as well be scared together as scared alone. And I speak as the one whose partner cheated on them, not the other way around. Butting out now but consider yourself given a big bear hug from a very tall woman – friends say I give the best ones they know of.

  • Jo-Jo says:

    I would be happy indeed to meet someone who could love me, having spent so many years married to someone who didnt……..I live in hope 🙂

  • DAN says:

    Thanks for that hug joules.

    Everybody loves a good hug, from children all the way up to eldery parents, and everybody else in between !

    ON the situation of my wife, sorry, will never happen !

    Once smitten, twice shy !

    But thanks for the input anyway .


  • DAN says:

    Yes in my eyes bambi. Alls forgiven.

    Alls fair in love and war.

    Can you imagine how long it would have gone on otherwise ?

    How the fuck do you think i found out and i have absolutly no worrys at all in relation to this subject !

    It just confirmed what i already knew !


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