The Lone Tunnel

April 16, 2013 § 179 Comments

From yesterday’s Times (I am still here, see?):-

There are many downsides to being self-employed, but one great advantage is safety from ever being sacked.  So it is with being a plankton.  At least we’re spared being shafted by some bastard, and with the amount of stories currently abounding about marital breakdown, I am beginning to think my measly status is the safest, most sensible and secure.


I am lucky.  I am out of the woods.  Time has done its cliched but welcome healing.  I remember all too well, of course, the torture.  I saw it as this tunnel which I just had to get through; didn’t know how long it would take to emerge, but I always knew that emerge I eventually would.  Logic dictated that no human brain could sustain that pitch of emotional agony for ever.  There was total black at first but, after some weeks, a pin hole of light miraged at the end of the tunnel, and gradually increased in size and form and became (with a little nudge from Prozac) a reality.  The scars remain but the searing has gone.


But all around me I see collapse.  I hear story after story of marriages atrophying at the rate of shops closing down, and the emotional landscape seems as spent, derelict and desolate as the high street.  The stories are all of men shutting up shop for the greener grass of the Other Woman, and my heart goes out to the wives graffitied all over with pain and rejection like metal roller shutters.  They are thrust untimely, unwittingly (NB. I don’t say unjustly, though, in many cases, unjustly too) into their own tunnels through which, no choice, they are just going to have to travel; only in this case the travelling is a whole deal worse than arriving.


People say it takes two years but that is what they say about settling into a new house in a new town.  No, the marital breakdown tunnel is different.  It’s not just a question of “settling”, like shifting positions on a sofa to get more comfortable.  It is not just getting used to the layout of new streets and kitchen and neighbours.  It is re-forming the geography of the entire self and I reckon it takes a lot more than two years for the easing.


Yesterday I heard about Sally’s particular hurt; the day before it was Claire’s; today it is Harriet’s.  Tomorrow, inevitably, it will be Milly’s, Molly’s or Mandy’s.  This daily conveyor belt of middle-aged women entering their own, lone tunnel, each unhappy in her own way, has given me pause.


In a funny, perverse sort of way, plankton are safer.  Maybe not the way we might choose to be, but safer all the same.


§ 179 Responses to The Lone Tunnel

  • Jill says:

    So pleased that you are “still here”, P. I was hoping that you were not planning to desert us.

    I heartily agree with you about the “marital breakdown tunnel” – what an apposite metaphor. Like bereavement, however (and please note that I did not say “any bereavement” ), I have found there are stages through which one has to go in order to reach personal resolution, the final one being acceptance.

    Sally Brampton wrote about the issue of acceptance in her column in the Sunday Times’ Style magazine last weekend, and I think it might be helpful to quote her final comment, which certainly struck a chord in me.

    “If there is any comfort to be found it is not through reasoning with the unreasonable. Shouting into the wind does us no good. It just carries our voices away, and while acceptance is fraught with pain, it is the only path out of the dark woods.”

  • Safer seems good but are you really happy remaining as a Plankton? I know I don’t want to but 8 years of Planktonhood, still makes me want more…..That’s not unreasonable is it?

  • Ruthie says:

    A beautifully written piece Plankton. As I am teetering on the edge of planktonhood, it brought tears to my eyes. Keep going. Someone out there will eventually see that you are diamond not just a piece of attractively cut glass.

  • Steve H says:

    “the stories are all of men shutting up shop..”

    …And yet the majority of divorces are initiated by women.

    While we all know that proportion of divorces are initiated by the party that has been wronged/thrown away , the fact that women are the ones initiating the majority of proceedings must mean that nationally the “Sallys/ Clares and Harriets” are at least equalled by “Toms/ Alans & Clives…”

    • Jill says:

      Ms P’s full sentence reads “the stories are all of men shutting up shop ….. for the greener grass of the Other Woman”. Yes, many women initiate divorce these days, but very often their reasons for doing so are rooted in long-term disenchantment with their marriages. Consider if you will all the well-publicised examples of men cheating on their wives – I don’t think I have to name names…. I think the point is that many women will put up with a lot of unhappiness – or indeed dissatisfaction – in their marriages but a major or long-term infidelity, perhaps involving a so-called friend, can be and so often is, the proverbial straw that breaks the back of the marriage. One can forgive a lot but the forgetting is a different matter, especially when the “guilty” party – male OR female – desires only to put the infidelity firmly in the past and move on – very understandable on his or her part, but not so easy for the one left wondering and agonising.

    • MissBates says:

      The statistic that many more divorce actions are initiated by women is often misinterpreted. I speak only anecdotally, albeit from my perspective of practicing divorce law for 27 years, which has provided me with a sample of between 750 and 1,000 such cases. While very very occasionally a woman will initiate the proceedings because she has found someone else, or has tired of the marriage, the vast majority of the time the woman files the lawsuit because she MUST take action in order to protect her rights regarding support for herself and children, property rights in the house and bank accts., etc., and not because she’s seeking an exciting new life sans spouse.

      Let me say here that I represent just as many men as I do women (probably slightly more men, in fact, because my firm tends to represent the “monied” spouse, who is more often the man). It will also come as no surprise to anyone that there are plenty of “bad” wives as well as “bad” husbands. All I’m trying to correct is the impression that the bare statistics about wives being the instigators of most divorces means relatively little, if anything, frankly, about their motivations and behaviors both pre- and post-divorce.

      But the bottom line, I think, remains unchanged — post-divorce, it is primarily the ex-wives, and not the ex-husbands, who enter the “lone tunnel” Plankton talks about in her post today.

    • The Plankton says:

      I am a case in point: someone who initiated my divorce. I didn’t want to. No choice. Pxx

      • Steve H says:

        Ummm..why touche? My sister is a divorce solicitor…on this side on the pond.

        She confirms that women , for whatever reason, are having affairs and are initiating many divorces.

        As a side bar , Miss Bates, my sister works for an organisation called “familys needs fathers” They are inundated with men whose wives have initiated divorces and have ended up with the house, 95% time with the kids etc while they still pay for it.

        My sister would describe herself as a feminist but she says she’s appalled by the UK’s divorce laws. Is this situation the same in the US?

      • EmGee says:

        So Steve. You are repeating what Miss Bates said about women and divorce, that is, most women initiate divorce, and that women cheat too. The difference being is that by repeating her statistic as if you are stating something different, you are implying that these women are all initiating these proceedings because they are cheating on their husbands? While Miss B explains that in the majority of cases the women are filing to protect themselves and their children from being left without support from the father of the children. Am I interpreting you correctly?

        Divorce cases in the US favor keeping mothers and children together as well, but I don’t know if it is as prevalent as in the UK. Apparently you think this ratio is in favor of women, whereas my belief is that it favors the children.

        The law isn’t always fair, and sometimes the wrong person gains custody, but by and large, the reality in this country is that men still have the upper hand when it comes to income and women are still expected to care for the children. Since this is the case, it makes much more sense to put the burden of financial responsibility on the man, and the raising of the children on the woman. Also, if one party is unhappy with the settling of things, they are allowed to appeal in order to change things like child support, visitation, etc.

        Iirc, you feel like you got the short end of the stick in your divorce, and are still extremely bitter, which in my opinion has distorted your view of things. But that is just my 2¢.

      • Fi says:

        i know a number of women who are now living in reduced circumstances after divorce. The husbands waited until the kids were grown up then left. Now relationships end and I can see why the husbands waited till then before leaving, but the result is that the women who worked round the children maybe by taking low paid part time jobs, or breaking/giving up careers to follow husbands as they moved round the country building up their careers, have been left now with very little income, either insufficient to get a mortgage or a mortgage that they can afford to pay means they will be working well in to their 70s. And of course now the children have grown up there isn’t any maintenance.

  • Elle says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better Plankton. Someone told me that you need to take half the time you spent in a relationship to recover from it – so that would be 4 years recovery for an 8 year relationship. It also depends on a person’s age and gender – men seem to recover much more quickly but I often wonder is that superficial. They may still be pining for their old life even if they have taken up with the bimbo their wife threw them out for.

    The weather is getting better – enjoy it!

    • Jill says:

      I hope you aren’t right about that, Elle – otherwise I’ll be very ancient indeed before I recover! I think I’m right in saying that it is meant to be a month of recovery for every year of the relationship, which seems a bit more realistic/reasonable…..

    • The Plankton says:

      Good to hear from you Elle, and thank you. Pxx

  • EmGee says:

    Hurray for a new post, though provoking as always, thank you Ms P!

    My 2¢ is the ‘recovery rate’ is nonsense. If one accepts one’s lot as mentioned earlier, and doesn’t pine for something that is no more, or perhaps never was except in one’s fertile imagination, the recovery process can move quite swiftly.

  • june says:

    Good piece P, and one with which i have much affinity. These thoughts often cross my mind and i of course am a long term plan kton,havent ever been anything else. However i still sometimes think would be nice to know what its ;like not to be married,tnat ship has sailed but a relationship, a proper one, but as i really dont fan cy any men of my own age i feel that isnt something that will happen, Whlist doing my garden yesterday i was approached by my single male neighbour,my age group. Hes a nice enoug man but i couldnt remotely fancy him and i could sense where his conversation was leading, as it got more and more personal, hes tried it on with my divorced friend and neighbour too. Hes not a lonely chap seems to get out and about, still friendly with his ex, plays babmintion etc but he seems to want a woman but that women will not be me. I do have to fancy the bloke and him sadly i dont.Guess that says it all.

    • Elle says:

      June, why don’t you count your blessings. Here is a nice man, your own age group who is clearly looking for a woman. Why not give him a chance? In a few months time you may see him with a woman 10 or more years his junior and what will you think then?

      You may not fancy men of your own age but (I’m being harsh here) few men aged 40 and up fancy women of their own age either. Unfortunately they have more options than we do so once a woman turns 40 she should realistically be willing to consider a relationship with men of her own age (if she is very lucky) up to 20 years older as long as they get on well.

      • Will Power says:

        Well said Elle, but one of the problems so many of the posts here throw up is that women seem to be looking for “the” man that’s going to put everything right instead of looking for “a” man who might be one of many. I’ve noticed that especially with Miss P. June’s neighbour might not be “the” man but he might have a friend who is, and you (plural) need to start mixing in various social circles to meet as many as possible. Also how many of us started off not liking partners initially but then fell in love with a different side of them? And your quite right about men men’s recovery times, society has always dictated that we hide our feelings , which I do – it doesn’t mean I don’t hurt. The other thing about ages is that nowadays you can find young that look old and have an old attitude, but also old that look young and have a young attitude. It’s just a number for Christ’s sake, get out there and enjoy yourselves with as many as possible, you don’t have to commit any more than men do.

  • Chris says:

    Well Planky, yer back on form !! Back to that wonderful writing style you have but had lost of late. Bring on more of this stuff.

    p.s…..I think I read somewhere there was a rush of divorces going through now because of the imminent withdrawal of legal aid for such cases.

  • rosie says:

    Beautifully put, P, even if it has made me want to slash my wrists! I’ve given up but then you can’t *really* give up, can you, otherwise what’s the point?

  • Simon says:

    Welcome back you`ve been missed. Still in the lone tunnel too after 4 years!!

  • Tomorrow, Sat. April 20th, 2013 is officially World Marijuana Appreciation Day !!!

    I’ve not touched a woman’s body in more than three years now, women almost never return my any of my phone calls or emails, except to cancel plans that we’ve made or to tell me that they “just want to be friends because they’re too busy for a relationship these days,” and for once, I [cough] NO LONGER -(khmphl, giggle) CARE AT ALL AT THE MOMENT (exhale) !!!

    : )

    Legalize it !!!

  • Lizzie says:

    Well done Planky – such a post will resonate with us all ! I would say that it has taken me roughly 5 years to recover from the pain, rejection, hurt and various little resentments – despite that fact that I was are the one to initiate the divorce.

    Once at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and feeling once more positive, confident and capable, I am now left with a new pervading sense of a whole new rejection ….. nobody actually wants me !

    And that’s coming from someone, at 55, who thought (but is now wondering) she was reasonably attractive, slim and articulate!

  • nick says:

    i was recently reading an article about herbivore men, and it struck a cord that i know at least a few of these men where i worked. they are certainly happier being single and prefer a less complicated & financialy free”er” life being single.

    i also wanted to know your comments to this reply…….(quoting direct from the site below)……

    I would suggest that this is the future of an awful lot of Anglo Saxon culture men, and eventually a majority of all men.

    I have had many relationships with women in the past, and some very sucessful, but there is a certain ‘Princess syndrome’ quality to many women (certainly British women) nowadays. It is not only a younger generational effect, but one with middle age women too.

    They are all looking for ‘The One’. They seem to have an ‘I’m worth it’ attitude, and regardless of them all wanting a man with a ”sense of humour’, it strikes me many are quite content to let a mans wallet overide that – there is very much a mercenary quality to it.

    Add into this mix, the constant emasculation (tv ads, etc) of men, the divorce rights of men and the defeminising effect of the laddette culture on women, and you have the right ingredients for massive male apathy – men just appeared to have just stopped bothering with females.

    I know that I, and many of my male friends (most are single) have stopped ‘trying’ to impress women – we are all quite content on our own – they range in age from 20’s through to 50’s, and all report similar experiences.

    Subsequently, it has made us into more mercenary characters ourselves – we get what we want from women and leave, not bothering with any emotional engagement – and ironically, in doing this, have become the very thing women do not want, and complain we have become. Telling us we are ‘manboys’ and immature. A self reinforcing circle.

    I can’t see a way out of it myself, but I suspect that men being inherently slighty lazy will use technology (created largely by men) to fill any emotional and sexual needs – currently, this might be online pornography, and chat rooms, but in the not so distant future, I see full body suit online immersion, not to mention robotics taking the place of many women in mens lives.

    • EmGee says:

      I see a little bit of both sexes at fault in your post, Rick. Most men are no longer taught that if they want a woman, they have to treat her like she is worthy of their attention. Since men are no longer even trying, I suppose that it may come as no surprise the majority of women are looking for ‘The One’ (left), ie, the One who is still trying. Many men think they are, but it is in the selfish pursuit of winning a prize, not capturing a woman’s heart and mind. That is a huge difference.

      It is unrealistic I think, for women to expect that they will ever find a Prince Charming who will fulfill their each and every need (if that was ever the case in reality). Part of being free and independent in modern times, is learning that you can’t expect someone else to meet every need, and make one feel fulfilled.

      So yes, unrealistic expectations on both sides.

      Women use all of the technology you mentioned to fulfill ‘needs’ too, it just isn’t socially acceptable to be open about it. I am not sure why men always bring up the idea of a future where every guy’s man cave will have an orgasmatron or fembot as if that will somehow make us jealous and more willing, because frankly, if that is your fantasy we aren’t going to be that into you, right here, right now.

      See where I am going with this? People who have ‘given up’ (men) or are ‘princesses’ (women) both have unrealistic expectations, but don’t seem to see that the change has to come from the inside, because the rest of the world is not going to do it for you.

      • nick says:

        of course i would say its partially enconmic too – dating put on the back burner while more immediate things are taken care of.

        also i know of a couple of guys who want to live life, and have taken the decision to save money while they work in the west, to take off around the world, taking english teaching jobs as their funds decline.
        its the thinking of, “seeing the world you could be dead tomorow”, and is a life of 25yrs of mortgage payments – really a life lived??
        somthing that certainly gives me food for thought……and some envy too.

  • giving up says:

    oh look I agree. And I have decided to save myself any future bother of being dumped by simply giving up on the search for a man. I am 43, just a month off being 44, and i think why the fuck even bother. At least I wont get heartache, that gut wrenching agony of being dumped for some younger girl down the track.
    I havent had much luck with men, mainly going for unsuitable ones and *at my age* i dont see it improving. So why bother. Just focus on other areas of my life. I wish though i could get rid of that almost primal feeling of hope, that i will meet someone. I wish my practical objective mind could override that, and just accept i am not going to find someone.

    Anyway as of yesterday I decided to not bother with men on any romantic or sexual level for a year. I can be friends with men but thats all. I guess its celibacy, but really its more an emotional thing, just not wanting to fall for anyone or chase anyone, or want anyone. For one year. I think it will be permanent, but one year to start with. What do you all think?

    • EmGee says:

      I think it’s a great thing, if only to condition yourself to see men as fellow human beings, not potential mates. If it causes you to lie aside that checklist, you may find by the end of the year that that list of things you thought you wanted was pure fiction.

      • giving up says:

        i dont even have a checklist on men, all i was ever after was a nice man who treated me well

      • P….I’m not giving up, I’ve done 18 months – out of choice – away from dating madness. I still think every pot has a lid!

        Simon, Nick, Scott. Are any of you free for a coffee/drink sometime? 😉

      • The Plankton says:

        Don’t give up LBB! Pxx

      • EmGee says:

        @ giving up: no checklist, really? So you don’t mind if he’s overweight, has no job, is 70 something, is in fit condition, has a reliable car, wouldn’t embarrass you in front of friends or family, and/or supports 3 ex-wives and 6 kids*, as long as he is nice and treats you well?

        *everyone’s ‘list’ is different, I just used these common examples to make a point; ie, everyone has a list, don’t kid yourself that you are exceptional.

      • giving up says:

        emgee what i mean when i say no checklist is that I know lots of women have really unreasonable checklists, certain height, certain type of job, certain certain certain. I am realistic.and i dont have one of those types of checklist. So ofcourse i have a checklist, but a realistic one

      • nick says:

        ah the dreaded checklist……have some standards of course, but dont wish for a deluded ideal, thats what’ll get you into real dispair.
        littlebrownbird if you live in the uk, it’d be a pleasure to have a coffee with you – i’ll pay, and i’ll even be a gent and not eat the last digestive.

      • Nick…I’m London based….I love digestives…..

      • nick says:

        ok no worries littlebrownbird, will email you at your address as listed..keep a look-see.

    • Can't Remember says:

      It’s what I’ve been doing for well over a year now. I don’t miss it. Not any of it. You do what is right for you. Nobody else has any right telling you how to live your life.

  • giving up says:

    another completely unrelated point here but something i have observed. I run a business in the “mommy/ homewares/ wall decor” industry as an artist/ designer and each day i am becoming more aware of how incredibly materialistic women are becoming. The expectations of women are huge. I read a lot of mommy blogs as part of my work, i see changes in the retail industry, magazine industry, all catering towards women “having more/ creating more” So they are after men with money so they can have that lifestyle.
    And then all of a sudden i am struck the the thought of their husbands, working their asses off to support their materialistic perfect designer lifestyles. Men who are supporting these womens little micro businesses so that they can be at home with their kids and be busy busy busy

    When i see all this i think no wonder so many men are just choosing to be single, enjoy their money on their own, live a great lifestyle, i mean who wants all that pressure from these materialistic women?

    • EmGee says:

      I couldn’t agree more with Rosie. And another point I would like to add, is that often the traits we don’t like in others around us, is manifested in ourselves as well.

      I think the irony in your statement, ” no wonder so many men are just choosing to be single, enjoy their money on their own, etc…”, is that so many men are conditioned to be attracted to a certain type of woman (spoiled, high maintenance, trophy “Posh Spice” types), they get burned time and time again, without examining *why* this is. The same applies to women, and is pretty much what I was saying in my post above.

      • giving up says:

        exactly! And so many of these men are pussy whipped and bossed around by these women, oh i feel so sorry for them

  • rosie says:

    Giving Up, the designer/mummy/interior decorating demographic is a very narrow one. There’s a whole swathe of women out there who aren’t remotely interested in sitting on their butts all day and letting a man take care of them. And mummy blogs make me want to hurl.

    • giving up says:

      lol makes me want to throw up too. Its actually really really rampant worldwide, sorry to say , ive been observing it for about 4 years and its booming. Its a new generation of women who realise that in order to have what they want they need to marry. Then they open these mommy businesses (which are actually financially supported by the husbands) and they go around pretending they are business owners and busy busy busy, wanting thanks and recognition for “doing it all” mommy/ career/ husband …. it makes me want to hurl, its so fake

  • rosie says:

    ps, I wish I could advise you on the best way to go cold turkey but I’ve given up too!

  • nick says:

    i agree, magazines and lifestyle shows tell women they need all the baby gear, a nanny, then an exotic holiday, new car and large house. even if thats not realistic, its an aspiration to live by.
    i’ve seen married men desperate to leave thier hated jobs, but with 2 kids and a first wife to support its not an option, and heck they dont even see the kids grow up anyways, as the boss says he wants them to work saturdays and late weekedays…….

  • Elle says:

    giving up, you sound angry even though outwardly you’ve stopped looking for somebody. I know the feeling because I’ve given up on the mainstream committed relationship myth myself. There are alternatives to be had, but you have to wrestle with your conditioning and beliefs. You have to adapt to your circumstances. Sod the begrudgers and grab every chance of happiness you can find. It doesn’t have to last for all eternity, it doesn’t even have to last until next week, but grab every chance of happiness you can, no matter how fleeting. Why should you live according to a set of rigid rules which hasn’t benefitted you up until now? Take a look around you – who else is living according to those rules? I’d wager that most of them are idealistic young people and frustrated middle-aged single women.

    Those materialistic mommies are spending money because something is lacking in their lives. Their husbands or partners aren’t fully engaged with them – they’re probably having affairs. You can take comfort in that next time you try to fulfil their ridiculous demands. Smile sweetly, do whatever they ask and line your pockets while you’re doing it. Since time immemorial the wives of wealthy men have reacted to infidelity by spending more of their husbands money. It’s a tacit agreement, often unspoken – the husband gets to have fun wherever he wants and the wife gets to spend whatever money she wants. Otherwise why would a man bust his gut 24 hours a day to make money for somebody else to spend?

    • giving up says:

      I am not angry, just being objective and practical, I am not going to meet a suitable man, not now, so i am just not trying anymore

  • rosie says:

    I’ve given up because I’m sick of rejection, the mindless game playing, the apparent inability of the men I meet (or used to meet) to resist temptation when something younger and hotter hoves into view, the brutality of internet dating, the fact that I can’t/won’t throw myself at any man who comes along, available or unavailable, even if he were to come along, which he doesn’t. I could go on!

    But I don’t find it liberating – it’s not something I’ve chosen – just deeply depressing.

    Giving Up, I’m 49, (very) soon to be 50.

    • giving up says:

      the main reason for me is the mindless mindgames mind f$$$ and general game playing. That would some up the last guy that I was involved with for about 5 years. And then in February he just took off over the other side of the country, and didnt say goodbye. We are still in contact, i mean even today, but just in the last week, i just thought you know, i dont have the energy for figuring someone out anymore. especially a 41 yr old divorcee.

      I have energy, but not for that. Internet dating- wellll i have an account, but i just find that men even if they themselves are over 40 arent really interested in women their same age, I noticed a distinct downturn in interest from when i was say 38, to when i was 42

      I guess at the moment i just feel relieved to have made the decision, as its only been a few days that i have decided to completely give up. Maybe the depression will come later. Oh i look forward to that haha

    • well Rosie, if you give up, you may find that you get exactly what you expect…. NOTHING !!! : (

      I still maintain hopes that I’ll touch a woman’s body again sometime, and preferably soon, although I know my chances don’t look too good these days… The last time that I touched a woman, I was 37, I’ll be 41 in 2 weeks….

  • rosie says:

    Elle, it’s horses for courses. I think what you’re advocating (if it’s sharing a man with other women) would drive most people, me included, to a nervous breakdown. I can’t really see how that’s anything other than a great leap backwards for equality.

    • Elle says:

      If people are honest, open and safe about it I don’t see the problem. You’re going to be sharing him either ways – unfortunately in most cases there’s very little honesty or fidelity after people outgrow the idealistic twenties. How many women do you know whose husbands or boyfriends have cheated on them? Women cheat too of course (there’s equality for your Rosie) but men’s opportunities to cheat increase as they get older.

      I think internet dating is a huge step backwards for equality. People are rated more brutally online than anywhere else. Having an online profile is like having a stamp on your forehead with your age on it. I think that people’s attitude towards dating has hardened thanks to internet dating. Women are judged more harshly on their age and looks. Men get away with more – they are always saying they’re judged on their income so luckily for them they don’t have “Sid, income £30,000” or “James, income £100,000” under their profile photos as an introduction. If they did they might understand how it feels for women to be judged on their age. Women see their age as their dating capital while men (mistakenly) see their income as their dating capital.

  • rosie says:

    I haven’t got a problem with it, it’s just not for me. If other people want to live their lives that way I really couldn’t give two hoots. I have known people who practise polyamory but from what I’ve seen, once being human kicks in and ‘honest, open and safe’, flies out the window, it all goes a bit pear shaped.

    But each to their own. If it works for you, then fine.

  • nick says:

    Hi I’m nick , I’m an aries, 45, GSOH, non-smoker, v.light drinker. Never been married, no kids, have my own teeth and hair, many interests etc. have no hang up on looks, age, or religion. Open minded and broad minded, looking for fun, friendship + maybe more. If I get a lot of replies I don’t mind sharing. Be my valentine. (No axe murderers).

    • Fi says:

      Never been married???? what’s wrong with you??? See you’re discounted already. 🙂

    • @ Nick- good luck !!!

      p’tonhood is turning out to be a lot less fun that I thought it would be….. this actually kind of sucks to be entirely honest….

      BTW- Nick, what gender are you? Seriously, “Nick” is one of those names like “Pat” or “Chris,” it could be a shortened version of any number of names, either male or female (such as “Nicholas” or “Nicole” for example)….

      • Scott…my real name is shortened to Nick too 😉 I like it…..

      • nick says:

        yes i’m male……sorry should have put that in…… the way my college lecturer did call me chris for 2 years for no reason whatsover…..if that helps….

      • @Littlebrownbird (female real name “Nick,” not the other Nick who seems to be a man)- Yes thank you, I am VERY free for coffee or a drink sometime- I actually don’t drink coffee at all (believe it or not, I’ve now consumed a total of zero (0) cups of coffee to date since I first entered into this world in 1972), but yes, I do have time on my hands these days, I do NOT have a girlfriend at the moment-

        However, I see that we’re approximately 3,500 miles apart, you seem to be based somewhere in the greater London area, and I presently live in the suburbs of New York City….

        Are you interested in a cross- Atlantic dessert & tea… …… and then we’ll see whatever else may or may not happen next?

      • Scott….we could have Skype tea :))

      • @ lbb- my computer is not actually configured for skype service- only one (1) woman who writes into Ms. Plankton’s site regularly seems to live in New York City, and from reading her posts, I can be reasonably certain that she has notably little interest in me…

      • Was i being my usual polite self? “my computer is not actually configured for skype service” Now that’s a brush off if ever I heard one 😉

      • @ llb- like I said, the last time I touched a woman’s body intimately was back in 2010- Occasionally that doesn’t bother me at all anymore, I just learn to live with it- other times, it’s painful….

      • maria says:

        Scott, TMI. Saying those things that you do, won’t help you find a nice woman, maybe a crazy one. But hey, if that’s your thing…

    • maria says:

      Nick, you seem like a very nice, decent man. If I weren’t too old for you (I’ll be 51 very soon) and didn’t live so far away (Portugal), I’d give it a go.

  • Fi says:

    i was listening to Graham Norton at the weekend and he was dealing with a reader problem on his usual slot, and it was a woman who was living with a man she wasn’t happy with but was too frightened to leave him in case she didn’t meet anyone else. Graham said he was “baffled” by that attitude as he had spent most of his adult life without a partner and just couldn’t comprehend why anyone would rather be with someone who made them unhappy than with nobody at all. I have to say I agree entirely with him and I’d go one step further and say I’m baffled as to why people’s happiness depends on having a partner in the first place. I can see the advantages of having someone to share intimacy with (and the disadvantages) but it’s not as though it’s a requirement like food, or money, or health, or a home. As far as I can see it’s a ‘nice to have’, like a holiday. i just can’t get my head around how the lack of one can make anyone this unhappy. Instead of sitting at home poring over photos on the internet why not just get out more, do something different and meet more people and have fun in the process? I mean life is short so why waste the best years you have left focussing on what you don’t have as lets face it you may never have it. Pretty depressing to spend the years you have left being unhappy about the situation really. and believe it or not there are loads of single men looking for women our age. and one or two of them are even attractive. I think men our age who have been through the mill a bit are much much nicer than they were when we younger (the ones who aren’t bitter that is) and well worth noticing. And the internet is rubbish because all you see is a picture when in reality i’ve never been attracted to someone’s facial features – it’s the totality of them including the way they walk and laugh that makes someone attractive – and you only see that if you meet them in real life.

    • T Lover says:

      Now Fiona you’ve overlooked a common male problem.

      If I have a girlfriend or a pal at home I get on with things. I don’t neglect the house, I even notice the dust. I sometimes wash up.

      On my own I turn into a slob.

      There are not many men who don’t get on better in life without a good woman and what’s more they say a happy relationship prolongs your life.

      Mind you they also say a dog is good for your health but to spread the odds why not have both?

      As I type I am beginning to wonder. It is a pain when the sex wanes – I mean with the girlfriend. And the nagging can be a problem to the extent it makes you want to cut your throat. And this problem that women have. Know everything. Never wrong.

      And another subject. You are a heightist. So what’s this talk about the whole package?

      And another. Why don’t you gals form a syndicate and share Scott. A win win situation.

      • T Lover – I offered to have Skype tea with Scott (as he’s based in NYC) but his computer is not configured for Skype *rolls eyes*

        I tried 😉

      • T Lover says:

        Well LBB, I think you lot, the ones who are prepared to share, ought to try a bit harder. Maybe he’s shy.

        BTW, I’m not sure which bit of Scott you would be thinking of sharing. He’s only an innocent boy. Wouldn’t want him to die of fright.

      • fi says:

        In the words of Phoebe comforting Mike’s ex-girlfriend when she found out she had been dumped and was wailing about not having a boyfriend: “FOR GOD’S SAKE WOMAN GET SOME SELF RESPECT”

      • T Lover says:

        Who is Mike?

      • Fi says:

        yes T lover – I do accept that men do much better with a woman around. i know plenty of single men who have let themselves go pretty badly. Not sure why they have yet others haven’t, but I do think women nurture men. Although again I’m baffled as to why some men stay with some women when they could easily escape and find someone nicer.

      • Well T, thanks for the promotion here !!! : )

        In the past when I’ve made this offer here, I’ve been kidding, and that should be obvious from the way I’ve worded it- however… …..

        Yes, seriously if any of you fellow planktonettes here do live anywhere wtihin the New York City area, Ms. Plankton does have my email address- as we all know, you have to type your email address when you sign up to post into any of the blogpages from any of the wordpress blogs- I was born in May of 1972, I’ll be 41 years old in 2 weeks, I’ve never been married and I presently have zero (0) children, at least as far as I know. I’m 5′ 10″ in height, I weigh 170 lbs, brown hair, very deep blue eyes and I’ll tell you absolutely ANYTHING else that you may possibly ever want to know about me if you write to me directly…

        And @ Ms. Plankton, on the off chance any of our fellow planktonettes who write into your blogsite here ever do choose to write to you directly and request my email address, yes, you do hereby officially have my permission to give my email address out to anyone who requests it from you…. …. (except for Mrs. T. Lover, she scares me….)

      • And I’ve got one heck of a collection of jellyfish costumes, too …

      • T Lover says:


        I, currently, am in your baffled category.

        I rather like being a slob.

        What’s more I hate with a real intensity the earache I get on a regular basis.

        EmGee told me I had to be sympathetic when the subject of her (my current shackle) late husband arrived with its accompaniment of tears. Fine. I understand. But did I have to go to London – 200 miles to her place – “to show I cared about her” on the anniversary of his death?

        Whilst she received text messages from her family commiserating about the happy years she had had with him?

        I must be ga ga. My boy says: Happy wife, happy life. The day I work out the secret will be the day the sun comes out. At my age will I ever learn?

        Anyway, I am free, free, free for a few days. Yes, yes, yes.

        Scott, if you get any offers you can’t handle send them to the Peak District.

      • fi says:

        T – re your current ‘shackle’ – I suggest you get rid. You aren’t married to her. You have no children. If the pain outweighs the pleasure then time to go in my opinion 🙂

      • T Lover says:


        It’s me not her.

        I will never find a woman to suit an old crabbitt.

        The impending move from a house up a hill (winter misery) to at least part time in the Borders (lots of nice people and things to do) will be the life changer not a live in woman.

        When you read some of the comments on this blog, the clap trap about equality and constant moaning about “men”, you can see in a flash why more and more people live on their own.

        Bring back the days when blokes could be blokes. The men only room in the pub. It’s was a mistake to force across the board equality. Why do women howl because they can’t join the men only club but you never hear anything about men wanting to join the Womens Institute? Answer? Men like to do mens things and are happier if they can.

        I agree with Chris in a way. He contrasts the attitude of British women with (for example) Asians. The blokes I know who have happy marriages are happily married get a bit of space from their wives to do blokes things.

        There is a silly book called “100 things to do in a Shed” which starts by explaining that every man should have a shed – a place to get away and do “things”.

        The law has skewed divorce in favour of women – is that why more women now petition than men? Why more men won’t take on a woman?

        Getting carried away. Sorry.

      • fi says:

        T – I think your problem is with individual women, not womankind as a whole. Don’t generalise as its just as incorrect as the postings here about men. Anyway according to some of the comments here no matter how many failings you have you should have grateful women begging you for a bit of attention, and you should be able to have several on the go at once.

      • fi says:

        Ps – I think instead of ‘equality’ being a mistake I think you meant ‘trying to make them the same’

      • T Lover says:


        I don’t want several women on the go at once, I want one.

        Having had two failed marriages I don’t want to fall into the wrong hands for a third time.

        I look at friends’ wives and wonder what on earth they see in them. The list of things I don’t want wouldn’t fit on a sheet of A4.

        Miss 80% fits most of my bill (herterectomy – no impending sunshine moments and mood swings. No children No embittered old man. How offensive and selfish is that? But honest.) except one thing that drives me mad – she gives me no space. One day I will be sitting on the loo and there she will be, telling me how to do it.

        I want to go fishing at the weekend. With my boy so we can have some quality time and/or with a pal. We can talk boys’ talk. Things you can’t say in front of her. All I get is why can’t I come? Can I have a go?

        One day you will read “T Lover arrested for murder”. My Secretary tells me that all relationships involve compromise, no-one is perfect (except me of course), but the conundrum is: At my time of life do I want to compromise?

        This equality thing. If a woman can now walk away knowing she can have the better of the financial consequences the incentive is to walk rather than in the old days to stick together and work things out. I know it works against women the other way round but the outcome today is that men like me don’t want to take the risk of marriage.

        Financially, marriage is only for the very rich armed with a good lawyer and a pre-nup and those who have nowt.

      • T Lover – I’m always wary of women that have to do everything with their partner. I’m quite happy (when i had an other half) to let him go off and do his thing and me, mine. Just sounds needy to me.

        Also, what is it with women that go clothes shopping with men and then ask their opinion on the said clothes?

        I can’t think of anything worse. The men invariably look in pain or bored but on the other hand you’d hope they had the grit to say no.

        just putting that out there…..

      • T Lover says:


        But what do you do when you like the other 80%?

        We had the mother and father of a row – which led to me walking out – because I would not go into Tesco with her. I sat in the car heels dug in.

        She happily goes off doing the things she does – like singing in the choir – then kicks off if I don’t give in when she wants to intrude into my space.

        Jeez, I hope she doesn’t read this.

        I am told how to drive the car. Her driving frightens me.

        Here I am going on about it again.

        Friends say: That’s women just let it roll over you, ignore it. But I have to tell her where to go and then the row starts.

        It just puts me off women full stop. They never kick off a relationship like this you only find out as time goes by…

      • You do what people of our parents’ generation do and bite your tongue and say “yes dear”.

        Seriously, if I ever found myself behaving like that I’d get help. just sounds utterly unreasonable. Tesco have a very good home delivery service 😉

        My ex used to complain about my driving (which is actually ok) so I let him drive all the time. i got to relax/sleep/read in the car.

        It’s no biggy. we’re human. We all want a quiet life. Compromise doesn’t have to be a dirty word.

        I was happy to let my ex go to golf, have time away with his friends and an on one occasion take a 5 trip to Sydney to watch England play cricket!

        I’m too nice and would be an excellent partner. Notice how no-one has snapped me up! 😉

      • fi says:

        T. Sounds horrific. Whenever people ask me why I’m on my own I think of all the examples I see around me of 2 miserable people together, each making compromises they don’t want to or biting their tongue or keeping out of the other one’s way. All because they don’t want to be on their own for some reason. Not sure why – I can do what I want, when I want to, with whoever I want to and come home and close the door when I’ve had enough of them. I eat what I want when I want, and spend my money on whatever I want (apart from when my kids need bailing out).

    • Fiona, I think Graham Norton is right but how many people have the strength to go it alone? I’m quite happy muddling along…my mother thinks I’m too independent and that it puts men off. i’m not so sure i agree with her but I kind of see her point.

      Lots of my friends roll form one relationship into another without a pause. Is that luck or fear of being alone?

      • Fi says:

        most of the single people i know – I’d say ALL but I’m prepared to accept that maybe some aren’t – are single through choice and know they could change that if they wanted to, but don’t want to as they haven’t met anyone they want to be with.

  • T Lover – that’s harsh…I should get brownie points for effort at least 😉

  • t lover – Mike was Phoebe’s boyfriend. The one she ends up marrying. He’s THE ONE.

  • Emgee says:

    T, your gf sounds hopelessly needy and co dependent, the clinginess goes beyond getting over the loss of her husband. Even if 80% is okay, that other 20% sounds like it make the whole relationship unbearable. It sounds like you yave fallen into the trap that is so often discussed here – wanting to be in a relationship so much that you will overlook some pretty terrible character defects, even though you promised yourself not to get into another failed relationship. And I am appalled that your friends say “all women are like that”, because we are not! Or may be they just don’t see the magnitude of your gf’s problem.

    My bf left for Maine on Friday, and geographically, that is as far frim so california as you can get. Add to that the logistical issue, that there is no internet, his cell phone doesn’t work, so he can call out on his hostess’s landline, but I can’t call him. He wilil be gone at least 6 weeks. I can’t imagine your gf coping with that, if she can’t cope with shopping while you wait in the car. Either she needs to get help, or you are going to have to just accept the clinging vine with grace, or you will be miserable until you can’t stand it. So sorry ro hear that it’s so difficult. My bf is 80/20, but that 20% is fairly benign: a little messy, forgetful, smokes a litlle too much weed, could shower a little oftener when he’s been laboring outdoors, can be moody, but none of those are of such magnitude that they cause strife or fights.

    I wish you luck, T.

    • T Lover says:


      I am going beyond the bounds of what is honourable to tell you more but here goes. I pray she never discovers this blog.

      5′ 7″ natural blonde. Sung on the radio. Acted on the TV. Acted on the radio. Pilot’s license. Far brighter than me. Makes all my friends laugh. Great entertainment.

      She just has this intrusive nature. It drives me out of my tree.

      I think the answer is not to get rid but to spend some time together, some time apart but we will see.

      How’s the painting going? Picked up a fish picture at a bargain price this week which has chuffed me.

      • EmGee says:

        People with outgoing natures are usually a lot of fun to be around. It’s funny, but you wouldn’t think someone like that would be so insecure, but on second thought, maybe so?

        The painting’s going well thanks for asking, and I sold 3 paintings in 3 days a few weeks ago – a record for me – and a blessing as the taxman hit me up hard about the same time.

        Glad you are delighted with your painting, nothing pleases me more as an artist, than to know someone enjoys the results my unique labor as much as I do.

  • @ Ms. Plankton- Are women writing to you requesting that you send them my email address yet?

    didn’t think so….

    • T Lover says:

      Excuse me, Sunbeam, but would you tell me exactly why you won’t have a Skype chat with LBB?

      Forgive me for being forthright but the excuse (computer not configured) rings hollow if you don’t mind me saying so.

      When you get an offer you don’t take it up. Why? Anyone who wears a jellyfish outfit can’t be lacking confidence. Must have tentacles.

      If you used Skype a halitosis concern could be avoided. Athlete’s foot – no problem.


      • At some point, I’ll purchase a USB interface webcam, then I’ll configure skype- it’s on my “to do” list for this upcoming summer….

      • T Lover says:

        No Scott, I’m not buying one bit of that excuse.

        One: a camera is an option. To speak you need a microphone (cheap as chips). To use sign language you need a camera. You need one or the other or both.

        Two:: one or both can be bought from the comfort of your home. If you haven’t got the dosh, send me your address and I’ll have both delivered.

        Three: to set up Skype? Fifteen minutes. A fraction of the time you spend on the ‘net. Be careful because some Skype options make a monkey out of other programmes eg unwanted changes to telephone numbers.

        Now my son, tell us why you won’t speak to LBB? Nice teeth. Nice smile. Nice manner judging by her comments. So, come clean. What is the reason you won’t speak to her?

  • T Lover says:

    Has the Head Blogger lost interest in this blog?

    Looks like it to me.

  • Elle says:

    T Lover, Plankton has been quieter of late. Perhaps she is taking time to herself and allowing herself some well deserved chill time.

    I’m sorry that your girlfriend doesn’t seem to allow you chill time, from what you say she seems to be lovely in every other way. How long have you been together? Perhaps she’s a little insecure and afraid that someone else might snap you up or you might cheat on her. I’m sure these are all totally unfounded suspicions but as you know from this blog it’s hard for us women as we get older. No matter how attractive a woman is most of us feel that we are somehow lacking as we get older. The media doesn’t help, nor does men’s ability to pull ever more eligible women as they get older

    Women show their insecurity in different ways. Some are clingy, like your girlfriend. Some will date the worst dross and accept the worst treatment just to be “in a relationship”. Others strut around with an outward attitude of “I’m happy to be on my own and I don’t need anyone”. Inside they may feel totally different but they’ll never let on. Unfortunately this feeling eats away at them from the inside even if they don’t acknowledge it. Some women are genuinely happy single or coupled but I think these women are in the minority.

    Women can get more competitive and bitchy as they get older. They are less supportive of each other and less tolerant of coupled women who don’t appear to be pulling their weight in the relationship. From my observation the sisterhood comes to an abrupt end at 30, after that it’s every women for herself. The claws really come out at 40! These women are all too quick to advise a man to leave a woman who may not appear perfect or to to leave a women during a bad patch in the relationship. Such a man will be snapped up pronto, often by one of the very women who advised him to leave the supposedly errant girlfriend. The discarded girlfriend will not find somebody so quickly.

    Have you demonstrated any commitment to your girlfriend? You may not wish to marry again but if you are committed to her she needs to know. She also needs to know that you want space to yourself from time to time. Good luck, I hope you resolve things and she allows you more breathing space in future.

    • T Lover says:

      Elle, thank you, thank you for adding your thoughts.

      I would have to plead “guilty” to a bit of provocation (or as Fi has it in her riposte to Chris a bit of stirring) because I want to see the blog continue. Recently it has shown signs of withering.

      But the core complaint is right enough.

      I had a text imperative this morning. She is on the way back. Swords attached to the chariot wheels no doubt.

      Never mind, it’s a lovely day and the neighbours are back. Two pairs of swallows zooming in and out of the building this morning. Pairs still missing from the other building though. Hope they are safe. No text message from the absentees unfortunately.

    • The Plankton says:

      I’m sorry I’ve been so quiet of late. I think I said so much over so many months, I kind of lost my voice for a while. I will post again, for sure. pxx

  • Fi says:

    ” The claws really come out at 40! These women are all too quick to advise a man to leave a woman who may not appear perfect or to to leave a women during a bad patch in the relationship.” and Others strut around with an outward attitude of “I’m happy to be on my own and I don’t need anyone”. Inside they may feel totally different but they’ll never let on. Unfortunately this feeling eats away at them from the inside even if they don’t acknowledge it.”

    Elle – I guess that’s directed at me. 😦
    well guess what, I never said I wouldn’t ever get involved with a man, just that he has to be the right one. i genuinely do love my life on my own because I have loads of friends to do things with, male friends to spend time with when I want to, and contrary to what you say I do get lots of interest from men even though I am an old hag. Why that is I don’t know but I think it is probably because I am out and about a lot and am sociable so meet a lot of them, and I give off the vibe that while I like them I’m not interested in anything more. To be honest I think all I’ve got going for me is that I’m in ok shape and look (apparently) younger than I am, I’m friendly and don’t want anything from the men I meet so they aren’t wary of me. I’ve also had my kids that are now grown up and I’ve spent 20 years being there for them, so for me getting out and about and picking up a social life after 20 years is fabulous. But you are right – the claws do come out. It really is incomprehensible to some women that anybody like me (and there are lots of us) don’t sit at home weeping into our hankies because we haven’t got a boyfriend and that we manage somehow to enjoy our lives. Horses for courses and all that but please don’t think you represent all women and if they say otherwise they must be lying. To be honest the only reason I post my position on this bloke is because I can’t bear the thought of men reading it and thinking all middle aged single women are so embarassingly desperate for a man and depressed without one. I actually feel humiliated by the impression they are getting.

    • Chris says:

      Methinks the lady doth protest to much…or maybe not. What would I know……I’m only a man !!

      • Fi says:

        You’re just trying to stir it
        You probably like the idea of women fighting over you and want to believe it too 🙂

    • maria says:

      Spot on.

      • maria says:

        For god’s sake, not this sh*t again. I agree with Fi: we are not all desperate and willing to kill ourselves because we don’t have a man. Why is this so difficult to understand? People are different and not all single middle aged women are alike, geez.

  • Elle says:

    Fi, nothing is directed at anyone except for the advice I gave Chris 🙂

  • rosie says:

    Elle, very true about some women getting bitchy and competitive, sadly. I put up for far too long with a friend who thought it acceptable to take out her misery on me.

    Also the bit about putting on a brave face. I know it’s the Daily Mail but I agree with every word of this:–single-women-say-happy-lying.html

    • Chris says:

      Like there are men available, but they are deemed not good enough. Now, here is the thing. There are never going to be enough ‘quality’ men to go round. So what is a girl to do? Here’s the thing. Quality men get to pick and choose. If they don’t choose you then, guess what, you will have been judged by quality men not to be good enough. So then you should move on to the Betas. But you girls do not want to do that…….and then something worse happens… find that some foreign women less fortunate than you regard the men you scorn as Betas as actually being quality men…..ouch !!……that is the trouble with a globalised world….the sands are always shifting. Course you could always go for the default option…….the foreign guy ( Turkey, the Gambia etc.) Good luck with that one, know a few ladies who went down that route. Now I’ll get shot down in flames….but as you know by now I don’t care.

      • Steve says:

        Ah, the old chestnut, Chris; “quality men get to pick and choose”. Sorry to rain on everyone’s parade, but this is simply not true. In fact, this plankton lark is just as hard for men as it is for women.
        I know that it might not seem that way because the correspondents on this blog are primarily women, but, sadly it is true.
        Believe me, I’d be thrilled if it wasn’t…..

      • nick says:

        i can only comment on what i’ve seen and men over 45 do perhaps have more choices than women of the same age, if you look at the foreign women dating agencies. many are scams obviously but i’m talking about the smaller reputable ones. men going down this route know they are conisidered an attractive option, so that doesnt mean they have to live a solitary life if they dont want to. – i think women do have it harder, as the same options are not available easily.

  • malcolm says:

    Ladies, please, can’t we all just get along? You are all lovely – claws and all.

    On a side note, while browsing through the interwebs I discovered that there’s a group of men who call themselves “Pick up artists” or PUA’s as the acronym would have it. I guffawed out loud when I saw the photograph of a man wearing mascara dressed up as what appeared to be some sort of stripped down medieval clown with a floppy faux fur hat. Apparently they go out in society and cut through swathes of women. I wonder if they tumble out of clown cars in front of the night clubs they frequent. Some of these fellows are as old as myself and are surrounded by bevvies of nubile young beauties..

    Anyhow, this has resulted in my rethinking my rather apathetic stance on romance and relationships. One of the reasons why I shy away from contact with the fairer sex is that I openly acknowledge that I’m not prepared to do the work it requires to attract a woman and hold her attention, it would probably upset the delicate (yet happy) balance I have achieved in my life. My dating has become less and less frequent and never initiated by myself any more. It’s a state of affairs that I’m not upset with.

    However, now that all I have to do is trot down to the haberdasher, get measured for a big floppy hat and a set of clothing that would be worthy of a high school opera production, hang around night clubs – standing out like a turd in a punch bowl – and have women flock to me for quick and meaningless sexual dalliances, it seems that I might have to rethink my position on my quiet social life.

    Although I did hear that there’s a new strain of gonorrhea for which a cure hasn’t been found yet, and that wouldn’t be fun.

    • EmGee says:

      😀 Thanks for starting my day with a huge laugh, Malcolm. Don’t forget to pick up some ‘protection’ when you get the mascara, on your way to the haberdashery. If you are really serious, a pair of knee high silk stockings with pearl handled garters would truly complete your ensemble.

  • rosie says:

    Malcolm, women used to throw themselves at New Romantics in full warpaint, so if you get yourself a pair of spats, a frilly shirt, some oversized knickerbockers and a Flock of Seagulls barnet to go with the mascara you’ll leave the other fellas standing down the nightclub.

  • Ms. Plankton, we need a new post from you, people are starting to argue here- And we’re all on the same side….. ….

    At least, I think we are…. …..

  • nick says:

    Census data released a year ago says 31 million households in 2010 consisted of just one person, 4 million more than 2000. According to the new data, singles make up 27% of U.S. households; in several large cities, including New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., it’s more than 40%.

    For the first time ever, Census found, less than half of all U.S. homes — 48% — were husband-wife households.

  • rosie says:

    Chris, I think you’re deluding yourself. Foreign women don’t regard men who can’t get a woman in their home country as ‘quality’. For most of them they’re nothing more than a one-way ticket out of their own miserable situation. The reason so many attractive, intelligent, discerning women of your own nationality are on their own is because they will never go for the ‘betas’. Why in a million years would they?

    If you ditched the attitude problem and dragged yourself into the 21st century, or at least pretended to, you might find those same women start to view even *you* as a potential mate. Go on, surprise yourself.

    • Chris says:

      Rosie…….well, I knew what I’d get and I just don’t care. So, here is the ellipted point you are missing. ,Many of the women who refuse to accept Beta males are Beta females…….but they tacitly refuse to recognise this rather salient point. What foreign women think….you have your opinion, I have mine…..I base my experience on having had relations with a few foreign ladies….all of whom I met in UK. I am in the 21st century but many in the UK are not…..because the stark facts of the 21st century is that the west is sinking, mired in debt, and the east is rising. With the rise of the east and other countries like Brazil there is also a concomitant rise in the prevalence of their attitudes. Believe me, ladies from these countries have a very different attitude toward men. They respect men, enjoy respecting men and revere the notion of motherhood. This is not because they are impoverished and downtrodden,. but because they have consciously rejected the western feminist model which they see leaves a litany of misery and broken relationships. What you think of all this does not matter. As long as a man like me can forge a happy life why would I care?

      • RS says:

        I’m so sick of men trotting out the whole “alpha” and “beta” term thing. Labelling is bad. You realize the only ones who buy into that are the men’s rights brigade? The guys who can’t relate to women as fellow human beings but see them as some sort of alien species/sex vending machines? The guys who think they are entitled to be with a hot young thing because they happen to posses male genitalia but somehow that isn’t working out for them and they blame women liking “bad boys” and “alphas” as opposed to admitting that they themselves, because of their narrowly-defined ideas of the type of women they deem desireable, are part of the problem? The same guys who moan about being “friend zoned” because, god, women aren’t for having friendships with, they’re for having sex with and for impressing your friends with.

        Surely after reading only a few posts on this blog you should understand that not all women have the desire to be with some overly-macho type who isn’t going to provide them with kindness and kinship and laughter.

    • malcolm says:

      “The reason so many attractive, intelligent, discerning women of your own nationality are on their own is because they will never go for the ‘betas’.”

      Ugh, if I had a nickel for every woman I’ve been (pretty much) talked into going on a date with who was described as “attractive”, “vibrant”, “intelligent” etc. etc. only to have encountered a rather ordinary woman, I’d be about a quarter richer.

      I think a lot of women have a tendency to set the bar pretty low for themselves and other women, and get upset when men don’t buy into the same set of standards. I’m beginning to believe that falsely inflating one own’s worth can be a harmful practice.

      • Fi says:

        this is true and it works both ways. I think it’s because men value qualities in other men that women don’t, and vice versa, which is why each sex genuinely doesn’t understand why their friends aren’t snapped up.

      • EmGee says:

        Very astute observation, Fi. At least imo.

      • Fi says:

        EmGee – thankyou 😉

      • malcolm says:

        I believe you are spot on Fi. The one crucial difference is that men learn very early on in life (by nature of being the one who has to ask and face rejection) that they aren’t worth a whole lot, whereas women come to this realization in their 40’s.

        Plankton are the female version of the dreaded “nice guys”.

      • EmGee says:

        C’mon Malcolm. Women face rejection throughout our lives as much as men do. Just because we don’t traditionally do the initiating, it’s just as painful to wait for the call that never comes, the date that doesn’t show up, or being ‘stared through’ as if you don’t exist, etc, as it is to ask someone out and get turned down.

        We’re also known as the ‘rather ordinary’ women you spoke of.

      • Fi says:

        i do think though that most men are looking for someone they find attractive, that they like, that looks after them and are nice to them. So honestly i think that provided a woman stays slim, and is nice and kind (as opposed to bitter) she will still attract men her age. I also think men (at least all the ones I know) have a pretty realistic understanding of where they fit into the world (unlike women) and they accept that women age. To be perfectly honest i think they are lot more tolerant of women than women are of men – they accept the ageing process and have a broader range of what they find attractive in women. I have never met a man than requires a younger woman although that’s not to say they don’t go with younger women – they do if younger women offer themselves, but i haven’t ever come across a man who turns older women down because of their age. It’s usually because of how they look or their attitude, not their age.

      • Fi says:

        EmGee – I don’t know. I think it is different for men because they have to do the chasing. Women have to signal their availability or interest but men traditionally do the chasing and asking and i can see that eventually if there are enough rejections you just stop doing it. Have you ever read that book by Norah Vincent – “Self made man:one woman’s year disguised as a man”? Brilliant book by a woman who lived as a man and comments on it.

      • EmGee says:

        Fi, that is assuming one is even being noticed and approached. I am talking about 2 different kinds of rejection, one very obvious, the other more indeterminate.
        For men, they approach, and are either rebuffed or accepted.

        A woman who isn’t approached, never knows whether her signals are being read or not, but can only assume they are, and if her object is indifferent, I think that is just as good of an example of rejection.

        Like the man that gives up chasing, perhaps the woman who ‘lets herself go’ has given up on putting out those signals?

        Like the difference between suffering a blow to the head or having a stroke, both can be fatal, but one is quite obvious, the other, being an internal injury, may not be so obvious.

      • fi says:

        Hmmmmm. I think you’re right. Both in your points re rejection of women and in letting oneself go. Women do get rejected but maybe not as visibly. Helena Rubenstein said there was no such thing as an unnattractive woman (or was it a plain one?) only a lazy one, and I think it is true that with make up, diet, clothes etc any woman can make herself look good. I think though there are some women who have given up (probably for the reasons you’ve outlined) or haven’t learnt those skills.

  • rosie says:

    Well you seem to know everything about how the rest of the world and everyone in it thinks so I guess there’s no arguing with that. I’m glad you’re happy, just that you sound so sour and disappointed.

    • *blows whistle* *calls time on this thread* *group hugs*

    • Chris says:

      Lets be honest, most members of both sexes are betas. When a beta suffers a disconnect and thinks it is an alpha you have what I would term a relational disfunction/disconnect. In other words people who perceive themselves as more attractive than they are will always be left wondering why they are alone. Our world of synthetically constructed self esteem does not help.

  • James B says:

    What do we mean when we talk about “Alphas” and “Betas” by the way? Clearly a super-attractive, super rich, highly intelligent over-achieving world-renowned interesting superstar leader is an alpha. But isn’t it a whole lot more complicated and graduated than that for most people anyway? It also seems that confidence makes a person more attractive while simultaneously endangering their chances of finding a suitable partner as their self-esteem starts to become arrogant, unrealistic self-regard.

    In general though, when I look at my single friends (mainly women), I see a bunch of highly attractive people who would undoubtedly benefit from a touch more confidence and a more positive (maybe unrealistically positive) outlook. Any success I have had in my own life would appear, in hindsight to have been due to my own over-confidence and delusional self-belief plus a bunch of naive enthusiasm. Looking back I don’t know what I was thinking. This goes for any achievements in both my business and personal life. Still, trying hard and being genuinely enthusiastic, taking care in one’s appearance and health plus being interested in other people is something we could all benefit from practising.

    • zoe says:

      “..isn’t it a whole lot more complicated and graduated than that..?” Er…yes…Chris, not for the first time, is talking through his bottom.

      • Chris says:

        Thanks for that charming aside Zoe. Never mind, I have grown accustomed to the somewhat less than erudite comments from this doubtless Alpha group of people.

        Most people are Betas. That is a fact beyond doubt. Do you seriously think that some reasonably nice looking geezer with his own detached house in the suburbs and a moderately successful career is an alpha, or some passingly pretty woman with the same ? Nah, to me you have to be in the top 10% to be an alpha…..anybody else is deluding themselves. I have been to parties where real alphas attended……had the sense to realise pretty quickly I was out of my depth. Trouble is these days people try to lower the bar so that they can get included in their desired category……then they tell me I am talking out of my bottom…..classy !!

      • zoe says:

        🙂 I know you can take the brickbats

      • Muriel says:

        It’s a fact that most people are “betas”? Where do you get that fact from? It just isn’t that simple. We all have our weaknesses, our insecurities, our shit to deal with for better or worse. And some of the most “alpha” as you would have them, deal with theirs the worst. Eg Marilyn Monroe. It’s a superficial way of judging others by outward appearances. If you think success in love equals “getting” someone with these characteristics, then that is truly shallow, and your “relationship” will be equally shallow.

      • Fi says:

        Muriel. i think you’re right. Life is a lot more complex than silly stuff about alphas and betas, which is a rather simplistic way that the PUA and Game sites advocate looking at the world. if it were that simple then these sites wouldn’t be full of unsuccessful men advising other unsuccessful men on how to be attractive to women. Well that’s not strictly true, i can see the tricks working in the short term with not very bright younger women.

      • Chris says:

        Yer right Zoe, I love a good knockabout debate. I’m a Zeta meself !!

  • littlebrownbird says:

    *bangs gavel* Now now…..let’s be kind to each other *pseudo alpha face*

  • James B says:

    I think that the impact of dating shows and the hijacking of the evolutionary biology movement by followers of the PUA “Game” movement combined with the reductionist approach of Internet dating sites has made things intolerable out there for many people.

    I spend a lot of time with said alphas. Narcissistic poseurs with physical beauty, money, more than a touch of charisma and the whiff of power and independence of action. They are intimidating but ultimately rarely happy, as they feel a strong sense of entitlement combined with a fear of losing their power and beauty.

    It is intoxicating but these people rarely have good long term relationships as they tend to attract each other. Good luck in that! No-one has anything. What we all want really is a best friend that we can trust, share things with, laugh with and have some damn good sex with. Alphas? Betas? That’s just a new class system. It makes me angry.

    • Fi says:

      This is what they believe in summary-
      All women want alphas, and therefore all men have to be or pretend to be alphas. For ever, as a woman ail leave a man should an alpha appear – it’s called ‘hypergamy’ – as they are ruled by their ‘hindbrain’. in order to be an alpha a man has to not reveal any personal vulnerability and keep putting the woman down as otherwise she will ‘shit-test’ him. if a man ever fails the ‘shit-test’ she will realise he is a beta and leave him. It is best to not allow the woman to work outside the home (in case she realises there are other options), have any friends (in case they encourage her to leave him, or select a woman who has had any previous lovers (in case she compares you negatively). It sounds as though Chris has been reading those sites.

      • Chris says:

        Yer know, I might read those sites…..if I could actually read !! As for being a Daily Mail reader, which someone somewhere on here has said I am, yer right. The girlfriend likes it so we get it. I love it it, it is kinda like a comic for grown ups. Hilarious, but I don’t believe a word in it. Mind you, they do provide employment for that super plankton Liz Jones and Rachel Johnson did name check ol’ Planky, giving this blog a mini-boost. As to all that Alpha/Beta tosh, I think I’m a happy little Zeta meself.Don’t know about you but I have always found those rather pompous alpha males rather amusing with all that ‘stuff’ they go in for.

      • Fi says:

        Liz Jones SuperPlankton. Spot On. 😀

  • malcolm says:

    Alphas? Betas? Anyone who thinks in those terms is putting way too much thought into it. What about us poor Epsilons, where do we stand?

  • rosie says:

    Chris is basically a Daily Mail rant come to life: generalise wildly, veer ridiculously off the point, back up your ‘facts’ with absolutely no evidence whatsoever and hoodwink not very bright people into thinking you have anything of any importance to say.

    • Chris says:

      You know, was in the newsagent today and perchanced to glance at the cover of ‘The Lady’ ( a million miles from the ol’ Daily Whale )…….and there it was……how some charming lady found love at 64. So cheer up and never give up…..plankton today, in love tomorrow…..who knows?

  • James B says:

    I have to say, that having not commented on this site for quite a while, that I do enjoy the spirited debate here. However, although we will often disagree with each other, let’s try and argue and criticise the ideas being put forward themselves rather than the personalities of the people here. I think it would be a pity (particularly now Ms P is in happy hiding) if such an intelligent forum fell away because of the disagreements becoming personal.

  • maria says:

    I’m f*cked! I think I’m an Omega.

  • Jennie says:

    James – AGREED! Spirited debate brilliant, ridiculous name-calling and insults just distracting and childish. Not worthy of this blog, let’s cut it out.

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