Warning: This is a very miserable post.
Last night, I had a trawl through the dating site and realised my options are totally depressing. I'd never claim to be any great catch myself, but really. At 35 I'm left with the dregs. A lot of this I bring on myself, I admit. I don't like children, I don't want a man who's been married before (I've tried it, and I needed a 60,000-tonne cruise ship to carry all his baggage), and I'm a smoker. I don't care about jobs, cars and houses, and a lot of men don't believe that. The number of men on there who think women are obliged to do things for them - everything from having sex with them (see previous post) to shaving their legs - is disgusting. I think men are obliged to not be total pricks to me, but it's never made any difference so far.
I rewrote my profile a bit, because I'm tired of being nice to them. I don't want to hear from men with no photos, because that usually means they're in a relationship of some kind, so I wrote no photo, no reply, and if they messaged me without a photo I'd assume they had reading comprehension problems and still not reply. The messages keep coming. They're special, you see. My requirements don't matter to them, and if they can't even respect my wishes on one, small thing like that why would they respect me at all?
My heart has been broken so many times, and it was only being held together by hope. Last night I cried, because the hope is gone now. I'm stone inside. I've always tried to avoid being bitter, but here I am. I'm bitter because all the good men are gone, to non-smoking women who want babies. Women who are prettier and funnier and kinder and nicer than me. Or they've settled. It's not perfect, but they're happy enough. Good luck to them. I always say I won't settle, but then I realised it's never been an issue because nobody's ever wanted to settle with me anyway. I'm the also-ran, the temporary ego boost, the stop-gap until someone better comes along. I know it's me. I'm the common denominator, but I have no idea what's wrong with me so I can't fix it. I've tried being aloof, I've tried being enthusiastic. I've tried making the first move a few times, and most men are nowhere near as comfortable with that as they like to think. None of it works. I can't give anyone what they want. I'm the dregs they're left with, and that really hurts, because I think I had a lot to offer the right man before I froze and cracked. "You're a really nice girl, but..." will be inscribed on my tombstone.
Freedom comes at a price, and the price is loneliness. I have the most amazing friends and I love and cherish them all. I'm still capable of love, and that's something. But I won't waste any more of it.