I am a 37-year-old, Near-Eastern woman. I don’t have a spouse. My problem is that I have not found an emotionally and intellectually satisfying devoted man.
enjoy discovering my body. I explore erotic postures and I masturbate on a relatively regular basis. I don’t feel that sex with a stranger or cyber sex with an unknown man satisfies me. Do I have a sexless life? Is this awful?
My question simply is, what do you think of the life of a person who has lived single most of her life?
Mary replies: I don’t judge people on whether they have led a single, married or religious life. I judge them on what type of person they are and I certainly don’t think any less of a person who lives a single life. That is their choice and it is far preferable to living with someone with whom they are not happy, just for the sake of being in a relationship. Obviously you have tried different relationships and found them lacking, which is why you are now alone.
There are pros and cons to being in a relationship because it involves compromise, and some people find that difficult. It also means that one cannot be too self-centred because you have to be considerate of others and their wishes. But being able to share highs and lows in life must surely be considered a blessing.
One word of caution. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find someone who will tick all the boxes for what you need in a man. If you get 75pc of what you are looking for, then you will be lucky. Nobody is perfect, and this is where the compromise comes in, and if you are prepared to overlook some faults that are not so important because some of the good points are so very good, then you may well find a suitable partner.
You are concerned about the lack of sex with another person in your life. You enjoy a sexual life alone and wonder if this is bad. You find the prospect of sex without an emotional attachment unappealing — and there are many who would agree with you. This is because having sex with a stranger, either in person or virtually, is totally without an emotional component. Some people get around this by having ‘Friends with Benefits’, where people who are basically friends with one another have a recurring sexual life. But the commitment is not as it would be in an exclusive arrangement and the emphasis is on friendship rather than romantic love. This naturally has disadvantages — one person may move on to a more committed relationship, or one finds themselves falling in love, which is not reciprocated.
I hope that you have some friends in this country. It can be very lonely for non-nationals, wherever they live, particularly at holiday times such as we have just had. If you don’t have friends, then you should consider joining one of the Meetup groups which are online, but then meet up in person. I realise that with Covid restrictions this is more difficult, but you could at least find a group that appeals to you, whether it is music, walking or dancing, and then be ready when meetings in person resume.
It doesn’t matter what I — or anybody else — think about your life. If you feel happy with yourself, there is no need to change things. The type of person that you are is far more important than whether you are single or not. Ask yourself how your friends would describe you, and if you are satisfied with the answer, then you are doing really well.
A happy and healthy New Year to all my readers. I hope 2022 is kind to you.
You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at [email protected] or write c/o 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.