I don’t want to be the ‘lonely spinster friend’

Our agony aunt Mary Fenwick offers a new perspective on your challenges and problems


I don't want to be the 'lonely spinster friend'

I’m 33 years old and my boyfriend of six years has just broken up with me. This is the man I thought I would marry very soon; the man who told me he loves me, the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Everyone around me is getting married and starting families but now I am back at square one suddenly, trying to get over someone who doesn’t love me any more and come to terms with the fact that I will probably never have what my friends have. It’s so hard to meet anyone (though I'm not ready to be with anyone else yet anyway), and I can’t get over the pressure of feeling like I am the one who should be getting married and having a baby. That life seems so far away from me now and no-one understands. I can see I’m turning into the ‘lonely spinster friend’ already and I’m despairing. Laura

I think you’ve written to me when the initial shock of your break-up is still reverberating, and that’s absolutely fine: six years is worth honouring.

Even when that shock has subsided, maybe you will always have a little pang about this man, but I can imagine you at the age of 80, perhaps, saying: ‘I had the most amazing opportunity to invent a new language/sail around the world/launch my own business… and it would never have happened if I’d stuck with that bloke.’

What I am gently trying to say is, who knows what will happen – your future is unwritten, so for now do some sweaty exercise, and get fit for it. 

More inspiration:

Read Breaking up is hard to do by Madeleine Mason on Life Labs

Watch Karen Ruimy on Finding love on LifeLabs

Mary Fenwick is a business coach, journalist, fundraiser, mother, divorcée and widow. Follow Mary on Twitter @MJFenwick. Got a question for Mary? Email mary@psychologies.co.uk, with ‘MARY’ in the subject line

Photograph: iStock