I wish, I really wish, I could triumphantly produce the sure-fire way of avoiding the worst types of Angry Single. Whether you are twenty-something and know nothing, or fifty-something and think you know it all, you are going to bump into these men and women, and they are hard to spot because we all have a trace of Angry Single in us. Some of us need a hug. Some need a lobotomy!
I ended the last blog saying anyone meeting a single through a website should keep an emotional distance until they’ve met his or her friends, family and, ideally, ex. This is absolutely the only way you can hope to escape being blown up by the full-blown, psychologically damaged, destructive types. Hang on to that emotional detachment.
Most of the regulars on my favourite singles website know that I am fascinated by their stories, and everyone loves a listener. I’ve learned, and am still learning, things that would make your hair stand on end, yet none of us can yet define the full-blown nut-job from a straightforward common-or-garden selfish single. The latter are bad enough, granted, but they aren’t deliberately cruel and you can look back at the relationship, spot what went wrong, learn from it. The nut-jobs will send you crazy wondering what you did wrong. The answer? Nothing.
Angry Singles range from the resentful to the psychotic, and you could reject someone having a few adjustment issues as easily as you can overlook the warning signs of true disaster. Unfortunately the only true way is in retrospect. If he or she behaves well during, and after, the break-up, they were okay. If he or she is utterly indifferent and even vicious if cornered, ouch.
Okay, that’s not much help! But it is why meeting an ex is so important. There are three sides to every breakup (his, hers and the truth) and some breakups are seriously toxic. The guy you are keen on could have met an Angry Single last time out, and most definitely will not get a good report there! But if he or she can’t produce one person from their past who will speak well of them, be afraid. Be very afraid. (By the way, can you produce someone like that yourself?)
This blog isn’t, for once, personal experience, despite my adventure, but I will say his ex wrote to me at toxic length when she saw a pic of him on my Facebook page. I already knew his track history was dire and he was as much frog as prince, there was nothing she said that he hadn’t already told me, and no horrible surprises. It was oddly reassuring, and it also kept me properly centred. Speak to the ex!
The only warning signs seem to be too much, too soon: yet we all hope for that magical flare-up, the driving excitement. Being older simply adds to that pressure, we all have one eye on the clock. It isn’t easy to keep your head when being swept off your feet, but it is the only way you will survive and the true Angry Single doesn’t hang around long – a few months. So many singles, after all, is their philosophy, so little time.
Pure Angry Singles are obvious: controlling, domineering, jealous almost from the first exchange of messages, fiercely sorry for themselves, and nothing is ever their fault. Don’t kid yourself: a hug isn’t going to sort this one, the future will not be rosy. Abusive relationships are abusive relationships, however you met. Back away at the first warning sign, and the earlier the sign, the faster you should run.
The Rebound Single has been suddenly dumped back on the market after an unexpected breakup, furious that life has short-changed them, determined to catch up the lost years and cram in every experience, every ounce of attention that they know they are owed. Was it Mae West who said the only way to get over someone is under someone else? Not so funny when it’s personal, and not at all funny when you find yourself with a full-blown Angry Rebound Single. The first quarrels, even the first hint of criticism, and boom, they are rushing on to the next adventure, one resentful eye on that clock. They are the worst of the Selfish Singles, and the more recent their last relationship was, the more careful you should be about getting involved emotionally. That baggage is heavy, and sometimes it is loaded with dynamite.
It’s sometimes hard to define whether all long-term singles are damaged, or instead that all damaged people are destined to be long-term singles, but sociopaths and malignant narcissists do love the singles websites. Hang on to your detachment until you have met the background people normal folks have in their lives. Chances are you will be dumped just for insisting. Ouch, yes, but better to be bruised than eviscerated. That’s about the only test I’ve been able to come up with, despite asking a lot of questions.
The ONLY warning therefore is, again, too much, too soon. Angry Singles will rush you, ‘love-bomb’ you, pour attention and passion over you. If you kept that emotional detachment, rode the wave instead of going under without a struggle, then you can pick yourself up when it dumps you on the beach, put a touch of arnica on the bruise, and try not to become an Angry Single in turn! It wasn’t your fault, there was nothing you could have done to change things, and you’ll know better next time.
I don’t make a penny from this blog, so hopefully will be forgiven for linking that anthem of the bewildered victim: Ti Amo
I write for older singles, those at the far end of middle age, no longer young, not yet old. We have no definition for our age, yet as baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, we are a huge group, and entering what is for most of us the best time of our lives. Divorce rates have never been higher: many of us are single, but we can’t and won’t let that imprison us in our homes, right?
My blogs on the subject have been warnings, for the most part, because there is an euphoria about this Indian summer which can take us in all innocence down the wrong paths. My books, on the other hand, are a celebration of this lovely age, and my blogs will be focused more on the positives from now on. The best really is yet to come!