Saddling up for life alone

I was really debating whether or not to start this topic. Mainly because I didn’t want anyone to think that it was based in negativity or my own personal pity party.
However, I can’t deny the fact that I will most probably not have the life I thought I would have in terms of a wife and children. Supposedly anything is possible (Of Course). But I’ve mentally been preparing for this for quite a few years now as I plan on staying right here in this life even though it’s very…very hard.

There are plenty of people who live a life of solitude for many different reasons. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all truly. However, judgement from friends and family can make one feel shameful, myself included. I’ve always had an issue with dealing what others may think about me. So I push almost everyone away except my immediate family.

Not the way I or you guys envisioned what a happy life would be. But anyway…
I wanted to start a thread on how we can move forward positively despite everything that’s happened.
How do you find fulfillment? A semblance of happiness and contentment. Accomplishment and purpose.
Is it possible to live happily despite not fulfilling what society and family have deemed “normal”? Is it simply a choice of believing what’s good for YOU is all that matters?

This condition has brought me back to my photography and also have found drawing/painting. I’m basically learning the latter from complete scratch. Learning Drawing and painting is a discipline which takes so much effort to learn and time perfect. Many artists lived lives of solitude because this was their everything. They sacrificed much for their craft.
This helps give me purpose. Creating work I could be proud of and that others will perhaps appreciate. Maybe one day my work could comfort or inspire someone else. Who knows? I certainly hope so.

The goal is for that to be the things that give me purpose and happiness well into my old age. To show myself that not everything is about what society has ruled to be what one should do.

Can a happy life still be had for us? I believe so
So let’s talk about it


I personally actually don’t think it is possible. Without people to care about and people who care about you, life has little meaning. Meanwhile, all your old friends switch priorities to their own families. You get left behind, stuck doing the same things things that seem stupid and childish. Going to work just to pay for food and cover bills on empty home feels like pointless slavery. Only people you can relate with are other people with fucked up lives. It only gets worse and worse as you age. Hobbies and interests of youth become anathema, but what else can you do, you’re stuck in adolescence?

My approach is to keep working on developing skills that will be handy if a miracle occurs and research suddenly gets going and therapy discovered. Once I am too old to date women who don’t already have children then the gig will be up though and I’ll probably commit suicide. Sitting on the sidelines of life watching is horrific and the pain only gets worse and worse. Most people here are probably too young to realize it, but they will, it’s only a matter of time. I don’t know a single person without children that doesn’t regret the mistake they made horribly. Reproduction is ultimately the purpose of life. It’s what defines life, and that’s non-negotiable, everything in our being is oriented toward reproduction. When we aren’t doing things that facilitate it we are unhappy.


Very powerful words which are underscored by a clear determination to live on. @sg8627. Well done!!!
I was about to set out all of my losses but have decided to also cut to the chase. I took up part time volunteering last year which has brought purpose back into my life. I’ve received individual feedback, gratitude from vulnerable broken people that has had me in tears. The life I left behind did not bring this even though I secretly sought it at times but I wasnt prepared to sacrifice any of what I had. I told myself I’d do it one day, whether I would have I’m not so sure!! This disease has humbled me in every way and to aspire for the basics of a normal life says it all. By doing this work and striving to make a difference to someones life often feels like this is how it was meant to be for me. If I get out of this one day I will stay grounded and will do my utmost to continue or even take it further. I’ve also become close to religion, and look for beauty in things I used to walk past in the hope I can feel something. I say prayers daily for our healing. Forgiving Merck is currently a step too far. Another thing I’ve met some first rate guys on here, the majority if not all of us are decent people and don’t deserve any of this but to find a calling/purpose in life is what keeps us going so
a great thread.
Without a couple of guys on here I think I would have thrown in the towel, you’re of a much better calibre than the so called mates I left behind. Without Pfs our paths would never have crossed… I feel I’m a better person despite this hell and whatever the outcone. Post some pictures of your paintings. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to see them.


Thanks for your kind words mate
And that’s great you’ve found happiness in volunteering, which says you’re a first rate guy too.
If we all did that, well we all know where the works would be today. The happiness and gratitude found in another from something you did I’m sure is just as fulfilling as anything.

I made this thread for the guys who have accepted this burden and plan on to stay the course despite everything and to come up with some ideas that we may have to make it easier on us.
How we can COPE with the idea of going into old age with a different notion of happiness.
I believe this is very possible HOWEVER hard fought

This is both to help us from now until our older years. Having to face this idea was terrifying to me. The thought of going through this and old age.
But I’ve wrestled with it so much that I’m slowly coming to grips with it. Enough to be even somewhat optimistic.
Will it be what I planned? Absolutely not. But it doesn’t have to be bad just because it’s different.

And I can be as cynical as anyone. But I’m trying very hard to not be. Good things can still come.

As soon as I start to turn out decent work I’d be happy to post for anyone that’s like to see, sure

If anyone would like to see my photography you can PM me and I’ll send you my IG account.


Spot on I fought for years to try to hold on to the old me. Stepping into situations that crippled me because of the unrelenting anxiety etc. Getting upset all of the time with the hurt and ruminating day and night. I now try to accept it’s gone and to be grateful I’m alive, same goes for my looks, physicality etc. I think it nails us more because we once had it, some poor souls are born into a life of suffering. At least we got to experience it. I still believe this is fixable so who knows we may return to our old selves as much better, wiser human beings.


Yes there is definitely an element of reinventing yourself with this whole thing.
In a way this mess did it for us and we have to pick up the pieces and reassemble

It’s sort of like that Japanese art of when the Bowl breaks and it’s mended with gold. It’s supposed to be more beautiful than it was originally.

This condition has made my fear of getting older even more strong because normally I’d just say “oh at least I have my family as I age”
But now it’s me who I mostly have to be reliant on.
I do have to look out for my younger brother so there’s that. I have to worry about him.
But yea this has forced me to really look at the next 5 or 6 decades and feeling I have to prepare in all aspects but most importantly EMOTIONALLY

Which is the purpose for this thread. Hope it gains some traction to help other guys out


I don’t know whether for some here there is a possibility, if you feel able and it is something you could currently manage,and that is to pursue relationships where the emphasis is on the platonic. I have been chatting a lot online with someone who identifies as asexual and as such they will have to navigate relationships where for them there is an attraction to others and a desire for intimacy, but just not sexual intimacy. They are already chatting to someone online who appears cool with this. I think as long as we are frank with where we are at, no matter what that is, if a relationship of whatever nature is something we still would like to pursue, a frankness about what our side effects are may be enough for some people, rather than a self-imposed hermit existence through second guessing another’s wants. As for children, this is something which I have had to face myself as a gay man of a certain age. When I was young it was assumed that this just wouldn’t happen for gay men and you kind of recalibrate as a result, but as I got older I have been approached a few times by female friends to be a sperm donor. Although the idea awakened a broodiness in myself and ultimately both came to nothing, I have accepted that for me children probably won’t be on the cards, but that is less now to do with my sexuality but the fact that sadly I feel that I have neither the career to provide financial support or the “sortedness” to parent when I’ve still got baggage myself. There is also part of me that is fine with this and now I’m not sure whether I would want kids anyway, but selfishly I do fear a lonely old age. I remember watching a film many years ago based on a Broadway play, Torch Song Trilogy, where one of the plot lines involves a gay couple adopting a gay teenager. Although again, this isn’t something I’d necessarily even desire for myself just now, at the time it struck me that even in those unevolved times family can be anything you make it, and with that it gave me hope. And I suppose this can also be applied to all of us. We have been dealt an awful hand, but things can come along that may surprise us and which may make this life much more rich if we recalibrate our expectations enough to explore them. A lot of this is about loss, but even from loss there may be an alternative which still gives our lives meaning.


We all fear that man. I would say though that I don’t believe that not having kids necessarily condemns you to that. In my personal experience my grandparents on both my mother’s and my father’s side spent far more time with their friends than they did with their kids (my mum and dad) during my lifetime.

Once people’s children are independent adults they have lives of their own and can often only spare a limited amount of time to spend with their parents. When said parents approach retirement age they have far more free time to spend with friends than they did when they were stuck raising the kids.

You may not have kids of your own but there’ll be lots of potential to make friends of a similar age who are no longer shackled with the responsibility of raising children.

I’m only 26 but I envision the years when my friends are busy getting married & raising their children to be the loneliest because they’ll barely have any free time.


That may be the case for you man but it’s certainly not non-negotiable for everyone. There are millions and millions of happy people worldwide who choose not to have children, I know a number myself. To say that everyone who doesn’t have children will be unhappy is a wild claim. There’s very few, if any, things on Earth that bring unanimous happiness to 7 billion different people; each person both likes and wants different things.

You can see that birth rates in several developed countries are actually declining; modern society is drastically different and attitudes towards reproduction are not what they once were.


Yes I think a certain percentage of people are basically content going to work and then coming home and indulging in entertainment without greater purpose. Wasn’t claiming that all people are unhappy without family. Just saying that most people are. And yes it’s true that many people these days have been experimenting with putting all kinds of other things ahead of family but in my experience the overwhelming majority regret it. I don’t think degree of following societal trends is the determinant of happiness. People are generally less happy than in previous generations in spite of all the advantages we have in terms of wealth and convenience provided by technology. Indeed there seems to be an inverse relationship between devaluation of traditional family and life happiness. I live in Europe and all the leftover women are miserable sharing apartments with each other, getting cosmetic surgery, still hoping might find a prince in their late 30s etc it’s clear regression of humanity. Kills me to see that happening to us too when it wasn’t our choice.


It’s definitely true that this generation are less happy in general. A lot of it is outlook dependent though I guess. There are plenty of positives to not having kids (freedom to travel & more freedom in general, take financial risks such as drastic career changes etc) you just need to try and focus on them rather than what you feel you’re missing out on. Easier said than done, of course, but your outlook could change given time.


Point taken. For the record, I’ve already done all of those particular things you mention and they turned from exciting and fun to Sisyphean. After a certain point you don’t want freedom to act without responsibility anymore but rather are horrified to realize the world has no need for you whatsoever and your life is ultimately meaningless. At a certain point what once seemed like getting away with doing what no one else gets to turns into the last thing you ever want to do again.

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Guys it’s not my intention to suppress debate. I detest that this is going on in today’s world in terms of censorship so I’m not doing that on this particular thread.
I just wanted to say, what I had hoped for on this thread was to discuss strategies to be able to live, I suppose happily enough, without children or a spouse.

Like how can we support and help each other out if that’s a fear and what can we do to ease that anxiety and fear.
That’s a fear I’ve struggled strongly with for the last 5 years since I turned 30. Cliche perhaps but a very real fear of mine.

And like I said the only thing that I can cling onto, other than hope for a treatment or cure, is my art and the development of it.

Do you guys have anything that you love to create or build? Collections? Reading literature?
Anything at all


Fair enough man. Your life certainly isn’t meaningless though!


Yes I think building things gives the sense of progress and purpose that makes life enjoyable. I’d say the key is to put time into things that last and remain in your life rather than on things like video games, watching YouTube videos, and hobbies that are transitory and ultimately transpire with little to show for. Even working out is a waste of time in many ways in that as soon as you stop you lose most of the benefits. However, for example, learning data science and starting an innovative company, that kind of thing, could be a reasonable enough replacement for family to keep some people going.


Agreed there…something that you can see that you can be proud of that’s built or created by your hands. Perhaps even make revenue from it if ppl dig it

Many many doors open with not having kids or a spouse

Not that they’re not blessings but they don’t have to be the only way to live

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Liking this thread a lot.

Nothing that’s meaningful in life is easy to do. When you think about it, everything that gives life any meaning or creates lasting contentment are things that are challenging, difficult, and often painful. (PFS might end up being one of those things).

With that in my mind, I’d think about seeking challenges and goals. I helped build a company that could one day go public. I’m learning difficult pieces on the piano. I participated in a cross-country skiing race. I’ve kept surprising myself at what I’d been able to do with PFS.


That’s amazing man! And thanks for saying you enjoy the thread

I feel like this condition can definitely make us want to accept failure in all aspects of life so eventually we might not expect anything of ourselves. Only to make us never challenge our own limits to see what we can create for ourselves.

And bring theism into the deep end, so to speak, with this thing has forced me to look at the harshness of life and also realize my own mortality which h my are me afraid to not accomplish things.
Like in a constructive way, fear drives me.

And most days I wish I could’ve been care free and wasted my life being lazy and hedonistic. God knows that would’ve been easier lol but there probably would’ve been no meaning in that whatsoever. And this forces me to strive for some kind of meaning.
What an odd and painful circumstance to work under but nevertheless…this is our situation.
What a way for a soul to be tested. If I could take the pain I experienced (we all experienced) over the last 10 years, I don’t think it would cover what maybe 10 of my friends would have experienced in their entire lifetimes combined.
So through this it’s sort of given me a sink or swim mentality. Does swimming make me exhausted. Absolutely. But I can’t sink. I just can’t.
My negative thoughts tell me to sink BUT I have to be better than them.

So I’m happy to hear your accomplishing and being productive to find fulfillment.


@vkg1 - there is also the option of adoption. I am sure that there are opportunities in many countries for single men to adopt, particularly older children.


That has run through my mind a bit

Idk how likely agencies are to give a child or adolescent to a grown man what with the landscape of everything that goes on now with that negative connotation.
I’m sure it happens but not without rigorous questioning and background checking which of course should happen. But probably a long and arduous process

It’s an interesting option tho
It gives another person a chance at a patent that will do best by them. You get someone to care for and who will one day take care of you, hopefully
Tough decision that’s for sure