Pauline, 42: “It’s like I went back to being a virgin”

Every week at Célib, people of all genders tell us about the joys and questions of their celibacy, chosen or endured. Today Pauline, single since last year, discovers the freedom to live only for herself, without compromise.
  • Name or nickname : Pauline*
  • Age : 42 years old
  • Place of life : border town in eastern France
  • Sexual and/or romantic orientation : heterosexual

How long have you been single?

It will be in June I have been single for a year. I had enough strength and courage to face the fear of loneliness after 13 years of an off/on relationship.

Era a relationship contrary to all my values ​​and principles. Inside I was very unhappy because I was living in denial. I hate alcohol and my ex partner was very into it. He was a happy drinker and was not violent, but his entire social life revolved around alcohol. He went to the bar all day drinking… I thought I could help with his alcoholism but I left some feathers there. He dragged me down with him.

When our relationship ended, we were opposites and had nothing in common, because I had worked a lot on myself in the meantime. I no longer liked the person I was becoming and above all I was wasting my time a toxic and codependent relationship. I had the courage to face the breakup and find myself really alone with no man in my life (flirting, wrapped relationship…). She was a complicated period, but I made it through and went out stronger and more confident.

How would you describe your singleness?

This period of celibacy is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I really did some self-development work to understand my mistakes and fix all my wounds and flaws. I have read many books and IEventually I was one-on-one with myself. I’ve never had the strength to be alone. I was looking for love on the outside, but how could a man love me if I didn’t love myself? It’s a long and painful process, but then it’s just happiness.

This period of celibacy has allowed me to regain confidence in myself.. I am solely responsible for my happiness. A man is just the icing on the cake.


I have never been emotionally and physically alone since I was 15. I’ve always had relationships where I had a man on hand. I couldn’t be alone and unhappy: that’s what I thought at the time but, luckily, I evolved. I threw myself on the first person who was interested in me. I didn’t know myself, so I didn’t know what kind of men I wanted for me.

Now, I have non-negotiable criteria : a sporty man, with a healthy lifestyle, without addictions (alcohol, cigarettes…).

I recently had an affair and it turned into a tragedy. I let my guard down in a moment of vulnerability. This confirms my principles, you really need to take your time before commenting on a new romance.

Does being single have a daily impact on your morale?

Celibacy sometimes takes a toll on my morale, but it doesn’t last. Right now, I’m on a gap year in Southeast Asia and seeing all the couples on vacation reminds me of my singleness. Dinners at sunset, it’s more pleasant if there are two of you.

Sometimes I miss being touched and kissed and having intimate relationships, but it is temporary. It’s like I’m a virgin again and today my vagina is a diamond. I’m in pause mode and it’s relaxing. I’m recovering from all the bad experiences I’ve had. Finding a man in 2023 for sex is easy, but finding a good and free man for a serious relationship takes time.

Do you think being single allows you things you couldn’t do as a couple?

Celibacy is an indisputable freedom. Only me matters. I do what I like, when I want. Everything is easier because there are no compromises to be made. I’ve always been an independent person and I like having my own businesses and hobbies.

Conversely, do you think being single prevents you from doing things you could do if you were in a relationship?

I already do a lot of things as a single: traveling alone, owning, investing, playing sports… But sometimes there are limits. For example, organized trips or clichés such as romantic restaurants, group snorkelling days…

In fact, I don’t feel comfortable knowing that there will only be couples or families. It refers me to my bachelorhood.

When renovating my apartment, a man’s support would have been appreciated. Being a woman and dealing with artisans hasn’t been easy.

In reverse, if I do activities alone, it boosts my confidence and self-esteem. I try to do what I want even if I do it alone. These are small goals to achieve. In Thailand, I went to a party alone and was the first to dance on an empty stomach. I was too proud, because I had freed myself from the gaze of others.

Are you actively trying to find a romantic relationship?

Not for the moment. I’m still traveling so it’s pointless as I’ll be back in June. When I get home, my eyes will be open and I’ll be ready for the opportunities that come my way. I’m old school, so I don’t like dating apps. I believe in fate and timing.

Does being single in love impact your sex life?

I no longer seek sexual partners. I’ve had my period and I don’t care anymore. It’s a waste of time, energy and often a total disappointment.

Do you feel a form of injunction to have an affair?

No because I’m happy and in line with my values. I shine even when I’m alone.

Sometimes I fluctuate like the stock market, but without crashes.

Do you think being single has an impact on your finances?

Celibacy has a positive impact on my finances because I can save more.

There are no more superfluous and useless exits. I’m an ant so it won’t work if I have a grasshopper as a mate.

Do you have a dating budget?

No, because at the moment I don’t know. I prefer to spend this money on myself doing good (massages, travel, sports…).

What are your plans for the future?

I am ready and open to meet men without getting desperate. I rejoice in what life offers me, whether I am alone or accompanied.

Do you have an anecdote about being single to share?

I worked a tennis tournament last year and it was a revelation. Thanks to this job, I faced my fears and got out of my comfort zone (elitist environment, crowd…) because deep down I’m not a tennis fan. Well, I’ve never seen so many handsome boys in the m2 of my life. Since I was 100% invested in being smiley and kind, I was successful despite the jog and the designer T-shirt with the name of the event.

Since then, I’ve realized that if I felt good in my sneakers and was confident in myself, I radiated happiness. AND men feel it and are attracted to it.

Thanks to Pauline* for answering our questions!

*Name has been changed.

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