First, my apologies for being away so long. It’s been a taxing and busy few months sharing a house with my ex and navigating the new world of living under the same roof but not being together. It was a mutual decision to split although there was alot of pain and drama in the beginning. Now it’s just kind of lonely.
But I’m not here to talk about my new living arrangement. Instead, I want to talk about what it’s like being single in your forties and beyond and what it feels like(from my perspective, of course) on being a never married(legally, that is, because my ex and I considered ourselves married for the years we were together and didn’t need a piece of paper to tell us) single female.
For the past few days I’ve been researching this topic online. Every article is pretty much the same just reworded and regurgitated. Most of the articles tell the women that if they aren’t finding Mr.Right then it’s something they’re doing wrong to drive men away. And sometimes they are. But that can also be the farthest from the truth. Like most things I have a few opinions or rather conclusions I’ve come to in my many years of dating and relationships. It may seem jaded and cynical but I speak entirely from personal experience.
First, I’m intelligent, loving, loyal, attractive, healthy and a good woman and there’s absolutely no reason for any man not to be with me. In fact, I had a male friend point out that he didn’t understand why I’d never gotten married and couldn’t understand the men I’d been with(because I have many good traits). Well, that makes two of us. Let me explain what I’ve learned. My relationships didn’t work out not because there’s something wrong with me, they simply didn’t work. It wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t their fault. The men obviously wanted something I couldn’t give them. I spent years trying to find Mr. Right only to be disappointed. Well meaning advice says, “change yourself,” “be the woman men want.” There’s only one problem with that advice, you must change for every new person you date. That is tiresome and stressful and sooner or later the real you has to come out. When? After the marriage ceremony? Not in the days of same day divorces. There’s nothing wrong with making changes to improve yourself. But do it for you. Not because some advice columnist says to do it to “catch a man.”
After my mother died when I was 37 I decided to let go of the hunting and start living for myself and no one else and determined to be happy without a man even if that meant never finding anyone. Which is a very real possibility. It’s scary to think of hitting very old age(nursing home old age) and never find that one person to spend the rest of your life with and never having kids makes this prospect even scarier. But kids don’t visit their elderly parents anyway.
My mother died when she was only 65. I made a decision that I was going to live life and stop this frantic searching. I don’t know what the future holds. I could die young too. I started traveling and got interested in photography and haunted places and started living for myself. Many people ask if I travel alone. Some don’t understand it. I’m not going to sit around waiting to visit all the places I want to until I find a husband. If I never find it I would miss out on all the great places I’ve been and all those memories and pictures. Yes, I did it alone and I’m glad I did. I had a male friend tell me this isn’t normal. Other women don’t do this. No they don’t because they’re saddled with children and jobs they can’t take with them. And ex-husbands and families. I have none of that. It’s just me. So I can do what I want, when I want. I’m sure some men like my friend find this daunting.
The point here is: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today because tomorrow is guaranteed to none of us. If you want to travel do it, write a book do it, skydive do it, whatever it is do it. Don’t wait because you’d rather have a partner to do it with. Because in all honesty you may never find a partner and if you don’t then you will have missed out on alot. You may also find you like the freedom of doing things by yourself even more. I did. I decide where I want to go and when with no input from anyone else. Of course, this can be a drawback when married. Getting too used to certain things can be problematic. My male friend found this to be an issue with women he was interested in. By the time a woman is in her forties she’s used to doing things a certain way and isn’t too receptive to change. That was a complaint he had. We talked at length about how hard it is to incorporate two lives into one when you’re older because by 40+ we are set in our ways(as he put it). It’s an old-fashioned term, one my grandmother used frequently and I hated it but to a large degree my friend is right. We’ve already been running our lives for a long time on our own and if we’ve been single a long time we won’t know as much about living with another person. Both people have to learn to live with another and if one person has kids it stands to reason the one without kids is going to be the one compromising the most because parents aren’t going to completely upend their children’s lives. If both have kids it can be especially problematic. Some people are quite flexible while others are not but if kids are involved it’s much harder to be flexible because the parent must think of their child first, always, no exceptions. I’ve never had a relationship with a man with children(not because I mind children) so I can’t really speak on parenting and dating.
The point here is: finding love after 50(even in your forties) is hard and I don’t think I have to tell any woman in her 40’s, 50’s and many younger women this. I hope what you take from this is to live your life like there is no tomorrow. Don’t put off doing the things you want because there is no partner. If there are improvements to be made make them. Make them because it’s good for you not because it will be good for someone else. Not because it will help you find Mr. Right. And above all else, celebrate your strengths, love yourself and know you are a good person and if men don’t want that, it is their loss not yours. And lastly, know that just because a man looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean he is as good as it seems. One thing I learned from my last boyfriend(who was seemingly a great guy and he is a good person) was any man who doesn’t want a good woman has issues. And not all good men want good women. This is something that no one is going to tell you. He may say he wants a good woman but the reality is he doesn’t.
With that, happy hunting and good luck!!!