I'm single, 71, and want to stay that way!


I’m not like the women I surround myself with: they’re all married, divorced or widowed…I’m single and that’s the way I want to stay. I have been single since 1987 and it does not bother me one bit! Call me very old fashioned or even bitter, but I do not feel like I need a partner. I have one child to my former partner but I never married him. It wasn’t that I wasn’t eligible for marriage (I definitely was!), I simply did not want to. I loved my partner very much but when we separated, I didn’t feel that automatic desperation to find another man. I’ve tried dating and have had my share of dalliances since the 80s, but none stuck and it hasn’t changed my quality of life.

I was raised to be an independent woman by my mother. My father died when I was 3 so mum was forced to raise 4 children on her own. She never once complained and never found another man, so I guess you could say I learnt from the best in that regard!

On the topic of my perennial single status, I’ve heard it all. When I told my new neighbour that I had been single for 27 years and was not widowed, I almost had to help her pick her jaw off my lawn! She had lost her husband but hadn’t ruled out finding another man. I’m not bitter at all! I love men and some of my closest friends are males. I enjoy their company very much but do not feel they’re a necessity in my life.

Other questions I’ve had are:

Ad. Article continues below.

What do you do with your time then?

I do what everyone else does when they retire – relax! I try to take it one day at a time but I keep myself occupied with my bowls and bridge, plus two beautiful grandchildren from my son. I love to hear others’ stories about their marriages and lovers but it’s good to know I don’t have that added stress. I live in a one bedroom unit and I don’t want a man sharing my bed and snoring his head off! I’m comfortable on my own. I also love to read and could talk for hours about my latest books, or could just talk for hours full stop!

How do I keep fulfilled?

Easy – I’m my own person and take pleasure in that. Sure, I could use the company when I go to the doctor’s or if I have a fall, but otherwise… I do feel very fulfilled.

What about sex?

Ad. Article continues below.

What about it? I still have sex occasionally and it’s fantastic to not have that expectation to court the man and get married a few months later. I try not to keep anyone on speed dial, so to speak, but instead meet through mutual acquaintances. Sex is great but I don’t need an exclusive partner to enjoy it. I have been 5 years without sex for a time and when I went for a pap smear, I was asked by my doctor if I considered myself asexual (after I told him offhandedly I had no interest in sex…quite odd for a 55-year-old!) and I had to stop and think. I was a bit offended at the suggestion I must be asexual (or even a lesbian as some have gossiped) just because I didn’t want anyone in my life. Surely being independent wasn’t a bad thing?

I’ve learnt a lot about my choice of lifestyle but I’m sure there’s more like me out there who aren’t actively looking for someone to share their life with. We’re perfectly happy and not strange or deserving of nasty comments.

If you’re like me, male or female, you shouldn’t be made to feel desperate and dateless, but single and satisfied (just the way you are!).


Are you single? Do you feel the same as this writer? Or do you want to find someone to share your life with? Tell us what you think.