I’m going to be alone forever – and that’s okay 114



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After 45 years of marriage, my husband and I finally called it quits a few years ago. Our marriage had been distant for a long time prior to that and the separation was a great relief on both parts, once the pain and shock had worn off.

In the final years of my marriage I was desperately lonely and afraid I would feel that way for the rest of my life. Perhaps that made it easier to agree to divorce, a kind “damned if I do, damned if I don’t mentality”.

I found myself reaching for others – I rekindled old friendships and formed new ones. There were no romantic interludes. To be honest, it didn’t even occur to me to pursue a new relationship with a man.

After a few years, once their pain and shock had worn off, my daughters started to ask whether I would consider dating again. Considering I hadn’t dated since 1968 the idea did not hold any appeal!

Recently, one daughter asked again if I would consider finding a new mate. After all, she said, I am still young, pretty hot and a good catch (she’s a beautiful woman but a terrible liar). I thought about it for a long time, and came to the conclusion: why on earth would I want a man in my life?

I spent 45 years sharing a toilet and the doona. I lived with gender-neutral décor so my husband didn’t feel emasculated by pink flowery sheets.

I have a natural tendency to put others first so not pursuing a relationship is a strategy of self-preservation.

If, and it’s a big if, I did choose to “hook up” with a man, as my granddaughter might say, I would certainly never live with them. I remember reading an interview with the playwright Louis Nowra in which he revealed he and his wife have apartments across the road form each other in Kings Cross. That seems eminently sensible to me.

Do I get lonely? I can honestly say “no”. I have lots of friends, male and female, who fulfill my need for human interaction. I am fortunate enough to be financially independent and still working, and as my career reaches its opus, I feel enormously satisfied.

Best of all, I have my lovely little flat in a busy city, which is next door to my best friend’s equally lovely and tiny flat. Who needs a man snoring on the sofa when you have a girlfriend to watch a movie with?

While it may all sound effortless and gay (in the old-fashioned sense of the word), I have reached this point through a considerable amount of effort. Maintaining numerous meaningful relationships is hard work, especially when you’re still at work. But between Skype, the phone, FaceTime, email and a sometimes hectic social calendar, I have managed to keep up with the people who make me feel valued and loved.

So, although technically, I am on my own, I am honestly okay with that – happy, in fact.

Now, if someone could just explain that to my daughters….

Are you happily single, or would you prefer to be in a relationship? How do you combat loneliness?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Absolutely not. You can be lonely in the middle of a crowd, but if you’re comfortable in your own skin you won’t be lonely on your own

  2. To begin with I was lonely however as time passes you slowly realise that between work and other commitments you don’t actually have time to be lonely, then when I knew I was going to need to retire I decided that maybe then I would be feeling lonely, so I decided to move to a Lifestyle Village where there are many like minded people and numerous activities to get involved in when you need company, however I have grown to actually enjoy my own company and don’t feel the need to have another man in my life as I have wonderful friends that I see when ever I choose to.

    4 REPLY
    • I recommend a hand raised cockatiel, they give you cuddles and kisses and want to go everywhere with you 🙂

    • Yes Anne, I will have been here for 6 years in December and have never regretted it for a minute, I’m well aware that there are mixed feelings about this lifestyle however most of the negative comments I have heard have come from people who have never actually lived in a village, I know some people are concerned about the fees however what they don’t take in to consideration is that the fees cover your building insurance, it covers all maintenance on the outside of your building and the use of all the facilities that you would otherwise have to pay for if you joined a gym or clubs.

  3. I was lonely when my husband passed on in 2007 but I am quite happy living alone with my pets. My husband would probably say I had become a hermit but I am content with my life.

    3 REPLY
    • Yes Margaret pets are a great “friendship and companionship” we have and need… if we are not reliant on someone else to “make us happy” we are blessed… its all up to us..

    • I lost my husband in 2008 after 49 years and 1 month of a happy married life. Yes I miss him and the companionship we had but I have no wish marry anyone else. I don’t need anyone to take his place. He is always with me.

  4. I have been single all my life and have not felt lonely. I have many good friends, couples and singles, male and female and although retired I volunteer, belong to book groups and am very comfortable with my life. I have plenty of human interaction but enjoy my time on my own. I travel with friends or on my own.

  5. Sue Todd very true words
    That’s the secret being comfortable in your own skin…my life is full of love
    I love my family friends & most of all myself “no time for loneliness “

  6. Have to agree, I have promised my children might look on social media for someone but I feel like I’d only want a dinner/ movie company any more and they would probably have to live next door or down the road.

  7. So many people do not enjoy their own company, for some reason. I don’t know if this comes from not being happy with the person you are, but you can change that & learn first, to love yourself. I spent so much time on my own when married, that I was always doing things on my own to have a bit of a life, as well as working full time. I enjoy my own company, being able to do what I want, whenever I want. I can deal quite easily with not having to pick up & cook for another, watch TV, get on the computer, colour in, visit others, have long phone calls, socialise & have coffee, etc without someone judging me for what I like doing & the amount of time I put into these things. I love my own company also, & am never bored. You do what fits for yourself, whether that be on your own or with another partner. You don’t have to live with a man to have a complete life, but some women can’t live without a man in their life..

  8. it makes you stronger as a person – whether male or female. To be able to cope, and have FUN without having to “ask” to do be allowed to do things – go places

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