Single by Choice: Why I Am Content to Be Without a Plus-One by M. Weldon

Single by Choice: Why I Am Content to Be Without a Plus-One by M. Weldon

(Link): Single by Choice: Why I Am Content to Be Without a Plus-One


And, no, I don’t have an affliction in need of a cure.

By Michele Weldon
October 17, 2022

…Married for nine years (we were together for 12) from the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s and divorced for the past 26 years, I have been in one serious, nearly seven-year relationship since my divorce. It was a mostly calm alliance that he ended with his declaration that he never was number one in my life, and needed to be.

…Proposing a rebuttal to Three Dog Night’s 1969 cover of “One Is the Loneliest Number,” I suggest that for many women 50 and older, being single is not just a holding pattern until the next best person comes along.

In her latest book, Not Too Old for That: How Women Are Changing the Story of Aging (2022), award-winning journalist and author Vicki Larson writes, “What if being self-partnered is nothing to fear, but something actually to celebrate?”

Single for 17 years after her divorce, “with a few relationships sprinkled in,” 66-year-old Larson told me in an interview that so many women have been caregivers for others and may feel, I would really like to take care of myself. Especially if women have been divorced or widowed, there is this feeling of not wanting to settle.

She observes that many women looking to date men are discovering a paucity of options.

“You have to dig a little deeper to find a man who is interesting and interested, age-appropriate and attractive. … It is harder to find a connection to someone who is an intellectual, emotional, sensual and financial equal.”


At 64, I contend there may be theoretically a lot of fish in the sea but a paltry few I want to hook. I will make concessions, but what I have learned since my first date five decades ago at 14 (my father allowed me to have a “boy” over to play pool in the basement) is that discernment and caution are crucial.

…Some potential dates lie not just about their age, but their names, where they live, work, went to school and, yes, if they are married or not. Some ask for money and make angry scenes in public. Still, I have not slammed the door forever on coupledom; it remains open for the right person — a partner who complements my life, not just complicates it.

I am not alone in that mindset; there is an expanding sisterhood of satisfied older singles. Margaret is a 58-year-old patent attorney in Chicago who has been divorced for more than 20 years. An artist who dabbles in pottery, painting and music for fun, Margaret says she likes the ability “to do things on your own when you are not part of a couple” and recently returned from a solo trip to Jamaica.

…According to a 2020 study of singles conducted by the Pew Research Center, 50 percent say they are not looking to date or find a relationship. And 56 percent of divorced men and women and 74 percent of those who are widowed declaring they are not on the dating scene.

The study shows 65 percent of women say dating is difficult because “it is hard to find someone looking for the same type of relationship,” and 56 percent of women report “it is hard to find someone who meets their expectations.”

… Though I believe being single is not an affliction in need of a cure, if the right person who meets my expectations does arrive, I will happily open the door to a healthy relationship. Until then, being single is a choice, and in this moment, it’s fine to declare, “I choose me.”


(Link): Survey Reveals Singles Over 50s Can Still Be A Good Catch

(Link): FTC Warns of Increase in Romance Scams, Especially Targeting Older Adults 

(Link): Single People Aren’t Problems to Be Fixed or Threats to Be Neutralized By Ella Hickey

(Link): Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again

(Link): Why Older Couples Are Skipping Marriage by S. Epperson

(Link): Ask Amy: These Sex-Crazed Weirdos Turned Me Off Internet Dating

(Link): I Married Young. I Was Widowed Young. I Never Want A Long-Term Partner Again by R. Woolf

(Link): More 40-Something Single Women Falling Prey to Dishonest or Violent Men in Dating (says report)

(Link):  2017 Pew Study: Number of U.S. adults cohabiting with a partner continues to rise, especially among those 50 and older

(Link): Why Older Singles Aren’t Looking To Couple Up by Janet Siroto

(Link): Middle Aged, Single Christian Guy’s Long, Picky Girlfriend Wanted Ad on Craig’s List

(Link): Craigslist confessional: I’m in my 40s, never married, and a virgin—but I’m happy by Abigail

(Link):  Once Married, Twice Shy: Remarriage Rates Are Plummeting

(Link): The ‘Gray Divorce’ Trend: As The Gates Split Shows, More Older Couples Are Getting Divorced. Here’s Why. by J. Duffy

(Link): Many Single People are Quite Happy that Way Researchers Discover (2015 study)

(Link):  The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness

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