I'm 44, Single, and Happy (Believe It or Not)!
I am a 44-year-old woman and I’m single. Never been married. No kids. Living life solo. I don’t say this to elicit pity and I also don’t wear it as some sort of badge of honor. I’m just stating a fact. It is a reality that many people live with daily. I stress the word live because that is what many of us are doing -– living. We’re not cowering in a corner, weeping because we haven’t started families. We live. Oddly, many around us don’t see it this way.
Image: house number forty-four via Shutterstuck
If one has managed to get to 40 and not become a spouse or is not in a committed relationship, she is often looked upon as damaged in some way. Something must be wrong with her if she’s still single. Sometimes people’s reactions are subtle, while others are blatant and in your face. For instance, I might attend a family reunion where I’m asked “So, do you plan to settle down soon?” Really, I don’t think that I could get any more settled than I am now. Or, I might run into a friend that I haven’t seen in years whereupon I’m asked if I’m married. “No.” “Are you seeing anyone?” “No.” This is usually followed by the "that’s-so-sad-what-a-shame" look. I don’t think that most are aware of the small pangs that they’re inflicting with such comments, which is why I don’t generally address it with them. However, my passive stance goes out the window when I’m incredulously asked “Why don’t you have a special someone in your life?” My rote response is “I just don’t.” Simple.
The older I get, I notice some people giving me the occasional side-eye when asking about my personal status, as if something is wrong with me. Trust me, I’m a together woman. I’m intelligent, kind, witty, mature, mild-tempered, independent, cultured, ambitious, educated and attractive. I’ve been called “the total package” on more than a few occasions. I’m merely single. I’ve gotten used to the looks, the head tilts, the pity pats on my hand and shoulder. It’s almost comical.
I understand that we live in a culture where people are expected to be coupled up by a certain age, and if this hasn’t happened, then there must be a problem with you as a single person. What I don’t understand is why singleness at a certain age is viewed as a flaw. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I love my life, and I’ve always tried to live it to the fullest. I have a wonderful family and loving friends. I’ve had an interesting and varied career. I’ve literally traveled all over the world. I’ve even dated here and there. I am not unique. This is the life of countless post-40 women (and men, for that matter) I know. None of us have side-stepped life waiting on our ideal mate. We embrace life and all of its wondrous experiences.
While I believe that as humans, we all need human connections, I don’t think that everyone should be in a committed relationship. Some people just aren’t emotionally equipped for it. Others have no desire for such a relationship. To each his own. I, myself, am not against committed, monogamous relationships. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think that marriage is a wonderful institution. The idea of building a life with someone and loving them (and being loved) unconditionally is heart-warming and comforting. Who knows, I may even get married one day. However, I refuse to believe that my life is any less rich and eventful than anyone else because I’m on life’s journey by myself. I will continue to explore the world, to learn new hobbies, to develop new skills, to surround myself with things that make me happy and to love those in my life to the fullest.
I am a 44-year-old woman and I’m (happily) single, living life.
Share your thoughts about being single, married, or somewhere in between in our comment section or on the Women at Forty Facebook page.