Lots of people have been in touch with me following my blog on 'the spark' and have asked me to write more blogs on issues relating to being single later in life, the dilemmas it presents, the opportunities to start afresh, and despite the negative consequences to divorcing or becoming single later in life, there is the unexpected benefit of having a fresh start and getting to create what you want.
I first became single at 42. Apart from the necessary factors that had to be overcome to get myself to the point that finances, shared custody of the three children and relocation were all behind me, I embraced this 'new me'. I found my independence, became a more grown-up version of my former self, gained more qualifications and stepped away from being the dowdy mother and wife!
When I was 44 I, met someone, and I spent ten years with him. I did not re-marry; this was not important to me anymore. In January 2018, I left this relationship, and I have remained 'happily single' ever since. There are a few reasons for this, but mainly because I felt controlled and my life was not my own; I felt restricted. I had done so for many years, but now in my 50s, I had a particular fear of living alone. Could I do it? Would I ever meet anyone at this stage in my life? I spent at least two years being anxious about what to do next. I now see that this was wrong. Life is too short to stay in any relationship that makes you unhappy.
Becoming single at 53 was a very different experience from at 42. The ten years had made a significant difference in how I approached singledom. I loved being in control of my own life again, but differently.
When I was in my teens and 20s we only, knew 'old-school' dating.
My perception of the dating game (online) had changed, and I struggled with going on dates because I was unsure if I wanted to enter into another long term relationship. My friends told me that that would be irrelevant if the right person came along.
In my 40s, I enjoyed the new way of dating online.
But now, fast approaching my mid-50s, I got fed up with people making themselves appear more desirable than they were when I met them; everyone, including myself, indulging in self-promotion. No one saying how p***ed off they would be if they didn't have their dinner at 6 pm every evening or how badly they snored or their toilet ritual every morning! I didn't put on my profile that I am always late; I do snore when I drink wine (one of my sons said it was like a 747 landing on the roof of the house last Christmas after dinner, and I had fallen asleep on the sofa! Or, I can be a bitch if I don't get enough sleep!
I started to look at each date as a chore and a let-down before I went along, but going along, just in case it would be 'Mr right' this time. Then I totally gave up, but what else was there for me? My friends are all in relationships, and I was reasonably new to the area.
This led to settling up Select Events in 2019 for singles over 50 to come along to social events on their own without the stigma of dating being attached. I dived in and set up small events in different locations, going along after my full-time job on a Friday evening. Then came 'dinners with a difference', which took off, and the pandemic hit.
In 2020 I set up Select Connections, a bespoke matchmaking agency for people in their 50s, 60s and 70s to meet a companion/partner/husband/wife to accompany them on the next part of their journey.
Just because this journey is commencing after mid-life, it doesn't mean that it will be any less meaningful than any other journey to date; in fact, it could be the most fabulous journey of all.
In early 2021 I left my full-time job, and I am so busy with Select that I do not honestly have time to devote to a full-time relationship. I am happy now, but I know I will need to look at this again before I am 60. I get to talk daily to many men and women who are in or just entering single life later in life, and I can see that becoming single in your 60s is also very different from when I became single in my 50s..........
Next week, I will bring you more revelations about the single life after midlife.
Have a great week and enjoy the Christmassy feeling that is now upon us.
If anyone wants to chat with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.