I’ve been single for the last 20+ years. I was married in 1964 when I was 20 years old. I was married for 18 years (actually, 15 years because that is when my husband and I separated). And then, after that, I had a relationship with a significant other for 17 years. Doing the math, I was in a relationship for 32 years and single for over 45 years.

Remaining Single

I intend to stay single. This bold statement is not as drastic as it seems because I know I will have male friends or boyfriends until I take my last breath. However, I do not prefer to cohabit with a man again or marry a man, no matter how much I love him.

I don’t want to engage in sharing financial planning with a man. I’ve reached the age where I want to choose and decide what I need. I’ve set my life up to meet my needs and have fun doing it. 

You might think it is absurd for me to plunge head-on in a single direction and want to live in singular bliss for the rest of my life. Of course, I might be in assisted living someday, so that would negate my concerted desire to live alone. But that’s communal living for the most part, and that’s a horse of a different color.

In this moment of my singular journey, I’ve learned to find hope and strength, determination and happiness within myself, to solve my problems without constantly bothering others, and to design a fulfilling life. I’ve learned to love being a woman in my shoes, in my own company. I’ve learned to love myself without reservation. Every morning when I practice yoga, walk or swim half a mile, I am grateful for how my life keeps giving me inspiration, fulfillment, and joy. 

If you had known me decades ago, you would have seen a woman manically searching for a relationship, togetherness, and a soul mate. I was lucky that I found a man who remarkably matched my sensibilities in all the ways I thought substantial – body, mind, and spirit. But when my partner died, I knew he would have wanted me to keep moving forward, experience everything I desired, stay close to my sons and grandchildren, study, be curious, read, and, most importantly, write.

My partner never saw my aspirations come to fruition, but it is enough for me to believe that his energy and inspiration infuse my choices and cheer my decisions to this day.

Flying High

When I have a date now, when I dance in Austin and meet up with my male friends, I feel confident and joyful. It’s been an evolution, and change has been a constant companion.

Here are five suggestions for living single with joy:

  • Stay true to yourself, your values, and your passions; life will be joyful and fulfilling.
  • Understand your vulnerability because recognizing your emotional landscape will allow you to create your life.
  • Be committed to self-reflection through the practice of meditation.
  • Find humor in practically everything, and search for the ironies in life.
  • Accept yourself completely.

To be single means practicing the art of self-love with consciousness and forgiveness. Being single means eliminating the negative and focusing on positive possibilities and opportunities. And finally, being single means remembering that life is an action, not a thought.

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