Anxiously Aging Alone
After remaining single by choice for 20 years I suddenly find myself anxiously aging alone.
Perhaps approaching my 58th birthday in a few days has something to do with my feeling unsettled. That along with the fact that all of my closest friends are in relationships.
Remaining single has never bothered me before, in fact, I enjoy it and prefer it that way. It’s tidy, no fuss no muss.
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I tried marriage, twice actually when I was younger. You can read all about how that turned out in one of my early blog posts. My 7-year train wreck will explain how and why I became jaded and remained single.
As I said this month is my birthday month! It’s also the 20-year mark of my last divorce and 39-year class reunion. All of these things seem to have me all in my feelings and not only feeling anxious about aging alone but wondering if I’m in some sort of twisted midlife crisis!
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Why am I anxiously aging alone?
I mentioned I’m alone by choice. Aging, of course, is a natural process I can’t seem to change. So that leaves us to discuss why I’m suddenly feeling so anxious about it all.
First I want to point out, that I keep saying alone, but I am not saying lonely! Because I am not lonely, I enjoy being by myself a lot!
I have my circle of friends that I enjoy girls’ nights with occasionally and I often have lunch dates with friends. So what’s missing?
In the title of this post, it says Jadedly Single in Midlife and then I started out talking about anxiously aging alone… which is it? Am I jaded about relationships or anxious about being single?
I’ll try to explain my mixed feelings and answer the questions for you. Who knows maybe a deeper look at things might even help me to understand myself!
Defining words to explain my feelings
Maybe a few clear definitions will help me to explain myself!
Jadedly Single in Midlife?
Jadedly comes from the adverb jaded.
: made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience or by having or seeing too much of somethinghttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jadedly
Then I want to explain my use of midlife and a midlife crisis
midlife is what is also considered middle age
: the period of life from about 45 to about 64 years of agehttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middle%20age#medicalDictionary
a midlife crisis can be described as follows
: a period of emotional turmoil in middle age characterized especially by a strong desire for changehttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midlife%20crisis
Defining Anxiously Aging Alone
I think it’s fairly obvious what aging means, if you aren’t clear what I’m referring to as aging in this post, then refer up to midlife and then consider the fact I’m fast approaching the age of 60! I feel old!
Again, the word alone is fairly self-explanatory. In my case, I’m divorced living alone with grown children and I’ve chosen to remain happily non-committed to a relationship.
That leaves anxiously, and I’m also fairly certain anyone reading this knows what the words anxious or anxiously mean. But if I’ve always been happy going solo, then why am I now anxious? I really think it has a lot to do with my having gone through the “empty nest” thing this past year.
Now all my children are happily married. All my closest friends are married or in relationships. So I’m always odd-man-out. Always the spare wheel. It just sometimes feels awkward. It seems like everyone else always has a partner or date for functions and I’m solo. So it tends to make me think about it more.
Up until now, I’ve enjoyed the freedom, space, and independence of being single. But now being single doesn’t seem as adventurous. In fact, growing closer to those “senior years” alone seems a bit unsettling.
Is this what a midlife crisis feels like?
While I’m definitely in the midst of midlife, I do not feel I’m in a true “midlife crisis” by true definition. I may be feeling a bit of some kind of turmoil, but I don’t want a major change.
I know for certain I do not want to enter the “dating game” again! Midlife dating? Senior dating? No way! Not for me!
I mean, what’re the options in terms of dating these days?
- Online dating? nope, I did some of that when I was younger, definitely not for me at this age!
- Meet someone through friends? Again, not for me, I don’t like “set-ups” through friends. It can get messy among friends later if it doesn’t end well.
- Some dating coaches suggest meeting in Food Markets, stores or even restaurants. Really? Exactly how do you determine the person is single in these settings? And then how would you even go about approaching them without coming off awkward or creepy? I’ll pass on this one too!
- Take up a new hobby or join a book club. Again, really? a book club? Reading sounds like a single activity. At least it is for me! The types of hobbies I enjoy, I do for my own relaxation and pleasure. Things I enjoy doing alone. So this is a no for me.
Trying to date is a crisis for me!
Obviously you can see, I’m really not interested in dating or I would make more of an effort. What do I want? That is a very good question!
As I think about that question, I think I should rephrase my previous statement. Perhaps I do want to date. I just do not want a serious, committed relationship.
That probably sounds like a young lady in her early twenties who wants to “live life and party” before settling down. It’s really not like that for me.
I would like to have a good male friend to go out to dinner or go dancing a couple of times a month. I just do not want to be married or live with anyone again.
Is that selfish? Maybe. But I need my space and my alone time, and I’m not a pleasure to be around when those two things feel invaded too much. I do not co-habitat well. It just is what it is.
I genuinely love dancing. My favorite type of dancing is country & western, Texas two-step, or waltz on a large wooden floor in a Texas dance hall. This does require a partner, but I’m not into going out to “pick-up” guys in the bar any longer.
In conclusion on anxiously aging alone
There lies my dilemma. It seems that I can’t have my cake and eat it too!
There comes a time one must adjust to midlife and the process of aging. A person must also reassess the needs, wants and what truly helps them to enjoy life. It’s ok that those things change as we change with age and stages in life.
I’d love to hear your take on this subject! Do you have any suggestions on not anxiously aging alone?
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until next time,