I know a fair few women in their 40s and many are choosing to be single. Most have been in long term-relationships at one point in their lives, plus experienced a few short lived relationship disasters as well. Since becoming single these beautiful ladies have decided to stay that way and granted, it hasn’t always been easy – they’re a sexy vivacious lot! Women in their 40s seem to draw in men like bees to honey and the majority have been turning down eligible men in their droves.
I wanted to know what was happening with their love lives, so I confronted three eligible single friends over 40 to ask why they’ve made a conscious choice to stay away from cupids arrow. Are they disillusioned with love? Is it their work or the pressures of caring for their family? Or is it that women in their 40s are wanting to experience some me time? You might be surprised at what I discovered.
I’ve known Helen for about 15 years and she has no intention of looking for love. Men aren’t even on her radar and she’s been single for well over a decade. Her case is quite unique to the other two because she once found the love of her life. He was a wonderful man, however he dealt with his demons for many years and tragically took his own life.
The fact that Helen was the one to find him has made this experience even more servere and painful for her. We’ve often spoken of relationships, and to this day, she still claims she’s in love with an angel. This always brings a tear to my eye. Understandably, looking for another man just isn’t on her agenda because her love for him is still as strong as it was when he was alive.
Kathy, on the other hand, has been on a long crusade looking for that special someone and has just recently sworn off men. After a long-term relationship with the father of her children, she’s managed to enter one challenging relationship after another. Unfortunately, her quest to find a man who can match her strength, dedication, loyalty and commitment has been in vain.
It’s not all bad though. Kathy has only just discovered how incredibly independent she is. She refuses to ask for help, tries to conquer Mt Everest in a day and is passionate about the life she wants to live. For a man of 40 plus, this might be a little intimidating. She’s certainly not a meek and mild damsel in distress. “I’m Latin!” she told me proudly. “Yes, I get passionate about life, but passion is good!” she explained.
Kathy’s become disillusioned with love because the pain of break ups is finally wearing her down. After years of trying, and despite throwing her entire being into everything she does, finding a partner who is her equal just hasn’t come to fruition.
This is why she’s decided to go it alone in the future. Rather than wasting anymore time (her words, not mine) she’d much rather focus on other things in her life. For one, she wants a better job and can’t wait for grandkids to come along. Now she feels like she has the freedom to live life to the beat of her own drum and is ready for a solo adventure.
Fifi has always been one of those women who had to be in a relationship no matter what. Long relationships, short ones, men, women; she’s had them all. Yet late last year she questioned why the heck she was doing this. She wasn’t happy, she was stressed all the time and the only period of a relationship she actually enjoyed was the first few months before the baggage of reality started to creep in.
So at the tender age of 45 she realised she wanted some time out by herself. Previously she’d never given herself time to heal and get over anyone, so all that heartache had been compounding from the time she was a teen. She desperately needed a period in her life that was just about doing what she wanted, and like Kathy, she realised the incredible feeling of freedom in which being single provided.
Although these three women have all had a very different journey to becoming single, the end result is very similar. Each are happier being single for their own reasons. I’m sure if I questioned more single women in their 40s about why they are making this choice, each would have unique reasons. Overall it seems very much about being self aware of their needs and wants. Perhaps this time in a women’s life is about getting more me time after all.
Image via sheknows.com
Kim is a writer and SHESAID's resident psychologist. A self-proclaimed tomboy who understands more about relationships and men than she ever will about glitz and glamour. Follow Kim on Google+.