The Curse of the Middle Aged Singleton

When you’re a single woman in a world full of marrieds, life can be tough.

Unless your network consists entirely of very close friends with whom you communicate honestly and regularly, the sad truth is you ARE going to be judged, misunderstood, and regarded with suspicion.

There is also a sliding scale of apparent wantonness associated with being a single woman, depending both on age and previous marital status.

A younger single woman isn’t as much of a threat. She has time on her side, so can be selective and therefore choosier.

A lady in her 60s will be considered less of a risk, because – in others’ eyes – she will be ‘past it’.

But imagine being a divorced woman of 45, who likes to wear nice clothes, and high heels. Now, as most women know, we dress for ourselves. But put a single woman in a room full of marrieds, in a pair of stilettos, and she’s on the prowl!

Here are just some of the myths associated with being a single woman in a married world.


We are out to steal a man, any man.

It matters not one iota that we are very probably single by choice. If we are sans homme then we’re going to try and steal someone else’s.


Ladies – we’re not. You see, a good percentage of us divorcees will have earned that status because we chose to divorce a cheating man. Not always; sometimes marriages fail for other reasons, and yes sometimes women cheat. But if we have kicked a man to the kerb for playing away from home, we are not about to cause another woman that pain. And we are only too aware that if a man cheats on his wife with another woman, then he will cheat on that woman with another.

It’s something we see all the time – we happen to start talking to a couple in a social setting, and the wife will tighten her grip on her man’s arm, while smiling dangerously. Suddenly even talking to a married man is regarded as flirting, and before long he will be dragged away to ‘safer’ company.


We’re desperate

Of course, we are so starved of sex and affection that we will take anything on offer.


Some married men will make a play for the single woman, and use the old line ‘me and my wife don’t have sex anymore’ to try and entice the poor celibate spinster into an affair.

It’s not like that at all.

The thing is, it’s probably taken us years to get out of a bad relationship; the last thing we need is to get into another one. In gaining our freedom from a relationship which could well have destroyed our self-esteem, we are not about to embark on another!
If we want male company, we will find it legitimately. That’s what dating sites are for! We probably do date, but want to do so on our terms, not when a man can get away from his wife.


We need pity

Poor us. We must be lonely and have an empty life.


We really, really don’t. Yes, going through a break up is hard, at any stage. But if we are out socialising it is because we’re ready to, and that means we are going out and having fun.

For the first time in a long time we are probably enjoying the freedom to come and go as we please, wear what we want, and stay up all night if that’s where the mood takes us.

We have probably hibernated under the blankets and eaten cereal straight from the box for a few weeks while we came to terms with the heartache – because regardless of who was to blame, or what happened… divorce is hard.

We’ve done the soppy movie and ice cream with one spoon nights, and probably redecorated our houses. If we are out being sociable, we’ve gone through the phases of a break up and are now enjoying, or learning to enjoy, the single life.
Please don’t pity us!


We’re an odd number

Really, does it matter, in the grand scheme of things, if you have nine people at your dinner party instead of a nice rounded eight?


This is a common problem. It’s not as evident on nights out where most of the evening will be spent standing, but dinner parties are a whole different ball game. There is this obsession with having even numbers seated at the table – us single ladies throw the continuity. We are one too many girls and upset the status quo. We make it messy.

But seriously…unless you suffer from OCD, having an odd number of guests around the table isn’t going to make any difference.


We will be grateful for any single male friends you have

We are knocking on a bit, so the dating pond is getting empty.


No. Just no. If anything, we are more choosy, not less. It’s true that as we get older we begin to appreciate other qualities in a prospective partner, but trying to set us up with a man who we wouldn’t have been attracted to the last time we were single is only going to end one way.

The truth is that we will have set the bar higher this time around. We’ve proved we can make it on our own, so we will date only if we want to, not because we HAVE to.
And the worse part of this whole setting us up thing, is when we don’t know you’re doing it! We’re happy to be going for dinner with a girlfriend and her husband. Just the three of us. Until wow, what a coincidence, your single male friend just happens to turn up. And he’s in on it, so thinks he’s onto a sure thing and boy, do things get awkward.
We do appreciate the sentiment, honestly, but please run it by us first.


We must be frigid

If we resist the advances of a man we’re frigid. Or gay.


This, out of all the others, is possibly the most insulting of all things associated with being single later in life.

I have lost count of the number of times when a friend of a friend has hit on me, and for whatever reason (I’m already dating, he’s not my type, I’m too busy to date or I simply don’t like him) I have turned him down, only to be accused (usually loudly) of being frigid. Or a lesbian. Of which I am neither.

I am simply particular about who I date, and I’d rather not date at all than date someone I didn’t like that much. And the same is true for most single women I have talked to.

We’re not a strange species at all. We are simply enjoying life and taking our time with choosing another person to share our lives with. If you know a divorcee, talk to her and you’ll see that she’s just like you, not some strange creature from another world to be viewed with suspicion.

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