Today, five senior singles feel being alone is better than being in a bad relationship. Nothing is worse than misery and heartache.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Most of the correspondence I receive from readers seeking advice usually falls into one of two categories: (1) how and where can they meet someone, or, (2) how they can get out of an unpleasant relationship.
Last week, we heard about Susan, who had been in a yo-yo relationship for a year. When her boyfriend alienated her, she would pull away; then, he'd try to reel her back in. She was unhappy, but admitted that breaking away was difficult.
Champs who responded agreed on one point: being alone is better than being miserable in a relationship.
Weltha said, "It's nice to have someone - but nothing is worse than misery and heartache."
Wayne, Dana Point, Ca., said, "Life gets complicated as we get older and I've found it's too hard to put together all the parts for a healthy relationship. Be with someone who enriches your life not who detracts from it. It's worse to be in a relationship that is unhealthy than to be alone."
Barbara, who experienced a disastrous later-in-life marriage, wants to keep others from the same fate. She emailed, "Choose your spouse well, take the time to really know him, his past, what his intentions are. As a 'mature adult,' we don't want to be taken advantage of; we want a relationship with a person who has integrity. Don't jump into the sack for the wrong reasons. Being in a bad relationship is worse than being alone."
Andrea emailed, "Being alone, although not ideal, is far better than being stuck in a dead-end relationship that is not mutually fulfilling and/or beneficial--been there, done that. I have been single for more years than I care to admit--but refuse to settle at this stage."
"Wow Tom," Champs might say, "you make it sound as if mid-life-plus romantic relationships have to be perfect." Of course they don't. At our age, at any age, perfect isn't going to happen. But relationships should be rewarding to both parties. People have to be happy enough to endure the bumps that inevitably arise between couples. And happy relationships do happen to older singles.
Bill, one of my long-time Dana Point, California, deli customers surprised me this week when he said he had moved in with his girlfriend. For the 20+ years I've known him, he had been living alone, a confirmed bachelor.
Bill said, "We get along beautifully, we have fun together and I thought, what's wrong with me? Why aren't we living together? Now we are and I'm so happy." (Then he whispered: "And we're each saving $500 a month in rent").
Off topic a bit but needing to be said: Saving money by living together is a great benefit, but only should be cashed in upon after all of the other important compatibility factors are figured in. It should never be the primary reason to live together, rather, the frosting on the cake.
I once met a woman who said, "I've been married and unhappy, and single and unhappy, and single and unhappy is better--because I can more easily correct the situation. If I'm stuck in an unhappy marriage or relationship, it's more challenging to break away." She was right.
Older singles seem to agree that being alone is far better than being in an unhappy relationship.