Being an “independent couple” is not just for those in their 20s and 30s, but for some older people as well.
Although being alone in the later years of life often carries a stigma of loneliness, some people simply prefer to live life on their own terms, whether that means not having to share a bed or have dinner on someone else’s schedule. Here, five happily single seniors share their stories.
‘They never criticize you’
Di Moloney, 72, Melbourne
Di Moloney married in her mid-20s, had two daughters with her husband, and then divorced in 1987 at the age of 36. She became interested in dating and finding an “ideal match” until she was 50, but then came to the conclusion. she “was not interested” because she already “had enough friends and colleagues.”
“Now, for many, many years, I have chosen to remain single,” says Moloney. “You cook when you want, you eat the food you want, you have a glass of wine when you want, nobody criticizes you in any way because you are only to blame if something goes wrong – There are many advantages to being single.
“I would say that I am successfully single.”
‘The biggest problem is trying to live with someone’
Kerrie Lorimer, 70, Sydney
Kerrie Lorimer married her husband in 1973, a month after meeting him for the first time. They had two children and spent 14 years together before separating, and she has been single ever since, for more than 30 years.
Having suffered a brain injury as a result of a car accident 20 years ago, Lorimer is disabled and receives a pension. She lives alone, but says that being alone is not a problem and points out that she has a few close friends, a variety of caregivers who come every week, and that she is actively involved in her local community as a member of a group of local writers and organizations that help “Fight the developers.”
“I think the biggest problem is trying to live with someone,” he says. “I think it is difficult to live with another person. I mean, even before he had a brain injury. “
She says that one of the main benefits of not having a partner is “that you are independent.”
“It’s more than I miss my children because they live on the interstate and are isolated from my grandchildren … they are the relationships I prefer to enjoy at this point in my life.”
‘I have no constriction’
Charlene Fisher, 70, Encounter Bay, South Australia
Charlene Fisher was married for 22 years, had two children, and has been divorced and single for two decades. When she married her now ex-husband, they were “deeply in love” but separated. “Now that I’m at this point in my life, I’m pretty happy, pretty happy where I am,” she says.
“I don’t have to make excuses or work on anyone else’s schedule. So if I have a strange day and I just want to sit here and read a book, then I sit here and read a book. Or when I want to do some gardening, I do it … I have no restrictions on myself or my time. “
However, she notes, “I would never regret marrying my husband because we produced two amazing people. They are the apple of my eye. “
His two sons now live in different cities, his son in Melbourne and his daughter in Los Angeles, and they have families of their own. As a result, you can’t see them as much as you’d like, but you stay in touch through Zoom and with regular phone calls.
“Since I have been alone for so long, I have become very independent.”
‘Friendships are more valuable’
Bruce Cowper, 74, Sydney
Bruce Cowper has been married twice and has never had children. For more than 10 years she has lived without a partner, focusing instead on her friendships, hobbies and self-fulfillment.
I’ve been through so many relationships [in the past] because I think I was looking for someone who would make my life feel full and complete. And I came to the conclusion that I was barking up the wrong tree. If I wanted to feel satisfied and complete, I had to come out of myself, instead of looking for it somewhere or someone else. “
“And I came to the conclusion that the best way to ruin a good friendship was to establish a romantic relationship and I have decided that friendships are more valuable to me. I don’t want to ruin any more good friendships. “
That was unless he found “someone loaded down” with “a large property and a private jet,” he laughs.
‘I manage very well’
Jessica *, 73, Victor Harbor, South Australia
Jessica *, now with two grown children, has been married twice, the last of which ended with an amicable separation two years ago. “I don’t want to be miserable for the next 10 years of my life,” he says. “I want to live it the way I want to live it.”
Jessica admits that the separation came with financial worries, but she copes with the old-age pension. “I manage very well. I’m not skimping, I still have a glass of wine and I eat comfortably, I eat well and I can afford to go out for coffee or dinner from time to time, ”he says. But you have to learn to live within your means. Most of the women I know do. “
For Jessica, things have improved since she decided to be single again. “I lived alone for five years with husbands and should have remembered how good it was then. Being able to choose what you do when you do it, how you do it and keep the place tidy or clean for you, not cleaning what someone else does, and being free to be yourself. “He also notes that” having the bed to yourself it’s just great. “
With that understanding of how good singleness can be, she hopes her daughter, who has recently separated from her third marriage, can follow in her footsteps: “I hope that maybe that was the last … because she really enjoys the lifetime”.
*Jessica requested that her name be changed for privacy
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism