HAPPY TO BE SINGLE
These days I am constantly being asked if I am happy to be a single person and not in a relationship – and the answer to this has to be an unequivocal YES.
I was in relationships for forty years of my adult life and am grateful for those years. I admit that for the first few years of being single after that, it was hard to adjust. When you are so used to being with another person it can be difficult to start living alone. It is all too easy to get used to the compromises that go hand in hand with the pleasure and satisfaction of living with another person. All too often I found myself listening to opinions I didn’t agree with and making decisions I didn’t want to – and making no objection. It wasn’t that I was a coward exactly, or being brainwashed. It just seemed simpler to live that way and seemed to me what was expected when being part of a relationship. It wasn’t until I broke away that I found what an enormous pleasure it was to have my own opinions and make my own decisions with complete freedom. I admire couples greatlyly who have been in the same relationship for 50 plus years, but at this particular time in my life I know it is not for me. There are so many reasons – and I speak personally in this – but for a start, at the age of 76 I am not as physically fit as I used to be. I would hate to feel I was dependent on another person to look after me and constantly having to make arrangements to fit in with what I could do. I like to deal with my own problems my own way. I watch with admiration the care people take when their other half is chronically ill. I am not sure I would be very good at this – although I hope I would have dealt with whatever was needed of me had the circumstances arisen. But it is something of a relief that this is now not going to happen. I can live my days as I choose and feel perfectly happy and fulfilled.
The next question that inevitably follows the first, is the question of loneliness. Aren’t I lonely?
The answer to this is no, I am not. I think I am probably lucky in this. I have always enjoyed my own company and can now spend my time doing the things I like most in my own time. Even if bedridden (which I have been on occasions) there are books to read, endless DVD’s of old films and opera productions to watch and for me of course, there is writing. I can never be alone as long as my imagination is working. At the moment, happily, I am not bedridden, so there are family and friends to see, places to go to, theatres, picture galleries and so on and so forth. All in moments when I choose.
I do realise that I may be unusual in this. There is a great deal of legitimate concern over the problem of loneliness in our ageing population. Many have been so used to living in a relationship that when suddenly deprived of this in old age, they find themselves stranded in a sea of loneliness. I have great sympathy for their plight, especially if they are confined to a space with no source of companionship. This is where the plea for more money from social services comes in. And that is a political can of worms that can be dealt with another time.
Meanwhile I am still waiting for my book cover to arrive for THE BRINI BOY. I hope by my next blog I will have news of this and of its publication. So for holiday reading I refer you to my THREE LIVES TRILOGY.
the increase in our elderly population and their loneliness. I think this is mainly due to isolation, especially if someone has been deprived of a companion they’d had all their lives. I started my single life early enough to find