Major Myth Busting About Over-45 Solo Ladies
According to Singled Out (St. Martin's Press, 2006), college students in a recent poll described older people as "lonely, shy, unhappy, insecure, inflexible and stubborn."
So AARPThe Magazine, did a poll of its own, of over 2,500 single women over 45. (Nearly half of the 57 million American women over 45 is single; that's larger than the population of Australia!) Because of later marriages, divorce and outliving loved ones, American women are now more likely to spend more years on their own then with a significant other.
And guess what AARP found from their huge sampling? Things have changed! Myths are dashed. Many older single women are living lives of secret contentment, embracing challenges and opportunities. For example:
Myth 1: Single women are desperate to find a mate. Reality: Relationships are fine, but far from an obsession. About one in 10 of us over 45 have no desire to date; the rest are looking for the right guy, if he comes along, and he's worth it. But if we don't find him, we're fine as well.
Myth 2: Solo ladies are lonely. Reality: Everybody is lonely now and then. But most women enjoy their solitude.
Myth 3: Older women don't know much about investing. Reality: Women may be timid, but make fewer mistakes than men, and are more willing to listen to financial advisors..
Myth 4: Baby-boomer women are well-off. Reality: Many women under 60 are in debt. One reason: They work hard and feel entitled to play hard.
Myth 5: Retirement is filled with more time on your hands -- and more cats. Reality: Retirement is most often exciting, with the freedom to pursue dreams, and to reinvent yourself.
Myth 6: Older women give up on their appearance. Reality: No way. Think Botox! Solo ladies pay more attention to their appearance than marrieds.
Myth 7: A single women's worst fear is being old and sick alone. Reality: All women will probably end up alone; solo ladies worry more about being dependent.
Myth 8: Older women regret the lack of close ties. Reality: Many solo ladies have greater social support than married women, including extended families, close friends, and communities.
Myth 9: Older solo ladies are sex-starved. Reality: Only about a quarter were active in the last six months, and about that many would be satisfied without any more sex, ever. But only two percent date to satisfy their needs. Well...there are compensations.
Myth 10: Solo ladies aren't as healthy as marrieds. Reality: Generally true, but improving. About half of us think our health is good or excellent.