Baby Boomers Who Are “Single at Heart”
“People who are “single at heart” may or may not have the occasional romantic relationship, but they do not aspire to live as a couple (married or otherwise) for the long term. They really are happily and securely single, not just until the perfect person comes along, but for the foreseeable future.”
The quote above is from Dr. Bella Depaulo’s blog post ““Single at Heart” Is It Quirkyalone’s Naughty Cousin? Quirkyalones aren’t threatening to the coupled-at-heart” on https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog. This blog along with many others on the subject can be found at this site and on Dr. DePaulos’ website, http://belladepaulo.com/ and http://blogs.psychcentral.com/, the site where she’s a contributor to the “Single at Heart” blog. The term “single at heart’ was coined by Bella, who’s spent years researching the various aspects of the single life and published several books on the subject. Her book “Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After” is about exactly what the title advertises. It’s a must read for singles of all ages and provides insights for people in any type of a relationship.
The word “Quirkyalone” was invented by Sasha Cagen, the movement’s originator. She offers this definition of her term at http://quirkyalone.net/: “Quirkyalone (n., adj.) A quirkyalone is a person who enjoys being single (or spending time alone) and so prefers to wait for the right person to come along rather than dating indiscriminately. Quirkyalones prefer to be single rather than settle.” I include it here as a potential site for information and since the article cited above deals with the difference. It may also better fit into your characterization of the single Baby Boomer. You can take her quiz at http://quirkyalone.net/index.php/site-map/take-the-qa-quiz/.
Baby Boomers were raised to believe the myth of a handsome prince and princess falling in love and living happily ever after. For many people that wasn’t the case, so divorce, dating, and remarriage became the norm. Some of us who were previously married now find, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re “single at heart” and may have always been that way.
Defying the expectations of our parents wasn’t easy when we were growing up and remaining single still goes against what coupled contemporaries believe is good for us. How many times have people told you that they’d try to find you a good partner? They assume that if you live, sleep, go to restaurants, movies and, on trips alone, you’re sad and lonely. Then they tell you how happy they are when their spouse goes somewhere without them and they have the house and their bed to themselves.
Maybe the “single at heart” prefer that more often. They still have family and friends with whom they can spend time. When they’ve had enough, the option to go back to their fortress of solitude is welcome. They can surround themselves with things and pets they love and decide what and when they want to eat, or watch on TV. Lounging in bed in the morning, sitting around in PJs, and going to bed late isn’t frowned on by their pets. Coming and going without telling anyone isn’t a problem, but if they want human contact, there are people everywhere. Sometimes just walking around a mall or on the beach can offer more than enough people time. If they want a more personal form of communication, they’ve time to cultivate friends since they don’t have to be available for a significant other.
With all of the forms of electronic communication available there’s seldom a time when we can’t make instant contact with anyone who has a phone or other device. We’re never alone in the real or virtual world. How then can anyone be truly lonely? It depends on our temperament. People can be lonely in a crowd if they can’t make connections. Those who are “single at heart” don’t have that problem. They’re self-sufficient and prefer making their own decision on every aspect of their life. That doesn’t mean that they don’t seek out advice from professionals, friends, and family, but the ultimate decision is all theirs.
Baby Boomers who are “single at heart” aren’t always carefree. They’re often the ones family count on to be caregivers or bosses believe can work holidays and weekends. They give up their alone time to be there for family and friends when people with family responsibilities are unavailable. Volunteer organizations often count on singles to come to the rescue when coupled people can’t. Singles have to learn how to say no or risk losing the freedom and solitude that’s essential to their mental health.
Some of us are born feeling the need to be on our own. Baby Boomers may discover that they’re “single at heart” later in life. Divorce or the death of a spouse may give you the opportunity to make a life change that you’ve always wanted. No matter how you came to the decision, embrace it and give it a chance. It may be the way you want to spend the rest of your life.
Continue your adventure.
Dr. Bella Depaulo’s blog entry ““Single at Heart” – Is It Quirkyalone’s Naughty Cousin? Quirkyalones aren’t threatening to the coupled-at-heart” which posted Apr 06, 2010 on https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog. This blog along with many others on the subject can be found at this site and on Dr. DePaulo’s’ website, http://belladepaulo.com/ and http://blogs.psychcentral.com/