As many of my single contemporaries boldly walk with contentment into their sunset years, others, stricken with anxiety, walk insecurely through their valley of the shadow of death. In some cases, the fear of being alone causes seniors to coexist with an incompatible mate although at the price of a lower quality of life, which is called settling. There are alternatives to settling. Seniors living alone or who are not happily married should form more quality relationships through social clubs, church groups, and/or an “innocent” fulfilling hobby for example. However, don’t deceive yourself, adultery and/or alcohol does not qualify as “innocent” fulfilling hobbies.
Being single and lonely during senior years is not a rickety bridge that everyone who is not married must cross. Although I admit that being alone during certain times in the twilight of your life can arouse fear. Most people alone regard the experience of uncertainties as walking late at night down a dark road, and growing old can feel like a walk down a dark road, and that walk alone is dreaded. There is a sense of safety in numbers and two is a higher number than one, which implies that some long-term marriages and relationships exist by default.
Since women are ordinarily more prone to fear than men, I suspect that the anxiety of being alone for female seniors is higher than it is for males. I mean totally alone without children, grandchildren or other relatives in the house. This likelihood is valid for several reasons: (1) women live longer than men (2) older married women worry about losing their men to younger women (3) women feel they need a man around the house for the heavy lifting, and (4) to lower the crime risk factor. Although men also have anxiety about being old and alone, it is more likely related to (1) no woman to cuddle. And (2) see number one.
Seniors who prefer not be alone regardless can nearly always settle for or latch on to an incompatible mate. There are plenty of disgruntled misfits to choose from. However, accepting an incompatible mate is like choosing the ZONK door on the “Let’s Make a Deal Show.”
Behind door number one was an all expense paid trip around the world. Behind door number two was a sweet and obliging mate. And behind door number three, ZONK, an old fool with a bad attitude.
What every senior living alone really needs is good health insurance, a good friend, a little spending money, and a regular compatible cuddling companion and everything will be all right.
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