Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is there life after 55? - looking at being single.

(67 Posts)
rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 07:30:18

I'm looking at the end of my 20 year relationship, we have 1 grown up daughter now at University and I think we have done all the talking we can do. I could stay, he says he still loves me but there is no sexual relationship and hasn't been for about 6 years (his choice) and I know it will not return. However, I think it would end badly and at the moment I can barely look at him. But I am petrified of being alone. I do not have a wide circle of friends and don't make them easily. I like a man in my life and would like to think it's possible to find love again - but is it?

Mittensonastring Fri 06-Jan-17 07:34:04

Well hello I'm in a similar boat as you. 19 years together and feeling miserable as sin currently.We have got used to being in a relationship so the thought of being alone is scary.

Cricrichan Fri 06-Jan-17 08:13:08

I'd rather be happily alone than unhappily with someone. Start making more effort to socialise, go on a course etc to widen your social circle and inject some fun on your life and give you the confidence to move on. If you don't already have a job then find one or volunteer etc.

TheNaze73 Fri 06-Jan-17 08:18:56

I think there most definitely is.

55, isn't what it was 20 years ago.

Did your DP ever try to sort his problem out? If he hadn't, if have to walk out of principle

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 08:24:25

I guess I was hoping for a bit more than brusque platitudes. I have a high powered responsible job actually and have worked all my life. I would really value any advice/thoughts from someone who has been through similar. Feeling lost.

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 08:25:05

Mitten - feel for you - it's a lonely place

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 08:26:44

at thenaze - no he didn't, despite many 'conversations'. I resorted to casual flings - he had an affair. A horrible mess.

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 08:27:38

P.S does DP stand for dear partner??

Fadingmemory Fri 06-Jan-17 08:29:44

I felt completely lost when my marriage broke up. 15 years on I am far happier alone. I would never have considered being happy and single until I tried it. Now retired, volunteering, hill walking, dance classes, swimming, socialising. The freedom far outweighs anything I miss. I do not miss being expected to have a meal on the table the minute a man walks through the door, the demands for sex, the complete loss of self. Singledom does not work for everyone but try it for a while at least, you might be surprised. Very upsetting stage for you just now so good luck.

Lunenburg Fri 06-Jan-17 08:35:34

FWIW I was widowed at 51 and have never had another relationship.

I met people through OLD and shared activities but many online had a sweetie shop mentality and others badly burned by Divorces etc. I definitely think that most people starting again in their late 50's early 60's are cautious of long term committed relationships.

However, what surprised me most is how much I love being alone now (10 years on). I do what I want, when I want, with a wide and ever increasing circle of both male and female friends. When I was first alone work still consumed me (I also had a very high powered job) but gradually I started to let that go and really melt into a much rounder well fufilled life.

I caught myself walking on the beach yesterday, actually sighing at how happy my life has become.

Go for it !!

Lunenburg Fri 06-Jan-17 08:40:47

Should add I really only had two close friends when DH died.

Being alone attracts people into your life !!

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 08:49:58

Thankyou Lunenburg. I'm not sure I'm good on my own, but maybe I will find a way.

Lunenburg Fri 06-Jan-17 09:16:26

I would and did, think the same when first faced with it.

The important thing is to treat it as an adventure, not a disaster.

I could write endless lists of the positives and find very few negatives. There are odd occasions when I catch myself yearning for a hand to hold, but I then remember something a friend told me very early on. 'When you look at couples and yearn for that, watch and check out how many appear truly happy'.

Try it. I increasingly recognise that there are many miserable couples. I assume a lot of people stay together out of habit or because they are afraid of being alone.

Only you can know whether it is worth staying in your current relationship, but don't let the fear of loneliness stop you from making changes that could give you a happier, more fulfilled, life.

We are lucky to live at a time where there is no stigma in being a woman alone. Some of my girlfriends tell me that they actually envy me my freedom !!

Pearl372 Fri 06-Jan-17 09:17:56

Join "Meetup" online lots of Social groups in your area.
I'm in several groups, people from all walks of life.
Just been away over New Year for 3 days with one group.
Laughed all weekend.
Check it out online.

lilybetsy Fri 06-Jan-17 10:46:23

Im on my own again t 52, by my choice. I was miserable in my relationship, stressed and unhappy. Being alone is way better , no anger, resentment or frustration. I cant 'please myself' as I have three children at home (youngest is 11) but I have reduced my stress by 70%...

Its a hell of a lot better than living with someone you can barely look at. I haven't even considered dating again at the moment, I'm not ready, but I certainly wouldn't assume that I will be alone forever

absolutelynotfabulous Fri 06-Jan-17 10:56:48

Me toosad. I'm 57. My relationship has pretty much broken down, but we're still living together. DD 15 still at home, so tricky.

I can never see myself in a relationship again. I'm more scared of being broke than alone. I'm pathetic, I know.

However I know a few people who've done it. A very good friend (gay) late 60's has found someonesmile online. I hope it works out for her. Another acquaintance in her 60's found someone online too.

But me? No. I'm too bitter and twisted now.

Have you thought why it's so important to you to have someone in your life again?

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 11:04:40

to abnotfab. I like men and I love affection and that particular type of closeness. But I am bringing myself to comprehend it may not happen and that I will be single for the rest of my life and that somehow when I'm feeling stronger I will find a way to get something unique out of the situation.

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 11:05:52

to Pearl - thanks for the tip.

Dowser Fri 06-Jan-17 17:36:14

I was 56 when I got divorced and met my new husband the same year.
We married in 2015 when I was 63 and him 62 and are really happy so good luck with your new future

Dowser Fri 06-Jan-17 17:37:19

We met through old.., btw
He was my second date and I was his third.

Lonelystarbuckslover Fri 06-Jan-17 17:46:17

My Dad is aged 56 and newly single so I am telling him often this story about a good friend of mine.

She had been in a dead, abusive marriage before becoming single. Following this, she went on an overseas work trip and made a gentleman friend, was not looking at all, they kept in contact. She was 57 at the time. They are together five years later. I love seeing them together, she's like a 17 year old around him - she had given up on being in a relationship with someone who wanted to spoon her at night, shag her, go on spa days with, send her texts saying how lucky he is to be with her and now she has all those things. He is a wonderful man. She is happier than I am in my love life aged 33. It gives me great hope in life that love and sex are not just for the young. Hence me telling dad this whose confidence is in the gutter and is depressed about lifelong celibacy.

Cary2012 Fri 06-Jan-17 18:05:19

rosabug, I'm your age, and was approaching 50 when my 20 year marriage ended. I'm ok, still single as I still feel too vulnerable to try dating. I have some amazing friends and the freedom to please myself far outweighs the occasional bouts of loneliness I feel.

I won't pretend it's a bed of roses, financially mine and my adult kids lifestyles are very different, but generally it is so much better than putting up with a loveless marriage.

Think of it this way: if you stay, you know you won't be happy in a year's time, if anything you'll be more unhappy than you currently are, but if you go, you are opening yourself up to new possibilities and happiness.

I need to feel that I could date again, and I won't fall apart if it doesn't work out. I have met some lovely men, but I put my guard up and back away because I'm scared of being hurt. But hopefully I will get my emotional strength back to start afresh with someone.

I don't feel old or past it at 55, I certainly hope I meet someone, but the crucial thing I've learnt is that being on my own is fine, most of the time it's good. This surprised me, because I've been in relationships from my mid teens.

There is a special type of loneliness that exists in an unhappy marriage. I truly thank God every day that I no longer experience that.

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 18:14:15

to lonely starbuckslover - thanks so much for that thoughtful and happy story, just what I want to hear! I have asked DP to move out today and at this moment (maybe not tomorrow) I feel relieved. I just want to find myself again.... somehow. If your father wants someone to talk to who is going through similar I will happily send my email.

kaitlinktm Fri 06-Jan-17 18:21:35

Divorced when I was 48 and now at 61 am still single. To be fair, I haven't tried any dating - just surviving with a tough job and two teenagers was enough at first, I hadn't room in my life or energy for anything else.

Now I am happy on my own and wouldn't like a full-on relationship - certainly wouldn't marry or live full time with anyone. But I wouldn't mind having company, some uncomplicated sex - but I can't want it that much as I haven't done anything about it.

rosabug Fri 06-Jan-17 18:23:37

Dear cary2012 I have a story to tell you. In my early thirties a relationship broke down with someone I had lived with and loved very much for 7 years. I was devastated, on anti-depressants, therapist, the lot. For 2 -3 years after I was very fearful and terrified of that place again. I had a new male friend at the time and he made it plain he fancied me - eventually I gave in, but it all went tits up. About the same time I had a huge crush on a beautiful man named Keith (oh the longing!!). He eventually asked me out and we dated a bit - that went tits up too! But I suddenly realised something - what I feared had already happened - and these disappointments were merely pin-pricks, gone in a couple of weeks. After that I wasn't afraid of being hurt again. Take the risk, expect nothing, expect to get a little burned, know you will be fine.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: