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By Tom Blake
Marillee emailed, saying she had read that single women age 65-plus don’t want to live with a man. She wanted to know if that was true. I asked my e-newsletter readers for their opinions. Fifteen women responded by email:
Terry: “Humans our age are set in their ways. Sex is nice but not necessary (at least for women), separation of incomes is tricky, and sharing of living space—unless the space is huge—would be difficult.”
Laurie Jo: “I have mixed feelings regarding being a couple under the same roof. My boyfriend of five years lives 90 minutes away.
“I am lonely a lot of the time. Living together is not an option for us; I have decided that, for now, going back and forth for each of us on alternating weekends is OK.”
Elizabeth: “I know many older women who want companionship but are worried about living together. Many are afraid of taking on household chores or losing financial independence.”
Kaitte: “I’m an independent woman, not needing a man to take care of me—most men can’t handle that.”
Susan, 78: “I love having my own place.”
Deanne, 67: “I was happily married for 30 years, lost my husband six years ago. I want to live with a partner, to enjoy making a home together. I’m better as a partner than as a solo act.”
Hamila: “I was married for 42 wonderful years and was a caregiver for the last six years of my husband’s life. I have no desire to live with another man. I enjoy male company, but I do not want to share my home.”
Gail: “I would live with a man for a couple of days each week, plus on trips and adventures. But full-time? No thank you. I’m too independent and happy.”
Lisa: “I moved last year from Southern California to Tucson. While I would like to find a partner, the LAT (living apart together) arrangement describes my preference.
“I’d like to find someone to do activities with, share meals, and have sleepovers, but I want my freedom and independence. too.”
Arlene: “It’s a trade-off! We get a roof; they get a slave. Not for me! My ex never cleaned his toilet. He never cleaned anything except his car every Sunday morning, which prevented him from churching with me.”
Kathleen, 60: “I would like having a male companion to spend time with, especially seeing concerts, plays, book readings, or even going out with for a meal, but living together—no thanks!”
Dianne: “No. Once is enough. Can’t see how any man over 60 could offer anything that would make moving in worthwhile.”
Bonnie: “While a man’s companionship is wonderful, being solo is also wonderful. Such an individual thing.”
Alicia, 68: “I stay busy with my hobbies. I would love to share a home with a man. I would hope the man would likewise have his hobbies, interests, and friends.”
Mary Lou, 75: “I can’t imagine living with someone today. I have turned into an independent senior woman, and I like my routine.”
Most single women age 65-plus would like a male companion, but less than 25 percent of this group want to live with a man. The word “independent” was mentioned often. Might women choosing to live alone become a trend?
How each relationship plays out is different. As Bonnie said, “Such an individual thing.” There is no right or wrong response.
One thing this pandemic has taught us: we all need our space, we need time alone. But it’s still mighty nice to come home to that welcome hug from our mate.
Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at findingloveafter50.com. To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org