Mid-life singles prefer being alone versus stuck in a bad relationship

By Tom Blake

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Tom Blake

Most of the correspondence I receive from readers seeking advice usually falls into one of two categories: either how and where to meet someone, or how to get out of an unpleasant relationship.

In my last column, I wrote about Susan, who had been in a yo-yo relationship for a year. Her boyfriend would do something to alienate her so she would pull away, and then he’d try to reel her back in. She was unhappy, but admitted that breaking away was difficult.

Readers who responded to Susan’s plight seemed to agree on one point—being alone is better than being miserable in a relationship.

Weltha said, “It’s nice to have someone, but nothing is worse than misery and heartache.”

Wayne from Dana Point, said, “Life gets complicated as we get older and I’ve found it’s too hard to put together all the parts for a healthy relationship. Be with someone who enriches your life, not who detracts from it. It’s worse to be in a relationship that is unhealthy than to be alone.”

Barbara, formerly of San Juan Capistrano, experienced a disastrous later-in-life marriage. She emailed, “Choose your spouse well, take the time to really know him, his past, what his intentions are. As a ‘mature adult,’ we don’t want to be taken advantage of; we want a relationship with a person who has integrity. Don’t jump into the sack for the wrong reasons. Being in a bad relationship is worse than being alone.”

Andrea emailed, “Being alone, although not ideal, is far better than being stuck in a dead-end relationship that is not mutually fulfilling and/or beneficial—been there, done that. I have been single for more years than I care to admit, but refuse to settle at this stage.”

Do romantic relationships have to be perfect? Of course not. At our age, at any age, perfect isn’t going to happen. But relationships should be rewarding to both parties. And happy relationships do happen to older singles.

Bill, one of my long-time Dana Point deli customers surprised me this week when he said he has moved in with his girlfriend. For the more than 20 years I’ve known him, he has been living alone.

Bill said, “We get along beautifully, we have fun together and I thought, what’s wrong with me? Why aren’t we living together? Now we are and I’m so happy.” Then he whispered, “And we’re each saving $500 a month in rent.”

I once met a woman who said, “I’ve been married and unhappy, and single and unhappy, and single and unhappy is better, because I can more easily correct the situation. If I’m stuck in an unhappy marriage, it’s more challenging to break away.”

Older singles seem to agree that being alone is better than being in an unhappy relationship.

Tom Blake is a San Clemente resident and Dana Point business owner who has authored three books on middle-aged dating. For more information, see www.findingloveafter50.com. To comment, email tompblake@gmail.com.

This month’s age 50 plus singles Meet and Greet will be Thursday, June 27, at 5 p.m. at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway #116 in Dana Point. For questions call 949.248.9008.

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