Living by yourself? Join the crowd.

The number of adults ages 45 to 64 who live alone has grown by more than 20 percent over the past decade alone. Worldwide, more than 334 million people will be living solo by 2020, according to Euromonitor International.

Solo dwellers report that they enjoy the independence, freedom and privacy of living alone. Most, however, also want to know that friends or family are nearby.

 
 

We All Crave Community

Independence and self-reliance are essential life skills for living solo, but it is equally important to create positive connections with others. Even the most introverted among us needs to have people in our life. Interactions with other humans add depth, pattern and rhythm to our day-to-day lives that helps keep us engaged and aware.

A strong social network also relieves stress, helps us recover from illness faster and can lead to a longer, happier life. People who have meaningful connections in their lives also tend to be active and healthier.

A Sense of Security

There is strength in numbers when it comes to living solo. No one wants to feel alone. We need to know that help will be available when we need it.

This becomes even more important as we get older. As single women, we need to consider where and how we will live, how we will make sure that we have a support system in place in an emergency, and how we will stay engaged with the world around us. We need a plan that will help maintain our quality of life, create community, protect our health and preserve our independence as we grow older.

No one wants to rely on others for their financial well-being. No one wants to be without a support system. These are issues that affect all women, solo or otherwise.

Women Are Great Community Builders

Over the years, you have likely become skilled at meeting new people and creating connections. Now it’s time to put those skills to work!

Shared activities are good for creating community. For me it has been hiking in groups. For you, it may be golf, running, dancing, painting or something similar. When we join a community that is centered around an activity, we surround ourselves with people who share that interest.

Activities also provide opportunities to learn new skills and have get-togethers to look forward to. For example, a fitness class can amp up your social life and provide a regular workout.

Find Friends While Having Fun

Social media sites like Meetup.com make it easy to find activities and groups. Travel clubs are a good way to find people who share an interest in exploring the world.

Volunteering can create community and a sense of satisfaction. Getting involved in a political campaign is also a good way to meet people with similar passion and perspective.

In my new book, Retiring Solo, I write about ways to create a supportive community as we get older. Here’s one of the strategies that I am employing as both a single woman and a solo entrepreneur. I am about to move into an active adult community where I will try my hand at ‘living alone, together’ for the first time. I love the idea of having the privacy of my own home, while knowing that I can go outside and find neighbors and new friends within reach at just about any time.

How do you create community in your life? Have you found a pain-free way to make new friends? How do you keep living alone from feeling lonely? Please join the conversation.

Lori MartinekLori Martinek is a successful entrepreneur, author and mentor to new and aspiring business owners. She is the owner of Encore Business Advisors, and the founder of @MindingHerBiz, a pro bono project which helps women embrace business ownership. Her latest book, Retiring Solo (2016) is available on Amazon.


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