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5 Ways to Live with Joy as a Single Older Woman

By Joan Frances Moran September 15, 2022 Lifestyle

I’ve been single for the last 20+ years. I got married in 1964, when I was 20 years old. I was married for 18 years (really, 15 years because that is when we separated). And then, after that, I had a relationship with a significant other for 17 years. Doing the math, I was in a relationship for 32 years and single for 45 years.

Remaining Single

It is my intention to stay single. This bold statement is not as drastic as it seems because I know that I will have male friends or boyfriends until I take my last breath. However, it is not my preference to co-habit with a man again (under the same roof) or marry a man no matter how much I love him.

I don’t want to engage in sharing financial planning with a man. I’ve reached the age where I want freedom to choose, to decide what I need. I’ve set my life up so that I can meet my needs and have fun doing it.

Years ago, people used to raise eyebrows at women who chose to live alone. Maybe some people still do. The term old maid comes to mind or even, “she’s just a little crazy.” A man may be called “the proverbial bachelor” but without the female stigma.

You might think it is absurd for me to plunge head on in the single direction and want to live for the rest of my life in singular bliss. Of course, I might be in assisted living someday, so that would negate my concerted desire to live alone. But that’s communal living for the most part, and that’s a horse of a different color.

In this moment of my singular journey, I’ve learned to find hope and strength, determination and happiness within myself, to solve my problems without constantly bothering others, and to design a fulfilling life.

I’ve learned to love being a woman in my own shoes, in my own company. I’ve learned to love myself without reservation.

Every morning when I take my half mile swim in Barton Springs and feel the cold water washing over my body, I give gratitude for the way my life keeps giving me inspiration, fulfilment and joy. When I practice Yoga, the stillness of my life brings me spiritual sustenance.

If you had known me decades ago, you would have seen a woman manically in search of a relationship, in search of togetherness, in search of a soul mate. I was lucky that I found a man who remarkably matched my sensibilities in all the ways I thought important – body, mind, and spirit.

When my partner died, I knew he would have wanted me to keep moving forward, to experience everything I desired, to stay close to my sons and grandchildren, to study, to be curious, to read and most important of all, to write.

My partner never saw my aspirations come to fruition, but it is enough for me to believe that his energy and inspiration infuses my choices and cheers my decisions on to this day.

I Am My Own Soul Mate

When I lived in Los Angeles, there was an online magazine called Singularity. The idea was to offer ideas, suggestions and activities to encourage singles to live a happy and fulfilling life. The real intent of the magazine was to dissolve the stigma of living single.

I poured through the contents of the magazine for a while. In the beginning of my single journey, I was fascinated by single women in their 30s, 40s and 50s. They were fearless and powerful figures.

I wanted some of what they had because for most of my life I had wanted a live-in sexy buddy no matter the terms. Isn’t that what women were supposed to want?

It all began to change after I retired. Retirement was me, alone me, embracing the responsibility of living life to the fullest without wishing for something that wasn’t my reality. I began to feel me in all my glory. I began to think I was my own soul mate.

Flying High

When I have a date now, when I dance in Austin and meet up with my male friends, I feel confident and joyful. It’s been an evolution of sorts and change has been a constant companion.

Flying to see my family and friends in Las Vegas frequently, making travel plans to hike the Himalayas, taking a future family trip to Israel, meeting up with an old lover and having the time to create my own day, my own social scene, my quiet nights and quiet days, is my singular life.

Here are 5 suggestions for living single with joy:

  • Stay true to yourself, your values and your passions and life will be joyful and fulfilling.
  • Understand your vulnerability because recognizing your emotional landscape will give you the ability to create your life.
  • Be committed to self-reflection through the practice of meditation.
  • Find humor in practically everything, and search for the ironies in life.
  • Accept yourself completely.

Being single means practicing the art of self-love with consciousness and forgiveness. Being single means eliminating the negative and focusing on positive possibilities and opportunities. And finally, being single means remembering that life is an action, not a thought.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

For those of you who are single, how do you feel about your life? Are you happy? Do you find living single challenging, enjoyable or fulfilling? For those of you who are in a committed relationship, do you fear being single at some point in your life? Please join the conversation below.

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I want to thank you so much for your encouragement! I am 64 years old and retired and this article has motivated me to continue in my journey to love myself completely!

Annabelle Staebell

Love the article as I can identify myself in it. I feel blessed to be single. When I retired 2 years ago, I made a point to have a social life and to continue learning. So far, I have fulfilled that objective.
Thanks for sharing


I am now single after 44 years of marriage. I am 73 years old. I pretty much never lived by myself until now. It has been 1 1/2 years after the divorce and I believe I am finally adjusting to single life. I don’t really know if I want to try dating. I cut my own grass and take care of my house. I am very lucky. However, at times, I miss being part of a couple. I wonder if that will change as time goes on?


Joan, this article is spot on. By far one of the best I’ve read here. Maybe it’s just that I’m at this same stage in my life as you. After three marriages, a lot of work and compromising, I am so embracing my single life! It’s revealing, it’s fun, it’s full of sexual adventures! Do I get lonely sometimes? Only sometimes. :-)

Teresita Abad

I sooooo love this article! I am in the same page and stage as you, Joan. Everything that you said here is true. So, let’s stay single and be happy.

The Author

Joan Moran is a keynote speaker, commanding the stage with her delightful humor, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. She is an expert on wellness and is passionate about addressing the problems of mental inertia. A yoga instructor, Joan is the author of her wise and funny memoir, "60, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer" and "I'm the Boss of Me! Stay Sexy, Smart & Strong At Any Age". Her latest book, a thriller titled “An Accidental Cuban” is now available on Amazon. Check out Joan's website and follow on Twitter @joanfmoran.

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