Women Choosing to Be Single Instead of Married in Old Age

I really didn’t plan on beating this marriage thing to death, but there have been a spate of articles about marriage recently.

This one validates something I already suspected from writing this blog for 5 years: that single women, in particular, are opting out of marriage and remarriage.

It makes sense from many perspectives. Women are self-sufficient in a way they weren’t 30 years ago. The stigma against divorce is largely gone. There are other single women with whom you can have a strong community. And there’s been an increase in people looking for happiness and being unwilling to suffer through unhappy marriages. These are all good things.

I agree wholeheartedly that it’s better to be single than to be in a bad relationship.

Because if it’s not abundantly clear from the previous Saturday posts on marriage, I’m not a dogmatist, I’m a pragmatist. I believe that marriage can and should be a positive force, but only if both parties are on the same page and willing to make the necessary sacrifices for that marriage. I agree wholeheartedly that it’s better to be single than to be in a bad relationship.

Just don’t forget who’s choosing the bad relationship – you.

Which means that you can choose a good relationship and a good marriage when you’re good and ready.

You don’t have to opt out of it for life as so many of these women in the NYT article do. Click here to read the article if you have a NYT subscription.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (154 Comments).
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  1. 91

    Amy makes some very relevant and interesting  points and I can honestly say that the older I have gotten and the more I see if live the harder it has become to stand by the whole consensus of men and women being equally ‘good’

    I look around the world and see murder and domestic violence and war and rape and child abuse. The vast majority of these crimes are perpetrated by men against women.

    I see women valued purely for youth and appearance. I see a world where I stop and question whether men secretly hate us. I read only recently research by professor Gail Dines that showed 88percent of mainstream porn showed violence against women in the form of physical  abuse, spitting on the woman or calling them sluts and whores. Considering men are by far the main consumers im left to question why qbuse against women is so exciting to So many men

    it is really becoming harder and harder to not question whether men are simply

    less evolved

    1. 91.1

      I’ve come to the same conclusion. I can barely hang onto any respect for men as  a gender just thinking about the truth they show online about what they really think about women and sex.  Are they just animals? Porn, sex, youth – girls younger than their own daughters, my daughters – yuck. The violence, the sex, the sex, that money is success and apparently makes them ‘worth’ something – material possessions? – that is what they strive for? I feel at peace having made the decision to leave them to it – let someone else put up with them and their egos – as shallow as they are.  They can believe their money makes them valuable to women – only to women who haven’t yet figured out what hell it is to be with someone who is so empty and pretty much hates women and just sees them as a worthless sex toy.

  2. 92

    Who says that every woman needs sex? They, they need, they for sure have a partner. After I broke with my partner (love of my life), I did never wish to have sex with anybody. All I need is a good friend to help me; but men don’t need women for friends.


  3. 93

    Wow! Interesting thread.  I was married almost 45 years when my wife died at 64.  We married when she was 19.  I would give  everything I own including my right arm and right eye to have her back.  Love is a precious thing.  Much (not all) of this thread trivializes it and somehow blames men for the lack of it.

    When my wife was in our home as she was dying.  She had 24 hour nurse care in our home for almost 3 weeks.  Every single nurse told me to get on the dance floor whenever she passes.  I didn’t know why, they all just said, “life is short.”  That was their only answer. So, I did start taking lessons and did get on the floor within 3 weeks of her passing.  My first dance partner was about 75 and full of life.  I am 68.  This much I have learned from dancing.  Every woman I ask to dance WANTS me to hold her, WANTS me to watch her as she dances, WANTS my attention, WANTS to feel free, WANTS to feel confident in the process.  None of the women who are there to dance hate men.

    I will consider marriage, or a long term relationship.  I still have my faculties, am degreed, financially stable, no police record, have multiple sources of income, still have most of my teeth, a full head of hair, not over weight, am free to travel and I love women.  Women in their 50’s and 60’s are my target group, not younger women.  However, I will consider ONLY a woman who can show unselfish love and be willing to receive it in return.   Reading this thread shows me that there are some here who are capable of showing unselfish love, while others, for whatever reason, can’t.

    This I have learned since my wife died, I have a better chance of finding any future love on the dance floor.

  4. 94


    You are awesome. If you do write a blog, I will be all over it like white on rice.

    And, yes, there are more quality women than men in the world. I’ve given up on finding a good one and have been happy giving up the search. I’d rather spend my time making me and my friends happy.

  5. 95

    What you want to achieve in life is made harder or simpler in what you choose to believe in life.

    For example: If I believe that all women are bad, then even if I date women, my subconcious will always be looking for things to confirm my already existing belief. This will lead to bad experiences with women, and will further enforce this negative belief – making the belief harder to get rid of.

    If you honestly want good relationships and you havent been successful, I would look at what you currently believe about men, women and relationships in general – identify the beliefs that are stopping you from achieving your goal relationship – and change it to a belief that supports your goal relationship.


    Changing a belief you have IS HARD, but the results are definitely worth it.


  6. 96

    Men as a cohort produce a surplus from work in western countries until 85. At no time do women produce a financial surplus and their is a 64% expenditure gap in favor of women dwarfing the 17% income gap much generated by female choice.

    Men’s health in over 90% of mutual health concerns is measurably worse than women’s but they receive a minority of expenditure with men donating to women;s health concerns at a far greater rate than women donating to male health concerns.

    Due to women having a bell curve on abilities and men having a more extreme range there will always be many more low ability males but conversely many more male geniuses whose track record has provided the technology to liberate women.Over 95%of deaths in the workplace are men in jobs women refuse to take and the suicide rate of males is four  times that of women expanding to eleven times after divorce. In the U.S.A measuring all work hours had males slightly ahead with their work being scrutinised more heavily as it was paid work.                               As western women everywhere are not reproducing at replacement level their primary function as a group does not even exist into the future. Complete independence from men is a state induced illusion at present.



    1. 96.1
      Maria Almudena

      Ah yes — the fallacy Western civilization is built on. Traditional female constipation like child-rearing and home-making are worth zilch, nothing, nada. After all, if something is not remunerated, that means it is worthless, right?

      Barry, you really need to read a book called “A Room of One’s Own”. Had women throughout history had space of their own, financial independence, time for themselves away from children and household responsibilities, our accomplishments out in “the real world” would have most likely exceeded those of men.

      AND had men been chained to a stove with a litter of children in tow and one more on the way at all times, well, I would like to see the financial surplus that y’all would be generating in that case.


      1. 96.1.1
        Maria Almudena

        Do you know that here in Australia one woman a week dies at the hands of a husband, boyfriend or ex, Barry? Perhaps you should make it your business to find out what the statistics are in your country. See how it compares to the male suicide rate or the male workplace mortality.


      2. 96.1.2
        Maria Almudena

        Auto-correct fail on the second line of my previous post. The first word of hte second line should be OCCUPATIONS.

  7. 97
    Been there

    People are very quick to lay blame for all the dating woes at womens feet (they’re especially keen on telling women how it’s all their fault or to “lower their standards”) but who is calling out the guys on their behaviour?

    Look around at the way men run down women online, women may go off about this or that but they aren’t the ones getting together in organized groups (eg PUA forums and seminars including brushes with the law and “coaches” who have been deported because they were teaching anti social behaviour and violence against women), groups with the purpose to encorage other men to abuse women physically and psychologically. Women don’t have the equivalent of “the red pill”, “return of kings” nor post open letters on the net to the rest of their gender on how to, step by step in graphic detail, destroy someone for their own gratification purely because they are the wrong gender.

    Looking at how hostile the dating scene is towards women are you really so surprised women are opting out? It’s not a product of world weariness to forgo dating, it’s just good sense to protect yourself from random people who have not been screened by family and friends and adequately qualified as well adjusted enough to be datable.

    1. 97.1

      Exactly. I’ve tried dating as a single parent and have been met with nothing but derision and scorn by men.  The last date I was on, which was a while ago, the guy openly insulted me.  I got up and left him there.  Even a guy at work was harrasing me and threatening me (not sexually, just because he was an @$$).  He is no longer there.

  8. 98

    Honestly , why is anyone surprised at the anger displayed by men ? Look at mainstream porn , the language used , the names called to woman , the spitting , abuse and demeaning ways men LOVE seeing women treated . This is simply a manifestation of men’s true feelings about woman. They hate women and always have. Im not talking fetish here but rather , the big mainstream sites . I challenge anyone to go to the very first page and look at the titles alone . Promotion of the youngest possible women , see her abused , destroyed , called bit…s , wh….res.  Ladies ! Wake up ! This is what men think of us . This is what they want to see. Check out research from prof Gail Dines showing that over 90percentnof mainstream porn shows some form of abuse directed at the woman


  9. 99

    Barry , you mention that men produce a surplus of work . Would you like to explain who is doing the surplus of UNPAID work around the world ???? The world that goes unpaid and unappreciated . Who are those people ? The ones who give of there time so these men are free to go to work building their careers without caring for the children they helped produce or caring for their sick parents.

    Sure men will work . So long as they are respected appreciated and paid !!!! Yet is had always been and still is women who are the unsung heroes

    You make me laugh . Men want praise for liberating women? When they were the ones who have oppressed them for centuries !!!!!

    if men are concerned about their health care and shorter life expectancies tell them to get off their butts like women and start building networks for themselves like we have always had to . Stop relying on their wives to be their sole source of emotional and health support . Talk to friends , stop drinking so much, stop the macho culture and grow up already!


  10. 100
    Chris St Pierre

    Men seek younger women because they want someone who actually WANTS sex, not someone who dreads bedtime – like someone in this post stated.

    Think about having a conversation.  Do you “enjoy” having a conversation with someone who isn’t into it, someone who merely tolerates it and can’t wait until it is over?  Of course not.  You want someone who is engaged, someone who is an active participant.  Sex is the same in that regard.  It isn’t enjoyable unless your partner is into it too.

    So, we seek out someone who might actually still have a sex drive left, a younger woman.

    Why?  Because we can.  Every one of us has the right to exercise our individual free will.  The fact that men seeking younger women is irritating to older women is irrelevant.   Everyone – both men and women – have the right to choose whatever partner we like and we needn’t justify it to anyone.

    Sure, we also want and value emotional intimacy in a relationship too, but if you don’t have a sex drive left and you want to live like brother and sister you are likely to live out your days without a man.

    Men want sex, and they want a partner who is into it.  It’s really that cut and dry.

    1. 100.1
      Sun Guy

      Chris @100

      you are so wrong, there are many, many women over 40 who want sex just as much as any 20-30 year old, in fact for most women their sex drive doesn’t change much as they get older…there are plenty of 20-30 year olds who are not that into sex

      what you get with older women are far fewer mind games, less insecurity, and inhibitions, and believe me many are in phenomenal shape.  i’d take a fit 45 year old over a 25 year old any day of the week, the nominal difference in “beauty” is irrelevant

      1. 100.1.1
        Emily, the original

        Sum Guy,

        you are so wrong, there are many, many women over 40 who want sex just as much as any 20-30 year old,

        Yes! Why do you think they are called the Flaming Forties?!  🙂

        what you get with older women are far fewer mind games, less insecurity, and inhibitions, and believe me many are in phenomenal shape.  i’d take a fit 45 year old over a 25 year old any day of the week, the nominal difference in “beauty” is irrelevant

        Bless your heart, Sum Guy.

  11. 101
    Colette Sadeghi


    chris where did you get your info from the ‘old woman are past their use by date at 40’ im 49 and dating a 24 yr old as my ex who is useless in bed for 25 fucken long yrs and ignored me and made me feel dirty and wanting and I went nuts slowly form the mental shit this ‘older man’ handed out to me. I have dated much older men and men around my age and they are completely useless in bed or cant handle me ok my new boyfriend can. If we all followed your advice we would end up lonely like I was or in a mental home. Each to their own . I am unique and special and have many anxieties that screwed up older men dont understand or want to know about. After 9 months of a dating app all I got from older men was ‘Can we be freinds with benefits’ or ‘I can see other woman right?’ or ‘I dont want a relationship I just want fun’ ive heard it all. My new boyfreind who seems much older thanks to his mum and a few nasty younger woman who almost ruined his life is mature and patient and clicks with me like no one I have ever known and makes the older men which is only a few look really bad, why because they are .I have seen many young different guys over 9 months of being single and they had more energy and vibrance than any older guy ive seen . I didnt want to date younger men it just somehow happened ok and now I would not want it any other way. If it lasts great, if it doesnt its ok to. But so far its wonderful and we both seem to fit into each others life somehow and get along so well, is like ive known him for years even though its only the first month. I am a bit childish for my age but I really dont care he has made me except myself and love myself again.

    1. 101.1
      Sum Guy

      probably Colette where you got your data older men/men your age can’t perform

      1. 101.1.1

        Personally I have dated men from 18 (when I was myself 18) to early 60ies (now that I am in my late 30ies) and anywhere in between. Personally I have observed that men who performed best in bed were the 18yo/early 20ies guys, or guys in their 40ies to early 50ies. Men hit the wall in that department in mid-50ies. And for some reason guys in their 30ies, i.e. close to my own age, have been meh. Literally, I haven’t had a single good lover in his 30ies. I think this is because of high level of stress. 30ies is a very stressful time in people’s careers. this is when you make it or break it and there will be no do-overs, like there were in your 20ies. so most people I know are stressed out of their minds, no wonder they can’t get it up in bed! The good news is, at this age I can date from 20 to 60 age range and it’s ok. Plenty of fish in the sea.

  12. 102
    Colette Sadeghi

    Thanks sum guy but my ex was iranian the worst men in the world when it comes to sex. He would look at porn instaed of me came on to my mum and was after my sister and would perve at any woman he could and flirt with whoever he could and i put up with this for 25 fucken yrs becasue i had  kids. My new guy is a kiwi like me (we are both from the same country New zealand thats why and he is way more open minded. I have found possibly my soul mate and im going to go along with whatever happens because after a lifetime of being with someone who took away my hopes and dreams and identity and self esteem and reduced me to  baby producing cook with no brain or mind of her own, this is so normal in his fucked up culture. I am being me again and I lost her for 25 yrs and have found myself again. Simple.

    1. 102.1
      Sum Guy


      that is so good to hear, only been to New Zealand once, loved it there and the people, the beer was good and we tried to educate each other about our respective footballs

      Kiwi’s seemed even more polite and personable than Canadians and that’s saying a lot

      your ex sounds so odd (to put it mildly) into porn hitting on anything that moves but not you…

  13. 103
    Colette Sadeghi

    Thanks nice to hear that you enjoyed visiting my great county. I have not been to canada but will be visiting pensylvainia this year to visit my freind who i met in a online game called luckywin a year ago .She is first real female freind i have apart from a few funny ones like me me i know here. Ive lived in Iran and the food and the culture is amazing but the people are a bit over the top and odd which he was. I would go again becasue its got alot of history. The thing is its better to marry your own culture if you can as its just not going to work with too totally different cultures and I know this from experiance and I would not recommend it unless you really knew what your are doing and it depends on the people involved . We just didnt match from day one but I fought against it for the sake of I loved him and excepted him and comfort  and i became him which is not good. I am now a totally different person me again.

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