“I want to make choices that are healthier for me and if that means that I’m single for the rest of my life, and I don’t have another relationship, so be it. It’s better to be healthy and to feel better about yourself, in my opinion, than to grab a man just to have a body next to you.”
That’s from an interview I just finished editing for my new book about Woman of a Certain Age who’s never been married. Spinsters. Old maids. Singletons, if you prefer Bridget Jones’ term (although that’s a little too close to simpletons for my taste).
This interview was with Sheryl, a 50-something resident of Los Angeles. As with so many of the women I’ve reached out to for this project, Sheryl was remarkably frank and open as she talked about her relationships, feelings and life experiences.
Because I find these conversations so interesting, I know that other people will, too. And it goes beyond interesting. These interviews have helped me reflect upon my own life as an always single woman and put my experiences into perspective.
Sheryl talked about growing up with an alcoholic and domineering father, a date rape she suffered as a naive young woman, a mostly successful career in the fashion industry, some wonderful relationships she had with men – and some relationships that were not so wonderful.
She became most emotional, though, while talking about a period of her life when she was in a financially precarious position, after having lost her job during the recession.
Money is one of the topics we invariably explore during these interviews, since single women do not have the dual-income safety net of marriage. They – we – are on our own.
Does being married really make it easier to handle a financial crisis, or does it actually add to the pressure one feels?
Would love to hear what you think about this.