Lets start by saying that ” being alone” is absolutely not the same as ” being lonely”. The first is fine and can be enjoyed in varying degrees, the second is something no one should be going through and not to be encouraged. I once read that to be good to others you have to be good to yourself. This is so true. By now you will have changed your hairstyle at least twice; improved your make up and tried to lose two stone. Keep going. That’s good for your confidence. Now you want to do things for your mental wellbeing.
Anyway, lets dive straight in and see what the five best reasons for welcoming being alone in your sixties are…..
You have no restrictions on your time
We are starting with a selfish one I know, but when you don’t have any restrictions on your time, you also don’t have any excuses not to do certain things. If you don’t want to tidy up the bedroom or make the bed one day, then who would be about to check? It truly doesn’t matter if you leave the washing on the line overnight when it was perfectly dry this afternoon – no one ( but you) really cares. Dirty dishes from the night before? Okay – tidy up in the morning. You will feel fresher and do it more quickly. So leave it once or twice. Just do it!
Similarly, if you want to read all day then please do. It will be divine to sit in a cosy corner and read a book of your choice from start to finish, simply stopping to make a cup of tea and eat a rather large slice of fruit cake. Sit in a sunny window if you can or a secluded spot in the garden. Breath-taking. Magical.
In relationships you are often tied to eating with the other person; spending time with them and generally looking after them. Checking when they want dinner that night or if they have plans that day. was all about routine. Now – you simply don’t need one!
You try new ideas and hobbies without comments ( good or bad)
Can you remember all those things you wanted to do and didn’t? Well, now you can! No excuses. Before you may have worried about being back in time to eat together or getting the washing in off the line before it rains. Now? No one really cares. You should be feeling a huge mantle slip off your shoulders. Should you want to do thirty minutes of ballet in the front room each morning before the sun comes up, then no one is going to give a tinker’s cuss. Same if you turn over and don’t get out of bed until ten. Its your space and your time. Don’t waste a single minute of it…….
It makes you more sociable.
Spending time with a partner or significant other is wonderful. You can go out and laugh and joke but often it is in a small group of regular friends or just the two of you and this means that opportunities to make new friends just do not appear. When you continue to see the same people, however lovely they may be, you never expand your (mental) horizons. You are talking and mixing with the same people who hold the same views and likewise, if they don’t meet other people, the things they say to you will be the same. Making an effort to go out and have lunch on your own or taking a coffee somewhere means you will turn and smile to the person next door or fall into conversation with someone in the queue. It’s really so, so easy to just start up a conversation and who knows where it may lead to?
Travel really does broaden the mind
You may have travelled widely when you were with your partner and that’s fine, but have there been places you wanted to visit and he didn’t?. Well, now is the chance to go and visit them. You can elect to join a Single or Solo Group and see the countries on an organised tour. This is probably the best way to begin when you are a new solo traveller. Or you can just find out as much as you can about your chosen destination and take off on your own. Pre book a few hotels or hire a car and then the rest will be simply what you decide to do on the day you wake up. Finally you can try small solo group holidays. These are just for six or eight people. All singles and will be like minded to you. Perhaps its a sailing holiday. A cookery programme in an Italian Villa or you will be learning to paint or write. Go back to your o’level French and practise it in a superb Chateau down in the south of France.
Whatever it is, make sure you do something in a country you have never visited. It really is so good for your confidence.
People will invite you out more
I think it seems to be a myth that people don’t invite single ladies in case you run off with their husband. I have never found this to be the case. If you have good genuine friends then they will ask you to social occasions not because they are worried for you or feel sorry for you but because they know you will bring something extra ” to the table”. By this of course we mean conversation. You know that your friends are inviting you not because they owe you a dinner but because you are confident, have interesting things to say and you laugh a lot. Well, you do now don’t you? Now that you are alone and loving life! Why you may even jump up on the table and sing between courses. In short, being single can also mean losing your inhibitions.
Some great things to try when you are single
Not sure where to start or what to enjoy?
Here are some things that you really can do now that you are alone – but never lonely
Start or learn a new language. Think of a country you have always wanted to visit and learn that language and then practise this new skill in situ
Decorate your house yourself. Think of some quirky ideas; Watch You Tube and then try them out. if you don’t like it, fine, scrap it and start again.
Be taught to sing or dance or write or paint. In short, try a new skill
Learn Bridge. Its a sociable game; you will make new friends and its also a way to keep your brain cells active. Don’t fancy it? Then how about Poker or Chess. There is lots to choose from.
Wild Water Swimming. Yes, this is such a popular thing to do now, especially in people over sixty. There is even talk that it starves off dementia. No one knows for sure, but if you do go swimming in cold weather then make sure you are not alone! ( so many local clubs to join and so making MORE new friends) Make sure you are wrapped up with at least a good pair of thick swimming shoes; thermal hat and gloves. Its all well and good being the first one in the water in High Summer, but not so smart to do it without proper and adequate protection in November.
Volunteer. It doesn’t have to be every week but try to make a regular contribution and give something back to the local community. Not sure what to do? Visit your local Community Centre or Library. They always have lots of things on volunteering and the list is pretty endless. You are bound to find something you like.
Start a random conversation with someone when you are in a queue. Smile at five people you walk past each day. Be sure that your smile was so broad and genuine that when you see them again they will smile first. Or even fall into conversation with you. Wear something noticeable, such as a bright hat or a decorative scarf. Wear it again and then people will start to remember where they saw you before, and before long you have added more acquaintances to your list.
It really isn’t a crime to be single now.