UK Counselling Services

Back on the market: The newly single 50-year-old woman

Back on the market: The newly single 50-year-old woman. As I expressed in last week’s blog, it may not be seen as a politically correct thing to acknowledge, but most marriages these days do not last for life. In fact, the average long-term relationship lasts somewhere between 8 to 12 years. Oh sure, we can all point to a couple we know (or have heard of) who’ve been married 70 years and are still going strong, but I’m talking about averages here. It is due to these averages that it is not in the least unusual to find ourselves single, and back on the market at 50. This little series of blogs will discuss this (now sadly common) experience from the perspective of both men and women, and talk a little about the new dating world we find ourselves in. This week’s blog will focus on the newly single woman.

Men and women treat the end of a long-term relationship very differently. In general, men tend to fill the gap left by the end of a relationship with activity, or by quickly forming a new one — a Mrs “right now” as it were. Don’t get me wrong now, I know that sometimes women do this too, but generally speaking women approach this difficult time in their lives from a different angle. The end of a long-term relationship brings different challenges for women than it does for men. More often than not, there are more financial constraints on women for example. In addition, women are not usually all that interested in filling the painful gaps in their lives with some random man, just because they don’t want to be lonely. No, if I’m honest here, I’ll say that women handle things just a bit better than men in that respect.

But that doesn’t mean that women should just sit at home and brood either. Yes, you are going through a painful grieving process, but the fact is you’ve still got a lot of life in you and you deserve to be fulfilled in that. So, what you will find below is what I intend to be some tentative suggestions for ensuring that you don’t just survive the end of your relationship, but that you actually are able to thrive and be the very best you that is possible to be.

  • The most single helpful thing I think I can suggest for you is to remember one simple fact: You are more than you think you are. Let’s face it, you’ve most likely not lived up to your potential these last few years. The strain of trying to keep the relationship going, the efforts of tying to make things right, of working to please somebody who in the end it turned out was unpleasable, will have taken their toll. Again, whoever it is you think you are right now, you are more than that. All that has to happen now is to allow yourself to bloom and flourish once again.
  • In my counselling practice in Bishops Stortford, I can not tell you how many times I’ve heard a newly single woman tell me about how hard it is to meet new people and make friends. Certainly, the world we live in isn’t really geared up to facilitate these things, but there are various clubs and societies available as well. Many of them “she who dares” for example, are set up specifically and solely for women. There are a whole host of these types of clubs in the area just waiting for people just like you to join. Go for it!
  • Don’t feel that you need to rush to get a new partner. Take a few breaths, allow yourself to decide just what kind of person you really want in your life, and then when the time is right, you can control that process at your own speed. Again, there are various ways to do this, and something I do often in my counselling practice is to work with women who are at this stage and help them to find just the right way of doing this for them.

So, the upshot of this blog is simple really: The end of your relationship is not the end of your life. Quite the contrary. Now, maybe for the first time in a very long time, the fullness of the you that has lurked inside all this time can come out. All those things you wanted to learn how to do, all those places you wanted to visit without having to drag an uncooperative partner along with you, you can now do at will. You can engage in this stuff at your pace, to your desired depth, and with whomever you bloody well chose to do them with!