I am a 44 year old woman and I’m single

00255382_thumb.jpgEditors Note: Today’s guest post captures what many single women in their 40s feel. If you’ve been there, or are there now, this post will probably resonate with you. Whether it’s the off-side comments, the incredulous looks, or “the poor her” side-eyes that get thrown by the happily (and sometimes unhappily) coupled up, it all can be overwhelming at times. But there’s something this writer wants people to know about many single women (and men) in their 40s…

I am a 44 year old woman and I’m single by M.R. Wiggins

I am a 44 year old woman and I’m single. Never been married. No kids. Living life solo. I don’t say this to elicit pity and I also don’t wear it as some sort of badge of honor. I’m just stating a fact. It is a reality that many people live with daily. I stress the word live because that is what many of us are doing – living. We’re not cowering in a corner, weeping because we haven’t started families. We live. Oddly, many around us don’t see it this way.

If one has managed to get to 40 and not become a spouse or is not in a committed relationship, they’re often looked upon as damaged in some way. Something must be wrong with her if she’s still single. Sometimes people’s reactions are subtle, while others are blatant and in your face. For instance, I might attend a family reunion where I’m asked “So, do you plan to settle down soon?” Really, I don’t think that I could get any more settled than I am now. Or, I might run into a friend that I haven’t seen in years whereupon I’m asked if I’m married. “No.” “Are you seeing anyone?” “No.” This is usually followed by the ‘that’s-so-sad-what-a-shame’ look. I don’t think that most are aware of the small pangs that they’re inflicting with such comments, which is why I don’t generally address it with them. However, my passive stance goes out the window when I’m incredulously asked “Why don’t you have a special someone in your life?” My rote response is “I just don’t.” Simple.

The older I get, I notice some people giving me the occasional side-eye when asking about my personal status, as if something is wrong with me. Trust me, I’m a together woman. I’m intelligent, kind, witty, mature, mild-tempered, independent, cultured, ambitious, educated and attractive. I’ve been called “the total package” on more than a few occasions. I’m merely single. I’ve gotten used to the looks, the head tilts, the pity pats on my hand and shoulder. It’s almost comical.

I understand that we live in a culture where people are expected to be coupled up by a certain age and if this hasn’t happened, then there must be a problem with you as a single person. What I don’t understand is why singleness at a certain age is viewed as a flaw. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  I love my life and I’ve always tried to live it to the fullest. I have a wonderful family and loving friends. I’ve had an interesting and varied career. I’ve literally traveled all over the world. I’ve even dated here and there. I am not unique. This is the life of countless post-40 women (and men for that matter) that I know. None of us have side-stepped life waiting on our ideal mate. We embrace life and all of its wondrous experiences.

While I believe that as humans, we all need human connections, I don’t think that everyone should be in a committed relationship. Some people just aren’t emotionally equipped for it. Others have no desire for such a relationship. To each his own. I, myself, am not against committed, monogamous relationships. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think that marriage is a wonderful institution. The idea of building a life with someone and loving them (and being loved) unconditionally is heart-warming and comforting. Who knows, I may even get married one day. However, I refuse to believe that my life is any less rich and eventful than anyone else because I’m on life’s journey by myself. I will continue to explore the world, to learn new hobbies, to develop new skills, to surround myself with things that make me happy and to love those in my life to the fullest.

I am a 44 year old woman and I’m (happily) single, living life.

Share your thoughts about being single, married, or somewhere in between in our comment section or on the Women at Forty Facebook page.

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  • Luke

    The Chinese call such a person a “bare branch”, like a tree branch with no buds on it. Biologically, this woman is a failure, whatever (probably brief) praise she has garnered from her Powerpoint presentations. Not only does she have no children, but she’ll have no grandchildren. (For those like her who try the defense of “But my sibling has children”, try telling the IRS on April 15th that you don’t need to pay taxes since your neighbor did.”
    I certainly hope that this woman doesn’t think that any of my 4 children will pay anything towards her hoped-for Social Security or government/corporate pension…

  • Debra


    I don’t even know where to begin with you, and I hesitate to even try because based on your comment, there is probably no reasoning with you. How did you manage to turn a woman’s thoughtful post about not giving in to social pressure to marry and have a child unless/until she was ready, into a post about you and what you hope she doesn’t expect from you in the future? Self absorbed much? I have neither the time or patience to dissect your comment and outline everything wrong with it (an there’s a lot wrong with it), but suffice to say, thankfully, women like the author of this post neither need nor desire your permission or blessing to live their lives. Your barely hidden hostility at a young single woman is pitiful. I hope that none of your 4 children are girls and that if they are, that none of them will ever have the misfortune of falling for a man like you. My condolences to your wife.

  • Tricia

    You, sir, are a perfect ass. A woman’s value is not in whether or not she has children, it’s in the life she leads. And how do you come to suppose this woman will rely on anybody for anything? At the very least, her post proves that she is self-reliant. What does her single status have to do with you? Nothing. I feel sorry for your children whether male or female. The attitude you have is toxic for anybody.

  • pammie g

    I just feel sad for people who are so self absorbed into their own primative beliefs that have absolutely no value in the real world.

  • Clare

    I can’t have kids due to 1. age factor and 2. Lupus complications. I live vicariously through friends’ facebook posts, my sisters-in-law and people I meet everyday in my line of work. I do not think a single one of them thinks about my social security/pension. They are genuine people and they care about me as much as I care about them. Neither of us harbors ill-will. So where do I fit into your scenario, “Luke”?

    I also saw no mention of her even speaking about social security, which in and of itself is an entirely separate issue (does he really think it will be around when his kids grow up? I am of course speculating that his kids are younger than 15).

    Perhaps he feels threatened by her trifecta: financially secure (again, speculating but I will bet the farm that she is), happy, and confident with who she is. If I was my English professor from college and read his comments after her essay, I would say that he pulled whatever “information” in her piece from thin air – I am being kind here, forgoing my favorite phrase – and he should look to whatever TRUE facts she spoke of and comment on those.

  • Bensonj

    As I approach the launch of my book – I have been reading how to handle negative feedback/comments…what I am learning is I won’t… I won’t acknowledge or even care. I’m going to take the approach that Will Smith takes and has taught his children…I will not even read them. Luke is ONE of 8 billion peeps on the planet…he isn’t even the significance of a tic tac in whales mouth…he is choosing to be a cancer to humanity instead of light…moving on and forward with shrugged shoulders…

  • Rob Hassen

    Too much of what some women write is not a candid assessment of their life; but rationalization, an attempt to get emotional validation to paper over the pain. Women instinctually want someone in their life; someone to care for them, protect them. You can say I don’t need anyone, but you know life would be much more satisfying if you had that man. If anything, men are individualistic, who need to be convinced that a relationship is worth it. Married men often counsel their single friends to stay single; rarely does a married woman do that to a single woman.

    We get in life what we prioritize.

  • grace

    what about if a person albeit going out with friends and meeting new friends after the others found their partner and left, still you are single by circumstance simplly because no man has ever been attracted to you but only as a friend. today men are obsessed with looks, if you are not attractive it’s unlikely you find a partner or husband that easily. the fact that women with children continously tell childless/ unmarried women that they are a cancer to society because we are giving a bad example to others (i had this said to me many times) it hurts. yes majority of people around me are married so i am to expect more negative behaviour than positive about my profile. I also live with my parents and I am not shy about it being 40 still living with my almost 70 year old parents while my colleagues live with their partner or husband/wife. Whenever i was introduced to someone they back off for now reason stating that I talk too much would be an excuse because they are not attracted to me more than just friends. So as you see i am not single by choice but i still get frowned upon at work, and i am rarely granted leave , as opposed to my married collegues, who get leave easily without asking too much. At times I am told that ‘we cannot give vacation leave if it is not necessary , that I want my vacation leave so as to have some space from my long hours of work, that is required because we have lots of work and customers. but a single person still has the right to take vacations does he/she? anyway to me this person is a person like everybody else who loves her life, and an example that singles are not ‘singled out’ as most people around us think…

  • grace

    i learnt to live my life as a single, so i think what she is saying could be true. you cannot judge a person without knowing her. knowing that i am not attractive to men now i got used to being single, also i am overweight even if i don’t eat too much because that’s what my genetics dictate, all this turn a man off…so i try to focus on finding other friends as my current friends found a mate and again i am left without friends, but i won’t give up about friendships, friends must be important to everyone, marriage is not a necessity…..i agree a person cannot live alone but if you have friends you are fullfilled.

  • oby

    Yes, life would be much more rewarding if you had ‘that’ man….but not just any man!

  • really?

    Gee i wish i were Pammie G, she must feel awesome about herself.

  • Charles

    I’m a 44 year old man with no children or wife, also living life as it comes and what’s left of it..

  • muli john

    it happens in life ,am single and also i need of a lady to make a life complete,its finds the situation and we have to conquer the situation in life,

  • slim

    I’m a 44 year old man with no children or wife

  • susannunes

    What a load of b.s.

  • susannunes

    Of course a person can live alone and be happy.

  • BatherMouth

    While I agree that people (women included) sometimes write to rationalize, we also sometimes write to express that which is true and real. However, I am unsure if women are genetically hard-wired to instinctively want someone in their life any more than a man. I think all humans want to be part of something greater than themselves. Sometimes, that thing/tribe becomes the workplace, the college alumni frat, the sports/pub gang, etc., or the family unit. I do think our society (for reasons good and bad) nurtures the idea or marriage, childrearing, caregiving, etc. more to women than to men. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t women who weren’t reared with the notion that they must marry and have kids. Nor, does it mean that there aren’t men who were reared to be married.

    At the end of the day, I believe all people want love and if anyone papers over the pain, it’s men who are reared to hide their desires for closeness, companionship and happily ever after.

  • Karin Or Kelly

    Luke, I’m curious to know why you are even “contributing” to this website? What made you come here? What made you read the comments?

  • Black Ryder

    You were… NOT…. single at 16.. 18.. 20.. 22.. 24.. 26.. 28… 30…

    You had hundreds, if not a few thousand chances and each one was squandered while you kept waiting for that bigger better deal, but you offered absolutely nothing while demanding the universe from them

    YOU.. passed over the men, none were “good enough” or “your type” or any number of other justifications you’ve used to blame the men rather than yourself, and frankly we’re glad you did because you wouldn’t have ever brought anything to the table.

  • Kressy

    As a young woman I do sympathize with your position, however I have some great news for you. Women have made incredible strides since the traditional days. 40 is the new 20. You should be exploring your world, volunteering, traveling and enjoying life. I don’t plan to marry until my mid to late 40s and not a MOMENT sooner. There’s a plethora of men out there, you just need to get out there and look. Haha, use Tinder if you’re bored 😛

  • bih jeraldine

    am here my dear u can contact me at bihjeraldin@gmail.com or jeraldin2015@yandex.com or on facebook is bihjeraldine

  • Djou Alain

    do u love a young lover who can take good care of u, i will give u all the comfort u need. u can contact me at djoualain@gmail.com

  • nasre eddine

    my name is nasr eddine from algeria i like to know more about you im 22 years old i love the old women my phone number is 00213791953200 im handsome dont worry hhhh god bye

  • OmegaMan555

    Spot on