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Help- single childless old alone?

 
 
tcis
 
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 04:10 pm
Hi,

It appears that I am going to end up single, childless, and alone. This didn't bother me when I was younger, but as I get older, it does.

What do people do when they find themselves single, older, and with no family?

Any ideas? What kind of supports are out there?

Thank you!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 16,941 • Replies: 43
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 04:24 pm
I've seen people create families. Friends come together and grow as close as siblings. Someone elses' aunt becomes your 'play' aunt. It can be as simple as reaching out to befriend the child next door. Become a Big Sister or Big Brother. Lead a scout troop.
0 Replies
 
GeneralTsao
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 04:34 pm
I honestly can't tell if this is a serious thread or not--I mean, support groups for singles?

Nonetheless, I'll address the question as posed.

First of all, I'd suggest you need friends, not a support group. Yeah, I know that all your friends are getting married, having kids, etc. and that sucks at times.

But if you increase your circle of friends, you'll increase your odds of finding a mate--and if you don't find a mate, you'll still have friends.

One of the best ways to meet people these days is the internet, IMO. If you're female, I think you have to be more careful about meeting men than if you're a guy meeting women.

In either case, though, if you chat enough online, you can begin to tell a person's character by his/her words and use of language.

Don't be in a hurry to meet in person, btw.

Now, let's say you do end up single, childless, and alone. Think to the future: would you prefer to be single, childless, alone, and also without friends?

Would you like to be single, childless, alone, and also without money?

My point is this--and I've considered this a lot over my single-with-no-prospects years (I just married 1.5 years ago)--if you're going to grow old with no children nor spouse, then you'd better have excellent friends who are in better health and youth than you, and you'd better earn lots of money and save/invest it because you won't have kids to do things for you in your senior years.

General Tsao
0 Replies
 
Sam1951
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2004 04:36 pm
tcis,

eoe is on the right track, make your own family. Holidays are a rough time for those without family. During the Holidays I always invited acquaintances, co-workers and friends (without families) to what I called an Orphan party. Some brought food to share and we all had a great time. Just becoming a member of a2k gives you access to the whole world. Be yourself there are compatible people all over.

Smile

Sam
0 Replies
 
lab rat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 06:53 am
Volunteer--it's a great way to meet people, plus you accomplish something you can be proud of. Check with the local Salvation Army, United Way, church charities (soup kitchens, etc.), etc. Your fellow volunteers will very likely become like a surrogate family.
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:41 am
Of course, volunteering is a great way to defeat loneliness and you might even meet that "special someone". I am divorced and enjoying my life. Someday, when I'm older, I may decide to remarry. Don't give up!
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BoGoWo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 08:46 am
while most people are tied up in biology, and genetics;
"family" is in actual fact, simply 'the people you care for'!

serious caring creates "family"! (that's really what it's 'about'!)

and while most people are preoccupied with passing along their genes (in the long run jeans wear out!), the most valuable thing to pass on is compassion.
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Sam1951
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 02:45 pm
tcis,

Do you have any Museums in your area? Volunteers at Museums get to meet a wide variety of people and ofter have many great learning opportunities.

Sam
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 02:53 pm
I would have a few suggestions, but it would be contingent on knowing a few things.

How old ARE you? Are you a middle aged person just wondering about the future, or nearing retirement? (We don't need to know your age..just a ballpark figure)

Do you work?

What do you like to do? Do you have any special interests?

Do you have the means to be mobile?
0 Replies
 
Wiyaka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2004 03:11 pm
BoGoWo,

You're right on target. After splitting with my second wife, being told in no uncertain terms that my youngest daughter and son didn't want me in their lives and the eldest daughter wasn't happy about my coming out, I too had this fear. Luckily, I found others that filled the gaps left by those that couldn't deal with my transition from male to female. These people are now my "adopted" family and I'm talking to someone at least once or twice daily. The other day I recieved calls from New Mexico, Pennsylvania and New brunswick, Canada. Early morning, late at night, the phone rings.

"Adopted" family is often more understanding and accepting than biological family. In Lakota, we call it "extended family"or tiospiya. It's even tighter than the biological family, since we all go to Gatherings, pow wows and Ceremomies.We trust our tiospiya more than my biological family, in many ways. The tiospiya has more in common and is there to assist, when biological family is "too busy" with their own lives to bother.

I suggest that tcis try to get out to more events that interest her/him and meet people that are sharing similar interests. By seeing the same people at the same event, lectures, art gallery openings, etc. a common ground is already in place for talking and getting to know them. After a period of time, meeting them at these things could lead to more. Coffee is always a nice non-threatening way to get to know people.
0 Replies
 
Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jul, 2004 10:30 am
Help- single childless old alone?
"It appears that I am going to end up single, childless, and alone" - that's a fairly pessimistic-sounding way of putting things. Try for a more cheerful approach.

To begin with, you don't know this for sure. Ok, play it safe, plan
accordingly. This means making sure you can function financially in retirement. And it means finding activities that prevent sitting around contemplating your navel - and disliking its shape.

You may be alone, but you don't have to be lonely. Be a joiner. Be a volunteer. Teach English as a second language - don't shy off from anything because you don't know how to do it: take courses, get training. Many volunteer jobs provide specific training. Go back to school - there aren't any age limits on studying.

You don't give your age, but you might consider including a retirement village in your future. They vary in expense and quality, of course, but many are very concerned with making sure that there is activity and entertainment for everyone, and you would find many people to be friends with, as well as knowing that the health concerns that grow along with aging are taken care of.

Whatever you do, don't take to drink!
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jul, 2004 07:25 pm
Good advise Tomkitten but if a man asks her out for a drink...
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Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2004 07:47 am
Help- single childless old alone?
Ah ha! That might make the whole question irrelevant.
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2004 07:53 am
If she follows the "dont take to drink" scenario and a man asks her out for a drink then she will be forced to say no thus perpetuating the cycle of lonliness and despair. I suggest she take up a "little drink".
0 Replies
 
Jack Webb
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Aug, 2004 11:05 pm
tcis Single, childless, growing old.
It depends on how much it is bothering you. When it gets to the point where it bothers you enough, the thing to do is take stock of yourself and be completely honest about it.

There is no "once medicine cures all" for this. I was very happily married for 27 of the last 29 years of it. Six children, all grown. Won't even attempt to go into the "whys" of the divorce because it was 16 years ago and no longer relevant.

The upshot was that the children mostly sided with my ex and today only two of them speak with me and that is not often. It took me a good four to five years to recover from her leaving me. I really didn't know who I was during those years. I should add that at no time was I ever mad at her, I'm still not, just surprised and grossly disappointed to say the least.

Well. Now after all those happy years with children I am alone with my dog. I am financially far better off than I have ever been in my life. Most of all I am happier than I have ever been before too. Why? Because I have come to discover that for ME the fictional stuff that is promoted by society in general is largely myth. Look around and ask yourself how many people you know, your friends and family, that are genuinely happy with their current situation. Never mind the stuff like "oh, life has its ups and downs" because in fact having a family may have only a few "downs" but they are of such magnitude they screw life up for the participants entirely. I think (and laugh, count my blessings) that I do not have to have anything to do with some of the screwballs and their famalies that a couple of my children married into. One daughter has been married twice another looks twenty years older than I do!

I place a great premium on independence, freedom and mobility. To be able to travel, spend, buy anything I like, eat, sleep when I wish to. stay up all night and dance, date different women drive nice cars, have a nice tidy little house clear and free. I like to write. I enjoy volunteer work. I can do or not do any of these things at the drop of a hat and I am accountable to no one.

This, basically, is how I rationalize living alone and enjoying life. I know people my age that appear to be miserable. Perhaps they may not be for all I know. They rarely leave the house although most of them are healthy enough. That would not do for me. I am enjoying a happy, safe, clean life. I should add that I am not particularly religious either but I do believe in a supreme being. A God.

I believe you could do a lot worse than being single, childless and growing old. Believe it or not, I have no doubt there are many people that envy you. Probably the same people that will say to each other out of your earshot: Oh, isn't it too bad that she is single, childless and growing old all alone. Too bad. She is such a nice woman. :wink:
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Aug, 2004 12:10 am
well, tcis hasn't posted back so it is hard to make any kind of useful comment.
0 Replies
 
Paul55
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2004 12:13 am
I suppose...
..we all have our stories with innumerable permutations.

Myself, I was driving back from an outing today. In the back seat of the car were little 2 year old Mary and her parents - both about 24 years old - who are currently separated. In the front seat with me was Mary's grandmother who I've known for 7 years.

I glanced to the back seat and adjusted the rear view mirror so I could see that sweet little lady and maybe catch another glimpse of her 2 year old grin - the one that I cannot seem to get enough of.

I looked back and saw her father whispering in her ear - with her in rapt attention. She smiled and turned to him and stared. She stared a look of love and devotion that she could not yet begin to understand.

I admit - at 55 years old - that I wish it was me. I wish it was me that had the chance to know and to share the budding bond between father and child. One that I know that I will never know.

I came home and wept.

I know I'll get up tomorrow. I'll work the week, go to the gym, go out with friends and live my life that I chose for myself.

But there will be a sadness that I've just discovered and that will never leave.

Just something I discovered today on a Sunday afternnon.


Paul
0 Replies
 
williewillie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Aug, 2005 06:31 pm
Help - single childless old alone?
I happened upon this discussion during a bout of feeling sorry for myself for being "single childless alone" and having just turned 60. It's heartening to know I'm not the only one in the universe in this situation. They say older women become "invisible" in social situations, and that is absolutely true. Most of the time I feel isolated and ignored.
As was said earlier, this didn't bother me (I guess I was just used to it.) until I suddenly realized I am 60 years old! The worst part is being scared. What if I get sick and can't take care of myself? I've always been something of a loner, which is probably why I ended up like this. But even if I would like to change my lifestyle, and make more friends, go out on dates, etc., how does one break through one's isolation when it has been a lifelong habit, which suddenly does not feel comfortable anymore?
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Aug, 2005 10:12 pm
williewillie--

Welcome to A2K.

This thread has been inactive for quite awhile. Why not ask your question in a new thread?

I was talking last weekend with an unmarried cousin who is facing a solitary life after her 91 year old father dies. She is active in church work, but still dreads being without "family".
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Aug, 2005 10:39 pm
edit
0 Replies
 
 

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