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Happily Single ER thread
Old 07-21-2018, 01:39 PM   #1
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Happily Single ER thread

Well, we've had the "my marriage is in trouble" thread, the "happily married" thread, and the "I'm looking to get married" thread. I figured we needed to round things out with some attention to the happily singles, of which I am one.

To anticipate some potential misunderstandings, I'm not anti-marriage (except for me, personally). I think marriage is a very important social institution, especially with regard to raising children. Marriage is a good choice for a lot of people. I have some friends and family who seem happily married, and I'm glad for them. So, if you're married and reading this, please don't feel defensive and need to justify your choice. I understand there are downsides to being single, but that's not the focus here. Let's not turn this into a "single vs. married" thread. This is a thread for people who are readying themselves for (or already in) a happily single retirement.


So, with that out of the way... I'm single, and I'm happy to be single, perhaps no more than now, when I'm financially independent and headed into ER. Here are a smattering of reasons why.

Being single allows me to do what I want, when I want, without having to check with someone else, accommodate someone else's preferences, or explain myself.

I have lots of free time, which I am free to use however I choose.

My money is mine to spend, on whatever I choose. I don't have any risk of losing half my net worth or more, if my marriage fails, as of course many do.

I have more freedom, more space, and more time. It's easy to find quiet time. Solitude has many benefits, including the ability to go deep, work on my interior or spiritual life, learn, and grow.

I can date who I want. I can have relational and sexual variety.

There's no one monitoring or commenting on how I choose to use my leisure time, what I eat, or other choices I make. My house is my own. I decorate it the way I want. I keep it at the temperature I want. If a room is dirty, so what. I can watch whatever I want to watch on TV, and I can switch channels at will, look at whatever Youtube clips I am interested in, without worrying about a spouse's preferences or reactions. If I don't feel like doing anything, I don't.

There is less drama and "work." I don't have to share the bed, unless I want to. I get to know myself better this way. I have more privacy and can be as eccentric as I like. I can focus on my hobbies and interests.


Those are some of the things that come to mind for me.

Any other happily single ER folks out there?
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:12 PM   #2
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:00 PM   #3
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I've tried them all, single, divorced, married, living together, separated, etc, and they are with faults and good points. Pick one you like and stick with it.
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:17 PM   #4
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I like the topic already. I thought deep down inside everyone want a lifetime partner to talk to, to share happiness, sadness, feelings, success, failure and everything else in your life. IMO, constant thinking about finance will lead to loneliness.

Having a million dollars portfolio and sleeping alone is sucks. I rather have 3/4 of a million and have someone sharing a life with me.
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:24 PM   #5
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I can have relational and sexual variety.
Not gonna lie, that part seems like a positive. Just sayin’
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:30 PM   #6
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Not gonna lie, that part seems like a positive. Just sayin’
He said 'can have', not 'have'.
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Old 07-21-2018, 03:53 PM   #7
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He said 'can have', not 'have'.
Have.

Although to me, that's not a huge deal. The main things for me are the freedom and financial security.

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I like the topic already. I thought deep down inside everyone want a lifetime partner to talk to, to share happiness, sadness, feelings, success, failure and everything else in your life. IMO, constant thinking about finance will lead to loneliness.
I think it's important not to confuse "single" as meaning living as a monk in isolation. You can be single and have long term relationships. Or short term relationships. Or lots of friends. Single just means not being married. It doesn't mean you aren't in relationships.

Not sure what you mean by the "constant thinking about finances." I find as a single person, I am much less concerned about money than I would be otherwise and think very little about it. And at the same time, I think it would be foolish to ignore the financial risks entailed in marriage.
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:09 PM   #8
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I'm single, widowed, and agree it's nice to have some freedom.
I am looking for a serious relationship if not marriage though.
I'm pretty much the monogamous sort, so I don't take advantage of the variety aspect. (i.e.:I have no "game".)
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:20 PM   #9
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I am happily single but in a relationship for the last 14 years, 4 years longer than how long I have been retired. She works full-time and is 56, a year older than me. She lives walking distance from me, so I have the freedom of being single but the ability to have companionship.
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:32 PM   #10
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All of these related married/single/divorce/proposal threads are fascinating. As an EXTREMELY married guy (nearly 38 years in, and the only way out is a wooden box), it's a glimpse into how the other half lives.

It's strange to me, since I have so little data on the subject of Living Single But Wanting To Explore Relationships. Both of my brothers have been divorced for many years, but their experiences left them scarred and reclusive. Neither seeks out companionship any more.

I guess because I'm married, I don't cultivate a wide social circle of unmarried people. Most of the divorced people I know from w*rk (yeah, I'm still there for a little while longer) who want to date tend to hook up with co-workers. But if you're already retired, that option doesn't exist. Where do you go to meet people?
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
I like the topic already. I thought deep down inside everyone want a lifetime partner to talk to, to share happiness, sadness, feelings, success, failure and everything else in your life. IMO, constant thinking about finance will lead to loneliness.

Having a million dollars portfolio and sleeping alone is sucks. I rather have 3/4 of a million and have someone sharing a life with me.
You know what sucks even more? Having 3/4 of a million (or less) and being with someone you really don't want to be with. Been there. The last few years of my marriage weren't a happy time in my life. The first year or two of my divorce were pretty tough too. It got a lot better though.

I'm not specifically avoiding getting married again, but I'm not going to get married just to share life with someone, anyone. It's got to be the right woman. I'm quite fine on my own otherwise.
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:58 PM   #12
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I guess because I'm married, I don't cultivate a wide social circle of unmarried people. Most of the divorced people I know from w*rk (yeah, I'm still there for a little while longer) who want to date tend to hook up with co-workers. But if you're already retired, that option doesn't exist. Where do you go to meet people?
Everywhere else. Instead of meeting people who you just happen to work with, you have a better chance of meeting people who are doing the same activity you enjoy.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:00 PM   #13
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I am happily single but in a relationship for the last 14 years, 4 years longer than how long I have been retired. She works full-time and is 56, a year older than me. She lives walking distance from me, so I have the freedom of being single but the ability to have companionship.
I think I would like that. I know W2R has a similar relationship. That sounds pretty ideal to me.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:02 PM   #14
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Most of the divorced people I know from w*rk (yeah, I'm still there for a little while longer) who want to date tend to hook up with co-workers. But if you're already retired, that option doesn't exist. Where do you go to meet people?
Quite happily married here too.

But to meet people there are lots of places - church, if one attends, hobby clubs, adult ed classes, join a gym (I see several people there who do more socializing than exercising) or a volunteer gig such as at an animal shelter or food bank or some such. And of course the old standby of letting friends and family know that one is "in the market".

That last one is how I met DW-to-be although I was definitely NOT "in the market" at the time. Fresh out of a divorce, a favorite niece kept kept bugging me to meet some girl she worked with, and unknown to me she was doing the same thing with DW-to-be, who was also not "in the market".

Eventually, more to placate the pestering niece than any romantic interest, we agreed to meet and did so at a family anniversary party. It took a little over four years (both families had given up on us) but we did eventually get married. That was almost 30 years ago.

At family gatherings the niece still holds out her hand, palm up, asking for the "finders fee". It's become a tradition by now.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:58 PM   #15
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I was happily single for a very long time... then I was happily married. If I hadn't met someone who was a very good fit for me, I'd still be happily single. I'd gotten past the societal pressure that is placed on women.... (You *must* want to be married, to have kids, or your life isn't complete.) I owned my own home, had a great career, had great friends, set my own schedule with no regard to anyone else. There was a whole lot of positive.

I think the key to happily married or happily single is to be happy with yourself.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:38 AM   #16
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At family gatherings the niece still holds out her hand, palm up, asking for the "finders fee". It's become a tradition by now.
That was fun to read.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:22 AM   #17
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I married the first time at 31, divorced at 44, remarried at 50, widowed in 2016 at 63, so I've been through it all- one bad marriage (but it produced DS, for which I will be forever grateful), single motherhood, one very happy marriage.

Right now life is good. I love my house, I have plenty of opportunities to interact with others and I enjoy time alone. Getting one person to an exotic destination in Business Class is only half as expensive as getting two there (who knew?) so I do two major trips per year. I no longer face the scary prospect of DH (who was 15 years older) ending up in LTC and having to support LTC and still keep my own financial future secure. I would have been OK but might have had to cut back on "wants". I've lost weight because my kitchen contains very little junk and I rarely eat meat. No one around asking, "Where's the beef?"

As I've mentioned in other threads, I'm on Match.com but my standards are pretty darn high. So far I've sent out a couple of notes with no answers- may be they weren't interested, may be that they don't have a paying membership and can't see them. I'd like to have a good man in my life but can't imagine having one move in with me or selling my place and moving in with him. I'd have a wider field of possibilities if I liked long trips on a Harley, fishing or pro sports, but I don't.

One day at a time.
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:59 PM   #18
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Finding a date is easy. Finding a partner in one’s life is hard.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:07 PM   #19
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Finding a date is easy. Finding a partner in one’s life is hard.
Agreed.

I was once told dates can be found in the produce department, along with the fruits and nuts. I think they were right.

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Old 07-22-2018, 06:20 PM   #20
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Agreed.

I was once told dates can be found in the produce department, along with the fruits and nuts. I think they were right.

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I thought California was the land of fruits and nuts. Just sayin'.
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