Valentines day is coming and the online dating sites are seeing a rush to sign up and find a partner. Top sites like Match, E-harmony and OK Cupid report a 25-30% increase in new clients from New Years to Valentines Day. Older adults are looking for love as well through sites targeting boomers like Our Time and Senior People Meet.
"It is a fact that lifespans are increasing every year and new ways of 'living old' are cropping up all over the place" says Mary Boone Wellington, co author of the new book "Hope I Don't Die Before I Get Old" a guide to successful aging and caregiving.
One trend on the rise in the last decade is that of living alone by choice. Living alone is no longer an indication one has failed in the race to couple up, especially for middle aged and older adults. Financial independence for women may be reducing the financial stress of living alone and making it a clear and conscious choice for divorced or widowed women "of a certain age."
There are 55 million 'single' households in the US. And these households comprised 46 percent of all households nationwide.
Thirty six percent of women over 65 live alone according to the US Census Bureau, many by choice. By all accounts, they are sailing towards Valentines day with no regrets at all.
" I can buy my own chocolates and flowers, have a large group of friends and co-workers and I love, absolutely love, coming home to my wonderful home where everything is as I like it and where I left it" says one woman who, after 28 years of marriage called it quits with her husband and hasn't looked back in the ten years since.
"Being married made sense when the children were at home-there were never enough hands, time or money for everything we wanted to do for and with them, but a wonderful peace has overtaken my life now that I live alone."
Five Joys of Living Alone
TIME: The freedom to be responsive to one's own impulses- clean the oven or go to work-no judgements!
PRIDE: Self reliance brings a feeling of pride in progress and accomplishments. One woman bought tools and completed building the home her fiancé had begun to build for them after his sudden death, and found it healing.