Lovers and Loners

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

 

So it’s Valentine’s Day. I think we are supposed to go all gooey and romantic. As an older person with friends in their fifties and sixties I have to note that most are single and living alone and many have turned their backs on intimate relationships entirely.

Apparently living alone is a growing phenomenon around the world. It’s suggested that increased wealth for many has allowed more people to make this a choice and around 29% of UK homes are now single-person households.

Between 1997 and 2017, there was an increase of 16% of people in lone households, taking the number of singles to 7.7 million. By 2039, the number of one-person households is projected to rise to 10.7 million.

So who are all these folks who are deciding to go it alone? The 53%  rise in the number of people living alone is mainly among older people between the ages of 45  and 64. The number of people under 44 living alone has actually fallen by 16% in the same period.

Are these lonesome ones making a conscious choice to set up home on their own?  Many may not have made the choice willingly. For a great number, divorce and widowhood have been deciding factors.

However choosing to live alone may not mean people have given up on love.

Later life can leave some people with the attitude that staying alone is safer, and while romance might not be entirely a thing of the past, inviting someone to share your nest might be a step too far.

I have a number of friends who have made a firm decision to stay single. For some it’s been a choice based on a painful break-up, the like of which they are not willing to risk repeating. Some just like the sole custody of the remote control and no one complaining if they snore or eat crisps in bed.

For others, they may not be willing to hand over the key to their front door but are still getting out there and meeting new potential partners – which can be a daunting process.

I asked a friend, about her search for love. She says: “You have to have a special kind of courage to keep putting yourself out there and it can be so disappointing.”

Little annoyances for those entering the dating game can be people using images of themselves that are out of date…. sometimes by ten years.

My friend adds: “Others can look great online and sound interesting, but when you meet they are disappointed with life, still angry with the ex, have one track minds or just don’t have any interests in common.”

She describes a date that included all of the above and an extra dose of showing no interest in her for the hour that they were together. “Astonishingly he insisted on walking me to my car when I made my excuses to leave, still only talking about himself, and he really thought I would be willing to meet him again.”

Is she still online?

She shrugs and smiles awkwardly. “I believe in love,” she says, “and I want don’t want to give up on the possibility of finding it.”

Score one for that Valentine fellow… and good luck to those who still believe in romantic love.

What do you, lovely reader, think about all this?

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for pembrokeshire.online, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says "Pembrokeshire.online has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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