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The Joys Of Solo Living For A Woman

For me, the biggest positive of solo living is the freedom. The freedom to just be yourself. The freedom to do what you want, when you want.

I am in the middle of reading Table for One by Sumaa Tekur. Published by Hay House Publishers India in January 2023, it is described on the cover as ‘A solo living manual for the curious Indian woman’. Well, that surely it is. The book is dedicated to ‘every woman who wishes to break free’.

In the book, written as a first-person account, the author describes how she chooses to live alone instead of living with her parents once her marriage breaks up. The book advocates solo living as a wholesome experience of self-discovery.

This book struck a chord with me. Having recently moved into a retirement community, I feel that a whole new world has opened up for me. A world full of new friends, activities and experiences. I realise that ‘metaphorically’ solo living at this stage in life would be a good idea.

I say metaphorically, because technically I have a spouse. But he is both a workaholic and travel buff, which makes it necessary for me to find a fulfilling life for myself. Instead of succumbing to empty nest syndrome (our children are adults with their own busy lives) and loneliness, isn’t it better to embrace the plentiful ‘me-time’ that I have?

Why older women enjoy solo living

Writing in Psychology Today, Dr Bella DePaulo demystifies solo living for women. The premise of her article 5 Reasons Why So Many Women Love Living Alone is that once women live alone in midlife, they don’t want the experience to end.

She quotes a study to explain why older women enjoy solo living. Three of the reasons resonated with me:

  1. Women enjoy spending time alone more than men do
  2. Women who live alone do better than men at friendship
  3. Women who live alone spend more time pursuing their interests and hobbies

For me, the biggest positive of solo living is the freedom. The freedom to just be yourself. The freedom to do what you want, when you want. To curl up under the quilt a little longer on a lazy Sunday morning. To drink a cup of tea listening to music or reading the newspaper, without having to share the paper with your spouse.

To take a solo nature walk appreciating the beautiful flowers and listening keenly for the different bird sounds. Walking alone is so much better than walking with a companion. You don’t have to talk, except to yourself!  You can commune with nature and sort out your thoughts at the same time. And, you return refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed.

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Dr DePaulo has written about pursuing interests and hobbies. Yes, that’s another bonus of a solo lifestyle. Learning music or photography both have their benefits. Music is therapeutic – whether you just listen or sing. Photography is a window to the world, literally.

And, finally, a solo lifestyle actually makes you reach out to like-minded people seeking friendships. There is a belief that it’s difficult to make friends after a certain age. That may be partly true, but it’s not impossible. However, set we get in our ways in the fifties, the chances of meeting friends with similar mindsets and interests are very much there. We just have to stretch that extra bit to reach out to them.

I am looking forward to gleaning more information and insight from ‘Table for One’ in the coming days…

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Image source: a still from the film Listen, Amaya, and book cover Amazon

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About the Author

Aruna Raghuram

I am a freelance journalist and write on parenting, personalities, women’s issues, environment, and other social causes. read more...

14 Posts | 10,510 Views

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