28 Responses to “Do women 65+ not want to live with a man?”

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter –January 1, 2021                          

        28 responses to “Do women 65+ plus not want to live with a man?

Thanks, Champs for responding to the eNewsletter sent two weeks ago regarding: Do women 65+ not want to live with a man? I selected 28 responses (22 from women, six from men). All the responses included below were sent via email, except for two telephone conversations I had with Les and Dave, men friends of mine.

This article is long and thorough. I may publish it as an electronic book.

In reading today’s eNewsletter, please remember, these are quotes from Champs and not opinions of mine. Many quotes are edited for length and clarity by me. Each person’s idea regarding people 65-plus living alone or with someone is unique. Most people are enlightened; others are a tad angry or bitter. There is no right or wrong response.

In the end, I will pick a new moniker for women in the age 65+ group. I’ve narrowed it down to “The Independent Generation” or “The Contented Generation.” Of course, this will be an unofficial-tongue-in-cheek designation, and for fun only.

What women said

Terry, “We are in our 60’s and older. I don’t know many friends who are interested in marriage or even excited about their existing marriage. Many new relationships come with lots of baggage. Going through that is easier if households are not co-mingled.

“Humans at our age are set in their ways. Sex is nice but not necessary (at least for women), separation of incomes is tricky, and sharing of living space–unless the space is huge—would be difficult”

Laurie Jo, “I have mixed feelings regarding being a couple under the same roof. My boyfriend of five years is a lovely man, but he is younger, with a career and a son still at home. He loves his home. We live 90 minutes away; that commute is unreasonable for him.

“But I am still lonely a lot of the time. Living together is not an option for us; cohabitation is likely not in the cards. I have decided that for now, going back and forth for each of us on alternating weekends is ok.

“How every relationship plays out is different.”

Mary Ann, “After living alone for some time, people start to like having space, and not sharing or compromising with a partner. Many men don’t want to commit; they feel free and happy.”

Elizabeth, “I know many older women who want companionship but are worried about living together or getting married because they may lose some independence. Many are afraid of taking on household chores or losing financial independence.”

Carissa, “Women like myself who’ve spent years eating the right foods and taking good care of our bodies want to spend our retirement enjoying life, not being a nursemaid to a man who mistreated his body, and now wants his own, private caregiver in exchange for room and board.

“Financially secure women don’t need a man at this point in their lives unless he shares their values about good health and retirement.”

Kaitte, “I’m a very independent senior woman, most men can’t handle that—not needing a man to take care of me. Some men are afraid that I will drain them of their money.”

Sandra, “My guy and I are both Champs; we married in 2014. This is not a male or female issue. Many men now of retirement age, focused on their work and traditional male division of duties at home while women worked and assumed traditional roles at home. Retirement requires transition and often a new division of duties.

“I do not want to live alone; my husband and I are negotiating the learning curve now.”

Where do you choose to live after age 65?

Susan, “I have been in a 12-year relationship with a man who has been trying to complete a divorce throughout our relationship. We have had a LAT relationship. He declared this past week that he doesn’t want to continue.

“I have no interest in marriage and I love having my own place. I am 78, live in San Francisco. I am wondering if I could ever start another relationship. I have been told to only find widowers instead of divorced people. Widowers are sad, not mad.”

Deanne, 67, “I was happily married for 30 years, lost my husband six years ago to leukemia. I want to live with a partner, to enjoy making a home together. I’m better as a partner than as a solo act.

“My widow group (international and private) is filled mainly with women who dream of finding someone and intimacy again. They don’t like living alone. Widows long for a partner to live with while divorcees want freedom.”

Carol, 78, a songwriter. “Older men are afraid to take a chance on someone who has a life, interests, talent, and self-assurance. If they know I’m a songwriter, they don’t want to end up in a song like one I wrote, “So Many Women, So Little Time.”

One verse from my song: “You troll the waters both day and night, looking for a woman, you can excite! A nurse with a purse, housekeeper, and cook, they are all out there, all you need to do is look.”

Speaking of waters, some want to live on a yacht but the Pilgrim sunk in Dana Point Harbor in 2020
                                                                              Photo by Ron Cohen

Pony Lady, “I know that ‘chore wars’ is alive and well in a couple of over-65 households that I know personally (long-term married couples). They want a more equal sharing of the chores…she says he won’t do anything and he doesn’t care.”

Christine, Relationship Coach, “Regarding, most women who tell me they don’t want to live with a man again because they did too much labor in their marriage, part of my coaching is to show them how to ‘ask for help’ and stop overdoing.

“Once they perfect this they’re more open to getting into another relationship. Plus, most men are happy to do their part in the ‘chores’ around the house.

“I’ve learned when we take responsibility for our happiness within a relationship it’s better to be partnered than single.”

Hamila, Texas, “I was married for 42 wonderful years and was a caregiver for the last six years of my husband’s life. I have no desire to live with another man. I do enjoy male company and all that might entail, but I do not want to share my home with another man. I enjoy doing what I want when I want. I enjoy my male friends but have no desire for them to take up residence.

“A couple of my widow friends agree with me. They are senior women content living alone.”

Gail, “I would live with a man for a couple of days each week, plus on trips and adventures. But full-time? No thank you. I am too independent and happy in my skin. I don’t need anyone giving me unwanted advice and don’t want to do that to anyone. I keep hoping to meet a good man who is available and interested.”

Lisa, “I moved last year from Southern California to the Tucson area. While I would like to find a partner, the LAT describes my preference now.

“I have furnished my home to my taste. If someone moved in, where would we put his stuff? If he didn’t have furnishings, that would be a red flag.

“I had a good relationship with a man in my neighborhood who entertained me mostly at his home. I enjoyed his company. However, he always had a TV on somewhere in his house, even if he wasn’t watching it, including one in the bedroom to watch the “Tonight” show, on a timer so he could go to sleep with it on.

“I’d like to find someone to do activities with, share meals, in or out sometimes, and have sleepovers and what they entail, but I want my freedom and independence too. “

Arlene, “It’s a trade-off! We get a roof; they get a slave. My ex never cleaned his toilet. He never cleaned anything except his car every Sunday morning, which prevented him from churching with me.

“Men want someone to clean house and lauder their stinky clothes. Not fun. Of course, they want a sex partner. The last three men I’ve known can’t perform due to diabetes. Yawn.

“Then we can watch them watch “the game” on tv while drinking beers. Stay upwind of the farts. Another yawn.”

Kathy, 59, “I remarried my husband of 20 years six years ago. I knew what I was getting back into. We live together.  To say he does not clean up after himself is an extreme understatement; it can not only be exhausting but embarrassing.

“I take care of the yard, but the rest of his stuff is everywhere…most of it behind the RV gate, or I move it back there after a few days if it’s left out front. We look like the Beverly Hillbillies.”

Kathleen, 60, “I would like having a male companion to spend time with, especially seeing concerts, plays, book readings, or even going out with for a meal, but seniors living together, no thanks!”

Dianne, “No. Once is enough. It’s like the New Yorker cartoon where the man is proposing and the woman says, ‘Oh, so you want to offer me a life where nothing changes for you and my whole life does for me (not the exact caption but it captures the essence.)

“Can’t see how any man over 60, especially with children, could offer anything that made it worth moving in. And it’s not that I haven’t been pursued.”

Bonnie, “Better solo or better with your partner? While a man’s companionship is wonderful, being solo is also wonderful. Such an individual thing.”

Alicia, 68, “I stay busy with my hobbies. I would love to share a home with a man. If I meet a man and we fall in love, I think having a conversation about our lifestyles and talking about what’s important to each of us would make the transition of living together easier. I would hope the man would likewise have his hobbies, interests, and friends.”

Mary Lou, 75, “I can’t imagine living with someone today. I have turned into an independent senior woman, and I like my routine. I have made lots of friends in Denver since moving here three years ago.  Since the pandemic, I Zoom twice a month with a group of fabulous senior women in a movie club. And once a month in a book club.

“I take occasional online classes with Senior Planet. I live a mile from my son and family. I still tutor students for bar exams and have 11 assigned to me now. I have a rich, full life, and am resigned to not having my great later-in-life love connection.”

Brenda, 59, “Women 65+…the independent generation. You should research more in-depth through history if thinking of using that label. Women have always been independent. In my opinion, it’s the men who have been dependent on women and have tried to make women dependent on them through laws and legal discrimination.

“I have known countless older and younger independent strong women. Your ‘label’ is nothing new. We’ve always been independent.

                                           What men said

Army, “Most women want their independence and freedom. If you want to go dancing, they will drive themselves to meet you there; they don’t need or want a man in their lives.”

Les, 94, WWII vet, (by telephone) is living in an Orange County, California, assisted living facility. He doesn’t like being there. He isn’t looking for a mate. Instead, he’d rather purchase a single-level home with an attached two-car garage. In Southern Orange County, homes like that are hard to come by.

Dave, 80, Laguna Niguel, California, (by telephone) widower of six months, wishes senior centers and older singles clubs were open so he could make some new friends. He doesn’t want marriage, but a compatible pal would be nice to have.   

Lawrence, “Most men need the emotional, financial and physical support from a woman. Why? Since WWII, families have become dependent on two incomes. The two-income program developed independence for women…Now, women want dominance over men. That’s why many men have opted out of committed relationships with women.”

Jim, humor columnist for Desert Exposure Magazine (Las Cruces, New Mexico) (www.desertexposure.com): “Your ‘Independent Generation” moniker reminds me of an 1855 poem, by Martha Ford titled “The Nantucket Girls Song.”

It’s too long for this column so I’m including the link. Here is the first sentence, “I have made up my mind now to be a Sailors wife, to have a purse full of money and a very easy life…

Link: https://nha.org/research/nantucket-history/history-topics/what-is-the-nantucket-girls-song/

Mark, who alerted me to this article from the LA Times about a widower, age 84, who is lonely in the nursing home where he resides. It’s a gripping story.
Link: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-12-26/covid-19-isolation-loneliness-inside-nursing-home

                                           Tom’s summary

After reading these responses, I’m sticking with “The Independent Generation,” as it applies to single women age 65+ and their living-arrangement preference. Some want to live with a man; many don’t There’s no right or wrong answer. But, it reveals how our generation feels about cohabitation.