Is there still a stigma to a woman living alone in this day and age? If not through the eyes of others then perhaps reflected back though ones own eyes.
Sometimes I don’t know whether I am lonely or not. I like being alone and just ‘being’ and getting to this stage has taken me a long time. In the beginning after living in close proximity to someone else perhaps one carries on as if there are two. Routine and structure are still a way of life. Meals at certain times, types of meals also. Bed times and daily activities. At the start I would still go to bed at the time we’d shared. Once living alone I would feel strangely uncomfortable for staying up late to watch a favorite program on the TV. It took almost a year to shift myself from the slavery of the past behaviours. Guilt at wanting this space, which became more obvious in my second marriage. We had met through a dating agency and there had been certain criteria laid down as prerequisites to a relationship. Example looking for someone to go out with, holidays and spending time with each other. Sounds good but eventually for me became somewhat stifling.
How this becomes apparent in the relationship is when this special other shouts out
‘You spend more time on that computer than you do with me’
Or ‘ you left me on my own at the party and went off talking to your friends’.
‘When we are with your family you play with the children a lot’.
Oh dear! Guilt sets in because it becomes obvious you are expected to be responsible for the other person’s happiness and comfort which is suffocating. Or is it just me?
Isolation becomes more attractive the more constraints the other puts on one. The more demanding the more the need for separation. Thus eventual aloneness. I like being alone and have realised that I am a fairly independent, so I do not reach any of the criteria of loneliness which can be a sense of abandonment, forlorn or solitary and withdrawn. It is true that sometimes I have hints and even days of this and if articulated people may see me as having a problem. Experiencing myself as isolated is more about aging than it is lack of people. Being away from people, as I am out in the countryside, is not a bad thing, just something to be lived through and learned from. I can see myself somewhere in the future wandering the fields with my dog perhaps becoming somewhat eccentric, with woolly hat and long mac flying in the wind. Saying that, as long as I have broadband and the internet and now my dog, and all my rantings I have nothing to fear.