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Why I’m Not Searching for Mr. Right or Even Mr. Maybe

Here are the joys of staying single and soaring high.

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JR BEE
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In 1976, when I was 21, as we were walking on Fifth Avenue, my mother turned to me and said, “You’re not getting younger. Before you know it, your time will run out.”

Her campaign for me to find a husband began minutes after I graduated college the prior year.

I could feel the steam growing inside of me. I looked at my mother and announced, “If I’m not married by the time I am 30, you can tell all your girlfriends I’m still exploring my romantic inclinations.”

Throughout my life, I’ve always been attracted to men, and beautiful love stories and relationships came and went. I craved my freedom and did not marry by the time I was 30, nor 40, 50, 60, and most likely not by 70 which is fast approaching.

When my father died in 2006 and my mother was still quite vibrant, I asked her if she wanted to meet a man. She said, “This is the first time in my life I don’t have to answer to anyone.” She went from her mother’s home at age 18 to getting married.

Both my brothers married at 21 right after they graduated college and chose acceptable careers respectively, in medicine and law.

When my eldest brother was dying of cancer, he looked at me and said, “I’m very jealous of you.” I thought because I was healthy, and he was not, and responded, “I wish I had a magic wand and I could take out the cancer from your body.”

Then he told me that wasn’t it. It was because I had lived my life as a free spirit. I was shocked.

With my unending curiosity about life, and desire to create and communicate, I have worked in many artistic mediums and took risks along the way. In my ascent as a writer, photographer and filmmaker, I didn’t have mouths to feed other than my own and I learned survival skills along the way. Now I am getting ready to launch a new business, a forgiveness coaching program. Proudly, I am starting this new venture as I approach turning 70.

My mother, Mildred, recently turned 100, and I can make her my top priority. We just returned from an 18-day luxury cruise celebrating her milestone. And today with her inspiring personality and my filmmaking and marketing skills, this centenarian has become a social media influencer, with 86,000 Instagram followers.

My mother was married for 64 years to my father. When he passed away, we started traveling the world together. I saw up close how she not only survived as a newly single woman but thrived with her own sense of purpose and adventure.

Don’t let your relationship status define your possibilities.

If you suddenly find yourself alone due to a divorce or the death of a partner, don’t fret about continuing life solo. You are not alone and so many others in similar situations are here for you, for companionship and activities.

You can join groups such as The Transition Network for Women, focused on the transition to retirement. The organization sponsors workshops, events and special interest groups such as book clubs and museum/gallery groups. I hosted a tour of my own photography exhibit for this group.

I often turn to online classes which I can do at my pace, such as one called Master Your Bain: Neuroscience for Personal Development. Many colleges offer lifelong learning programs geared toward seniors. Keeping our bodies active, and consistently growing our minds like my mother does, have proven to be among the keys to longevity, studies repeatedly confirm.

In my late 60s, I took up tennis for the first time in my life and loved it. I am also a fan of pickleball, a sport that is good for fitness and very social, making it a good place to meet other like-minded singles.

Do you have wanderlust? Don’t let not having a travel companion stop you. Join The Ethel-On-The-Go closed Facebook page to find a new friend or group to share an adventure with. Or, if you prefer solo travel, there are many tour companies that cater specifically to single women travelers. Cruise ships are now adding single cabins so a solo traveler does not have to pay for a double room. The advantage of being a solo woman with wanderlust is that we get to make our own choices of where and when to go.

So I guess I could be called a spinster — defined as: “A woman, especially an older one, who has not married." Though, I’m a happy one, strong of body from fitness and healthy eating, strong of mind from creating art, lifelong learning and travel.

If I want.to date, I have plenty of male friends who are delighted to be my escort. If I want romantic intimacy, well, that might require a bigger effort, which at the moment is not my priority.

I am not searching for Mr. Right or even Mr. Maybe. My focus now is helping compose and publish my mother’s book titled Mildred’s Mindset: Wisdom from a Woman Centenarian.

The book is a compilation of her strategies for embracing life fully even at 100, with global travel, lifelong learning as well as expanding her social circle at every age. My mother is an unending inspiration, a sharp intellect who also happens to be an ageless fashionista.

Loneliness? Do I feel it? No, I don’t. There are never enough hours in the day for me to accomplish what I want to do. You can feel more alone in a bad relationship than when you are alone.



Are any of you single? Do you love it? Let us know in the comments below. 

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