Nearly four in ten women over 65 live alone. Well, is that such a bad thing? Not really. A recent study by the MacArthur Foundation established that older women who are living on their own are more likely to age well, remain independent and report enjoying life. Another study, from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, found one third of all adults age between the ages of 46 and 64 were divorced, separated or have never been married. Of course living alone can sometimes be lonely, but social scientists say there are real perks. Here are the positives about being on your own:
You Don't Have To Compromise: When it comes to food, sleep, your fitness routine, choice of entertainment, and how you want to keep your home decorated and organized, the choice is yours.
You Have A Greater Sense Of Self-Sufficiency:Until you find yourself living alone, you may not know how capable you are of meeting the demands of daily life. From cooking to cleaning, to reaching for something on a high shelf without assistance, it's up to you to perform to the best of your ability.
You Can Enjoy "Me Time": Studies show being on your own fosters creativity that may have been lying dormant due to years of sharing space and time with another. The ability to have your thoughts and choices uninfluenced by someone else can lead to stronger confidence and self-realization.
You're Less Stressed: When you choose to relax - soak in a warm tub, meditate, write in your journal, do a few yoga stretches, curl up with a book or just take a snooze - no one will disturb your peaceful, stress-reducing activity.
Your Lifespan Is Likely To Be Longer: Women who live alone tend to live longer than those who are married. (Not so for men, who live longer when married). Scientists suspect it's because women who live on their own can ultimately make their own wellbeing the top priority.
Robin Westen is ThirdAge's medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. Her newest book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V Is For Vagina."
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