“I am 40, and I am single.
I got married when I was 28, and had a baby at 30 because that is what I thought I was supposed to do. Everyone gets married in their 20s, so they’re divorced by their 40s. Isn’t that how it goes? Kidding, obviously. Well…not really. I am 40, and I am single now.
People ask you if you are with someone, almost like it’s a shame if you’re not. Or maybe that’s how we view ourselves—pathetic if we are alone at a certain age, instead of embracing the alone time. Is it scary? 100% yes. I had a few relationships after I was married which did not pan out. I picked the wrong men for the wrong reasons, all because I didn’t want to be alone at a certain age, like it’s taboo or something. God forbid a woman is single at 40; she is never going to find someone now. She is pretty much finished. She should just get 10 cats and call it a day.
Our image of dating is so warped—like we have to be with someone to be happy, to feel sexy, to feel needed and wanted… I mean, why can’t we do that for ourselves? Why can’t we make ourselves feel loved, sexy, wanted, and needed? Why do we feel we need a significant other to do those things for us? As the cliché goes, if you’re not happy with yourself, how can you make someone else happy, right?
I am learning as time goes, it’s okay to be on your own, in fact, it is so healthy. I am learning new things about myself I never knew. For example, I have a love for photography, who knew? I love taking pictures of nature. I am learning to fall in love with being me—loving my flaws, my perfections, my everything. I take myself out to eat; I get dressed up for myself, put perfume on for me, and my makeup too. In being single, I realized the most important person in my life (other than my daughter) is ME. That’s right, it is me. It’s not selfish to say it. After all, if not us, then who? We spend all our time with ourselves, we need to love ourselves in order to show others how to love us. And how do we love ourselves? It is very simple: We choose ourselves every. Single. Day. Saying no when you want to say no, taking a nap when you’re tired, eating when you’re hungry, watching Netflix, going to the gym, drinking water, or simply doing nothing. BUT, we choose us.
I guess what I am trying to say in this is: I may be single at 40, and it may sound scary to say… but the truth is, I am more than okay. I am dating myself again and falling in love with me again, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. So, the next person who will be so lucky to enter my life will know exactly how to love me, because in loving myself I will automatically teach them.
Love yourself. Cherish yourself. Be kind to yourself. Have empathy for yourself.
Single and 40.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jen Chaitman, 39, of Canada. Follow her on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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