So far, my number one, all-time most popular blog post on Transition Times has been my 2012 Valentine’s Day post, “There’s More to Love than Cupid and His Arrows,” which was read by nearly 30,000 people worldwide in the past year.
In that post, I reflected on how the Valentine’s Day celebration of love could and should extend to more than just romantic love—we should celebrate family love, I said, the kind of love that runs “like molten gold at the core of a happy family like mine.”
A year later, and still without a romantic attachment this Valentine’s Day, I feel no different—but my thoughts on this issue are more defined.
To be alone, without a significant other on Valentine’s Day, is a source of shame.
Well to hell with that, especially for mature women!
I see so many women my age, midlife or older, without partners.
Is this just an American phenomenon? I wish my non-American friends would chime in and let me know.
Here in the States, the divorce rate is astronomical, and we seem to have a surfeit of single women—either the 30- to 40-something put-career-first-and-never-married cohort, or the 40- to 50-something just-couldn’t-take-it-anymore divorced group.
And then at the upper edge of the age scale, there are the 70-something widows, too.
For men in all of these age groups, there are plenty of women to choose from.
After all, it’s not unusual for a man of 60 to take up with a woman 20 years his junior.
But when was the last time you heard of a woman of 60 partnering with a 40-year-old man?
For heterosexual women, the field narrows considerably as we age.
And the risks grow. Why would I, as a 50-year-old, really want to take up with a man twenty years my senior?
If I were to enter the dating market now, I’d be lucky to find a guy my age to partner with. Most guys my age are looking for younger women, and they don’t seem to have any trouble finding a match.
On Valentine’s Day, 2013, I’d like to affirm the fact that women don’t need romantic love to be happy.
I’d like to suggest that women be more appreciative of the love and support we get from each other, and from all kinds of non-romantic attachments.
In the old days, women who sought to avoid marriage ensconced themselves in nunneries, and had a pretty good life there (check out the life of Sor Juana for an example).
I am wondering if today we need a modern form of the nunnery, a place where women of a certain age could go to live full, empowered, mutually supportive lives free from the pressure of romantic attachments.
Maybe we should found such an institution, and call it Valentinaville. Just for us.
Why waste away in Margaritaville when we can be happy in Valentinaville?