Ask the Coach

Episode-7- How to Thrive as a Single Individual

Question: Hey coach, as a 45-year-old single woman, I am independent and content with my life and career. However, it is disheartening to face judgment from society, which often implies that my life would be more fulfilling if I had gotten married. While I care little about these opinions, my concern lies with my aging parents. They sometimes express regret for not prioritizing my marriage, particularly when they see my siblings settled in marital bliss. How can I alleviate my parents’ concerns and help them understand that my happiness and sense of fulfillment are not defined by marriage?

Coach’s Insights & Guidance: It’s great to see that you are confident in expressing your happiness and satisfaction with your life and career. It’s empowering to know your self-assurance and validation of your choices. It’s important to remember that societal opinions do not determine your value or sense of being a whole woman, and it’s commendable that you are not heavily affected by such judgments. Your biggest concern is to reassure your parents about the completeness of your life…right? To address this, it is important to have open and honest conversations with them. You should emphasize how fulfilled you are personally and then reassure them that your happiness is not dependent on marriage.

For this initiate a calm and compassionate conversation with your parents. Express your gratitude for their concern while firmly asserting your contentment with your life choices. Help them understand that marriage does not determine personal fulfilment for everyone and that you have found fulfilment in other aspects of your life. Highlight your achievements and milestones in your career and personal growth, and emphasize how they have contributed to your happiness and sense of fulfilment. You can also broaden your parent’s perspective by sharing stories and examples of successful individuals who have chosen alternative paths to happiness staying single or outside of marriage.

Now you might think it’s easier said than done, but let me assure you that parents always want what’s best for their children. I believe they can understand your perspective if you try to make them see things from your point of view. Encourage them to imagine themselves in your situation by sharing your experiences, dreams, and the fulfillment you’ve found in your life and career. Help them understand the pressures and expectations you’ve faced. By promoting empathy, they can gain a better understanding of your choices and recognize the happiness and strength you’ve discovered by living life on your own terms.

And as far as their concerns related to your future care and well-being are concerned you can check your status first and then can assure them:

  • Have you proactively planned for your future? Think about your financial stability and arrangements, such as savings, investments, or retirement plans, that will provide security and support as you age.
  • Do you have a strong support network around you? Such as: friends, extended family, and community connections.
  • Have you researched long term care options? Research various long-term care options available, such as assisted living communities, in-home care, or co-housing arrangements. Be aware of these options and decisions if and when the need arises.
  • Do you take proper care of your overall well being? Take care of your physical and mental well-being, as this can contribute to a healthier and more independent future. Engage yourself in self-care practices, and seek necessary medical support when required.
  • How is your response towards your parents when they show their concerns? Show your gratitude towards your parents and respect their concern while being assertive with your decision in life. Assure them that you will continue to make responsible decisions and take steps to ensure a secure future.

I call it being self-partnered. – Emma Watson

Discover the advantages

Intergenerational learning

You can involve your parents in your personal and professional pursuits. Share experiences, knowledge, and insights with them, allowing them to understand and appreciate your life choices and accomplishments. Similarly, you can show interest in your parents’ experiences, wisdom, and stories, fostering a sense of mutual learning and respect.

Quality time together

If you stay with them, cooking and enjoying meals together, watching movies, or even sharing laughter and conversations during family gatherings can strengthen the bond and create a warm, loving environment. Alternatively, you can plan vacations or travel together, spending quality time in resorts or exploring new destinations. These moments of togetherness create opportunities for creating cherished memories and deepening relationship.

Zina’s Story

I have a story to share with you. This is about Zina (imaginary name). She is also a single woman in her 50s. Zina has created a fulfilling and secure life for herself. She made a detailed financial plan, working closely with a financial advisor, to ensure her financial stability in the long term. Zina is not only focused on her financial well-being but is an active member of her community also. Through her involvement in social groups, Zina has formed deep connections with friends and neighbors. They provide her with support, companionship, and a sense of belonging. They all often organize regular gatherings and outings, creating a strong support network where they can rely on one another. Zina also made arrangements for her healthcare needs by exploring different long-term care options and discussing them with healthcare professionals. She has found peace of mind in knowing that she has a strong support network and a plan in place for the future.

Her story shows that with determination and thoughtful preparation, it is possible to build a secure and satisfying future as a single woman.

I hope this story will help alleviate your parent’s concerns and assure them that being single doesn’t mean being alone or unsupported.

Keep in mind that changing deeply ingrained beliefs takes time and patience. It may require ongoing conversations and repeated reassurances to help your parents truly understand and accept your choices. So, have these conversations with empathy & understanding, and acknowledge your parents’ genuine worries for your welfare. By showing your preparedness, highlighting your support system, and assuring them of your commitment to a secure future, you can alleviate their concerns and provide them with peace of mind.

Wishing you and your parents all the best in your journey together, filled with love, joy, and beautiful memories.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the advice and guidance provided in this column are based on the coach’s professional expertise and experience, but are not intended to replace or substitute for professional counseling, therapy, or medical advice. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate professional help if needed. Specific results or outcomes are not guaranteed as each individual’s circumstances and experiences are unique.

Image courtesy: Pexel Images

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