Moving On After Going Solo

Living-alone-source-magforwomenFor those who have been living the single life by choice or because of divorce, or simply because “that’s just the way things turned out,” the idea of creating a more social home by joining up with a roommate can be a transition that evolves naturally. It can be simply a matter of moving from one stage in life to the next, accommodating shifting desires and needs.

For a women who is widowed, however, living alone is not an option that she chose; it was forced upon her, and it’s likely to last several years at least. According to Doreen Horan of the Counseling Center at Stella Maris, a provider of long-term care in Maryland, women who’ve lost a spouse wait on average two to five years before starting to socialize again. Men, on the other hand, wait between one and two years.

This can lead to an extended period of loneliness for new widows, and loneliness can lead to depression. A study at Michigan State University found that older people who go online to stay in touch with friends had a more than 30 percent reduction rate of depression symptoms. Imagine how much greater the alleviation of depression would be if women left suddenly alone through loss of a spouse turned to one another to share the companionship of living together.

Living with a roommate in that case might be worth trying as a healthy and beneficial choice for a new widow, even if she doesn’t imagine herself living with a roommate forever. Chances are that it will be at least a few years if not several, before she begins dating and possibly finding a new spouse. She might turn to a dating site when she’s ready to begin looking for a love relationship again, but probably not for awhile. In the meantime, why not turn to a roommate-matching service, to alleviate loneliness and depression and bring some companionship and fun into her home life?

Sally Stitch’s insightful article on Next Avenue, “Building a Social Life After the Death of a Spouse” offers thoughtful advice on how to make friends when the time is right.

2 thoughts on “Moving On After Going Solo

  • July 31, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Yes, what an important subject to talk about! I have been divorced for many years..raised
    two kids entirely on my own for 25years…kids grow up and leave (as they should) but it’s
    a shock to be in a quiet house with no one to share meals with! I am very extroverted and
    blessed to have MANY (many) women friends; however, most of them are grandmoms and
    busy (I would be, too!)..or married and traveling….never would I have believed that life
    could be so lonely. I, also, live on beautiful Bainbridge Island…which might isolate me a
    bit more ….I would love to travel with other women….even meet new friends who are
    single, divorced..or widowed.

    • August 4, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      So glad you shared your story, Marie. Even if you aren’t ready to consider living with a roommate, you might consider joining Roommates4Boomers to search for other women in similar circumstances in your area. You could end up finding friends who are available and interested in traveling – and ultimately you might decide that you’d rather live with a roommate than alone. Either way, you will be doing something very positive to deal with your loneliness.


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