Do we need partners for the silver years?


When a single person reaches their 50th birthday, they should receive an award for lifetime achievement. The award might congratulate the individual on making it thus far against all the odds, without giving in.

One of the things that most of us were sure of, was that by the time we turned 50 we’d be in a steady relationship – and most likely settled down, with children. This thought makes being single very hard; you feel as if you’re losing your chance to settle down as if your time is running out to be with that ‘someone’ meant just for you.

This makes Arti Ohri ponder, how does one keep the same energy and zest for life in the later years? “Do we need a partner or can we actually make it without one,” she questions. Sukanya feels that we all probably need a companion. It doesn’t have to be a partner. It can be a family member, a dear friend or a sibling. Anyone. Because loneliness is too much to handle when you’re getting old and weak. “If you can get a partner who is like-minded, go for it,” she suggests.

It depends on your choice whether you want to follow a tradition or you want to set your own tradition. Do you feel the need for a partner? If yes, matrimonial sites can surely help.

But if you’re just concerned about what others are predicting about your later-life conditions, Manjari Pandey suggests you buy a mug, a handbag and a wallpaper stating ‘happily unmarried’ and smile at your independence.

Though this may sound ruthless, don’t many married people lose their partners in their 50s or 60s and have to live alone? The energy wears out and we can never be sure if the partner will be as supportive as required in the later years. Being single or married has its own pros and cons but none is unmanageable, feels Ranjana Kamo.

At some stage of life, especially as we age, it becomes lonely without companionship, feels Sangeeta Menon. However, who says companionship has to be of the opposite gender? “You can have a great life and share activities with a friend! And should love strike when you least expect, no problem with that either,” adds Sangeeta.

Old couple
As we age

A partner really helps during later years. Although it depends on how people choose to be during that particular age, psychologically you’re going to feel lonely, asserts Rishav Ray. A partner will help ease your mind and assist you during your tough times. Having said that, many would prefer to remain single and carry on, although the void may well be present, he agrees.

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It all depends upon the kind of person you are, believes Vaishali Chandorkar Chitale. If you’re comfortable being alone, happy in self, don’t crave company, then you’ll have the same energy and zest for life, but if you’re the type who needs to be with someone to share your experiences with, then life can be very boring alone in later years when time hangs heavy on our hands.

Then the everyday routine with a partner keeps one busy and we have someone to talk to and his/her presence alone is comforting.

Mira is 30, single, and in no way ready for a relationship. Life to her – right now and for the coming years – seems more productive, professionally and socially, as a single woman. She does understand the need for a partner to share life experiences with. “I sure have some great friends and I make sure we don’t lose out on each other in routine chores. But they have their own lives to build and focus on. Having a partner means to me of having someone you build your life together with and share your life experience with,” says Mira.

In later years, say after 50 or so, it becomes even more essential to have someone to look back and cherish these life experiences together. Barkha Tiwari admits that it’s possible and lots of people stay single, but we cannot deny the power and necessity of companionship at any age. “We humans are designed to live our lives with a companion. It could be anyone a friend, a lover, a partner or anyone but we definitely need company because at the end of the day we all need someone to tell about how our day was unless you are a Zen master,” Barkha feels.

However, there are plenty of reasons that you should be happy being single no matter what your age is. Even though 50 is an awkward age, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re broken or incomplete in some way.

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