Chapter 22 » 22.32

Sharing a home or living alone

The single life

Many of us, widows or widowers, divorced or separated, homosexual and heterosexual, bachelors and spinsters, will be living alone for at least part of our lives. Some may still be grieving over the loss of a loved one, and whether that loss is caused by death or by separation, the need may be to have time in which to rediscover oneself as a single yet whole person, with needs and strengths, potentialities and achievements. Another may be enjoying freedom from commitment to another, but feel guilty about being self-centred. Yet others may be perplexed, even tormented, by their sexual drives and fantasies, and may be seeking ways of sublimation. Some may still feel the wounds of an earlier broken relationship and fear to take further risks, or may have experienced at one remove the tensions and hurts of an unhappy marriage. Some may have doubts about their own capacity to give happiness to a married partner or may have romantic ideas of finding the perfect partner, while yet others do not know why, without making any conscious choice, they have remained single. But underlying all these differences there is the common need to love and be loved.

Some Westminster Friends, 1990

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