Ask Amy: Unmarried and Okay with It
Turns out, you can be a 40-year-old single mother and still be happy...!
Dear Amy: I am a 40-year-old, single, never-been-married mother.
Whenever I meet new people or have new patients (I work with the elderly), I’m always asked what my husband does for a living, and when I say, “Oh, I’ve never been married,” people express such disbelief! They wonder what’s wrong with me and what I’m going to do with myself if I never find someone.
Then they have the nerve to tell me, “…well you’re only 40, you still have a little time left to find someone,” as if there’s some kind of time limit to find a husband.
I’m content with my life, but starting to feel like I’m the only unmarried 40-year-old in the world.
How can I shut people down nicely before getting bombarded with questions I have no answers to? Why do people even care so much?
– Unmarried and OK
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Dear Unmarried: Because you work with elderly people, you’re confronting their values, curiosity, and their desire to communicate with you.
A polite way to handle this would be to say, “I AM happy. I have myself, my child … and you!” Then deflect by making a kindly observation about them: “It sounds like you got lucky in your love life. Tell me more!”
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068
© 2021 by Amy Dickinson