WOMANTALK: The Highs and Lows of Being Single in 40s

September 5, 2022

What’s it like being a single woman in your 40s, perhaps you wonder.

Well, three Kenyan women share their experiences, revealing the highs and lows of being a single woman in 40s.

Jennie, Wachira, 46, the Founder Sadref Africa is a Divorce Recovery Coach and Counselling Psychologist

“It’s been over a decade since I got divorced. Being single at 40 has been a challenge for me because there have been societal expectations that I need to be married, and since I’m not, I have been judged and looked down upon by some people.  I have learnt to mind my own business and having gone through counselling when my marriage went sore, I have learnt to take things positively.

By associating with people facing the same challenges, know that I am not the only one facing issues and I have created a strong support system. Having gone through an abusive relationship in the past, I am enjoying my life. I love the freedom to pursue my purpose.

Though my experience hurt, I learnt to pick my lessons and I have been reaching out to people who have gone through similar ordeals and are still hurting.

There are lonely moments, especially now that I am parenting a young adult and teenager as they are engaged with their own lives.  Parenting is tough when you are single. I remember an incident, I needed to drop my daughter off at the University and I had an appointment with a client, and I wished I had someone who could step in and support me.

Sometimes, I wish I had someone when making significant decisions and other times is for a partner to confide in. As a woman, you feel safe when you have protection. At 40, I feel exposed and since there is no one to protect me, I am exposed to criticism that could be otherwise avoided if I was married.”  

Zawadi Safari, 41, an entrepreneur

“I spent most of my early 30s being in an abusive relationship that left me depressed. There was an incident where I almost lost my eye due to physical abuse. Depression had caused me to gain over 40kgs and when I got out of the union, I made a complete turn in my life, and in a period of six months, I lost 38kgs.

I refused to be among the statistics of those who die in toxic relationships and hence, I am enjoying my time and living life unapologetically. At 40, I can execute my plans without having to consult anyone. I also spend quality time playing golf which plays a vital role in my mental health.

On the flip side, one of the challenges I face is that sometimes I miss companionship which is a big reality I have to deal with. There are so many expectations from society, but I have learnt to keep boundaries from the external world by not minding what people think or say.

One regret I have is settling into a relationship because that was what was available then. Once in and had children, I was stuck because I feared raising my three boys alone. I am wiser now and I’m not ready to compromise on whom I date.

The biggest challenge I face is that there are fewer avenues to meet potential single and available partners with similar values.  Often, I meet younger and married men but they are not my cup of tea. I hope to settle with a single man, preferably in my 50s who is mature, responsible, and who is not intimidated by a woman’s success.”

Joyce Kimani, 46, businesswoman

“I was once in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic who took advantage of my kind heart. I stayed with him for five years and every day hoped that things would improve but matters only got worse. Since then, I have never found my match, but I have no regrets.

I have had financial difficulties raising my teenage daughter and I have faced so much loneliness and I miss companionship, especially when making decisions in life. I have faced discrimination in meetings where there are couples and sometimes when I visit the village, many people ask me, ‘why are you not married, and yet you are a good woman?’

I ignore anything that affects my peace of mind. In some instances, I avoid meeting married couples because some women fear that I might end up snatching their husbands. I have learnt to be bold and not mind what people say especially when there is societal judgment and expectations that I should be partnered up by now.

At my age, you meet men who have been through it all, trust issues, painful breakups, and grief, especially for the widowers. I fear that this carry-over emotional baggage may affect our relationship.

I am very careful because I know not everyone is looking for the same thing in the dating scene. For instance, I meet younger men between 25-35 years who approach me and I am aware most of them are looking for financial stability which I am not ready to give. For me, companionship and security are key, and I hope to meet a God-fearing man between the ages of 50-55 years.” 

Source: Life & Style Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss