Sometimes I see men on social media making fun of women who are single past about 40 yo. They look at some of the activities they pick up or how they move differently and then conclude, ‘these women are lonely’ in what seems to be a negative mocking tone.

 

There is a question I ask on my intake form for new clients: “How is your home life?” I have noticed that single women tend to respond with one word: “Peaceful.”

 

Peacefulness may come with some loneliness and some depression due to lack of extra external happiness. But I think often times peaceful trumps happiness and loneliness. When your body is at peace, it has let go of stress, which is tied to inflammation, which is tied to numerous health conditions.

 

When someone is lonely and divorced, that is someone who also may now have lower blood pressure, less chronic pain, less digestive upset, etc than when they were with their previous partners. You don’t hear about that side. Your body is smart, it knows. Remember that.

 

At the same time, companionship and being around people can be very important. Even if you are 90% introvert, that 10% could use some attention sometimes. Have a friend or two (get used to making new ones as you get into senior citizen status), have a roommate, volunteer, have someone reading a book in the other room while you read yours (in other words, you are happy with just their presence and no words really need to be said), etc.

 

There is a point where loneliness can be too isolating, and depression too great, thus also negatively impacting your health. Furthermore, unhealthy compensatory mechanisms can kick in (ex. overeating, on sweets particularly). Seeing a therapist may be indicated. Please make effort to maintain balance.

 

The title ‘When peace trumps love’ is a misnomer that I still decided to use given much of society’s automatic initial interpretation of the word ‘love.’  Always remember that love comes in many forms.  Self-love can be a pathway to peace.  Embracing the other types of love, such as the love of friendship and the love you have for those whom you choose to serve through volunteering, can lead to a more fulfilling life.