6 thoughts on “What Are the Stages of Adult Life If You Are Single and Have No Children?

  • September 11, 2018 at 8:12 am

    If you are legally old enough to drink, vote, and have sex, then you are an adult. Anything else is societal stuff and nonsense.

  • September 11, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I agree with your objections, Bella. I concur that it’s at least an effort in the right direction, but my honest thought while reading the outline of stages was “Why is all of this ABOUT singleness?” And, OK, it doesn’t stay that way all the way through, but much of it does seem to give the impression that single people have nothing on their minds other than their relationship status. I can’t speak for anyone else, but it doesn’t obsess ME that way. Why can’t stage two just read “Expanding life goals”, for instance. That would seem to be true of everyone regardless of whether they’re single OR coupled–or, if single, happy or unhappy with that.

    Also–and this is perhaps less apropos, but nevertheless–why are “blueprints” so important anyway? Does everyone’s life HAVE to fit a mold or conform to some algorithm? How much do we miss about an individual by constantly comparing them to some external standard? What’s our authority for holding up that standard as appropriate across the board? And would it be possible to simply assess one’s level of fulfillment in the moment and trust that you can’t have an unhappy ending to a life made up of happy moments?

    • September 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Great minds think alike! I’m working on another article that will build up to the point you make in the second paragraph.

  • September 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Bravo! I’m a happily single and childfree 60 something. I was in my early thirties when I realized I wasn’t going to marry. It actually came as a shock! I wouldn’t really call it a ‘decision’ – it just became apparent that that wasn’t me. Frankly, after that point I never looked back and didn’t see any need to think of myself as single. Married people tend to be proselytizers, and I think that’s a large part of why the middle years can sometimes be more difficult.

    But as you point out, the models created so far are highly biased – I think the happiest people create their own models, or just come to realize that abstract models are only important to academics and your life and fulfillment don’t require a model at all.

  • September 14, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    I am in my 60’s now and have never married or had children. I always grew up with idea that I would do this as all women did and it was so ingrained in me that I never questioned it. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that it occurred that I wasn’t sure I wanted marriage and children. This shocked me but did precipitate me into starting to live my life for myself and in 4 short years I went to Uni, bought a property, started counselling, got to pets, went abroad and so on. I had been waiting for a man to sweep me off my feet and define my life through his as a ‘wife’.

    However I have suffered for this as my married friends with kids friends think I am strange (many of them are envious too). I have always felt my married sister and mother looked down upon me. I have had men and women assuming I know nothing about men, relationships, or kids. Many men have assumed I am gay and have harassed me and slagged me off accordingly. I have had to develop a sharp tongue. I never planned it this way – it just happened.

    • September 14, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      I think your story is inspiring. As to how others have reacted, that’s more a comment (and not a good one) on them and not on you.


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