Renée is our incognito "Dear Abby," if you will. Veteran marriage counselor and published author, Renée gets to the heart of it without prevarication. Enjoy this week's truism on Ask Renée...
Q: “Do you think that someone over 50 who’s never been married raises a red flag? Since they appear to be such a great catch, why are they still single?” --Julie W.
Isn’t it interesting that when someone has never been married and is over a certain age, we’re inclined to wonder “What’s wrong with you?” But when someone is divorced and a certain age, we typically don’t wonder the same thing.
Isn’t it equally valid to inquire if someone over 50 who’s divorced has commitment or fidelity issues?
Times aren’t what they used to be. Although marriage is still a truly beautiful and sacred relationship, one that still comes with all sorts of physical, emotional and even financial benefits, it isn't as "necesary" to be married anymore. Finding one’s purpose, traveling the world, exploring different opportunities have all taken precedence—and so, one day, a lot of us look up and say “Wow, time flies!”
I don’t think a lot of people are even conscious of how old they are in relation to their relationship status anymore (unless they want to have kids and don’t yet). Instead, I think more people are focused on living life and if someone comes along, in the midst of living it, who complements who they are and what they are doing, so be it. If not, that’s OK too. There’s really nothing wrong with that.
Taking all of this into account, I will say this--there’s something to be said for gut instincts. They’re not 100 percent infallible, but your intuition is a good barometer. If you’re jumping to conclusions just by hearing someone’s age, that’s being judgmental. However, if after talking to them a while, you sense other issues (for instance, if they’re constantly talking about how they can never seem to settle down or they have more time for “recreation” than a relationship), now you’ve got a potential flag on your hands.
People should only get married when they’re ready and really want to.
There’s no age limit on that. Or at least, there shouldn’t be.