The experience of being an old never-married single: A life course perspective

Tova Band-Winterstein, Carmit Manchik-Rimon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of the study: To explore the aging experience of the "over 60" group of singles who have never been married and have no children. How they experience their aging process in terms of their singlehood and vice versa. Design and Methods: A qualitative-phenomenological approach was adopted. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 participants aged 60 to 87. Results: Four major themes emerged: (a) "How come I stayed single?" (b) Between loneliness, aloneness and solitude. (c) "I have to take care of myself in old age." (d) The self behind prejudices and stereotypes. Implications: As the normative expectation is to live with partners, children, and grandchildren, they need to account for their alternative choice and give meaning to being a never married single. This meaning is expressed by constructing their self-identity and accepting their way of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-401
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Aging


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