Flying Solo: Single Women in Midlife

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - 309 pages
A groundbreaking book portraying the new American lifestyle of single midlife women.

Unmarried at 40--could there be anything worse? Our culture dictates that women who have failed to catch or hold the golden ring of marriage are destined to be deprived and depressed, perhaps even dangerous. Add the burden of age and you have a woman headed for disaster. Not necessarily so, say the authors of Flying Solo, who talked with never-married, divorced, and widowed women in midlife across the country. These women's stories offer blueprints for living, as well as inspiration, for other women "flying solo."

Most of these women did not intend to be single at midlife. Yet they have given up the dream of "happily ever after" to create lives on their own that are rich and rewarding. The authors share these women's stories as well as their practical advice on managing the mechanics of being single, transforming loneliness, redefining the place of work, developing friendship and support networks, living with and without intimacy and sex with men, and choosing to have and raise children. In the process they define not just a new American lifestyle but a new American Dream.
 

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FLYING SOLO: Single Women at Midlife

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Family therapists Anderson and Stewart talk to 87 single women over 40—some divorced, some never married, some widowed, none scientifically selected—in order to demonstrate that the state of being a ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
13
TAKING OFF THE DILEMMA
29
Fish Got to Swim and Birds Got to Fly
40
The Marriage and Motherhood Mandate
50
The Mandate Goes Underground
64
Giving Up the Dream
89
Broken Dreams Women Pushed into Lives on Their Own
103
Midlifes Gifts to Single Women
144
Having Their Cake and Eating It Too Encapsulated
201
Defying the Mandate Living without Motherhood
217
Courageous Choices Single Mothers by Choice
229
Flying Not Quite Solo
243
CHALLENGES AND TRIUMPHS
257
One at a Table for Two The Personal Challenges of Flying
272
Flying on the Wings of Change
287
Notes
295

Turbulence and Tailwinds The Challenges of Flying Solo
156
A Good Ground Crew Intimacy Friendship
171
Men The Icing Not the Cake
189
Leaving Normal Women Who Have Chosen to Leave Their
297
Index
301
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Carol M. Anderson, Ph.D., is a professor at University of Pittsburgh Medical School.

Susan Stewart, Ph.D., has a therapy practice in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Sona Dimidjian, Ph.D, is a member of the faculty of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006.

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