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Are women better than men at being on their own?

(20 Posts)
Grannyknot Sun 23-Sep-12 18:51:27

The thread about grandads eating alone on a Sunday got me thinking - maybe this has been discussed on GN before - but are women generally better at adjusting to being on their own than men? My MIL used to say 'Men are like puppies, they need company'. And when I think of my dad after the last of his 4 wives died, he was hopeless at looking after himself or being on his own. Of course (the 4 wives is a clue) he left a trail of broken relationships including with his children, behind him, which didn't help in his case.

glassortwo Sun 23-Sep-12 19:00:32

My Dh if he is due to arrive home and knows its likely that the house is empty he will phone around and see if our arrival is imminent, and he then will go home if not he goes to his Dads until the house is again full. He cant stand being in the house on his own big softie grin

Grannyknot Sun 23-Sep-12 19:03:47

glass LOL my DH is the same, he doesn't like it when I'm not here.

crimson Sun 23-Sep-12 19:05:45

I think one of the problems is that women will go out and about and natter to just about anyone they meet, whereas it's more difficult for men to do that.

glitabo Sun 23-Sep-12 19:08:04

Very few men will choose to leave a marriage/relationship, however bad, to live on their own. They usually have someone to go to.

crimson Sun 23-Sep-12 19:14:19

Mine did sad...till she left him..then he found another infinitum...

Littlenellie Sun 23-Sep-12 19:27:40

My lovely OH says he is going to find it hard being on his own while I am at work,he dosent like being in the house on his own either,although he has lots of things that interest him,another softie.

Ana Sun 23-Sep-12 19:29:04

At least he's got his dog, nellie! wink

Ana Sun 23-Sep-12 19:29:41

Oops - posted before I thought that through - it's your brother's dog, isn't it? blush

Littlenellie Sun 23-Sep-12 19:36:09

Ana we have two dogs here at the moment,one is my sons,and one is ours,grin
He has also got the chickens to talk to,and littlegs when she comes home,and my son is still here,he works nights so he won't be lonely,I wouldn't mind but when we are home together he is always on the missing list,bless him.

annodomini Sun 23-Sep-12 19:40:35

When my mum died, my dad did very well on his own - he was already good at baking bread, had a productive garden and enjoyed making - and drinking - his own wine. However, my mum's old friends, all widows, kept an eye on him and he played bridge with them frequently, for pennies which he regularly won. He came over the M62 to visit me as often as he could and spent Christmas in New Zealand where he made many friends. Yes, he was lonely, but he coped brilliantly. Sadly, he only lasted six years after mum died and I still miss him after 23 years.

Littlenellie Sun 23-Sep-12 19:46:05

Anno flowers

glassortwo Sun 23-Sep-12 19:58:20

But I have got to say that my FIL who is 78 was widowed 8 yrs ago has managed really well, but he always liked to get the house to himself. He does his own cooking (apart from the meals that SIL and I take for him) and cleaning.

Ana Sun 23-Sep-12 20:01:14

I certainly think my DH would be all right if I went before him - he's one of those men that women just want to look after, although he fended for himself perfectly well after his first wife left, and was on his own for several years before we met! Yes, he would probably miss me, but he's actually better at enjoying his own company than I am (if you see what I mean confused.

FlicketyB Mon 24-Sep-12 16:48:08

I suspect it is a question of personality and domestic skills rather than sex. My father quickly adjusted to living alone after my mothers death, even though he had never lived on his own in his whole life until then. As one of the eldest in a large family he had acquired quite a number of domestic skills and he always shared the domestic chores with my mother when he was at home. He also had a lot of outside interests that kept him in contact with other people. DH on the other hand would soon sink into depression and misery if he had to live on his own, even though he too is more than capable of looking after himself, he just needs to have people, preferably family around him all the time.

windtalker Mon 24-Sep-12 17:13:31

I think your close FlicketyB
Depends on the person.
And if there fighting to survive or sat in a flat , so the area they are has a lot to do with it and there circumstances.
Male or female can adapt but its the conditions they find them selves in that would come in to play as well.
I think, maybe lol

Grannyknot Mon 24-Sep-12 18:00:57

True, the solution is in the person not the problem! And I shouldn't generalise. It was just about a sense that women are better are networking in a supportive and perhaps deeper way, rather than just a few slaps on the back down the golf club/pub etc. It's about social isolation and how to overcome that as well as practical skills re cooking, etc. I taught DH to cook and now he's quite good - I even pinch some of his recipes from time to time.

fadedglory Tue 25-Sep-12 08:59:08

Women still outlive men so I guess because there are more old biddies about we seem to think they cope better.

gracesmum Tue 25-Sep-12 09:29:58

It depends on what you mean by "being on your own". Women survive being on their own as a result of widowhood/separation/divorce better than men as they are generally better at social networking, relationships with friends, understanding the feelings and needs of others. So coffee or lunch with friends or a chat on the phone is a "woman" thing. I am not suggesting that this takes the place of a happy marriage and wouldn't wish to insult any GNetters by suggesting it did. Men may be better at being solitary, however whether it is int their shed, with their books or like DH playing Solitaire on his computer! OK I know many men enjoy meeting friends in the pub, but I think women do friendship better than most men and in partnerships, it is often the woman who maintains contact with mutual friends.
As for coping alone? You do what you have to. In our case the dishwasher would rarely be used - at least not until DH had absolutely exhausted aall our china and cutlery, the recycling would be waiting forlornly for someone to take the extra few steps out to the garage, the cooker would be showing the signs of the daily fry up and there would be a huge pile of newspapers and magazines spanning months - but he wouldn't be quite finished with them yet. All the lights would be on and the loo seat would be up.
Cynical? Moi?grin

dorsetpennt Tue 25-Sep-12 09:37:14

I work as an Internet Shopper, so during my progress around the shop I notice things of interest about the shoppers. Old men struggle with the cooking and cleaning side of life. I think this is almost the last generation to have men so helpless/hopeless in this regard. My son [and my ex-husband for the matter] are both competent housekeepers. My father and FIL not at all. I don't think I ever saw my father doing anything in the kitchen, let alone shopping. My grandfather always washed up the sunday lunch dishes with a great deal of whistling and crashing about of my GM's decent dishes. Although he made tea and coffee that was it.
A lot of old men rely totally on ready meals, buying very little in the way of fresh fruit and veg. Old ladies buy a combination of both.
A social worker friend said that widowers tended not to be so fussy about keeping a clean and neat home, washing clothes and themselves as often as they should. Obviously there are old gents who are perfectly capable but an awful lot aren't.