What is it like Living Single and Retired in Delaware?

Single and retired in Delaware, what to single retirees do?Is there a Delaware Lifestyle for Single Folks?

When I moved to  Delaware in 2000, I was single; in fact, I had been single for 30 years! Despite the fact that I have now been married for almost 15 years, I still identify with single women. Over these years in real estate, I have had the privilege of working with many single women, and even a few single men, helping them relocate to Delaware and choose new homes in new communities.

I thought it would be interesting to ask them how life is as a single retiree. In a recent survey, one of the respondents did ask “What groups, organized activities, clubs, etc. are there for active adults who choose not to live in an Active Adult Community?”

Sometimes you are single at this age by choice and sometimes you have lost your partner or spouse. Let’s hear from some of my clients directly –

Previously, I was in a 10 year relationship. When I became single 7 years ago, moving to Southern Delaware was an opportunity to venture out on my own.  Personally, I do not feel comfortable going to social events with couples and often I am not included in simple activities like going out to eat. This is not true for some of my single friends.

I decided to join as many clubs as possible to meet people. The singles club I joined is mostly women but I enjoy expanding my social network. There is also a lot to do by myself – walking on the boardwalk and, of course, shopping. My decision to move to Delaware was an excellent choice for me . There is so much more to do compared to where I lived in New Jersey.

What can you tell people about the Delaware lifestyle if you are single? Has it been difficult to meet people when you are single and living in Delaware? How difficult is it for singles to get involved in things?

Absolutely not; there are so many organizations that welcome new members and offer opportunities to get involved. Rehoboth Art League, Rehoboth Film Society, Rehoboth or Lewes Historical societies, just to name a few.

Of course it depends on what you enjoy in life. There are bird watchers here, sailors, boaters, fisher people, tennis and golf players, music lovers, art enthusiasts, poets, writers, wine lovers, etc. But if your thing is the opera in New York, the philharmonic in DC, or a society of art experts at galleries in Chicago or New York, you may want to keep a crash pad in one of those cities. Don’t expect to hear Itzhak Perlman or enjoy a Degas exhibit here – at least not soon.

Do you feel included by others in your community?

Absolutely. You do have to get to know people as some clearly feel more comfortable in couples situations only, but I think that is the minority and easy to flush out.

I’ve been single (divorced) for 30 years…more years than I care to remember. It has not been difficult to meet people in my community since we have so many different activities and it’s a very friendly neighborhood. I don’t feel as isolated socially as I did in my previous community since there are other single women in my community and we get together for dinner, movies, etc.

I do feel accepted.  Right from the beginning I was included in activities.  It took some time to develop the friendships, but that is mostly my own reserve.  I didn’t want to make friends too fast and have them not be the people I am most comfortable with so I took my time.  Getting involved in the activities helps to meet more people.

One of the differences here from where I moved from is that we are almost all retired in the community.  And we all live within walking distance.  Once you make friends you can almost always find a friend to do something with.

The comments above came from 6 different clients who have been single for a few years to 30 years, that have now lived in Delaware for 2 – 20 years. Let me close with this comment from one of my successful single retirees –

Making new friends and enjoying new experiences is a wonderful way to enter retirement!

And, I would add, that is great advice whether you are single, married or in a relationship!

Looking for some insight into dating and relationships over 60 from someone right here in Coastal Delaware? Check out this recent article written by my friend Susan Towers, Boomer Unchained:  Dating in Your 60’s.

Single and attached Boomers alike would benefit by subscribing to our Boomers and Beyond in Delaware newsletter. You will learn all about the local lifestyle and the great things you can see and do when you retire in Delaware. Sign up here!  

About Christine Davis

Christine grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania in a small town called Pittston, which is located between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Upon graduation, she enlisted in the United States Air Force, where she proudly served for eight + years at a variety of bases throughout the world, including Holland, Korea, and New Mexico. While in the Air Force, Christine spent most of her time working in the civil engineering career field where she thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with such a diverse group of people with varying backgrounds and experiences, and learned so much from each of them. Christine’s last assignment in the Air Force was at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, and that’s when she discovered the Delaware beaches. Growing up in PA, her family spent time at the Jersey shore. But once she moved to MD, she became one of those many drivers making the trek across the Chesapeake Bay Friday afternoon to visit the Delaware beaches for the weekend. Upon Christine’s separation from the Air Force, she spent a small amount of time working in Washington, D.C., but it didn’t take long before she was drawn to the quiet, slow pace of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, “the nation’s summer capital”. Christine moved to Rehoboth Beach in 1999 and finished her degree in Business at Delaware Tech. At the time she was working for a large physician organization when a friend recommended that she become a REALTOR because she loved helping people and loved looking at homes. She was reluctant for quite a while because Christine didn’t think of herself as a salesperson. But after much urging by her friend, Christine decided to get her real estate license in 2003 and has not looked back since. Christine still doesn’t think of herself as a salesperson, but rather a facilitator between buyer and seller, working toward a common goal. Christine aims to make the process as smooth and fun as possible but also educates the buyer and seller along the way so they can make the best decision possible. Christine now lives in Lewes and although she misses the mountains of PA, she thoroughly enjoys spending as much time as possible at the beach, especially Cape Henlopen State Park. Christine’s philosophy in life is that it’s too short. Never spend so much time making a living that you forget how to live.

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