7 Ways to Live Happily as a Single Woman in Your 40s 

Maybe the single life when you’re a woman in your 40s is a dream come true – or maybe it’s your worst nightmare! Perhaps it’s a little of both. Maybe you feel like a failure because you’re not in a successful relationship, or you feel like a success because you escaped an unhealthy marriage.

“I feel like a failure because although I am successful in my career and I raised my 21 year old daughter by myself, I’ve never been married,” says Renee on 7 Ways to Stop Feeling Like a Failure When You’re Over 40. “I was engaged three times but never ended up marrying any of my fiancés. I feel like I have failed at so many relationships. It’s hard being 43 and alone at this age. My daughter is never around. It’s hard knowing my ex-fiancé married someone else five months after we broke up. I never thought I would be single in my 40’s and I’m very lonely and sad. I love the Lord and I am a Christian but I still feel sad and alone.”

Yes, it can be lonely and difficult to be a single woman over the age of 40. Your kids are grown — or maybe you’re childless, like me. Your friendships have changed, or you’ve lost touch with the friends you knew and loved. Maybe the breakup affected your family relationships. You’re adjusting to a whole new life, one you didn’t choose or expect. And it’s not easy. But, you’re not alone! You don’t have to go through this adjustment by yourself. Instead of walking alone, I hope you choose to become the happiest single woman over 40 you know, and that you join me in Blossoming into the woman God created you to be!

In this article, you’ll learn how your perspective affects your life. If you’re calling yourself a failure because you’re a single woman in your 40s, then you’ll feel and act like a failure. And failures don’t Blossom. But if you see yourself as a woman in transition or a strong single woman who is entering an exciting new season of life, then you’ll be filled with life, hope, and joy. How you see yourself determines how you act and feel. And, you have control over how you see yourself.

How to Adjust to Being a Single Woman Over 40

You, my friend, are entering a new chapter of life. If you’re a Christian woman in your 40s, then you are more powerful than you know, stronger than you realize, and smarter than you think! Following Jesus won’t erase the pain of divorce or failed relationships — or even the loneliness of a single life — but it will give you hope and strength to live a life you never dreamed possible.

1. Tell your story

Adjusting to your new single life is a process that takes time. One way to sail quicker and farther is to share your experiences. Tell your story. Join other women who are adapting to a life they never expected. Find common ground and similar experiences. Share tips on how to adjust to being a single woman over 40. Air your grievances and celebrate your successes. This is healthy, and will lift your spirits and multiply your joys.

How did you come to singleness as a 40-year old woman? Who were you before your relationship ended, and where is your life going? What secrets are you keeping?

Writing your story is even better than telling it. Give yourself 20 minutes to write down everything you think about yourself. Go somewhere private, quiet — or even to a busy coffeehouse. Write in your journal. What God saying about how your relationship ended? About you? About your future?

2. Listen to the story you’re telling

What is the story you’re telling yourself about the breakup? If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you may have adopted your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend’s negative or toxic perspective of you. Maybe you believe his lies and you’ve lost touch with who you are. Maybe you’ve come untethered from God, and you think you can’t be happy as a single woman in her forties. Maybe you think you’re unworthy, unlovable, and incapable.

What are you telling yourself about who you are, where your life is going, and what you can and can’t do? Listen to what you’re saying about yourself and your past relationships. Are you treating yourself with compassion, forgiveness, and kindness? 

In 7 Ideas for Living Single After a Serious Relationship Ends, I described the power of journaling for women over 40. If you haven’t started or kept a diary for years, now is the perfect time to dig that journal up and start writing.

3. Examine what you believe about yourself

In his podcast “Change Your Life, Change Your Story,” Michael Hyatt encourages us to listen to the voice in our heads (our narrators). What is that voice saying, how often does it come up, and do you believe what it’s saying about you?

For example, your narrator might be telling you that you’re a failure because you’re a single woman over 40. Your relationship or m marriage ended, your self-esteem is destroyed, and you’ll think you’ll never heal from this breakup. Maybe the voice in your head is saying your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband was right about your weaknesses and flaws. Maybe you think you deserve to be alone because you’re not worthy of love. It’s not true — and only you can change the story you’re telling yourself.

4. Decide to stop believing bad things about yourself

What is God’s perspective of you and your life? Is He the source of the negative things you’re telling yourself?

how to be happy single woman over 40 Blossom Tips
How to Be Happily Single in Your 40s

If you accept God’s image of you instead of the negative story you’re telling yourself, you will be renewed with joy, strength and hope. Instead of believing the lies, choose to live with Jesus. He will give you the power to write and rewrite your story in real time, as you live it out…and you are letting Him pull everything together for your good. You believe and trust Him, and you know His heart is loving and kind.

When you change your story, you change your life. If you re-examine what you believe about yourself — even in the unexpected season of being a single woman over 40 — your story will end even better than you could ever imagine.

5. Change your story by changing your focus

Your story has incredible power. For example, if you’ve been telling yourself that you’re unlovable, weak, or unable to survive on your own, then you won’t find strength to Blossom. If you’re telling yourself that you aren’t artistic or musically inclined, then you deny yourself permission to be creative.

What would happen if you told yourself a different story? I’m not saying you should lie to yourself. Of course you’ll still be a woman over 40, single and adjusting to her new life. But your focus will be healthier and stronger. If you change what you focus on, your emotions will change in positive ways.

The beliefs you have about yourself will look different when you write them down. Their power will begin to evaporate as you’re writing. You’ll see your thoughts more objectively because you’ll bring them into the light.

Writing down the thoughts you have about yourself will help you see yourself more clearly. Writing will also help you get unstuck — especially if you’ve been in a “victim” mode. Honestly and authentically expressing your thoughts about this adjusting to life as a woman over 40 will help you change your story.

6. Pay attention to how your thoughts make you feel

Decide if your old story (eg, “I’m a failure because I’m a single woman in my forties”) is dragging you down or lifting you up. How do your thoughts make you feel? Your beliefs are driving your behavior, your emotions, your reactions to others, your ability to make good decisions, your ability to get healthy and Blossom.

What are your beliefs creating in your life? How is your story changing how you feel and think about yourself? Keeping doing this — it takes time for it to sink in! Take a step back, be objective, and really think about how your thoughts are affecting your life. You can see if your story is dragging you down or lifting you up.

7. Write a different story about your life

This is where it gets interesting, because it gives you even more power. You can learn how to focus on a different aspect of your story — and you get to change how your story ends. Your life isn’t over yet!

If you’re telling yourself how stupid you are for staying in an unhealthy relationship until you turned 40 or 45 or 49 years old, it’s time to reframe your story. Find the positive parts of your experience and focus on that. For instance, you may have stayed with your ex-husband or boyfriend because of your strong sense of loyalty, your love for your children, or your belief in your wedding vows. Those are positive qualities that show your good character and values.

When you change your story, you change how you feel about yourself. Then, you can start to heal and move forward. Don’t stay stuck in the story of “I’ll never adjust to being a single woman in her 40s.” Don’t allow yourself to be a victim. You get to choose how you’ll recover from this breakup, how long it’ll take you to let go of your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, and how your life will unfold from here.

Come, read How to Be Happy Single When You Wish You Were Married if you’re still sad about the end of your relationship.

Feel free to share your story in the comments section below. What do you believe about yourself, as a single woman over 40? Are you surprised to find yourself in this stage of life, or did you expect it? What are the best and worst parts of not being in a relationship?


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7 thoughts on “7 Ways to Live Happily as a Single Woman in Your 40s ”

  1. Allyson, you inspired me to write these words in a new blog post: “I love this reader’s courage and honesty! She is already making a difference in other people’s lives — and she doesn’t even know it. That is truly being the hands and feet of Jesus. When you try to love people because it’s the right thing to do as a Christian, then you haven’t reached the deep, honest, authentic level of selfless sacrifice. But if you share your heart even though you’re struggling to believe in God’s love — especially if you don’t feel God’s love today — then you are truly His beloved child. How you feel and what you believe are not accurate indications of how much God loves you.”

    You don’t feel loved – or even that you’re “living happily as a single woman” – but you are acting lovingly. You are reaching out to others in their pain, and sharing your own experience. That is God shining through you, even in your darkest times, even when you don’t feel His love! So beautiful. Thank you.

    The post is called What to Remember When You Don’t Believe God Loves You:

    With His love,

    1. Dear Laurie

      Thank you so much. I am not sure what I said! or even how it could help! But I hope it can and does help. Its a unique pain singleness. More so when you really don’t want to be. Especially when so much is made about being content in singleness and how if you are not then somehow there is something wrong with you and your faith. If I was truly saved then I would not be looking to man to make me happy. Which is not the case at all. I have survive a long time without a man or relationship. My sadness is that I did want to be a wife and mother. I was not desperate enough to do it the worlds way, I wanted to wait and do it God’s way. But somehow things didn’t work out. I I have been told that single women should be happy quietly serving in church. If they are older they should be like Anna in the bible, who first welcomed Jesus in the temple when he was born. Devoted to prayer and fasting. It should be ok to not be ok. It should be ok to feel like something is missing. It should be ok to go to God and say I don’t get this, I don’t get why when your word says its not good for man to be alone, I am alone and I am not happy about it. I think its only when we are honest that God can heal us. I don’t feel healed or whole yet. I pray in time I and Anne and the other women who feel like me may reach that place of peace. Thank you for providing this space.

  2. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. It takes a lot of courage and humility to reveal your true feelings about being a single woman in your forties – especially when you’re struggling with your faith and the church. I recently came across this quote: “No church is perfect, especially if you and I are part of it.” I often struggle with my church, in many different ways. If it’s not one thing, it’s another! And there always seems to be something going wrong, or that is downright offensive.

    So the church isn’t the answer for Christian women who aren’t happy single…but finding kindred spirits in the right church can be so good, healing, fulfilling, and even fun! No church will ever meet all our needs or live up to everything we hope for (or even that God hopes for. Jesus never talked about “church”)…but it can soothe a troubled heart if we meet the right people.

    Sometimes we have to be the solution or balm we seek. For instance, I wish our church’s community groups (Bible Studies) were more contemplative. I wish we did lectio divina, which is a type of meditative prayer. Lots of being silent and listening for God’s voice, instead of constantly asking Him for stuff, praying for healing, etc. I’ve been thinking about starting a Contemplative Prayer Community Group in our church, to meet once a week for lectio divina….but it’s scary! What if nobody comes? What if the pastor says no?

    Anyway, all that to say that sometimes we have to step up and create things that we see are missing. It’s hard — I know! But we have to be brave, lean on God, and use our pain and dissatisfaction to make a difference for ourselves and others. This is where we’ll find joy, love, peace and freedom.

    No matter what our struggle is — whether it’s childlessness and infertility (like me), or struggling with pain and unhappiness as a single woman over forty, or losing a husband after 45 of marriage, or coping with chronic pain, depression, cancer — it’s important not to compare our lives to others. Everything is a gift from God, every breath, every morning, every bite of food, every bath and step we take! If we want to be truly peaceful, joyful, and free in Christ then we need to look at life as a precious gift. Our own life, no matter what it looks like to others.

    We need to learn how to love the life God has blessed us with, and to find ways to freshen up the dull or tarnished bits. This isn’t something that can be given to us by a church, or by our friends, or by books, or by a blog post on “how to live happily as a single woman in your 40s.” It’s the Holy Spirit who heals our wounds, seals our hearts, and inspires us to create lives that are truly deep and meaningful.

    I know I’m not giving you the answers you’re looking for, but the truth is I don’t have the solution. I don’t know the secret to happiness or even spiritual or emotional freedom. I just know what I believe, and what has helped me find deep joy and peace with my life.

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts! I respect your honesty and value your opinion. You are in my prayers for hope, healing, and that deep peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. I pray that you find ways to keep moving through the dark season of hopelessness and helplessness, and that you find yourself touched by the Holy Spirit in ways you didn’t expect. I pray that Jesus Christ shows up in your life and church, and that you feel the Father’s love in the very core of who you are.

    Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of — single or not! Be gentle, and give yourself the love and compassion you’d give your best friend.

    With His love,

    1. Thank you for doing this post and taking the time to reply. As an over 40 woman you tend to feel forgotten. So this post was nice to come across. I know I am not the only one. I know its not the worst problem in the world. In a lot of ways I am blessed. I turned 45 a week ago! No bells just spent the day alone. Most Christmases and New Years and birthdays I pray for God’s will to be done in my life and maybe this year will be the year I meet someone. This year I didn’t. There was a nice piece on the news about a womans chances of getting pregnant on IVF is not great at all after 44! Which was nice! Normally I would declare not me Lord! This year I was like fair enough! I know I have to live. I know I will live. I don’t know what “seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” will look like for me. Or what these good plans are. I know there is purpose in the pain and healing is available. I like the idea of being that difference in the church. I just have to get my confidence up! Its just the dark days when the pain gets too much and the why’s take over that it can be a struggle to focus on God. By God’s grace I will get through.

  3. I am a single, never married, no children, celibate woman who will be 45 in a couple of weeks. I have not dated or kissed anyone in 22 years. I don’t know what to do with myself at all or how to move forward in my life or with God. I prayed and trusted God for years to be married and start a family. I have been up and down, I have gone back to university to get a degree. I have been unemployed and I have a job, not a career, but I will be made redundant soon. I don’t know what to pray for I don’t know what to hope for. I have tried everything that people suggest to be happy and single. Connect with friends, who gone onto get married and have children, blessing others and watching there lives change, family as they move on. Church where I feel like an outcast with no faith. How can I possibly be still praying about getting married. Better to deal with the married women that want children. I feel myself getting bitter not better and the frustrating thing is I know I was better. I know I got up when I was down and dried my eyes and went out with a smile looking to bless others. Its just so much harder when its the same advice and the same bible quotes and the same everything making me feel like I failed because if I had enough faith I would not be sad or bitter at all. It gets harder to get up and harder to dry my eyes and harder to be around people. They don’t want to hear the same thing from me and they have given me all the advice and comfort they can. So now its my secret shame to be so unhappy when I am supposed to be happy, fulfilled and dynamic as a single woman.

    1. Dearest Allyson – my heart goes out to you because I too am single and lost and I don’t know who I am or where I belong. But unlike you I was married for 37 yrs, had 3 children and have 9 grandchildren. It was a difficult abusive marriage that only lasted that long because of my implicit trust and love for my God and my ability to show a lot of grace and keep smiling no matter what.
      The family that I had loved, nurtured and given so much to is fragmented by divorce and estrangement and the there little is no family contact to speak of only heartache and I feel used up abandoned and spent
      My awesome unfailing and loving God that empowered me through those tough times is no longer present because as a divorced, older, single woman I don’t belong in todays church. I feel that it is geared for couples and family units that is overshaddowed by patriarchal tradition and attitude
      People don’t want to listen or understand our dilemma or invite us home to share a meal, it’s in their too hard basket and we do feel inferior and financially challenged in a church culture that requires financial stability to belong
      This all sounds a bit sad and dismal but I have to believe that my faith and a sense of Gods presence will one day return, that I will once again find joy in the scriptures and find a place to feel welcome and belong
      Sending you heartfelt blessings

      1. Dear Anne

        I feel for you so much. I can sense that deep loss and disappointment you feel. Even betrayal. Trying to explain to people that you feel like God betrayed you, even though you know that is not possible is hard. I get that totally. My parents divorced late in life and I was left with a devestated mother who was angry, hurt, confused. You name it. Its funny how you can hold on so tight to God in some moments loving and forgiving others the best you can. Calling on the Holy Spirit to be strong when you are weak and still things fall apart and you are left wondering what happened?!! I did what I thought was required! To put your all into an abusive marriage and still have it end in a destructive way at a time of life when like my mum says you should be blessing your children and grandchildren is tough. I know what its like to walk into a church and see the families and feel so out of place. You are right. The church really does not know what to do with the single woman who is not happy being single. Who has more questions for God than anyone has answers.

        I can tell from your reply you are a strong woman. Much stronger than you possibly know even. You have been through so much and you are still here by the grace of God. I know its hard (believe me I know!) but we have to believe God knows exactly where we are. Now He may be preparing a place somewhere else! But He also can get us though to there. I find it hard to focus on the bible and go to church now. One day I am sure I will be able to do what Laurie suggests. Be the difference and let my pain serve to help others. Now I am happy if I can read a bible verse a day and tell myself God loves me – not the world but ME. I am special to Him, He has not rejected me. That is hard. But there is a truth there I want to find and take comfort in. I think we will both find that comfort again. We have come too far with God to walk away now. The reality of His goodness will once again be real in our lives. God bless you and thank you so much for taking the time to read and hear me, understand and reply.