In Maryland and other states, divorce after age 50, known as “gray divorce,” is becoming the fastest growing group of divorcees, despite the divorce rate leveling out overall in the United States. Individuals who become single after 50 can face financial difficulties and isolation from family or social groups, which in theory, may motivate remarriage.
So, what happens to these individuals after divorce? Do they remarry or choose to navigate their lives as single people? Research has shed some light on these questions.
How many people stay single after gray-divorcing?
According to research published in 2019, many people divorcing over 50 decided to remain single. After 10 years, about 77% of the women in the study had not remarried, and approximately 67% of the men were still single.
Although the study identified certain explanatory factors such as financial considerations, health concerns, personal preferences and a desire to remain independent, none of the reasons were overwhelmingly significant.
Another factor under consideration is whether newly single men and women have the desire to find a new relationship or remarry. Some people may value their single status and have no interest in a new relationship, regardless of the number of available partners, finances, health or social life.
More women remain single after divorce
The study revealed that more women than men stay single after getting divorced. The reason could be that women outlive men and have more time to spend alone. Women may also be more likely to prioritize their freedom and independence after a divorce. Women who did choose to find a new partner were more likely to remarry than to cohabit.
Men who choose to remain single
A large proportion of men going through a gray divorce never remarry, although they are more likely than women to cohabit with a new partner. Divorced men who entered new relationships were less likely to remarry than women who entered new relationships.
This difference could be due to social norms emphasizing men in a relationship. Divorced men may also feel more isolated socially than women, which could motivate them to seek a new partner.
Gray divorces are increasing, and current studies have shown that most individuals stay single after their divorce.