• Cover: November 26, 2014
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Golden Roommates

Why Older Women are Coupling Up with Their BFfs

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  • The very idea that you don't have to be alone as you get older—even if you aren't married—is a game-changer, for women in particular. The possibility of having a situation like Hoffman and Woltman's helps alleviate anxiety that may stem from the myth of the old maid, the lonely spinster who grows old and dies surrounded by her cats, rather than by the people who loved her throughout her life.

    By sharing a living space with a female roommate, women are creating the ideal mixture of solitude and companionship. "We're there for each other," says Hoffman of her relationship with Woltman. "We drive each other to the doctor. Anja has a cat, so when she goes away, I take care of it. We pick up each other's mail. Sometimes we go for walks, and sometimes we watch football together. We even go on vacation together. At the same time, we have our own social circles and activities. I can't imagine a better life."

    Outside their home, Hoffman and Woltman share a community of roughly 20 women—both single and married—who organize activities such as hikes, museum tours, bike rides and kayaking trips in the area around San Francisco. "When I was married, my circle of friends was really small, because my husband didn't like a lot of my friends. But now, I have a very busy social life that is very fulfilling to me," says Woltman. "There's no negativity or talking about each other behind backs. Everything is possible with us. It's just such a positive atmosphere."

    At one point, the group even joked about buying an old motel where they could all live together. "It was just another option to explore," says Woltman. "With imagination and creativity, you could find the perfect situation for almost anyone."

Golden Roommates
Why Older Women are Coupling Up with Their BFfs
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