The age of 50 seems to represent a sort of tollgate, beyond which, having chosen the route and the traveling companions, one expects to be on the same road for a long, long time. Thus people who find themselves approaching 50, unattached--either divorced or never married--are particularly prone to playing out a perpetual middlescence.
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Source Notes: New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across Time (part 2, "The Flourishing Forties"; chapter 6, "Perpetual Middlescence") (1995). "Middlescence" is a sort of middle-aged adolescence.
Gail Sheehy is an American writer and lecturer, most notable for her books on life and the life cycle. Her second book, Passages, has been called "a road map of adult life". Several of her books continue the theme of passages through life's stages, including menopause and what she calls "Second Adulthood".
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