Italian Emma Morano is the oldest person in the world. Born in November of 1899, she is the only living person to have lived in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. At 117 years young, she is in great health and has a sharp mind. Her doctor says, “She’s in great form.”
Emma eats a diet of eggs, bananas, and cookies. When she was just a teenager, her doctor recommended raw eggs to protect against anemia, and she has stuck to it religiously. Until recently, she ate three raw eggs a day, which totals more than 100,000 over a lifetime. She has recently cut down to just two raw eggs, but she still believes they are what have kept her going all these years.
In addition to raw eggs, her other secret to a long life is staying single. In 1938, she separated from her husband after the death of her child. It was an unhappy marriage, but Emma bravely decided to go her own way at a time when separation was rare and divorce wasn’t even legal. She had many suitors over the years but rebuffed them all preferring to stay single. She said, “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”
This is not to say she has lived the life of a loner. In fact, she has many deep relationships. Her doctor pins her longevity on these relationships over the eggs and staying single. He says, “The secret is in growing old with people who love you, which is different from growing old and being put up with.” Indeed, Emma was surrounded by loved ones at her birthday and received well wishes from people all over Italy.
Emma Morano’s longevity might have nothing to do with eggs or staying single, but she certainly thinks it does. And this belief flies in the face of everything that most people believe. Tropes like needing a romantic partner to complete us are all around us in popular culture. But perhaps not everyone is meant to be with someone. And maybe the key to a long and happy life has nothing to do with finding a life partner.