Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

Single in the UK, Post Bridget Jones

Guest blogger Paula Coston on the new UK singlehood

[Bella’s intro: Happily, I recently discovered UK singles blogger and author Paula Coston. Reading her work is what clued me into a report about the rise of singles in the UK and that inspired my previous post. Maybe the hapless weight-obsessed, man-chasing (and admittedly, pretty funny) Bridget Jones is no longer the face of singlehood in the UK. Paula has also discussed that report, so I asked her if I could share her thoughts here, and she agreed. Thanks, Paula! Actually, she had a lot more to say than the brief excerpt I’m posting here, but since some of that was about me…anyway, you can read her complete post here. Elsewhere, I posted her clever lists of pros and cons about single life; take a look, if you are interested, and add your own.]

From Paula Coston: I’ve just read the confused.com report of 2012, Friendships, Finance and the Future: The Rise of Singledom in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of women who’ve never married has increased from 18% in 1979 to 45% in 2010. And 29% of the 26.3m households in the UK consist of just one person. Alongside this, they say, ‘the importance of friendship is growing too’. I’ve also got confused.com to thank for introducing me to the stylish acronym, FLAPers (Financially Liberated And Positively Single). Like it. We, they say, are a ‘new breed of single people who are turning the tables on the stereotype of sad singledom and embracing the adventure, spontaneity and freedom of single life.’

The same confused.com survey states that of the 2,000 people asked:

-    54% say that singles make more effort to try new things than married couples.

-    4 out of 5 singles say that friendships last longer than romantic relationships.

-    72% of singles have friends whom they think will be friends for life.

-    45% of singles turn to their friends first for emotional support.

-    1 in 4 singles say friends are more reliable than family, and…

-    30% of singles say the person who knows them best is a friend.

Also interestingly, and of course self-interestedly, confused.com adds that 45% of adults over 55 say they have friends they trust enough to buy a house with.

Paula Coston

About the Author

Paula Coston works in administration for a rural University in the beautiful English Cotswolds, but her real passion is musing and writing. She blogs on singledom, childlessness, the older woman, the gender divide and more at http://boywoman.wordpress.com. After a slew of educational books which she describes herself as snore-worthy, her first novel comes out on June 27. On the Far Side, There’s a Boy is about a sassy London woman’s gradual realisation, from 1980s Thatcher Britain to now, that she is destined to be single and childless. She stresses that it has an intriguing dimension of alternative reality to it and is not, ultimately, depressing! It can be ordered and seen at https://www.amazon.com/author/paulacoston

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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