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The Science of Singlehood

According to the U.S Census Bureau’s America’s Families and Living Arrangements 2018 data, almost half of all Americans are single. This category includes people who were never married, 32.3 percent; are separated, 1.9 percent; are divorced, 9.9 percent; are widowed, 5.8 percent.

Despite an increase in singlehood in recent years, single people today still face stigma and shame, because they don’t adhere to the traditional view that marriage is the gold standard of living happily ever after. Women, in particular, are looked down on and pressured to find a mate and produce children. Now, the “marriage gap” is narrowing as more people recognize that those who are not married deserve fair treatment and the same rights as those who are.

Single and Searching

Are you focusing more on your relationship status than on a relationship in and of itself? If so, this is faulty thinking. Your relationship status, however, is within your control.

Why am I still single?

If you must be in a relationship, you need to ask whether you are defensive against potential partners, being too discerning, being too rigid, among other self-destructive behaviors.

Will I be single forever?

Again, if you are uncomfortable and feel anxiety about not being in a relationship, you may well ask yourself if you will be single forever. Therapists note that once such anxious discomfort is confronted and managed, people who want partners often find them. 

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Secure in Singlehood
 Anatolii Mazhora/ Shutterstock

Singlehood includes people who have never been married, as well as people who are separated or divorced or widowed. The way people think about marriage and family continues to evolve, and many long-held assumptions are being disproved—for example, that married individuals are happier and healthier. Embracing singlehood has many advantages.

Am I meant to be alone?

You can only answer that question yourself. You are happier being alone when you: Don't want to be responsible for another person, don’t feel you are missing out, are content without a partner, find social connection with friends and family, enjoy solitude, want to make your own decisions. In effect, you see your future self happy in singlehood.

Is it normal to have no interest in dating?

It is normal to forego dating, especially when you live a rich life and don’t feel that life is passing you by. Of course, if you want to meet someone, this does not mean you won’t bump into people you find interesting in the grocery store check-out line.

The Benefits of Being Single
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Being single gives people the independence to build the life they want. As opposed to married people, singles are more likely to take care of themselves, spend more time exercising, and eat healthier. Single people tend to pursue meaningful work and passions, as well as keep up relationships with friends and family more so than do married couples.

Are singles more generous?

Single people may have an edge on charity. They volunteer more frequently than married individuals and are also more likely to help a sick, disabled, or elderly person for at least three months. Being single can help a person value and reciprocate showing that they care about the people in their network.

What are the disadvantages of being single?

If you think that you have to follow cultural norms and that you must be in a relationship, then you are at a disadvantage. It is within your mindset to rethink how you approach your relationship status. The disadvantages and advantages are within you.

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