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Living Single and Loving it!

2012 February 18

Choosing to live single is a widely shared and rapidly growing lifestyle preference that we need to understand and talk about.

living single and loving itOnce upon a time the mere thought of living alone sparked anxiety, dread and visions of loneliness and those who chose to live alone were often viewed as merely biding time waiting for “The One” to appear.

But those images have become dated in modern society as more and more people in the world are using their resources to separate from one another, favoring the luxury of privacy and personal space.

Although we Americans pride ourselves on our self reliance and culture of individualism, Germany, France and Britain have a greater proportion of one-person households than the United States, as does Japan. Three of the nations with the fastest-growing populations of single people — China, India and Brazil — are also among those with the fastest growing economies.

Living alone promotes freedom, personal control and self-realization — all prized qualities of contemporary life.

Not surprisingly there are some who persist in assuming those who are living solo must be plagued by loneliness; living a life that is either hopelessly selfish, or in a perpetual holding pattern longing for that special person to appear and ‘complete’ them.

The fact is singles today find that their solo lifestyle choice affords an obvious independence and spontaneity. According to research, single people are more likely to spend time with friends and neighbors, go to restaurants, attend art classes and lectures and volunteer … and not only the younger ones. Statistically the majority of those living alone are between 35 and 65.

And yet, the stigma persists …

Psychologist and author Bella DePaulo points out that “the societal myth is: If you’re alone, you must be unlovable and the only real root to happiness and a meaningful life is coupling.”

“Society doesn’t want people to be mate-less,” said Ester Buchholz, director of the psychology of parenthood program at New York University. “They want it to perpetuate itself. All the push all the time is toward relationships, and if you resist that you’re just considered antisocial or crazy.”

Under the circumstances it shouldn’t come as any great surprise that research on living single is still remarkably thin, despite the fact that all signs suggest that living alone will become even more common in the future.

The truth is living single (and loving it!) can be a touchy subject.

Coupled friends will naturally drift away from their single friends because they have less and less in common over time, and it just feels more comfortable being around other couples. It can also become a little uncomfortable if single friends happen to actually enjoy living solo and make the mistake of talking about all the things they are doing with their free time.

Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s an exact quote from a current article I found encouraging married people not to feel guilty about going months without talking to their “single” friends …

“Don’t feel guilty that you haven’t called your single friends in months. You’re married with kids. It’s up to THEM to call YOU. After all, they’re single. They have all the time in the world. YOU DON’T!”

Hum, well if this seems a tad hostile not to mention unkind, bear in mind that with today’s divorce rate there’s a very good possibility this person will someday find herself on the receiving end of this same treatment … and trust me, it’s much tougher when you’ve been part of the couples “inner circle” and find yourself suddenly on the outside.

Choosing to live single isn’t for everyone – and the point is that really is okay. As society begins to develop a better understanding of this growing lifestyle preference, hopefully with that knowledge will come greater tolerance because ultimately, choosing to live single shouldn’t be viewed as competing lifestyles; it’s simply about trying to find the same thing we all want … a life that makes you happy.

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11 Responses
  1. February 23, 2012

    Marquita,

    Wow!!!! Love this article!

    Getting Married and then Raising Children is a HUGE responsibility if you do it right! It’s not something to be entered into lightly. Yet people do it all the time. Oooooppppssss!!!!!

    Because I am single and don’t have children, I was able to start my own business and now I’m my own boss and work for myself from my home. I would not have been able to be in a position to do this otherwise. No boss or co-workers or clients to complain about (I just FIRE the clients I don’t like!) Just doing what I love on my own schedule (I’m a big night owl). I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

    Thank God and the Universe for all the Joy and Freedom that Being Single Gives me!

    – Jupiter Jim
    Jupiter Jim recently posted..Thesis Tutorial: Add Facebook Social Plugin for “Comments” to your WordPress Thesis Theme SiteMy Profile

    • February 24, 2012

      Thanks so much for sharing Jim! Nice to hear from other other point of view :-)

  2. February 23, 2012

    Living single is a great fun and i enjoyed it till now. But sometimes, if i caught by some health problems or anything, there is no one to helped me out. So, if living single has many advantages like freedom then it has some disadvantages too.

  3. Nathan Gurley
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    February 22, 2012

    It’s interesting how a bit of tension can develop between people who are in different situations. I have at least one friend who would like nothing more than for me to become single with him. When I hang out with him, which is not that much lately, I get the pressure to do things and go places I’d prefer not to.

    Nathan Gurley
    Nathan Gurley recently posted..4 Steps to Link Your Facebook Profile to Your FanpageMy Profile

    • February 22, 2012

      Yes Nathan, there are always two sides to every situation, and it can certainly get tricky sometimes. The funny thing is I think sometimes we attribute behaviors to being single or married, when in fact it’s merely that person’s personality regardless of their marital status. Ah life – ain’t it grand?! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. February 20, 2012

    I love my married life, but if I were single I’d still have lots to do with the kids and work. I don’t think I want to get into the dating scene as it is today. If I were single I’d definitely be one of those people enjoying it.
    Anne recently posted..How To Look Confident: Dress SenseMy Profile

  5. February 20, 2012

    being single is your own choice and it mean you don’t want anyone to inter fer in your persnal life

  6. February 19, 2012

    Hi, Marty,
    I can understand that someone can be enjoying being single, but that was not my option and I hope it will never be. I am afraid of being alone-I want to share my love, time and dishes with my loved one under the same roof. Choosing to be single is a decision of self destruction and selfishness. At least, that is how I see it-I don’t have to be right.:)
    EleonoraEOF recently posted..Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer ReviewMy Profile

    • February 19, 2012

      Welcome Eleonora and thank you for taking the time to share your opinion. Your view of singles is certainly shared by many, and basically the reason for the article. It’s clear that for many that single vs. coupled lifestyle is a black or white issue … maybe one day we’ll all manage to be a little more tolerant of each other’s lifestyle choices.

  7. February 19, 2012

    Being a single is not an option is a decision and everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
    Candice Michelle recently posted..SMSMy Profile

    • February 19, 2012

      Hey Candice, thanks … as always appreciate your thoughtful insight. I certainly agree with your point that we can learn a lot about ourselves by how we react to others. I also think it’s important to keep in mind that choosing to live single doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being antisocial. As I shared in the article, according to research many of not most people living single are very outgoing and active, it’s simply that they also prize a little more control over their personal environment. :-)

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