This is the moment in time when more people are consciously choosing to be single than ever before. According to studies conducted by the Pew Research Center, 128 million Americans are unmarried and it is projected that nearly 25% of them never will. This rise in single adults has steadily been on the incline decade after decade.
There are a variety of reasons contributing to this commendable trend.
Some theories point to changes in societal attitudes towards marriage. Many people don’t believe that marriage equates to happiness. They struggle to see a tremendous benefit to the commitment. Hence, more couples are choosing to. simply co-habitat. Sharing an address appears to be all the mutual property some lovebirds desire.
Others point to the increased opportunities for education and career advancement for women. Women no longer NEED marriage to secure a respectable position in society or guarantee their survival. And let’s face it, many marriages would not have existed if this were the case for prior female generations. To the contrary, staying single may actually improve their chances of economic and professional advancement. Less time spent cooking meals and playing housewife means more time growing their own career and investment account.
Additionally, the rise of online dating and other technological advancements have made it easier for people to form non-traditional relationships, leading to a decline in the number of people getting married. Sexuality and relationships have evolved. The story of man meets woman is, thankfully, no longer the only story. Polyamory, bisexuality, gender fluidity, and access to all through the touch of a phone, make the options of the dating world virtually limitless. And the classical paradox of choice profoundly holds true in dating.
The more potential mates you have to choose from means the less likely you are to actually choose a mate.
Economic factors, such as crippling levels of student loan debt and stagnant wages, are also contributing to the decline in committed relationships. Simply put: people can’t afford to date, let alone to marry. In July of 2020, research found that 52% of young adults were living at home with one or both parents. For reasons that need not be expanded upon, this is not exactly an environment that promotes romance.
Whether you are single for one or all of the aforementioned reasons, transitioning out of a marriage or partnership, or a hopeless romantic tirelessly ransacking the Earth in search of true companionship, relish in the heavenly pleasures that an unattached life offers. After all, it may not last forever!
Written by: Aubrey Koel, LCPC