In modern times, there are more single adults than ever before—and some of them have no qualms about staying that way for the rest of their lives. As per a 2014 Pew Report, 25% of young adults will never have been married as soon as the year 2067 rolls around. In light of studies like this, the US News and World Report cautions that Americans believe that their country’s moral values are declining as a result of this “single” trend. However, social scientists who have been researching and writing about single human beings for years argue that they are actually beneficial and crucial to economies, communities, and to their relatives, friends, and neighbours.
Nuclear families in suburban homes have been the norm for years, even though it also proves to be too isolating for many family members in many cases. An ongoing national survey (since 1974) suggests that Americans are less likely to be friends with neighbours now more than ever, but single individuals are much more likely help and socialize with their friends, neighbours, and family members than married individuals are. And again, human beings who live by themselves are frequently the lifeblood of cities and towns. What’s more, single people tend to volunteer more in general when compared with married people who are usually more insular.
However, single life is still often stigmatized and stereotyped as being selfish and temporary; supposedly, single individuals are said to die sooner. Yet, studies pertaining to human beings who live alone usually discover just the opposite, so the aforementioned negative associations are exaggerated claims to say the least. In truth, people who are single tend to possess diversified relationship portfolios and are normally more happy with their lives on average. On the contrary, couples living together are often actually vulnerable to poor mental health and a lack of personal growth, perhaps because single people often value meaningful work more than their married counterparts.
Nowadays, single people are expanding the traditional boundaries of family and discovering or creating distinct and different lifespaces; living with friends or alternative families has become the norm for many single individuals. What’s more, some people have even committed to romantic relationships without moving in together, which is sometimes referred to as “living apart together.” Instead, either person opts to share a duplex with a friend, utilize cohousing communities, or to simply continue living alone. Additionally, single mothers have the option of going to CoAbode to connect with other single mothers to live with, and websites such as Family by Design and Modamily provide great opportunities for “partner parenting.”
Of course, the next step will likely be a sharp decrease of marriage in general—which means that future generations will have even more freedom to live a life that they enjoy best without having to worry about constant sighs or shuns from the sheep in many societies around the world.
Featured image: Leanna Rachel
Bella DePaulo (Project Scientist)
*Inspired by hackspirit.