Last year the Census Bureau of US reported that 45 percent of all Americans aged 18 or older (more than 110 million people) were divorced, widowed or had always been single. This trend is global with 51% of population being single in Spain. In England and Wales, according to the statistical bulletin “Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements, England and Wales: 2002 to 2016, “being married continues to be the most common marital status for those age 16 and over in 2016. This is despite the proportion of the population who are married decreasing by 3.9 percentage points since 2002 and the proportion of the population who are single increasing. The population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples has more than doubled since 2015.
Inarguably the number of singles has considerably grown along with the elderly demographic who don’t usually remarry after widowing. Some articles I read mention that the economic crisis and the lack of jobs are to blame for the drop on marriages. Other factors mentioned are the increase of single are woman rights and empowerment (meaning that you don’t need a man to support you and, if you so choose to, you can divorce).
Still, there is a tendency, a choice made to marry later in life or to not marry at all. Most articles I read mention that this is the best era to be single proclaiming the benefits of sentimental and financial freedom along with better health.
I wonder if we missed this memo?
While I agree that being single is not perceived as bad as decades ago, there is still a lot of premade ideas about singles, above all, about single women.
Case in point: My friends and acquaintances over 30 that suffer questions about their personal life at every wedding, or people trying to set them up constantly, or pushing them to talk to that other single, reprimanding them for not going on a second date and doing clichéd jokes about singleton.
It’s funny how as we get old, the same qualities we were praised upon in our youth turn to be faults. I was single most of my life. When I was studying or even entering the job market, my singleton was a sign of independence, I could achieve all my ambitions as having no romantic life gave me freedom to move to another city for a new job, travel, work extra hours, etc. It seems, however, that what was considered a trait of an ambitious young woman in your 20s, makes you a 30 or 40 something who thinks too much of herself or is over ambitious or there is something wrong with her.
So, this series is dedicated to the singles reading this and, specially, to all these couples in their high-horses that think they are better just for being married. I hope this series of posts opens your eyes about life as a single and how many truly uncomfortable moments singles endure from perfect couples.
It is also dedicated to those who have internalized some expressions and reproduce them without realizing how damaging they are.
Finally, I hope that if you have single friends, next time you are at a party you will put the foot down when the group starts to single the single love/life shortcomings.