Regardless of how you choose Featured For Being Single to dress, being single can sometimes seem like one of life’s biggest struggles. Enduring the doom and gloom of singleness while all your love friends settle (or remain settled) in pasty-eyed bliss can be a very real source of woe. But beyond the struggle, can loneliness really be a source of empowerment? We say yes and explain why…
Although the subtitle of this section may sound like the title of an ambitious undergraduate dissertation. A great deal of importance can be drawn from the social sciences. When it comes to understanding singleness. You might be wondering what the heck sociology has to do with singleness. Here’s the scoop.
An Alternative Perspective on Singleness
Most of us will be all too familiar with the often parodied image of a hapless bachelor lost in a sea. Self-help books and empty wine bottles. While this caricature is exaggerated and insulting. It is a representation that pervades both the media and our imaginations.
Seeking an alternative perspective on singleness. EliteSingles spoke with one of the foremost researchers involved in the study of singleness; Bella DePaulo. A visiting professor at the University of California. Santa Barbara, she has published extensively on a wide range of topics that overlap with singleness.
The Harvard-educated academic is quick to point out the advantages a more rigorous. Sociological point of view can bring to the debate. “A scientific approach can overcome selective perception and bust myths.” Says DePaulo, “It allows us to talk about singleness based on data rather than just opinion and prejudice. With good research, we can see the strengths of being single and the meaning of single life.”
Fighting myths and raising awareness are central components of DePaulo’s work. For example, he challenges the scientifically backed research that suggests married couples live happier. Healthier lives (of which there are plenty). “It can be tricky,” he says of opposition to the status quo, “too often claims are made about the benefits of getting married that can’t be backed up by the kind of research that’s been done.”
Being in A Relationship
In fact, there is evidence to support DePaulo’s claims. In 2015. A study by researchers at the University of Auckland revealed that, for some people. Relationships can apparently have an adverse effect on quality of life 1. More specifically. The research found that people with a non-confrontational disposition had a higher degree of life satisfaction being single than being in a relationship. flirtwith.com
To further his critique, DePaulo coined two terms; singlismo and matrimania. The first relates to prejudice directed at single men and women. “There is little cultural awareness of singleness,” says DePaulo, “yet discrimination against single people is written into the law. In the US. For example, there are over 1,000 laws at the federal level alone that benefit and protect only people. Who are legally married.” Examples of cases where singleness is legally ignored include income tax deductions, inheritance rights, and labour laws.
DePaulo’s second concept, matrimania, is meant to “exaggerate marriage and couples and weddings.” “Marriage has gotten more extreme since, say. The 1950s,” DePaulo says, “people celebrate marriage so relentlessly and ostentatiously. Not because we’re all so sure of the place marriage occupies in our lives. But because we are so insecure. Marriage just isn’t important to our lives in the big way that it used to be.”
long live singleness – Featured For Being Single
On the other hand, isn’t it fair to think that singleness in the 21st century is far less stigmatised than ever? And could matrimania be on the wane? It is certainly true that marital habits have changed dramatically. Over the last forty years in Australia. In 1975, only 16% of couples had lived together before marrying.
Fast forward to the 21st century and things are very different; In 2013. 77% of marriages were preceded by cohabitation. The median age for first-time marriages also increased during this period. 23 for men in 1975 compared to 30 in 2013, 21 for women in 1975 compared to 28 in 2013. Also, since 1986, there has been a 9% drop in Australian married couples, 58-49% to be precise .
These findings seem to indicate that although people are not necessarily opting for singleness, they are certainly being much more cautious or sceptical about marriage. And according to a 2011 report published by the US-based Pew Research Center, something is afoot, and in other parts of the world, too. Not only did the study reveal that just over half of adult Americans are married, it also noted that 43% of people ages 18-49 think marriage is becoming less relevant. flirtwith
For DePaulo, the latter is representative of a more positive social trend. When asked if the rise in evidence of conservatism around the world could lead to an increase in both singlism and matrimony, he remains optimistic. “I hope that doesn’t happen,” he says, “I have some optimism based on the fact that the younger generation of adults today tend to be open-minded and unlikely to be sexist, racist or homophobic.”
Positive Social Trend – Featured For Being Single
DePaulo’s optimism doesn’t quite square with another finding from the Pew report. Of single respondents who said marriage is an almost obsolete institution, a substantial 47% said they would still like to get married someday. Suffice to say, this seems a bit contradictory. However, there are answers.
One such explanation comes in the form of a study by Jody Hughes of La Trobe University. Published in 2014, Hughes’ article builds on the work of theorists such as Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck, and Zygmunt Bauman to investigate the reflexivity of both individuality and intimate relationships. After interviewing some 28 Australians between the ages of 21 and 39, all of whom lived alone, Hughes found that rather than assigning less value to ‘sexual partner’ relationships, his participants aspired to have a lasting and healthy relationship.
Contrary to the trite (and dismissive) – Featured For Being Single
image of a lonely older woman, DePaulo agrees that the people who most fear singledom are probably in their early 30s. She pulls out an article she wrote for Psychology Today about singleness and young adulthood. The piece centers on a question-and-answer session she had with Wendy Featured For Being Single Wasson, a Chicago-based clinical psychiatrist. Wasson describes how many of her young, single. Female patients in their 25s and 30s experience. The pressure of seeing her friends marry and start a family. A strain that is compound by the ever-present biological clock.
Kinneret Lahad, a professor at Tel Aviv University. Argues that it is imperative to understand. The concept of time and how it is entangle with singleness. In a 2012 article, the Israeli scholar wrote. That singleness is “a sociological phenomenon constitute and forged through changing. Social definitions, norms, and expectations.” In his view, time is represent by “social clocks,” like the very real but socially sanction temporality of childbearing. This accentuates the need to marry and further stigmatises singleness.
But surely technology is changing the landscape of singleness?
From reproductive technologies to social media. Being single today is much more fluid than it use to. “It’s easier for single people. Who live alone to stay connected at all times,” DePaulo says, “they can connect with their friends without having to leave their homes, and they can also use technology to more easily set up in-person meetings.” . The dating industry has also been overhaule; In 2015, an estimated 91 million people used dating apps worldwide (including 15% of the total adult population in the United States).
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However you look at it, it’s hard to refute the unspoken stigma attach to being single. But it’s not all bad news. To end on a more positive note, being single is an option that can reap huge rewards. Anyone whose lost love will know that singleness encourages soul-searching, which in turn leads to self-discovery and, ultimately, progress. Rejecting social mores and revelling in the freedom that singleness offers is a sure way to decide what’s best for you. Above all, when you are ready to start a new relationship, it will be for the right reasons!