Single status is a new shift in societal attitudes towards relationships that has been on the rise recently.
My nephew, aged 30, recently asked: Do I really have to marry? He was responding to his mother’s question about when he’d marry.
Another one (who is married) cheekily answered: If you want freedom, then you don’t have to.
Indeed, there is a significant increase in the number of individuals choosing a single life. Whether this is disturbing or welcome, it is a change that calls for scrutiny and evaluation.
To put it differently, we shall explore the evolving landscape of relationship status, challenging traditional norms and paving the way for a more diverse understanding of personal happiness and fulfillment, in particular the single status.
The Changing Face of Singlehood
When you were young, your teacher probably made you draw a family unit of a father, mother, yourself, and a younger sister or brother. You most likely added a dog or cat to complete the whole picture.
In essence, historically, cultural standards have always placed a strong emphasis on marriage and romantic relationships as essential indicators of success and happiness.
However, contemporary society is witnessing a departure from this narrative, with more people embracing the single life as a conscious choice rather than a mere circumstance.
This article explores this emerging concept and how it has brought a different outlook on relationships.
“I love being single. I can come and go as I please and stay out as late as I want to.” –Eric Dickerson
Have you ever wanted to do something, pursue an interest, or engage in a hobby without having to report to anyone first? That is something that would give you total independence.
In the same way, the rise of single status celebrates individuality and self-discovery. Singles are now prioritizing personal growth, career pursuits, and self-actualization more than traditional relationship milestones and benchmarks.
Independence is no longer seen as a precursor to a committed relationship but as a valuable and fulfilling state. The singles, in effect, want to retain their status quo even in the future.
The Role of Technology
While technology has made communication easier in relationships, hence eliminating the need for physical interactions, it has, on the negative side, encouraged fewer interactions.
Regardless, myriad dating apps and online platforms have also given singles more opportunities to explore relationships on their terms, fostering a sense of empowerment and control over their romantic destinies.
This has undoubtedly given rise to the single status, as most youths date casually with multiple partners they meet on social media before committing. According to a 2019 Pew research, singles accounted for 31% of 4860 adults polled in the U.S
What of the people who break up due to technology as well? Maybe they saw an incriminating text on the phone, leading to disagreements and eventually a breakup.
Or a spouse who spends too much time on social media (which is quite an addiction) to the extent of neglecting the relationship.
Certainly, these will give rise to a single status.
Priorities That Encourage Single Status
As much as society expects one to be “complete” after commitment in a relationship, today people place a higher value on other aspects of life.
Priorities that are taking precedence include career, education, and personal development.
The pursuit of these individual goals over settling down, leads to a delay in entering into committed relationships or marriage.
In some cases, these people opt to remain single and justify their status thus:
- They have peace of mind.
- You can figure out what life you want.
- Financial burdens are lifted; budgeting alone is a plus.
- You boost self-care by having unlimited personal space.
- You can redefine happiness in life (apart from relationships) in the form of hobbies, personal achievements, e.t.c.
In most cultures of the past, singlehood was considered a cultural misnomer, and for that reason, it was mostly associated with promiscuity.
However, with the passage of time and across various cultures, there is a growing acceptance and even celebration of the single lifestyle.
Cultural icons and media representations are advancing stories that celebrate and legitimize the variety of routes to happiness, including those that entail staying single
And with this shift in perception, many people are freely choosing to remain single, much to their delight.
Impact on Society
Because of the above, the rise of singlehood is not only a personal choice but a social phenomenon with profound implications.
This trend challenges the traditional family structure, influencing everything from housing preferences to economic patterns.
Whereas the societal recognition of single individuals as contributors of value to communities is gaining momentum, singlehood comes with a price tag on its head.
- Societal pressure to change your status will always be present.
- To propagate humanity, children have to be born. This can only happen in a relationship. Ok, you may opt to be an absent parent, but the child needs both parents for stability and proper upbringing.
- You will be a candidate for loneliness as opposed to one in a relationship. Also, you do not benefit from sharing responsibilities when the need arises, like when facing financial constraints.
- You not only have fewer sex options, but you also stand at risk of engaging in unsafe sex with multiple partners. One who is not single is better off in this race.
Interesting Single Quotes
If you need a good laugh as you revel in your single status, here are a few quotes we’ve selected to make your day (and your status!)
- “You’re single not because you are not good enough for one, it’s that you’re too good for the wrong one.” –Chris Burkmenn
- “I love being single. It’s almost like being rich.” –Sue Grafton
- “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” –Maya Angelou
- “You can’t put me on a leash. I’m unleashable!” –Tiffany Winfree
- “My alone feels so good; I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” –Warsan Shire
- “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” –Robin Williams
- “If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of someone else.” –Sahithi Setikam
- “I’m single because I was born that way.” –Mae West
- “Poor is the man whose pleasure depends on the permission of another.” –Madonna
So what is the solution?
Under those circumstances, it all boils down to an individual choice. To remain or not to remain single is all up to you.
But one thing to remember…
As the pendulum swings towards celebrating personal autonomy and diverse paths to happiness, the rise of singlehood emerges as a compelling trend. Indeed, most countries have, over the last few years, experienced a rise in the status of singlehood.
Besides, the changing landscape of relationship status reflects a broader societal shift towards embracing individual choices and redefining conventional notions of fulfillment.
The key takeaway is that being single is no longer just a relationship status. It is a lifestyle choice embraced by an increasing number of individuals seeking to chart their course to happiness.
What do you think? Single or not? Plus advantages vis a vis disadvantages. Let’s hear your voice in the comments.