Singlehood has traditionally been defined as the state of being unmarried, but most people now use it to refer to people who are not in long-term relationships.
What is Singlehood?
Singlehood is increasing rapidly in the United States. There are 102 million single people in the United States, and single people make up about 44 percent of the United States population. While many people are single due to a divorce, because they have chosen to avoid committed relationships, or because they have delayed marriage, other people do not want to be single. There’s no single demographic among single people, and single people fit into a huge variety of categories ranging from happily and permanently single to single people who desperately want to find a mate.
Singlehood and Psychology
The mere state of being single does not necessarily reveal any information about a person’s psychological health or well-being. While there’s some evidence that married people are happier on average, an abusive or unhealthy partnership can be profoundly psychologically damaging.
For some people, singlehood requires a period of adjustment when it occurs after a divorce or the death of a spouse. These people might seek therapy to help them grieve and accept a loss. For other people, singlehood is a blissful state that gives them freedom, independence, and a chance to chart their own life course. Some single people experience pressure to find a partner. Women in particular may experience social stigma if they are single on a long-term basis, and the pressure to have a child can be particularly painful for single women. Many people are now choosing to live in long-term cohabitating relationships rather than get married, and these people are often classified as single in research data.
- Barely half of U.S. adults are married. (2011, December 4). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/12/14/barely-half-of-u-s-adults-are-married-a-record-low/
- Unmarried and single Americans week September 16-22, 2012. (2012, September). U.S. Census. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb12-ff18.html
Last Updated: 08-26-2015
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