Thursday, February 09, 2012

Living Single - a fast growing worldwide trend

Ah -- the single life -- to be free to explore the unknown.

Five dwellings:  Statistically, two of
these dwellings are occupied by only
one person.
I write professionally on a website called Suite 101.  Over the last couple of days, I've been researching a phenomena unique in the entire history of the world.  Yes, it's a huge worldwide trend.  More and more people, indeed, almost 50% of us living in rich nations, have chosen to live alone.  Furthermore, the countries with the fastest growing number of singles living alone, China, India and Brazil are, not coincidentally, also the fastest growing countries economically.

All Virginia Wolfe wanted was a room of her own.  It appears that many of us, indeed, perhaps a majority of us, if we can afford it, want a home of our own.

The old idea that only elderly people, spinsters and losers live alone and socially isolated is dead.  Evidence indicates that people who live alone are more socially engaged than those who are married.

The way I see it, if you have a spouse, you have a built in social partner. Possibly, you could become dependent on that person for all of your social outlets.  Therefore, you’re not forced out of your cocoon, because your trusty partner is always there.  Whether it's a movie night or a trip to Italy, you have someone to go with you.  That is, provided they'll go.

As a single person, I have two options, find someone to go with me, or go it alone.  For me, when I'm with another person I automatically make compromises.  It's easy  compromise because  I spend so much time alone, and compromise isn't necessary.

There have been times when someone has said to me, "You do what you want to do," as if doing what I want to do was wrong, selfish, or sinful.  Can it be sour grapes?

One final point, there's no one size fits all.  I have couple friends who live well and independent of each other in the nicest of ways.  That's the sort of relationship I could handle.  Then there are those who constantly bicker, angry, it seems, because the other person isn't who they want them to be.  Yet, they're afraid to strike out on their own.  That kind of living together I could do without.

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