Being Single Does Not Mean Being Lonelier and More Selfish

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Being Single Does Not Mean Being Lonelier and More Selfish

what makes some individuals afraid of the rising popularity of singleness is the freedom that they possess/ Photo By Flamingo Images via Shutterstock


In the current world where having a romantic partner is idealized, ironically, more people are opting to stay single or becoming single after marriage. This trend of being single makes others fear for what would become of society.

According to Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist who graduated from Harvard University, what makes some individuals afraid of the rising popularity of singleness is the freedom that they possess. Those who are single have enough resources and have all the freedom to make the decisions about the way of life they desire to live.

Since they are not restricted by duties that spring from marriage and having a family, most would assume that single people only care about tending to their own needs. Another assumption is that single people are “desperately, desperately lonely”, as written by a Washington Post opinion writer. However, various studies and experts are proving these myths wrong.

Reasons Why More People Are Staying Single

Public Radio International says that presently, 124.6 million American adults constitute the single American population. Back in the 1950s, only 22% of Americans stayed single. This is evidence of how being single has peaked even when technology makes it easier to meet others through online dating.

In their interview with Eric Klinenberg, a social psychologist and the author of the book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, it was stated that these are the reasons there is an increase in people choosing the single life:

Looking for a soulmate

One of the causes why adults choose to stay single is because of their search for a soulmate. If a person does fit their standards of being “the one”, then they are unwilling to compromise.  

Society’s changing culture

Klinenberg states that in today’s society, it has become more legitimate and viable to stay single for an extended period of time. Before, in America, people were not given that option.

More dating choices online

Social media and dating sites are also factors that cause being single to be seen as a better option. He even calls it a “paradox-of-choice problem”. He explains that because single people have so many choices and they can find imperfections in each dating choice, it makes it harder for them to stick with one person and bear with all their flaws.

Focusing on growing-up

Klinenberg also finds that another reason why being single appeals to many individuals nowadays is because more adults, especially the ones in their 20s and 30s, are concentrating on their growing-up process. More adults in this age bracket are focusing on their jobs. They tend to worry about their career and struggle with proceeding to the next stage of traditional grown-up life.

Singles Are Not Isolated

Loneliness is not cured by marriage. As The Atlantic puts it, it is not the magical elixir that will solve the problem of social isolation. The article Single People Aren’t to Blame for the Loneliness Epidemic further explains that those who are bound by relationships and marriage have lesser time to spend with their siblings and friends.

In contrast, single people have more contact with their siblings, friends, and neighbors. If they were living alone, they would make living arrangements that would make socializing more accessible like making living arrangements with their friends to live on the same street. They may also choose to live in dormitories. It was also observed that they tended to go out more and keep in touch with more people when they lived by themselves.

Klinenberg testifies to this, saying, “They’re also more likely to spend more time with friends and neighbors. And, of course, they’re a big reason there’s so much activity and vitality in the public areas of cities today--they’re not people who are self-involved, sitting on the couch just buying things on eBay. They’re really a crucial part of modern social life.”

Singles Give More

There are several studies that indicate that, contrary to popular belief, single people are not selfish. Many pieces of research reveal that single people are more inclined to give three of their most valuable resources which are time, money, and care. These studies were cited in the article Unselfish Singles: They Give More Time, Money and Care which was also written by DePaulo.


Based on the information gathered by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, it was revealed that more singles spent time volunteering in different kinds of organizations compared those who were married. They were found to actively participate in groups such as environment and animal care organizations, social and community service organizations, cultural, arts, hobbies and sports groups, educational and youth services, and other similar organizations.

In another study, it was discovered that singles were more inclined to help their friends, neighbors, and co-workers. It was shown that they assisted these people in many ways such as helping them by giving them moral and emotional support, encouragement and advice, doing errands for them, helping them with housework and repairing broken things in the house, helping them get transportation and assisting them while shopping.

124.6 million American adults constitute the single American population/ Photo By Nina Buday via Shutterstock



There are studies that show that single men send more money to their relatives than married men, even though married men have a higher salary.

Research also indicates that when single women spend money, they do not merely spend it for their own pleasures. They often spend it on something that will benefit them in the long-term. It was shown that more than married women and men as well as single men, if a single woman received a huge sum of money as an inheritance, she would be more likely to start having her own business.

Another research showed that if a single woman desired to have something substantial, like a house or a car, for instance, she will work and save more for it. They may even get a second job if their savings from their present job is not enough.


In a research that involved almost 5,500 pairs of older parents and grown-up sons and daughters, it was shown that single sons and daughters provided more help to their old parents than sons and daughters who were married.

Another research which had the participation of 9,900 British adults showed that British singles were more engaged in regular caretaking. The British singles were often observed taking care of the elderly, sick, and disabled for three months or more.

Singles Do Not Spend Their Free Time Irresponsibly

In summary, the freedom that singles have is not spent carelessly on selfish desires and in loneliness. Quite the opposite, plenty of studies point out. As Psychology Today emphasizes, singles “recognize their freedom as a great opportunity to live their best life, and they are not about to squander it.”



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