I have ping ponged between being single, attached , single, attached. I have experienced the flood of social invitations from other couples when partnered and the social isolation from these same friends when single. I am way past wondering why partnered people truly believe that single people have no life and thus available for baby sitting , or over time work , on a Saturday night and weekends.
They reckon that single people, women specifically, sit around waiting for a message from a potential Tinder date, cannot afford to pay for their own dinner , and” cry me a river’ as they binge on series/ Netflix. Single men are envied by their partnered peers, imaging they are humping a different Tinder/Grinder match every night. Seriously ? Do single men only seek out sex and have no interest in friendships, music events , wine tasting, reading +++?! Truth is there are single men who do hump a different person every night and there are single women who simply love being alone on a couch with their dogs. Singlehood is their relationship structure of choice. And there are people who simply hate being single and are crushed with loneliness, despair and hopelessness. This is not their preferred status.
As I firmly defend single hood as a healthy relationship structure, I admit that I have been victim to the shame & humiliation singles feel: walking alone into a traditional partner space such as a wedding or dinner party, takes courage.
The question I ask is Why? Why do we idolise matrimony , matrimania, and stigmatise singlehood, called “singlism” ? Right now there are 110 million single adults in America, comprising 45 percent of the population. There are more unmarried Americans 16 and older than there are married Americans. Americans spend more years of their adult lives unmarried than married.
It’s time we stop this matrimania and focus on singlehood as a healthy relationship choice that more and more people are choosing.
Questions to ask yourself :
- Are you single by choice? If so, give reasons
- If single hood is not your choice , why are you single?
- As a single person , do you feel marginalised, discriminated against and stigmatised ?
- As a partnered person , do you treat single people differently to your partnered friends?
- Do you idealise matrimony? Really strive for partnership as an ideal goal in your life?
- What steps do you take to avoid your single hood? For example, diet, spend on external appearance, spend a lot of time on social media
- Do you believe a single person when he/she says “Im happy”.
- Are you constantly trying to fix single friends up with dates?
Bella de Paulo PhD, is a well known voice on what she calls singlism . In her book , “Singlism : what it is , why it matters and how to stop it”, she shows where the discrimination ,stigmatising and discrimination of single people is lurking in the workplace, the marketplace, and the media, in advertising, religion, and pseudoscience, in our universities and professional societies, in laws and policies, and in our everyday lives. She wants to raise awareness of this “ism’ and have society be aware of people who are “single at heart”. This means that you see yourself as single. Your life may or may not include the occasional romantic relationship, and you may or may not live alone or want to live alone, but you don’t aspire to live as part of a couple (married or otherwise) for the long term. Take her test right here to see if you are “Single at Heart”
One of the reasons singlism is rife is that single hood has been propped up and compared to research that has shown married people are emotionally and physically healthier. de Paulo teases this out.
She examined research findings and found the research methodology to be flawed. The vast majority of studies were cross-sectional. They compared people who were currently married with people who were single, and if the married people were doing better, they’d say, “See, marriage makes people happier! See, if single people would only get married, they’d be happier!” Conclusions were based on correlations that didn’t tell us anything about causation. Married people might differ from the single people studied in all sorts of ways that could account for the difference. Maybe the married people weren’t happier (or healthier or whatever) because they were married, but because they had more money or because they were healthier to begin with—the possibilities are endless. Sometimes those studies showed little difference between the married and the unmarried people. Some of them even found advantages for the lifelong single people.
Marriage health is based on research that shows dual incomes, sharing responsibilities, and built-in companionship and support are desirable. And that marriage is protective of health because of these benefits.
In a new study, more than 79,000 women were studied over a three-year period as they stayed unmarried; got married or entered a relationship that was like marriage; stayed married; or got divorced or separated. These women were between the ages of 50 and 79, recruited from 40 places across the U.S.
Results: women who stayed single stayed slimmer, drank less, and had lower blood pressure than those who got married. One possibility is that single people care more about their health (and not just because they want to attract a romantic partner) and that they have more opportunities to pursue the health-affirming lifestyle they value.
And here is more research findings from DePaulo
People who get married do not end up any healthier or less depressed than when they were single, nor do they enjoy any higher self-esteem. People who marry become more insular. They were more connected to parents and friends when they were single.
I expect no more singilism from you and even less martrimania. Thank you for your attention .
For more information on relationship structures, contact me : http://dreve.co.za/contact-me/