Whether you are a woman or a man living alone, a college student sharing a dorm with your friends, or an adult still living at your parents' house, this question may have popped up in your head some time or the other.
Being of marriageable age, you are more likely to be concerned about this matter. However, this can become an alarming issue once you cross your mid-twenties or even thirties. At least for others if not for yourself.
Not getting married within the age that is considered appropriate by community standards attracts a lot of negative attention and unnecessary comments from society and its people. However, as unconventional and uncommon as it may sound, not getting married and living alone has its benefits (and some drawbacks too). So, what is it like to not get married and live alone?
Single At Heart
Most people are quick to judge when they see someone who has surpassed the average age for marriage that the single person might be facing some problems or has some sort of lacking. This is especially true in the case of single women. However, there are many instances where certain people choose a single life according to their own will. This gives them the truest form of happiness.
Single at heart is a powerful and meaningful phrase coined by the psychologist Bella DePaulo. She herself is 63 years old and unmarried. This phrase means that a person is living their best life and being their most authentic self by being single. These people are self-sufficient and get by pretty well and a good number of people are living in this manner.
People who are single at heart do not feel the need to have a partner and get married to live a full life. Bella DePaulo is the ultimate example of this. She claims to be able to go on for days without feeling lonely or isolated. As a result, she can live life on her own terms. She does not feel burdened with a commitment. Bella suggests that there is nothing bad about the solo life if this keeps you the happiest.
Moreover, she does not feel any lacking in her social life as she enjoys great times with her close ones. The deep relations she formed with people throughout her life get her going and give her company whenever needed. Being single at heart simply means you are happy, carefree, and love the single life!
The Down Side Of Being Single
Of course, everything has some drawbacks attached and so does not getting married and living alone. First of all, it is the attached societal stigma combined with society's obsession with marriage that comes along with living this way in the 21st century. People tend to believe that you are unmarried and single because you are unwanted and failed to find the perfect life partner, which is untrue on so many levels.
Those who are single are also associated with being selfish and self-centered, which most likely is not true. What most people don't realize is that according to research the opposite is in fact factual, whereby single people are more active in volunteering and being amiable.
Furthermore, single people have faced a sense of detachment and being left out among coupled friends. This means that your coupled friends might not include you in all of their hangouts. For instance when eating out at restaurants or going to the theater to watch movies. This can affect your work-life balance too as people tend to assume single people have more free time compared to married people, thus burdening them with more work.
On another note, married people are bestowed with a higher sense of social security and laws that work in their favor. Many countries have laws that provide tax breaks and other benefits only to married couples. Lastly, not everyone can withstand an entirely single life without it hampering their mental health. Solo dwellers often fall into the hands of depression, isolation, and feel lonely or alone.
Common Stereotypes Associated With Being Single
There are set standards of beliefs and norms that people tend to follow, adhering to common social standards. While some are true, most are not and these set ideologies and standards are simply a result of years of cultural conditioning. Most of these stereotypes are not even backed up by concrete research and data.
People tend to believe that marriage is a pursuit of their life and their ultimate key to happiness. While this may be true in some cases, it is not always the circumstance. People can be happy, healthy, and social by being unmarried just as well as they would be being married. In fact, in numerous cases, people end up diminishing their self-esteem and becoming more insular after getting married.
Singlism Is Your Choice
Despite all that people say, being unmarried and single is your choice. You are the one to decide which direction your life shall go and thus, you must steer it accordingly. After all, in the end, it is you who has to live your life and other people will not be living it for you. Others may give you company but at the end of the day, you have to be self-reliant.
The associations of terms such as "unloved, undesired, depressed, and lonely" must be erased from under the heading of singlism. There are many people out there who are single and live happily. You do not always need a partner or a plus-one to share happiness on every occasion. Sometimes, you can be perfectly content and joyful on your own.
People in the 21st century are so obsessed with marriage that they see it as an achievement, a huge milestone in life. Life is not an attire where one size fits all – what may work for you perfectly fine may prove to be troublesome for others. Different people may define the word achievement differently and each individual has the freedom to set their own milestones and targets.