Although we do not have exact figures, there are studies that can help us sketch the new reality: there are more single people today than ever before, at least in Western societies. According to projections, from independent studies, one in four adults aged 50 or over has never been married. There are even some places in the world where the numbers are even more drastic; in New York, for example, one in two adults lives alone.
What is this phenomenon due to? It is not easy to find out. This is all so new that we still cannot draw definitive conclusions. On the other hand, several hypotheses have been made which could explain this fact. There are also many daily testimonies from people who speak of permanent unions or marriage as unwanted. Like a load they don’t want to carry.
“I don’t want someone telling me that everything will always be fine. I prefer someone who looks me in the eye and says: “Everything is wrong, but I stay here. “
At the same time, emotional and sentimental discomfort is growing in the world , as are cases of depression and all kinds of disorders. From the point of view of non-biological approaches, or in other words those that are not due to genes, what happens in the world is closely linked to fragile or dysfunctional emotional ties; the fact that there are more and more single people could perhaps contribute to this explanation.
Singles and loners
There are many single people who live well and are happy. These are cases where celibacy does not imply loneliness, or where loneliness does not imply isolation. Usually, these single people are people who have consciously chosen not to live in a relationship ; they have other interests that fill their lives.
The decision to remain single is almost always motivated by the desire to focus all of your energy on one or more projects , such as work. These happy single people have a working life they love and don’t want to face the dilemma of spending less time on their job to consistently meet a family’s expectations. However, this does not prevent them from having a good network of friends and relatives.
The solitary , however, do not know why they are not in a stable relationship. Usually, they say it’s because they haven’t met the right person yet. However, living alone is not pleasant for them either. Usually, they lead routine lives. Often, feelings of apathy or sadness predominate in them.
There is also another type of lonely person: these are those people who go from one relationship to another , without any lasting very long. They live in the present moment, “here and now”, in a kind of eternal adolescence where the future does not exist.
The motivations behind celibacy
Sociologists advance different hypotheses to explain this massive presence of single people. Some even note the existence of an entourage that promotes self-centeredness like never before. The individual is now at the center of everything; the central concern of many people is their own person. In this diagram, there is no room for anyone else. Therefore, being attentive to the feelings and needs of another person is something they are not interested in.
Thus, the idea was considered that operates what is called the “paradox of choice” , which consists of the following thing: before, the potential number of people that it was possible to meet was limited. However, since the appearance of the Internet, this potential for links is virtually endless. Thus, the potential amount of couples is incalculable. What happens then is that the excessive number of options paralyzes the ability to decide.
So when a person finally makes a decision, they always feel like they are losing or missing out on something , because they will always have other options with which to compare “their acquisition”. There is a tendency in humans to regret what they don’t have, rather than appreciating what they have.
Loneliness and the couple
It seems that today many people have forgotten that the couple is a construct. We are not in a relationship just by going out for two or by sleeping together. Conversation, agreements, conflicts and experiences are what will make a couple what they are.
Therefore, being in a relationship requires effort, but also tolerance, generosity and patience… and also, consequently, renouncements. This is precisely what some singles don’t like: striving or paying attention, in their own emotional world, to other needs that are not theirs.
Unwanted loneliness is never a good option. Several studies indicate that it can even cause physical pain. In these cases, one would have to ask where the problem comes from: haven’t we found the right person? Or are we not suitable for operation in couple? It is worth asking these questions to move forward.