The rise of singles and unmarrieds could be a boon for urban life in the long run. As staying single becomes an authentic choice, here’s why it’s a social win-win
There are more people than ever across the world today who are choosing singledom, not just before settling down but as a choice of a lifetime. The rise of the singles and unmarrieds shouldn’t send traditionalists in a state of panic; it’s not so declining moral values that are turning young people away from marital bonds. In fact, single living could be a blessing for cities and towns, over time changing the definition of what family and community mean.
Changing the norm
Single people are changing the sense of community for the better, in most cases. How many of us are really friends with our next-door neighbours? Nuclear families tend to get insular even if they don’t have children because the couple wants to spend “quality time together”.
Single folk are more likely than young marrieds to socialise with friends and neighbours, keep in touch with siblings and support their parents. Unless it’s a family-bonding act, weekends are usually reserved for sleeping in. Singles, however, are more likely to participate in a clean-up drive or a tree planting day. Enrolling for music, dance and pottery class? Check. Volunteering at the dog-walking charity? Check. Visiting the sick at the hospital? Yes.
There are more opportunities for personal development if you are single. You don’t need to feel guilty about signing up for a public speaking class without your spouse who doesn’t understand the need for it.
Finding meaningful work for soul satisfaction that doesn’t require a partner’s approval is plausible. More so, if it requires moving to another city. It also offers more solitude for deep focus work that is a must for projects of great magnitude. Some of the most fascinating innovations are made by people who enjoy solitude but are within human reach.
Expands family boundaries
Couples are expected to make their partner and kids their central focus in life, so you can’t blame them for being short-sighted when it comes to being more inclusive.
Singles have the advantage of being able to expand traditional boundaries of what a family means. So, the family includes the extended family members and relatives as well as childhood friends, former partners and senior mentors who are often father figures. This expansive definition is more about people who are in the loop than only the ones who are obligated to.
As the potential for leading a meaningful life as an unmarried expands, being single will become an authentic choice and so will marriage, predicts a 2014 report. Young people will see it as a reasonable option instead of marrying to escape the stigma of being alone or simply because that’s what is expected of them.
Those who choose to remain single, shouldn’t be considered unromantic… this video from School of Life puts it succinctly.
Do you agree with the views here or have opinions to the contrary? Comment below and tell us what you think.
(A version of this article was previously published on the website Alldatmatterz.com)