Going Solo: More Women Embracing Single Life by S. Jackson, via DFP

Going Solo: More Women Embracing Single Life by S. Jackson, via DFP

(Link):  Going Solo: More Women Embracing Single Life by S. Jackson, via DFP

  • May 6, 2016
  • Sarah Jacobson, 33, tried for years to find a partner so she wouldn’t “die alone, my body devoured by my pet cat.”
  • At 28, Hillary Kline was feeling like an “old maid.”
  • But at some point, both decided that they preferred being single.
  • Have a problem with that? These ladies don’t. They are part of an emerging demographic of women who are happily pursuing the solo life into their late 20s and mid-30s — and loving it.
  • It’s a far cry from prior decades, when marriage bought women a pass from one family home to another. Vows were a ticket to economic stability not easily attained by an untethered woman, and above all, it was what society demanded.
  • Even as feminism took root, women were largely expected to jump into a lifelong contract with someone of the opposite sex while still in the throes of youth. If they didn’t, they were ridiculed, called spinsters, or made to feel like their time was running out. (Remember the offensive trope in the 1980s that women over 40 are more likely to be killed by terrorists than get hitched?)
  • Young women today are reclaiming singlehood as a point of pride, not shame. They are marrying later, or not at all. And they are doing it in shocking numbers, changing the course of modern dating and relationships.

  •  

    “The speed at which the change is happening is remarkable,” said Susan Brower, Minnesota’s state demographer.

  •  

    The road to remaining single differs for everyone. Some women, faced with all the opportunities once withheld from their mothers and grandmothers, fall in love with their careers first. In an era where women can own property, launch businesses, even have children without relying on a man, some see dating and marriage as unnecessary.

  • Some are casualties of modern digital romance, which offers more brief encounters than lifelong bonds.
  • Some see the high divorce rate as a warning sign. Some just aren’t interested. That’s not to say they won’t be one day, but they are perfectly happy taking the tortoise’s pace in the race to the altar.
  • A seismic shift
  •  

    The recent demographic shift has been monumental.

  •  

    Ten years ago, one in three women ages 25 to 34 had never been married. Today, it’s more like half. And while it was expected in 1960 that women got married around age 20, today most women wait another 7 years before saying “I do.”

  •  

    That gives them nearly a decade more independence than their mothers had.

  • ….Plus, Americans’ attitude toward marriage is ambivalent. According to a Pew study, 46 percent of Americans say it’s better for society if marriage and children are a priority; 50 percent say society is just as well off without such a priority. “There is a mixed assessment of marriage as an ideal,” Brower said.
  • But society hasn’t totally caught up with all the women who choose to be single — at least not yet.
  •  

    “A lot of forces conspire, often unconsciously, to tell people who are unmarried that aspiring to marriage is the solution to making them unlonely,” said Rebecca Traister, a journalist whose provocative new book, “All the Single Ladies,” looks at the rise of unmarried women in the United States.

  •  

    Still, Traister — whose book has more than 200 hold requests in the Hennepin library system — said there is pushback against negative stereotypes that have long plagued unmarried women.

  •  

    Indeed, the idea of “spinsterhood” is being reclaimed in popular culture as the ranks of single women have risen to rival those who have tied the knot. In her 2015 book “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own,” Kate Bolick refers to her attraction to solitude as her “spinster wish.” Empowering listicles, like “31 Famous Unmarried People Who Prove That Being Single Is Badass,” regularly make the rounds on social media.

  • (( click here to read the rest ))

(Link):  Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine

 

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