This New Year’s Eve, Celebrate the Women Who Choose to Stay Single by Amy Polacko
We unmarrieds may have no “other half,” but we are far from alone. Nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population is single, and many of us wouldn’t have it any other way.
By Amy Polacko, divorce coach and journalist
Are you by yourself? Did you come alone? What — no date? Hey, I know this nice guy …
Nothing — I mean nothing — brings out the cupid busybodies like New Year’s Eve. But you can stop asking us single ladies, “So, who will you be kissing at midnight?” We’re content that the answer is “no one.”
…We unmarried maids may have no “other half,” but we are far from alone. Nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population is single — compared to 29 percent of households in 1990. A recent Pew Research Center report on census data showed the spike among singles over the past 30 years came largely from those who have never been married.
Contrary to sad stereotypes, many single women wouldn’t have it any other way. This New Year’s, instead of bugging women about their single status when the ball drops, try celebrating it along with them.
…Elizabeth Engelberg, a clinical psychologist, noted that many women today “are not willing to put up with things they have in the past — especially if they’ve had a tough marriage or two.” Another factor in the singledom surge, she said, is that “some women want an authentic connection and just can’t find the right one.”
With more women working, marriage is becoming a choice — not a necessity.
Plus, 77 percent of Americans say divorce is morally acceptable, up 18 points from 2001, according to a 2019 Gallup poll.
Both developments mean women are increasingly willing to hold out for everything they want in a mate, or, as Engelberg put it, “They’re simply less willing to settle.”
…Engelberg said men, on the other hand, are more likely to accept a partner who’s not a perfect match just to avoid being alone.
In 2017, U.K. data analysts Mintel found that 49 percent of men reported being happy solo versus 61 percent of single women.
Plus, 75 percent of unattached ladies said they were not actively looking for a significant other, compared to 65 percent of men who said the same.
A study by Paul Dolan, professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics and Political Science, found the healthiest and happiest group in our entire population is single women who don’t have children and were never married.
…Bell would also like a relationship at some point. “I think that when I find the right person to be under the mistletoe with, it will be great,” she said. “Until I find that person, I’ll wait.”
I’m with her. I’d rather have nothing than nothing special.
Indeed, when women make a conscious decision to remain single, they feel good about that choice, Engelberg said. It’s not lonely or pathetic. It’s empowering. So stop putting pressure on us to race to the altar.
Bell seconded that and urged her three millennial daughters to focus on having good careers and great friends rather than a ring.