Single (But not Looking)

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Boy, did I get some news yesterday on the evening news. Maybe you haven’t heard either. According to renowned New York University sociology professor Eric Klinenberg the latest trend in North America’s largest cities is to be single…and do stay it by design.

That would mean the greatest demographic shift since the fifties. And singles stay single deliberately and not for lack of opportunity and choice. No longer is “single” an embarrassing epithet. In Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Washington, and Minneapolis more than 40% of households consist of one person. Canada has even more staggering results:

  • Vancouver — 58%
  • Toronto — 53%
  • Edmonton — 55%
  • Montreal — 66%
  • Victoria — 70%

Prof. Klinenberg refers to singles as singletons which in my view still smacks a little of a stigmatized term. In the context of his research, it must be an endearment! But their economic power is undeniable. Single people spend more money on socializing, restaurants, clothes etc. To quote the man “Living alone comports with modern values. It promotes freedom, personal control, and self-realization — all prized aspects of contemporary life.”

News out of Japan has confirmed this for a number of years: Japanese find sex and relationships too messy, tiring and “potentially humiliating”. All of this will have implications for Japan’s birthrate that has been dropping for years. In addition, the economic disaster of last year makes it too expensive for many young Japanese to get married.

Well, what do they do instead? They are renowned to cherish technical devices. The young people featured in that report were playing video games.

If you find this an interesting and novel fact that appeals to you, his book is called ” Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.”

3 Comments
  1. Barbara Garro says

    Thanks for sharing these statistics I had not yet seen. That’s one of the things I love about Angie’s Diary–we keep each other smart about important things that help us not only have happier lives but also to understand life better. I spent ten years writing “Grow Yourself a Life You’ll Love,” and I was a happily single woman when I wrote it. A dozen years and a couple of books later, i am still a happily single women. For me, I feel the difference is that, while I am happily single, I would marry the right man for all the right reasons. Sorry, right man, right reasons will be a Angie’s Diary post at some point after I key in all the posts I have not yet posted, but are written.

    Bottom line, I fully believe that if a person, man or woman, cannot be happy with themselves as themselves, they have little to positively bring to any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Some call it comfortable in your own skin, others have different ideas. As for me, I enjoy myself 24/7, no matter what I am doing with positive intention. I make tasks that must be done fun, as in raking leaves, I test myself to see how fast I can fill each bag, trying each time to best myself. Exciting, fun way to get the job finished fast. And, of course, finished means I get some kind of a wonderful treat! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Andy Bachman says

    Mind-boggling stats!
    As a single person, by choice (design), I can definitely relate.
    Romance is not for me… It always gets murky once the novelty wears off 🙂
    Andy

    1. Frances Ayers says

      A little bit surprised by the stats,but I agree with Ms Garro’s statement above.Individuals first must be happy within themselves before they can attract a mate.I also believe that some of us are better off remaining single because of the nature of our careers.I am a fairly content middle aged Writer/Poet who doesn’t want a complicated relationship.

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