We’re half of the population now. Why are some people still embarrassed about being single?
Ion Chiosea / 123RF Photo
In September 2008, when we launched Singular magazine and our online community SingularCity, the mission was to celebrate being single and to provide our readers with resources to improve and enhance their single living experience. Singular magazine is the voice for singulars — savvy, sophisticated, independent — and SingularCity is the online community where they meet, share interests and make friends.
I believed then, as I believe now, that when you’re not coupled, you have opportunities for personal growth and development that are not always possible when you’re someone’s other half. In fact, singulars (our term for modern single people) are free to have adventures and experiences of their own choosing. We lead rich, full lives and are active members of our communities. And although many of us enjoy dating, finding a life partner is not the sole reason for our existence. We’re already complete as a party of one.
We received a lot of great feedback from people — single and not — for recognizing this contemporary, realistic view of singlehood and we received hundreds of letters thanking us for taking a stand against the negative stereotypes that make single people feel like they need to be fixed — a concept fueled by much of the traditional singles industry.
What surprises me still, however, is the number of singles who remain in despair about being unmarried and refuse to accept their single status. They’ve become their own worst enemy in that regard. How can they be open to all the great possibilities life has to offer when they hold a part of their identity with contempt, regret or sadness?
Sure, years ago a single person was the odd man out, but now we’re nearly half of the adult population. Even if couples still reign supreme as the ideal paradigm in our society, our growing numbers and the clear evidence that we are not stereotypical spinsters or eccentric bachelors have changed the balance of power.
Yet the most severe condemnation comes from within our own ranks — from those singles who are still ashamed because they are not married or are not in a long-term committed relationship. They’ve bought into the propaganda left over from the 1950s. For them, the “S” word should only be discussed with their best friend, their mother or their therapist.
They have no problem going to a social event, but add to the description that it’s for singles and it becomes something to avoid at all costs. I understand wanting to avoid the kind of affair that’s run by matchmakers and is all about getting you unsingle, but why is it that some of my single friends refuse of be affiliated with the newer, more positive organizations that are all about enjoying life as a single person? How ghastly to associate with other people who identify as being single! It recalls the famous quote from Groucho Marx: “I wouldn’t join any club that would have me as a member.”
Now why some of us hang on to these self-defeating, antiquated ideas of what it means to be single is truly beyond me. All it takes is a simple shift of attitude and we can change the way we experience our singular lives.
It really is that easy.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2015 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.