“Single” Isn’t a Bad Word

Is there an upside to being single? You bet there is! While it’s easy to focus on the negatives of being unmatched, single life provides an opportunity for selfish, shameless self-focus! It’s a life state that should be savored.

There’s some information I want to share with you if you’ve recently ended a relationship, decided to take a break from the dating pool, or settled into despair after a string of disappointing dates. The first bit of information is that you’re not alone if you’re currently “over” modern dating. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 46% of Americans over age 18 (117.6 million) are currently single.

According to the Singles in America Survey conducted by Harris Polls, 44% of Gen Z would rather clean the toilet than go on another online date. What’s more, 30% would rather walk across hot coals than try online dating again. What about millennials? It turns out that 22% of them would rather have a tooth pulled than go on another online date!

Based on the findings of the Harris Poll, more than half of single Americans wouldn’t have it any other way. These singles are finding life to be fulfilling, meaningful, and authentic. The poll shows that this is what they’re loving most about life:

  • Having time to pursue interests and passions.
  • Having time and energy to focus on personal growth.
  • The financial freedom of being untethered to another person’s debt.
  • Having time to develop a career.

Something I’ve seen in my own practice is an increasing awareness of the way that choosing a partner impacts a person’s financial and professional aspirations. The fear of being tethered to another person’s poor financial choices is incredibly real for millennials dealing with rising cost of living and student debt.

While the narrative from family, movies, and the rest of society has always told singles that their lives will finally be “complete” once they settle down with a partner, today’s singles simply aren’t buying it. Roughly 79% firmly believe that there’s no need to be married to have a happy and fulfilling life! In addition, 68% feel that the stigma about being a single person is gradually fading away. However, singles still feel exhausted by constant media messages showing that married life is the “ideal” way.

It’s great that people are feeling empowered in their singleness. As a therapist, I’ve seen the way that pressure to be in any relationship has caused people to stay in the wrong relationships for far too long. I’ve also seen many people who have made the decision to step away from dating to focus on their own well-being enjoy incredible growth.

Of course, the news that single people are actually happier than society would like us to believe doesn’t mean that someone who desires an intimate relationship should simply change their mind. My Modern Dating Survival Guide can be a great tool if you’re ready to create your own dating plan!