#LoveInTheCity – Why are there so many single people?

Hey guys! What’s new? How are you doing? How’s your week been?

So, I recently went to an event put on by the amazing Imani, in an attempt to help young people find love. But it made me think about why the number of single people in the world continues to rise and whether the desire to be in long-term committed relationship is still alive and kicking…

Marriage has always been a big thing across all cultures. It’s often viewed as the ultimate symbol of love and used as a means to connect families, nations and religions.

It’s direct antithesis, however, that is – being single, is seemingly on the rise. In recent times, there has been less marriages, more divorces and generally a higher number of single people. Particularly in the UK, as many as 1 in 3 people of the adult population are not married or in a civil partnership, according to data collated from the most recent national census.

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The same phenomenon is also evident in the U.S, where the Census Bureau reported that more than 110 million residents were divorced or widowed or had always been single (a record number); that’s more than 45 per cent of all Americans aged 18 or older. And people who did marry were taking longer than ever to get there. The median age of first marriage rose to 29.5 for men; for women, it reached 27.4.

But, why is this?

Well, it all boils down to the fact that being single carries a lot benefits to your wellbeing, finances and general happiness than ever before. Another reason according to The Cut, is that marriage is no longer seen as a key criterion for adulthood. Compared to a half-century ago, where those who had not yet married wouldn’t be considered real adults. That’s no longer the case. Now, it’s more important to complete formal schooling and have full-time employment. Showing that modern changes in general, mean marriage does not have such a bearing on who you are as an individual and your place in society.

Other research has shown the being in a relationship or a marriage isn’t necessarily linked to higher self esteem. The study also found that people who started new romantic relationships that failed to last a year ended up with lower self-esteem than the people who stayed single.

It was also found that being single can make you healthier, particularly for women (surprise, surprise). Due to less stress, I’m guessing, of being in a relationship – a study found that every significant finding favoured the women who either stayed single instead of marrying, or who got divorced instead of staying married.

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So, the old age notion that being single means you will be unfulfilled, miserable and sexless, is simply untrue. In fact single people have been found to be getting it on more than people in marriages or relationships.

“In unprecedented numbers, they are going ahead and living their single lives, which are often healthier and more fulfilling than those of their coupled counterparts.”

But still, at Imani’s event, with over 100 tickets sold, it was clear that many of us are still on the look for love and serious commitment. Men and women alike, put their pride to the side for a night of games, laughs and banter. It was different, a bit scary, but also enlightening to know you aren’t alone in your search.

Set in Vapianos in central London, the vibe was fun, light-hearted and had high energy levels. I enjoyed checking out the cute guys and imagining what will never be, but glad that there are still so many eligible bachelors in this world.

Imani added: “The idea for Love In The City came really from a thread I made where I asked single girls and guys to post their photos. It had such a great reaction, I wanted to re-create that in real life!

Essentially, the event is a fresh environment where young people from all walks of life, can meet like minded people, with the opportunity to also find love, in a friendly, warm and fun atmosphere.  The first event was a great success and I had lots of positive comments. I’m excited to see where Love In The City is headed and also the new connections that may come out of this.”

So, it seems that finding a companion (and for some tying the knot), is still something we desire, no matter how fulfilling our lives may be. I met people doing amazing things in their lives come along to share a part of themselves with someone they had only known for five minutes, in a quest to make a new connection.

And this is totally typical of human beings. While studies showed we can function better alone, we are still ‘ultra social species’, meaning that according to biology, neuroscience, psychology, and more, our bodies actually tend to work better together.

It’s essentially part of our default mode to go through life with a companion. It makes sense, then, that studies show having fewer social ties is associated with more heart disease, cancer, and impaired immune function, as well as with worse recovery when it comes to those health problems, says NBC News.

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So, despite there being so many singles in the world living content happy lives, the quest for love is not dead, it’s alive and kicking. And this was confirmed for me at Love In The City.  Seeing so many young people, with everything going for them in all avenues of life, still made time for finding a companion.

Perhaps, being single for longer however, may just result in us becoming better, wholesome individuals for our eventual significant others. And changes in societal norms means that we don’t have to rush the process of finding love.

And on the flip side is, being single does not mean you’re doomed to a life of unhappiness an loneliness. You can and will thrive as well as grow just as much as those in a long term committed relationships or marriage.

I guess the point is to be happy whether you’re single or not. The quest for love is not yet dead. I suppose the real challenge then, is for you to find it.

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