Some Factors Affecting Singles…

Posted by on May 27, 2019 in Singles Therapy

Some Factors Affecting Singles…

According to recent statistics, 45.2% of the US population was classified as “single” and that number continues to grow yearly. As more and more individuals find themselves “Single”, hopefully the misconceptions and stigmas that are associated with this population will also change. Single individuals deal with many factors that are very unique, that married people and couples are not aware off and may even take for granted. Many individuals are single by circumstances, such as separation or divorce, while some are widowed, but there is also a large group of single individual who are “singe” by choice. There is something to be said about individuals who are choosing to live this life, all by themselves. As I explore some of the factors that affect “singles”, keep in mind that not all single individuals are affected by these factors.

Risk for increase health issues
Studies indicate that singles may also have a higher risk for some health issues. Including a slower recovery period and less optimism when associated with undergoing major surgery, when compared to their married counterparts. Most recently one of my client’s mentioned that she had to undergo a procedure, although the procedure was fairly simple, none-the-less she was a bit scared as she was by herself. Off course she got through it, as she knew she would, however she still would have preferred to have someone there with her, like a significant other during this time. Many other singles are going through major health issues, that they will have to face alone. Those types of feelings can be very overwhelming and riddled with anxiety. Family and friends will always be around, but there’s something different about having a special someone in your life, especially when you are going through the rough times.

Singles have to navigate the world on their own
What this means is that for most individuals who are single, they will have to do almost everything on their own, which includes making all major decisions, including health, financials, and other decisions that most married couples share. They have no one to call, or to bounce ideas off, or to get feedback from. Singles are on their own when it comes to most decision making. Once again family and friends will always be around, but it just doesn’t compare to doing it with a significant other. One particular client stands out in my mind, as I write about this, she stated that when she needs to get something done around the house, that she herself cannot do, she usually has to pay someone to do that task for her. While her married friends would normally have their husbands do it for free. She states, that she usually keeps quiet, while how colleagues complain about their husbands, as she often feels that she resents them for it.

Singles tend to be looked down on
This stereotype seems to still exists especially against single women. There is a notion that men are single by choice, however women are not given the same courtesy. Single women are often portrayed as desperate, lonely, sad and that something must be wrong with them, especially those who have been singe for a long time. These types of stereotypes have surrounded singles for decades, and makes it hard for people to see that being single is not the worst thing, that can happen to someone. Many single women would say to me that they dread going home for the holidays or other family events. They are usually left feeling that they have done something wrong, as everyone seems to poke fun at them for being single.

One client said it to me this way “Its as if they think, there are truck loads of eligible bachelors everywhere and I have decided not to choose any”. Her family doesn’t seem to understand that it is not easy to meet an eligible man of her standards. And because she doesn’t have any kids, its even more appalling for her, as she has to sit and listen to her sisters and other female family members, go on and on about their adorable children. Needless to say, home visits are never fun for her. Many other singles dread feeling like this by family members and friends alike.

The world isn’t set up for one
Recently one of my clients took a vacation by herself. She had just gotten a major promotion at work and wanted to celebrate this accomplishment. Off course her girlfriends couldn’t make it, so she decided to just do it solo. She had a great time, but still suffered the backlash from others who could not understand why this beautiful woman was on vacation by herself. From restaurants to site seeing tours, she got perplexed looks, stares and misunderstandings from staff and others alike. Some people thought that it was weird to see someone out and about, by themself especially on vacation or when dinning alone. When singles engage in events or activities that’s set up for “couples” they are often made to feel a sense of loss, which can either make them stronger or make them feel defeated. In one of my earlier blogs “Table for One”, I discussed some other factors that dinning alone can entail on a single person. Many events that most couples do together, single individuals will have to do them on their own.

The lack of human touch and other affection
As any psychologist would tell you, human touch is very important to one’s psyche. Extensive research has shown the difference between infants that were held, touched and cuddled right after birth and those that weren’t. There is a marked difference in individuals that have constant human affection and attention and those that don’t. Someone who is chronically single may exhibit symptoms from the lack of human contact. It’s something that they may secretly crave. Some time back one of my single clients shared this with me. She usually works alone in her office, one afternoon she ran into one of her colleagues in the hall and he gave her a huge hug that lasted a few seconds. She said that she didn’t really want to hug him at that moment, but during the interaction she absolutely loved it, and couldn’t remember the last time she had gotten a hug. It felt so good to be that close to someone else, that she couldn’t believe that she actually missed that part of human connection.

As human beings there is a need to be touched, a need to be held, a need to feel desired and wanted, which can only come from a partner or significant other. We all know that friends give great hugs, but there is something special that comes from the hug from a significant other. Singles miss out of these basic human needs daily. This to me is one of the biggest factors affecting singles, because this is a very basic level need, that is not being meet by this population.

In conclusion
These are just a few factors that affect singles, but there are many more that individual singles may face. Many things that married or dating couples often take for granted, are often envied by some single individuals. If you have ever complained about your partner giving you to much attention, or cuddling too tight, or always wanting to go out, or having someone to make dinner for, or many of the other things that I hear couples complain about. Think about your single friends and family members who get none of those things, but are still able to cope and get through their day. Being single can either make one become more resilient or defeated in life. There tends to be either a “just do it”, or a “poor me” attitude. Like I stated earlier, being single is not the worst thing that can happen to someone.

There are many happy individuals who are single and are absolutely loving it, they wouldn’t trade in their status for anything. They have no one to answer too, no one to check in with and no one to be stressed out over. Your choices are to live life, or let life live you. Those are your only options in this life. So my advise to you is too “get on it with”. Life will do what it will do, just live your best life regardless of your status. And if your status changes while you are living your best life, then so be it. It’s all good.