51% of women under 50 years old have never been married and only one third are living with a partner. More than half of cohabiting couples break up within three years and only a quarter maintain their relationships for more than five years. Around half the London population between 20 and 59 are single, with the widest difference between London and elsewhere among 45- to 60-year-olds. There are twice as many single people in this age group in London than in the rest of the UK. Housing is so expensive that overcrowding is having an effect on relationships and people are waiting longer to have children together.
There are a huge number of single people in London and yet it seems impossible to find a serious partner. Are there too many people to chose from? Are we looking for The One, our soul mate, perfection? Infidelity is very common and the choice to remain with a partner can be removed from our power. Work is so consuming that it can leave little time or energy for a relationship.
Valentines Day can really rub your nose in this miserable state of affairs. Self esteem and confidence can plummet which makes you vulnerable to an abusive relationship and believe me, being single is infinitely, immeasurably better than one of those.
The media can’t decide whether being single is a wonderful freedom or a terrible burden, whether Coco Chanel or Bridget Jones, George Cluny or Johnny Vegas are role models, but it’s quite clear that there’s a difference between being alone and being isolated. There's wisdom in Pascal's assertion that, "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."
Take a browse through Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg
Klinenberg proposes that many people who are single are absolutely not unhappy old maids or slobs but living enthusiastically, creating a new paradigm for relating intimately and in wider social groups. He doesn’t avoid the misery that attends loneliness but neither does he stress it, instead celebrating the many ways in which single people are living contented, creative, fulfilled and significant lives with and without children.
Whatever you’re doing today, whether you’re with people who love you or on your own, I hope it’s satisfying and meaningful for you. Happy Valentine’s Day.
All Abandonment Abuse Ancestors Anger Anxiety Ash Wednesday Attitude Banking Bereavement Birthday Bravery Breivik Bystander Effect Camila Batmanghelidjh Carnival Cbt Challenger Charlotte Bevan Childbirth Childhood Children Christmas Coaching Compassion Contemplation Control Counselling COVID 19 Culture Dalai Lama Death Death Cafe Democracy Denial Depression Domestic Violence Dying Eap Earth Day Empathy Employment Eric Klinenberg Ethics Exams Existential Failure Family Annihilation Fear Founders Syndrome Francis Report Gay Cure Genocide George Lyward Goldman Sachs Good Death Greg Smith Grief Grieving Grooming Groupthink Happiness Hate Hungary Illness Interconnectedness Jason Mihalko Jubilee Kids Company Kitty Genovese Life Light Living Loneliness Love Mandatory Reporting Meaning Men Mental Health Mid Staffs Mindfulness Money Mothers New Year Nigella Lawson Optimism Organisational Collapse Oxford Abuse Panama Papers Panic Panic Attacks Parenthood Petruska Clarkson Pleasure Politics Positivity Post Natal Depression Power Priorities Priority Productivity Psychotherapy Ptsd Red Tent Reflection Rena Resilience Riots Rites Of Passage Ritual Robin Williams Sad Sales Savile Scared Seasonal Affective Disorder Self Care Self Preservation Self-preservation Shock Sin Singletons Sport Spring Status St David St Georges Day Stress Suarez Suicide Support Talking Terry Pratchett Time Transition Trauma True Self Truth Understanding Unemployment Valentines Day Viktor Frankl Violence Whistleblowing Who Am I Winter Blues Women Work