I’ve noticed that a surprising number of people now decide to remain single. Not just unmarried, but not even in a relationship or dating. I started thinking about this when some of my female friends told me that they simply do not date. Naturally, I did consider that they were cleverly preventing any attempts I might make to ask them out (I actually had no intention of doing so). However, time has made it clear that it was a life choice and not a ploy. Unless, of course, it is an amazingly long term ploy.
This got me thinking about why people make such a choice. After all, social tradition and expectations push people towards relationships. Further, people go on about how great it is to be in love. And, of course, there is that matter of sex.
One obvious reason some people stay single is that they cannot find another person. This might be because (sadly) no one wants them. Or it might be because (sadly) they have set their requirements so high that no mere mortal can meet them. Or perhaps they just happen to be someplace that is awful in terms of dating opportunities.
Another reason, and one that my friends have given, is that some people are too busy pursuing other goals such as career and education. Relationships take time and some people do not have the time for them. Interestingly, while women often give this as a reason, none of my male friends have ever said that they don’t date women because it would take too much time. It might be because women put in more effort than men and hence time is of more concern to them. Or maybe my sample is biased. Naturally, some people probably use this as an excuse to cover up their real reasons.
A third reason I have heard is that some people simply find life satisfying without a relationship and find little or nothing appealing in being in one. In some cases, people actually see relationships as detrimental and prefer to give up the positive aspects of a relationship to avoid the negative. This view is often based on past experiences. A bad divorce or breakup can cause a person to think : “hey, being single isn’t so bad…at least I won’t lose half my stuff and no one is causing me emotional damage on a daily basis…other than those weasels at the office…” That can make a great deal of sense to a person who has been through the wringer.