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Single By Choice


Being single from an age on was not far ago something you could easily called a social stigma, a deviation from the usual norm, something capable of raising eyebrows and triggering gossip. But times are changing are the dynamics of families and other social relations are trying to keep up the pace with careers becoming a more important part of one’s life. The role of women in society, shifting from full-time mothers to full-time employees, had also determined relationship to follow different patterns.

Creating a new family and raising kids is no longer the recipe for a successful and rewarding life everyone should follow. Some feel more accomplished by pursuing a well-elaborated career, by travelling around the world or simply living each day like it’s the last. Whatever the case may be, marriage is not always compatible with such a lifestyle, so many people are single by choice.

There is a misconception that those single by choice are also introverts and solitary wonderers, fearing the light of other eyes. This is simply not true, although there are some hermits living amongst us. Single persons found themselves in this position because they share a different trigger. For some of them, marriage becomes another set of shackles imposed by society and reducing their freedom. Some partial truth resides in this way of seeing things. Starting a family is certainly more than putting a ring on a finger. When the honey moon ends it’s time to think about a house, kids, debt, relatives and all the duties each days brings with it. You enter a trench that carries you through the years and you could do few things to change course. On the other side, a family is the best investment for the far future, when you will be less powerful and fully dependent. But those single by choice are usually not the people to look too far in the future.

Brilliance can reside in some people who are single by choice. They need extended freedom of movement in order to nurture and grow the big ideas that reside inside them. Many inventors, writers and artist have produced their finest work while in isolation from others. Exiting the social context puts things in a new light. When conventions and the fear of being constantly validated by those around are left aside some let their true self run free. Choosing to be left alone is not a thing that society is able to understand and easily accept. There is always the suspicion that something is wrong and should be mended. We are after all a social species and the individual that goes the other way threatens the cohesion and power of the group, by giving an example that could be later followed by others.

Claiming to be single by choice is considered by most a lie. In our minds, those single were either rejected way to often or simply didn’t had the courage to try a relationship. Standing behind the story is even harder for women. Up until now, a single woman reaching her midlife without a husband or kids was the perfect example for failure. A man in the same position is always considered a more social acceptable situation. As women are rapidly becoming the equals of men, the story of a strong, independent and single woman is no longer a drama, but tends to become a success story. Free from duties, self reliant and not caring about what others say, women single by choice are the spearhead of feminism.

Being single can be defined in many ways. The most common meaning refers to someone who is not married. The extended meaning refers to someone who is not in a relationship. Whatever the case, being single does not exclude intimacy and other forms of social interactions but implies a fear to make long term commitments. A few good questions arise from this way of looking at things. Is it better to stay single or to exit a marriage? Is marriage losing more and more terrain to other forms of partnership? Should we develop a new set of optics regarding human relationship and admit the social environment is changing at a pace few predicted?

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