Sex & The City Column: Single in America


Enjoying the View from Singlehood

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my extra hour of sleep this Sunday, I got up at 9 a.m. to watch CBS Sunday Morning.  Nestled among the stories about Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas and Florence & The Machines’ music was a story about ‘Sleepless In America’.  Statistically, happily married couples get better sleep than unhappily married couples or un-partnered people.  Did I hear that right?  For the chronically single people, like myself, this is jut another straw on the camel’s back.  Single people have a higher risk for … everything.  We live shorter lives, we have more stress, we get less sleep and we are more likely to get cancer.  Is that not depressing?

Does the single life have absolutely  no redeeming quality?  Of course not.  I do what I want when I want, and I never have to apologize to myself. There is a freedom with being single that even happily married couples occasionally envy, rather they want to admit it or not.  There is already enough propaganda for the couple-life, between capitalist holidays like Valentine’s Day and annoying jewelry commercials around Christmas time.  If all the peer pressure to find “The One” wasn’t pervasive enough, now there are health statistics to scare the 96.6 million single adults over the age of 18, as of 2009 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Of this 43 percent of the single adults in America, 53 percent are women.

Take a moment and breathe.  I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with being single.  Do not cave into the pressure.  I’d like to believe that there is a match for everyone out there, but that doesn’t mean we will ever meet that person.  All the chick-flicks from my many years of consumption as a single adult have instilled an overly romanticized notion of “The One”, but like the women from Sex & The City, finding your happily ever after is no easy task.

Here are some more statistics: 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.

While the happily married couples may seem to have it all on paper, I’m here to say that if you are single, you are not alone.  Despite the media’s inundated images of coupledom, almost half of American’s population is single with you.  We are still with figuring out ourselves.  We are testing the waters to find what will work best for us so that our first marriage is our last.  We are enjoying girls nights and bro time because friendships will stay while girlfriends and boyfriends will pass through our lives.

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