The number of U.S. citizens who never take on a spouse is rising, according to researchers from the Pew Research Center in an article titled "Barely Half of U.S. Adults Are Married -- A Record Low.” There are various reasons why you and many others might have skipped out on marriage. Perhaps you never met Mr. or Miss Right, or perhaps you have but still simply have no desire to settle down. With divorce rates also increasing, you might fear you’ll end up joining the growing number of divorced Americans. Whatever your reason for remaining unwed, you can still find plenty of happiness while indulging in the single life.
Focus on Work
Whether you're in a relationship or single, an active work life gives you a sense of worth and independence, says sociologist E. Kay Trimberger in Jillian Straus' "Psychology Today" article "Lone Stars: Being Single." However, for singles, a satisfying work life can be especially useful. While you might not have a romantic relationship to contribute your efforts toward, you can feel as if you're contributing to society as a whole through your career. Allow your work to help you build a sense of identity and a feeling of achievement, but don’t go overboard with your weekly hours in the office.
Cultivate a Social Life
While marriage can cause you to spend less time with friends or limit your emotional connections with friends of the opposite sex, as a single, you are free to get as close to friends as you want. Have nights out with guys. Go shopping with the girls. Develop an extensive network of friends, ranging from single friends to married individuals and even younger individuals you can mentor. In Straus' article, clinical psychologist Ellen McGrath notes that single individuals tend to have more adventurous sex lives, so don’t be afraid to take care of your own physical desires as well, but always play it safe.
Call a Place Home
Owning a home isn't just a goal for married couples. In fact, having a place of your own can help you build a sense of independence as a single, suggests Trimberger. This is especially true for single women. They are the leading group of home buyers, following married couples, notes Trimberger. Owning a home also gives you a chance to invite friends and family over, boosting your social life.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Loneliness
Loneliness is, unfortunately, bound to rear its head every so often. When it does, take care of yourself and resist the temptation of poor lifestyle habits. For example, don't drink alcohol alone too often, turn to unauthorized medications or allow television and other media to take the place of your social life, says Ben Martin, who has a doctorate in psychology, in the PsychCentral.com article "Being Alone Without Being Lonely."
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Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.
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