Why 43 Percent of Americans Are Single

August 20, 2010  |  

Dating experts rejoice! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 96 million people in the United States who have no spouse. That means 43 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 are single.

Professionals who specialize in hooking up the unattached could exploit those heavy numbers, since many of the single boys and gals who just read them are likely panicking at the computer screen, with their mouths agape.

But, are the stats really all that surprising?

First of all, we live in a culture of individuality and singularity. We’ve constructed our society in ways that train us to think as a singular unit, free of dependency from an other.

Consider the very technology with which we surround ourselves. Steve Jobs’ Apple brand, for example, is the biggest purveyor of living single, i.e. maintaing a lifestyle focused on “I.”

He markets the iPhone, the iMac, the iPod, and the “i” everything, so successfully that his products have become part of our collective psyche. We’re always looking out for the next “i.” And, of course, the “i” trumps the “we” because “i” is so unique and so special and so important, that it’s best not to disturb it for the mere accommodation of “we.”

Second of all, if the ubiquitous world of “i” isn’t a sign that we celebrate and perpetuate singlehood, consider the crop of men who have been raised in these past few generations to lose sight of what “manhood” is. Many of them have accepted the idea that it’s okay to create a child with a woman and leave her to raise the child alone.

Perhaps, these men assume that taking a leadership position in the household is something that neanderthals created for fun, and that, thanks to feminism, women can stomach having a child (pun intended), grooming the child, working a 9-to-5 job to cover the child’s expenses and serving as a New Age superhero single mom. But, this assumption is breeding resentment among women and translating into viral statements like: “I don’t need a man; I can raise my kids all by myself.”

Being single in and of itself is not a bad thing, nor is being independent. But, as you can see from the above examples, we live a world in which men and women endure polarity and chasm.

Eventually, both will need to come together–and heal.

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