According to recent research, single people are the fastest growing demographic in many countries in the world. Adults are marrying later and getting divorced earlier, whilst attitudes towards marriage, relationships and the family are reshaping the ways in which many navigate their romantic lives. In his new book Happy Singlehood (2019), sociologist Elyakim Kislev traces the economic, geographic and cultural changes contributing to the rise of singlehood, and examines the challenges, stigma and rewards of solo living.
Happy Singlehood describes the rising acceptance and status of singlehood as a global phenomenon. What do you think are the social and cultural changes contributing to this?
I detail the major reasons for this rising trend in my book. But in essence, we are more mobile today in search for opportunity and economic mobility and we don’t want to be tied down; we want more privacy and time to develop ourselves; we, especially women, are more independent and educated, and we don’t need others to support us; and finally, we are less conformist and traditionalist, so we need to be convinced that marriage is good for us and, after marrying, that we should hold on to marriage, especially if we see the dire consequences of unhappy marriage all around us.