Singlism

Racism, sexism and now “singlism!”

Both men and women have increasingly felt discriminated against choosing to be single, to the point of seeking out relationships and marriage’s simply to fit into society.  Most people laugh when I bring this up outside of therapy but if you stop and think about it for a minute, when is it really “acceptable” in society to fly solo?  Society is designed around the concept of the couple.

Basic psychology would argue singlism and people choosing to live single is a fallacy. Our powerful tendency to idealize whatever life choices we have made.  Cognitive dissonance theory—argues that humans cannot tolerate the discomfort that comes from making an irreversible and regrettable choice. So are singles rationalizing their status?

Society’s matrimania however is a sign not of how secure we are about the place of marriage in our lives but how insecure. It’s kind of like the last gasp, trying so hard to persuade people that marriage is it, because it’s so obvious that more and more it’s not it. All evidenced by the appalling divorce rate.

How are singles discriminated against?

Discrimination against singles is written right into law. There are more than 1,100 federal laws that include legal marriage as a criterion for that law applying to you where the laws are usually about benefits, perks and privileges.  Culture and marketing in general portray singles as having one purpose in life: finding a way to be un-single. Another may be when marketers portray singles in demeaning and dismissive ways. And it seems like single men often get the worst of that.

Women also get judged and society often assumes they “must not be able to get a man, “ rather than thinking they may simply be independently successful in all aspects of life and choose not to lug around the baggage of a emotionally devoid relationship. Same goes for men.  As more people make the choice for being single, more available singles are there to associate with and build relationships with which certainly ease the loneliness that certainly can be an issue if other friends are typically married.

The bottom line is some singles rationalize their single status in secret hopes of living the seemingly delusional dream of a happy-ever-after marriage but I predict there will be a continued surge of proud singles who proudly adopt what appears to a successful option in the face of a harrowing divorce rate.