Are you single and you don’t feel like you want to go on a date? You are not alone in that line of thinking.
There was a time when being single meant being on the prowl for that special someone. People had a date lined up every weekend in hopes that someone would sweep them off their feet. It was normal, and maybe even expected that a single person was looking to pair up with someone.
Those days may be over. As more people feel enlightened and motivated to achieve great things in life, they are finding it less important to have a partner. Suddenly, being single is as accepted as being in a relationship. No one even thinks twice about being single for an extended period anymore. It seems Cupid might be out of a job soon.
In a recent study, some light was shed on why many people are sticking with the single life. It seems that recent social trends and technology are making it harder to date. It’s resulting in single people not wanting to go on dates at all.
The Study Done by Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center conducted the study in October of 2019. There were 4,860 participants in the survey, randomly selected across the United States. While participants were selected via phone and mail, the survey was conducted online. Participants were selected from various backgrounds based on age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and political party.
The study involved several questions about dating, which makes dating harder, and their dating preferences. Some of the results were as expected, while others were quite surprising. The dating scene has completely evolved over the last few decades.
Factors That Make Dating Harder These Days
Around half of the participants indicated that dating had gotten harder in the last decade. This was true for men and women, but more women indicated that it’s harder than men. That’s part of why online dating has become so popular – it takes some of the pressure off of trying to find people to date.
One of the biggest factors that make dating harder these days is the #MeToo movement. The study indicated that around 65 percent of men don’t know how to behave on dates with women in the era of #MeToo. The problem is that women vary so much across the board with what is acceptable, and men have no clue what to do or how to go about doing it.
Another factor that makes dating harder is trying to find someone who is looking for the same type of relationship. Over 50 percent of participants indicated that this factor is a problem. People define relationships differently, and they have different approaches to beginning one.
Trying to date someone who does not indicate wanting to take the relationship to the next level can be frustrating. That is why it’s important to discuss where the relationship is going early in the process, so no one’s time is wasted. Unfortunately, that’s where many potential relationships end, and then you have to start over with the dating process.
Navigating Differences Can Be a Challenge When Dating
While most participants who were actively looking to date were okay dating people of different races, many other criteria were dealbreakers. Since people are so different from each other, this can make dating a challenge as you come across qualities that you absolutely will not deal with. In many cases, that is why the relationship never moves forward.
Location and finances were a big deal for survey participants. When asked if they would do a long-distance relationship, the response was about half and half. The same went for the question of dating someone with a significant amount of debt. Most participants, 97 percent, would date someone who made significantly more money than they did, while 86 percent would date someone who made significantly less.
It’s okay to have standards. However, being too picky might cause a person to miss out on someone who would make a great partner. If people could learn to compromise a little more, they may find dating a bit easier.
Why Singles Are Less Inclined to Date These Days
The study indicated that half of the participants were not looking for a committed relationship right now. When half of the available people are not looking, this can put a big dent in the dating game. You must go into the game knowing that one out of every two dates isn’t going to turn into anything. Those are tough odds.
The reasons that singles aren’t looking to date are interesting. Societal norms have changed from what they used to be, so being attached is no longer a priority. In fact, every year, the number of single people in the United States increases. However, it’s not just an American problem. Globally, the marriage rate decreases every year in many countries.
One of the biggest reasons people opt to stay single is that research into being single reveals more ways that single people are happier. No one wants drama in their lives, so it makes sense that scientific research proving the happiness of single life is affecting people’s opinions on relationships.
One of the big things that research reveals is that single people like being able to do what they want to do without compromise. Dr. Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., social psychologist, and author, stated the following:
“A happy life, a good life, is not just about love, not even the most expansive kinds. We humans also crave autonomy and mastering and purpose and meaning. Single people have that autonomy. They are in charge of their own lives.”
As people work harder and harder to achieve goals, especially career goals, it’s easier to maneuver in the ways they need to. If they need to move to a new city for a promotion, they can do it. If they want to make a major purchase, they don’t have to consult anyone else before deciding.
In the previous section, autonomy was discussed. However, there are plenty of other reasons that single life has become so attractive to such a large chunk of the population. Here are two popular reasons people are staying single.
They Are Content with Friends and Family
Society tends to push dating and marriage so hard because being single means being lonely and unhappy somewhere along the line. This could not be further from the truth.
In a study published in the “Journal of Social and Personal Relationships” in 2015, it was shown that single people have more of a social life than married people. They spend more time with their friends and family and feel less isolated. Dr. DePaulo said that single people tend to keep in touch with distant relatives more than people in a relationship or marriage.
They Feel Disappointed by Past Relationships
Sometimes people are so scarred by their past that they have no desire to be in a relationship. This can be good and bad. It’s good because they want to focus on themselves and find their happiness again. It’s bad because they’re essentially making future partners pay for the mistakes of past partners.
In this case, they recognize that they are not ready to be in another relationship. Depending on how bad the past relationship was, they may not ever be ready for another relationship. At least this way, they are not leading a person on only to let them down later.
The research done by the Pew Research Center researchers is interesting, but not exactly surprising. We live in an age where people tend to be in their own little bubble. The way the world is set up, you really do not have to interact with people very much to get through life.
Technology is playing a role in why people want to remain single. We have never been more connected, but somehow we’re all still so far apart from each other. It’s becoming the norm, and dating simply isn’t evolving fast enough to match technology. Sure, there is online dating, but most online daters never actually meet in person.
Everything changes eventually, so there is a possibility that dating will become as integral as it once was. For now, being single is the trend.