Fear of loneliness is one of the biggest factors that prevents unhappily married people from moving on with their lives and taking the big plunge – divorce. Though I don’t advocate divorce as a cure all for unhappiness (especially when there are children involved), it is sometimes the right thing to do. When that is the case, fear of loneliness need not prevent you from doing so. Don’t take my word for it, though. Taking the plunge into solo living is supported by the first fully researched book that I am aware of on this topic, by Eric Klinenburg, an NYU Sociology Professor.
Prof. Klinenberg has done extensive research into the US’s exploding single population and, despite what many people believe, he has found that being single is often much sweeter than expected. In his book, “Going Solo”, Prof. Klinenberg implodes the myths of the sad and lonely spinster, the lost middle aged divorcé and the loveless widow and widower. After all, with one in seven adults in the US living the single life, could that many people possibly be miserable? “No”, says Prof. Klinenberg, as he explores “how solo living is exploding and becoming less stigmatized, how it’s a privilege as well as a liability and how, at certain points in our modern lives, living alone may very well be the more desirable state.” (Quote from the New York Times interview of Prof. Klinenberg “America: Single and Loving It” (2/10/12))