In an interview with author Eric Klinenberg in Smithsonian Magazine, he answers questions relating to the research and writing of his book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. It’s primarily sociological, anthropological, and statistical analyses, but it can reveal something very personal and give hope to those striking out on their own.
While Klinenberg cites several reasons for the rise in single-living, a germane one to this conversation is that it’s no longer economically necessary for women to marry (or stay married). Salary equality is slowly becoming attainable, and the idea of being supported by a man is as antiquated as the notion that every woman wants to be a housewife. While there are plenty of concerns in getting divorced, don’t let the “will I be lonely?” one keep you from moving forward.
“In fact, people who live alone tend to spend more time socializing with friends and neighbors than people who are married. So one thing I learned is that living alone is not an entirely solitary experience. It’s generally a quite social one,” Klinenberg states. It’s more common to find single-person households in large cities because of the social opportunities inherent within. If your friends, work, and activities are all within a commutable area, it makes it much easier to find yourself out of your house and into your social life. Sometimes this might mean staying in your current location where you already have a support network, but if you do not, consider moving to an urban environment where living alone is more prevalent.
When you’re in an urban area, the opportunities for a single person seem to be much greater. There is a wealth of solo activities, such as world class museums, parks, and recreational classes. Your options for finding a salsa partner (and even learning how to dance the salsa!) are much better in a city than out in a rural environment. But if you’re content living more removed from society, don’t fret. The rise in technology means that it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with families and friends. Consider setting Skype dates with a best friend so you have a special time together to look forward to.
Just remember: the end of your marriage does not mean the end of your social life. You are still fabulous as a single.
Posted by Jane Baber, Mediation Assistant
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