In today’s world where women want fulfilling careers, and need to get the education to get those careers, it leaves a lot of ambitious, young women without a steady boyfriend. This flies in the face of convention. Young women bemoan all the time getting the question, “Why are you single?” Oftentimes this is seen as a misplaced compliment. But why? Does a woman have to be attached in today’s world to be fulfilled as a human being? The 2012 census taught us that 53.6% of adult women in the U.S. aren’t married. Single women are the biggest groups buying homes today according to the National Association of Realtors. Yet, there is still this pressure for young women to be in a relationship. So what makes women distressed about being single? Even when their lives are completely and utterly satisfying elsewhere, women feel bad about being single. So why so much focus on romantic relationships? Studies have shown that platonic relationships also give contentment and joy. The Harvard Grant Study, the longest longitudinal study in history, followed 268 male graduates for 75 years. They found that happiness came from having good relationships, but not necessarily romantic ones.
According to Harvard Psychiatrist George Vaillant, as he told The Huffington Post about his research, “The more areas in your life you can make connections, the better.” Strengthening your friendships can be very rewarding. One study showed that women with advanced support networks lived happier, healthier lives. According to Dr. Bella DePaulo, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, as she told The Huffington Post, “What people sometimes overlook when they say ‘If you’re single, you’re alone’ is the possibility that if you’re single, you may have friendships that you pay a lot of attention to. In fact, you might have more support than someone who gets married and only pays attention to their spouse and puts all of their friends on the back burner.” Another important aspect is to focus on what you want in life. Organize your priorities. It’s a whole new world for women and the environment just keeps getting better. Women will hopefully soon be earning as much as men. We may see another woman candidate, possibly president in the next presidential election. Though polls have shown that women aren’t as happy as they were in the 1970’s, the world has changed. But women’s outlooks have to change too to embrace all of the possibilities the world now has to offer. Decades ago a woman who was single and 28 years old was considered a spinster. Now she’s just focusing on her career. To learn more, pick up a copy of Singled Out by Dr. Bella DePaulo.