Part One — To Marry or Not to Marry?
All The Single Ladies is the title of a well-known Beyonce song. It is also the title of an article written by Kate Bolick in the November issue of the Atlantic. I loved the piece. Bolick talks about the history of being single both nationally and internationally. She also talks about why fewer women are married now than in previous generations. The biggest factor is economic. Women currently are more educated and make more money, so Bolick states that the pool of marriageable men has shrunk. “A 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women actually earned 8 percent more than men. Women are also more likely than men to go to college: in 2010, 55 percent of all college graduates ages 25 to 29 were female.” Bolick explores how this affects women of all ages, from those on college campuses to an older single woman living in a specialized singles facility in the Netherlands. More women now decide not to marry rather than marrying someone that they don’t feel is a good fit.
The Census Bureau has reported in 2010 that the proportion of married households in America dropped to a record low of 48 percent. Fifty percent of the adult population is single (compared with 33 percent in 1950), and that portion is very likely to keep growing given the variety of factors that contribute to it. So why not embrace singleness? I think this is Bolick’s intent. She talks about her own elaborate and thriving support group of single friends. I love the idea of embracing where you are in your life and feeling good about it. Most people have lives that are not exactly what they imagined, but as a therapist I help people to sort out what they want in their lives and work to feel comfortable with the choices they have made. The African Proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child. “ I think it takes a village to support an adult too.