Photo: Getty Images
By Steven Zangrillo
If questions about your singledom are still echoing in your head from your last family visit and you feel down about your relationship status, this is the year to make a change. That doesn't mean going out and finding the first online suitor you fancy or tying the knot in Vegas with someone you just met. Instead, make a resolution to yourself and celebrate the positive aspects of flying solo.
Can't think of anything but the negative? Well, soak it up, because despite what others tell you, there are many reasons to celebrate. If you need some help with your list, here is a jump start so you can start smiling about being stag:
1. Singles are the Majority: What makes being unhitched exciting this year is that singles now account for a majority of households in the United States. Yes, it's true. According to a recent Census Bureau report, married people have dropped below half of households, to 48% and only a fifth makeup a traditional family which consists of a married couple with children. So, when your Aunt Ida says, "You need to settle down and get married," you can let her know that the times are a-changing.
Related: Career and Motherhood: Can Women Do It All?
2. Singles are just as Happy as Married Couples: The holidays are an evocative time and people often engage in self-evaluative thinking. You measure where you are in your life professionally, socially and romantically. While the "single" stereotypes call for the image of a forlorn, lost, puppy-dog with no one to love, reality would suggest otherwise. As the marriage rate in our country dips below 50 percent, there has been a consequential growth in the single-and-happy demographic. A recent study in Psychology Today analyzed by Dr. Bella DePaulo found that being in a marriage with financial and social support does not necessarily denote consequential happiness. Whether married or single, having a strong support network is the key to quality of life.
3. Singles Have More Options and Don't Need Permission: Discussions and arguments about equally sharing the weight in finances, parenting, and other mutual obligations is a moot point for singles. It's one less stress to consider. Plus, you have the freedom to travel, make career changes and move to a new state or country without answering to anyone about your decision. You haven't merged your life with a partner, so you still have the opportunity to enrich yours in a way that is unique to being single.
Related: When Friends Have Babies and You Have Your Career
While others lament your romantic misfortune, you should consider the perks. Aside from the aforementioned financial and emotional benefits, you have the advantage of spontaneity. So, if you were looking to book a holiday getaway - do it. It can be less expensive to travel solo and you can set your own budget. Even if you overspend, you won't have to listen to someone else's ranting and raving about it.
4. Take care of yourself: The most important reason to celebrate is that right now, you can completely focus on y-o-u. Spend this time to grow into a person of strength and dignity that is willing to be part of a team. Maybe you aren't in a relationship because you aren't ready. Self-awareness about where you are in life and if you're available emotionally to be with someone else is important.
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate being single this year. And, if you do it the more open you'll be for someone to come into your life. This is a great time to explore yourself, your needs and better yourself for finding a potential match in the future. Everything is relative, after all.