Have you ever looked in your entourage and realised that fifty percent of the people you know are single? No I’m not referring to any particular cases but just healthy good looking young professionals who are alone; have you ever noticed that?
Not so long ago; just a few decades before this one; people were getting married in their twenties. If you were a man and weren’t married before your twenty-fifth you were seen as a special case and if you were a woman and you were still single (by the way that word didn’t exist; they would call you an old spinster) you would be the talk of the town and all the bells would ring on you wondering how come you haven’t tied the knot yet. This was because it was an uncommon situation.
But what it is it that in our modern times, it is more and more common to be single than married and having a family? In my quest for the answer I give myself a test and went on a dating site. Firstly before a year ago; I’ve never realised how big the online dating market was. When I finely had the courage to make a profile and started putting myself out there by replying to messages and sending some myself. I realised that these uncommon dating platforms were full of great and decent men. I was expecting to find some “special” cases of over sexualised men (which I found one) but I was surprised cause most of the men on there were just the kind of men you would meet on a night out; and they were there looking for that one person with who to spend the rest of their lives with.
So I wondered how can this be; how come that the social market had changed in such a way that we all are still there but can no longer access each other in the same easy way as we used to? How did this barrier formed itself in our social lives?
Well, one theory would say that the men of the generation 2000 was one of the first generation of men who put their professional careers a head of their social needs. This was not only true for men but also for women. They saw how hard their parents had to work to have a decent life; (because their parents came from the generation that grew up after the war and had to rebuilt the economy from scratch cause they were the generation of very hard manual labour) so the generation that grew out of that decided that they wanted to make a career so that they wouldn’t have to beat themselves up like their parents did. So they created this first generation of people who were only focused on their careers and therefore neglected their social environment.
They were one of the first group who created the big baby boom of unmarried parents and out of that generation came the new generation ( the young people that we see nowadays) who themselves start to struggle in their personal relations cause they never saw it modeled in their divorced or unmarried parents.
Now these generations have grown up and have their careers going, a bank full of papers but no one to come home to. This wouldn’t be that much of a problem except the little fact that a human being is a social being. A man or woman needs someone to come home to; that one person to share the stress of your day with; that one person who knows all your flaws and still accept you the way you are. Everyone needs that; even those who doesn’t want to commit in a marital entity need that level of togetherness.
In my research I’ve seen how this can impact people on different levels and eventually goes on to affect their achievement level. Some may go on to give so much into their work to cover that emptiness of not having a social life outside of work and others aren’t able to achieve the required professional level because they don’t have the right social environment to balance it out.
I believe we have to look into this more seriously; we have to take the time to get that balance back in our communities. Although these are just the first generations who encounter these problems and that’s why we don’t see the big scale of the impact yet. I believe that as the years goes by, and there are more generations getting born in this unbalanced communities we will start to see not only the collapsing of social life but also the collapsing of our economies. Because eventually people won’t see the necessity of working hard to build up an economy if there is no social life to enjoy this economy with.