Individualism is on the rise, bringing with it a new set of values. Staying single is a natural evolution alongside job hopping, co-living, digital connection and a nomadic workforce in an age defined less and less by traditionalism and more by self-expression, independence and authenticity.
A report by global agency group Wunderman Thompson found that a total of 60% of people in the UK profess to love being single, with 53% saying they don’t prefer being attached. Moreover, a total of 72% say they are staying single by choice and even more (86%) say it gives them more freedom.
The Single Age report, by JWT Intelligence at Wunderman Thompson, is the most in-depth research on the attitudes and behaviour of this set yet – surveying an even split of over 3,000 single and married/ attached men and women in the UK, US and China. In the US, a total of 64% of people profess to love staying single, with 58% saying would not want to be attached, while in China, it was 73% and 50% respectively.
Dating is out
A large number of people in the UK, 31%, say they never go on dates, and 62% say they sometimes or rarely go on dates. When they do date, the 44% say they do so to meet new people. The survey shows the growing number of people around the world choosing to remain unmarried, becoming single after divorce or simply embracing singledom.
The research busts old myths and prejudices around singletons and in particular women, who are traditionally thought of as sad or desperate to be in a relationship. In the modern era, where one in four millennial people will remain unmarried for life, there’s a growing push to drop the Bridget Jones stereotypes and to celebrate, rather than pity, single people.
Staying single is good for financial freedom
The financial freedom that staying single brings appeals, with 84% of UK singles saying that making their own financial decisions is empowering and gives them confidence. Most (61%) like to spend their spare cash on treating themselves – compared to 43% of people in committed relationships. Meanwhile, 48% of attached people say that their relationship status would make it hard to quit their job, compared to 36% of soloists – which is perhaps explained by larger expenses for couples, like mortgages and children.
Report author, Worldwide Director of JWT Intelligence, Lucie Greene said: “We’re seeing a paradigm shift in what it means to experience adulthood uncoupled. Outdated assumptions are being challenged by this empowered, affluent group who are embracing single-hood for the joys and the freedoms it represents – rather than mourning it as a state in need of ‘completion’.
The trend of staying single generally sits within a wider trend in which life stages, family units, and personal networks are becoming more fluid and individual.