Happy National Unmarried & Single Americans Week! Now What Is That?
This week, we're celebrating those who are ridin' solo.
Ramblin' Man, Single Ladies, It's My Life—whatever your singles song choice, this is the week to turn it up. September 16th through the 22nd marks an important period for the unmarried and unattached—it's National Singles Week!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, National Singles Week was started in the 1980s by an organization called the Buckeye Singles Council. Their goal? To celebrate the single life. The period is now observed during the third week of September and has since been renamed Unmarried and Single Americans Week. Some Americans don't identify with "single," as they're parents, have long-term partners or are widowed. So the week now encompasses the single and unmarried alike.
At any rate, in honor of this week, here are a few interesting facts about Single Americans...
As of 2011, 102 million adults in the United States are unmarried. That's about 44 percent of all adult residents, meaning roughly half of the American population is single.
Of those unmarried folks, 53 percent are women, and 47 percent are men. Interestingly, for every 100 unmarried ladies in the U.S., there are about 89 unmarried guys.
The Heart Beat talked to Sherri Langburt, founder of SingleEdition.com, a website that serves as a forum for singles.
"There are few resources available that address all aspects of single life," Langburt told us. " Single Edition was launched to help individuals navigate through every facet of life from money and career to travel, cooking and health. While we offer dating tips and advice, our focus is much more holistic because we know that too often, singles encounter circumstances where they are marginalized simply because they do not conform to what is perceived as the societal norm."
One might say that Langburt is an expert on the single life. With that in mind, I asked for her advice regarding one of singles' top complaints—marriage pressure from parents.
"Singles should be proactive rather than reactive when dealing with anyone who comments or interferes on their relationship status," Langburt advises. "Let those around you be witness to the fact that you lead a complete, rich and fulfilling life and there will be less cause for concern or criticism or commentary."
When it comes to living alone, some sing its praises. After all, 33 million Americans reside solo—that's 28 percent of all households. The numbers have jumped from 17 percent in 1970, so there must be something to a solitary life.
But not every unattached American is thrilled with their status. So what advice does Langburt have for those sick of being single?
"Redefine your definition of family, and built a network of people who become your chosen relatives with whom you can travel, spend holidays and count on without focusing entirely on dating and finding a mate," Langburt says.
And one final thought:
"Keep in mind too that married or single, every person has challenges. Being in a relationship does not fix your life."
Photo: Tom Merton/Getty Images
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