Human societies, at all times and places, have organized themselves around the will to live with others, not alone. But not anymore. During the past half-century, our species has embarked on a remarkable social experiment. For the first time in human history, great numbers of people – at all ages, in all places, of every political persuasion – have begun settling down as singletons. Singletons are people who live alone; but they are neither lonely nor isolated. Living alone is what people choose to do it. It may be because of deep hurt, wrong partners or in extreme case-unsupportive family. This doesn’t mean that soloists are always on lookout for a partner. They don’t like it when other people (including other married couples, friends or relatives) talk about their singleton. ‘Singleton’ has now become a status, just like ‘married’ or ‘in a relationship’.
India, along with China and Brazil, has recorded the fastest growth of single person households. This is also similar in Sweden, US and UK and many other parts of the world. Numbers never tell the story, but in this case the statistics are startling, since the numbers are in millions. In the UK, 34% of households have one person living in them and in the US it's 27%.
In study, it is found that women handle living alone better because they outlive men. Men are more dependent on women, in so many ways that they don’t even realize. It is more difficult for a man to live alone than a woman because study reveals that women are stronger emotionally. Women can handle stress, depression, heart-break and sadness in much better ways. Men can live alone, but they don’t cherish these things; while women who choose to live solo are happier. Women enjoy mostly the independence that they get in being a singleton; while men are scared to go back to the “cave” where they live alone.
But despite the worldwide prevalence, living alone isn't really discussed, or understood. We aspire to get our own places as young adults, but fret about whether it's all right to stay that way, even if we enjoy it. We worry about friends and family members who haven't found the right match, even if they insist that they're OK on their own. We struggle to support elderly parents and grandparents who find themselves living alone after losing a spouse, but we are puzzled if they tell us they prefer to remain alone. In all of these situations, living alone is something that each person, or family, experiences as the most private of matters, when in fact it is an increasingly common condition. When there is a public debate about the rise of living alone, commentators present it as a sign of fragmentation. In fact, the reality of this great social experiment is far more interesting – and far less isolating – than these conversations would have us believe. The rise of living alone has been a transformative social experience. It changes the way we understand ourselves and our most intimate relationships. It shapes the way we build our cities and develop our economies.
The drives behind living alone are varied. The very first reason is that they can afford to live alone. Both men and women compete equally at work and earn money. There are no more dependencies on each other. It doesn’t matter unless they are financially strong. This is, in fact, the truth that if you’ve got money, you can survive as a single person.
Another driving force is the communications revolution, which has allowed people to experience the pleasures of social life even when they're living alone. And people are living longer than ever before – or, more specifically, because women often outlive their spouses by decades, rather than years – and so ageing alone has become an increasingly common experience.
In his article, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise And Surprising Appeal Of Living Alone, by Eric Kinenberg, says that, the rise of living alone could lead to any number of outcomes, from the decline of community to a more socially active citizenry, from rampant isolation to a more robust public life. He began his exploration of singleton societies with an eye for their most dangerous and disturbing features, including selfishness, loneliness and the horrors of getting sick or dying alone. He found some measure of all of these things. On balance, however, he came away convinced that the problems related to living alone should not define the condition, because the great majority of those who go solo have a more rich and varied experience. Sometimes they feel lonely, anxious and uncertain about whether they would be happier in another arrangement. But so do those who are married or live with others. The rise of living alone has produced significant social benefits, too. Young and middle-aged solos have helped to revitalize cities, because they are more likely to spend money, socialize and participate in public life.
Ultimately, it's too early to say how any particular society will respond to either the problems or the opportunities generated by this extraordinary social transformation. After all, our experiment with living alone is still in its earliest stages, and we are just beginning to understand how it affects our own lives, as well as those of our families, communities and cities.
The biggest disadvantage of living alone is that you have no one with whom you can share your happiness, sadness or any other feeling. You strive and work hard but only for you. Slowly there are no goals to work hard. Growing old alone is brutal….living a solo life is brutal.