When I was a little girl and I pictured myself all grown up, I imagined living in a house. I imagined taking awesome trips with my awesome husband and working at an awesome job and having a ton of money.
All this happily-ever-after would occur, of course, once I got hitched.
And Id get hitched right after college because thats when you started your adult life.
Sometime during senior year of college, when I looked at the very near future, and I imagined getting married, the reaction changed.
So I promptly ditched the long-term boyfriend, graduated, started a job and, after a year of living with Mom and Dad so I could save some money, moved into my first one-bedroom apartment.
Seven years and one new state/job/apartment later, Im still a single gal living alone.
Not only is it all by design, but according to at least one sociologist, it makes me just like a whole bunch of other people (so much for originality). Donna Holland, a sociology professor at IPFW, says about 20 percent to 25 percent of households are made up of people living alone.
Now, there have always been single-person households. The difference is the increase in number of them.
It used to be, like in the 40s, certainly less than 10 percent of households were individuals living alone, Holland says. It might have been lower than 5 percent.
But there are several statistical reasons why the number of people living alone has increased:
People are opting out of marriage or delaying it. I turn 29 this month. I could have been married at this point, but that would also mean I would have likely been divorced at this point. Our society no longer pushes you to say I do, so I didnt. If it was 1943, I probably would have. And Id probably be unhappy.
People are having children later in life. Or in my case, not at all. If you find yourself not wanting children, that biological clock that usually ticks Get. Hitched. Get. Hitched. Pro. Create. Pro. Create is pretty silent.
People are focusing more on their careers. When I had that Oh my gosh, Ive been looking at things all wrong! revelation senior year of college, there were many reasons for it. One of the biggies? I wanted the freedom to move around where my job or fancy should take me. I never anticipated staying at my first job for very long (that I remained three years still baffles me), and I knew if and when it came time to move, it would be much harder to do so if I had an other who also had to find a job.
As I type that out, I recognize how egotistical it sounds, but it was what I wanted and what I needed.
Despite the fact that so many more people are living alone today than in previous decades, I still recognize my household (apartmenthold?) as a minority. The majority of my friends live with their other. Im sure I will too, eventually.
In the meantime? I get my queen bed all to myself.