Why Is Everyone Still Single?
Dr. Ruth's Opinion

The media is filled with articles about all the singles in America today -- 90 million of them according to CBS News. Why so many right now? There are several factors, some of which originated back in the '60s when the birth control pill was born. A little later came the mass entry of women into the workforce, giving them financial control over their lives so they no longer had to put up with a man just because he was a wage earner. And now we have shows like Sex and the City that glamorize the single life. But to my way of thinking, the "why" is not important. What is important, if you are single, is that because there are so many more singles out there, in every age group, that means there are also so many more chances for a single person to find a partner.

There was a time when being an old maid was pretty much a life sentence. And a divorcee wasn't such a hot catch either. But now people care much less about your past, and this new attitude frees people to choose any other single person to date rather than just those in the small pool of individuals who were once considered to be a good catch.

Of course, another big change that's taken place is that single people often engage in sex before they're really a couple, not to mention engaged or married. This makes it harder to solidify some relationships, because when people who are only interested in sex are in the mix, those looking for a relationship have a more difficult time finding true love. And with sexually transmitted diseases out there in epidemic numbers, that adds another level of danger.

My advice to single people -- and that includes me, as I've been a widow since 1995 -- is to have fun. If you look at dating as a chore, then you'll end up feeling that you wasted a lot of evenings. But if you make sure that the activity of the date, be it a meal at a restaurant you always wanted to try or a film you really wanted to see, holds your interest, it becomes less important whether or not your date turns into your dream lover. And what if you don't have a date? Then go out anyway, because you'll never meet anyone sitting at home watching television.

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