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Once upon a time in America, marriage was the norm for adults.
But now, for the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking these numbers in 1976, there are more single Americans than people who are married. About 50.2 percent — or 124.6 million American adults — are single. Singles have taken over — despite the rise of online dating.
“It’s actually probably easier to meet people now than ever before, if you think about all of the incredible technologies we have to connect,” says Eric Klinenberg, a sociology professor at New York University and the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.
“But one big issue is people today are really looking for their soul mate," he says, "and they’re not going to compromise.” In addition to holding out for a soul mate, Klinenberg says many people aren’t settling down with someone because of society’s changing culture.
“Living alone gives you a chance to kind of get back on your feet and figure out who you are and what you want in your next relationship, so you can make a stronger return to social life,” he says.
Some may argue that those choosing to be single prefer solitude for narcissistic reasons, like an inability to share and unite.