Relationships 2005 part II : Single Life
Single people are having a good life. It's so good that two thirds are actively choosing their single status. That's a central finding of a nationwide survey by counselling agency Relationships Aotearoa.
'The results are very positive, and perhaps a little surprising especially if you haven't been single in some time ' said Relationships Aotearoa Chief Executive Jeff Sanders. ' People are having a much better time being single than some old ideas suggest".
'Single people appreciate having choices, and they enjoy the control they have over their own lives ' he said.
The on-line survey of 1,000 New Zealanders, conducted by ACNielsen included 384 single people. The participants were interviewed about their relationships with family, friends, children and partners as well as their experiences of single life.
Some key findings of the survey include:
Seven in 10 single people are satisfied with their lives overall. Their relationships with friends and family contribute to this satisfaction.
Two out of three singles have made an active choice to be single. It's an option that people over forty are more likely to choose.
People have many reasons for being single. The most common reason is not having met a suitable person (63%). Almost 1 in 2 (44%) simply enjoy being single. Being single is preferable to being in an unsatisfying relationship.
A significant number of the reasons given for being single relate to people having priorities other than a partner relationship (eg study, parenting, career).
Single people enjoy choice and control over their own lives. They value time and space to themselves, and managing their own finances. Choosing work, activities and friends that suit them is also a positive aspect of their single status.
Women enjoy every positive aspect of being single more than men. The good things about being single may appeal more to women than men (eg time to myself, control my own finances). These are things women may be less likely than men to have while in partner relationships.
1 in 2 single people are less sexually active than they would like. This is the most significant downside of being single. It is significantly more of an issue for men (6 in 10), than for women (4 in 10). Single people also miss the sense of loyalty, priority and sharing that couples identify as so important. However, only 8% identify loneliness as a problem.
Maintaining friendships, enjoying your own company and taking care of yourself are some of the effective strategies to enjoy a single life. Taking the initiative to organise events and activities that you want to be part of is also a strategy single people find useful.
Single women are more active than single men in managing their life so that they enjoy it. The main strategy men use is developing new friendships, perhaps looking for a new partner.
Mr Sanders said the survey provides information about how people can have a satisfying life on their own.
' Being satisfied and single takes a bit of attitude. And lots of people have it" said Mr Sanders. 'We are keen to share the ideas with those single people looking for a bit of encouragement."
Download a copy of Relationships 2005, Part II : Single Life here.