Living alone in America is becoming the norm. There are now 32.7 million “solo dwellers,” according to sociologists. Women make up the larger group (17.2 million) to men (13.9 million). NYU Sociologist Eric Klinenberg says, “Women do a much better job when they’re living alone. They tend to make and maintain relationships much better than men throughout the life course, whereas for men it’s much more likely that they will wind up feeling lonely or unhappy or isolated.”
In Manhattan, nearly half of the urban dwellers live alone. What perhaps used to be something people didn’t openly discuss is now generally socially accepted. A now 39-year-old Manhattan solo dweller wrote a hugely popular piece about her alone bliss for the The Atlantic magazine that led to a book contract and TV series option. (That’s what we call “making it” in America.)
And to think that I was just listening to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” today on my iPod, but even Beyoncé doesn’t live alone anymore.
So what are the virtues and challenges of living alone? Do you think that women fare better than men? Does living alone mean lonely?