It’s no secret that dating is hard, especially in the digital age. While some people are searching for the one, the current generation is taking control of being single. This is explored in the book Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living. The book investigates how singles nurture social networks, create innovative communities, and effectively deal with the pressure to marry. YEM spoke with author Elyakim Kislev about the book, relationships, and what it means to live the single life.
Young Entertainment Mag: Your book Happy Singlehood takes a look at modern day singles. How have you seen relationships change overtime?
Elyakim Kislev: Single are the fastest-growing demographic and many do not want to commit anymore. I detail the major reasons for this rising trend in my book, but in essence, we are more mobile today in search for opportunity and economic mobility and we don’t want to be tied down, we want more privacy and time to develop ourselves, we, especially women, are more independent and educated, and we don’t need others to support us, and finally, we are less conformist and traditionalist, so we need to be convinced that marriage is good for us and, after marrying, that we should hold on to marriage, especially if we see the dire consequences of unhappy marriage all around us.
YEM: Do you think the popularity of social media has helped relationships or hurt them?
Elyakim: It’s a great question and researchers are still debating this issue. I can only say that social media expose more of what we want and unearth our nature as humans. In other words, I’m not surprised by people wanting to network with each other via social media, and craving more wide-networks instead of intimate relationship. We are what we are and social media only facilitate this.
YEM: Do you think being single is becoming more accepted among society?
Elyakim: Yes, but it’s a slow process. Being married is on the decline, but it doesn’t mean people accept singlehood. We see “bubbles” of single people in big cities like New York, LA, and Chicago. But, overall, society still expect everyone to have “someone” even if it’s not appealing to them at the moment or they need their time to be alone.
YEM: What advice would you give people that are single and think that is a poor reflection on themselves?
Elyakim: Seek a “single-friendly” environment right away! We don’t think of safe spaces as relevant to single people, but they are very much pertinent to this population. Many times, singles judge themselves negatively because society push them to do so. If they were alone, they world have been much more relaxed about their situation. So I have many advices in my book, but if you ask me to extract one, then it would be – reach out to single friends, watch films and read books about single people, look for alternatives, and surround yourself with other possibilities besides traditional Disney love-stories.
YEM: Can people that have been in long term relationships learn something from reading your book as well?
Elyakim: Absolutely. Maybe even more than single people. Those in a relationship need to find their “single space” and learn to enjoy it. In fact, many bad decisions regarding relationships are starting from being intimidated by being alone. Felling comfortable with having your own time and space will make you more relaxed with your partner, focusing on what you really enjoy doing with them, instead of focusing and how much you are “together” and making sure they won’t abandon you.
YEM: Our readers are young adults, so they may be quite away from marriage. What do you think is the most important thing for young people to remember when entering the dating scene?
Elyakim: Learn to be comfortable with yourself, and be happy with your singlehood alongside your dates. It is very easy to rush into commitment just because you are afraid of being alone. We all need to relax and be casual with every relationship status we are at. It’s amazing, but research shows that a major reason for going back to exes and rushing up marriage commitments is simply the threat of being alone. It’s really time for us to think about the joy in being alone and learn to accept that status alongside other relationship situations.
To purchase Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living, visit https://www.happysinglehood.com/the-book.