Are you or someone you know facing change and transitioning as a single adult? If you have ever gone through a life-altering change, you know the resulting transition can be difficult. Were you married or in a relationship with a trusted partner at the time or were you able to rely on a network of family and friends to soften the emotional impact of change? If not, you probably experienced a more difficult landing than others who have these supportive relationships.
A single person—either divorced, unmarried, or widowed—may often be without a trusted confidant. Friends, family, and co-workers are busy with their own lives and may be unavailable for long periods of time, and time is what is required for difficult transitions. Transitioning as a single adult exposes why it’s so crucial to develop a variety of different relationships and supports. However, this is also important for those who are in relationships or are married.
I speak from experience. I married at 40 years of age, after having gone through several changes and transitions as a single adult. I was fortunate to have a strong support system of family and friends to make my transitioning as a single adult easier. Unfortunately, many people—both single and married—don’t have this caring network for difficult times. Without support, transitions can feel even sadder and lonelier.
Sociologist Eric Klinenberg, in his book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, studied the shift to a single demographic. Since the 1950s, the number of single adults living alone has risen from 4 million to over 31 million, an increase from 22% to over 50% of adults in America.
Each of these people—and you—need a support system. This is especially true for times of change and transition. Will you be that someone for a friend or loved one? Who will you choose to be that someone for you?