Counseling for Singles Issues in Madison, WI
We all know the composition of the “typical” American family is undergoing rapid change. So much so, in fact, that there is no such thing. One group that has seen significant growth in the last decade is singles. 45% of the adult population is now unmarried, divorced, or widowed. Of these, most are unmarried, comprising 63% of single adults. A significant number of those, a good 35 million, live alone by choice. But the largest number of unmarrieds — over half of them — are living with their parents. Among young adults — the 18-34 year olds, regardless of marital status - more live with their parents than on their own. This is generally attributed to economic pressures. Additionally, over 40% of women having children are unmarried, either cohabitating with a partner, living with family or friends, or alone.
So let’s dispense with any notion of “typical,” and focus on the fact that every life choice comes with its particular set of challenges and benefits. Every person in a partnership remembers at times how nice it is to be able to do exactly as you please without regard for anyone else; every person living alone has times of wishing for companionship. There are no right or wrong answers.
The questions that emerge from these different arrangements are myriad. Certainly, being a young adult in a parents’ home presents a special set of tensions and challenges. How can you set and maintain boundaries and expectations appropriate for adulthood? How can you live an independent life when your parents know all your comings and goings? How can you date when you live under their roof? What does it mean to have a child with someone you are not married to? Does that suggest different expectations? Will it affect the child?
It is perfectly possible to develop a full and satisfying life while remaining single, with or without a primary romantic relationship. The work is the same: find meaningful and satisfying things to do, seek out people we care about to spend time with, and develop and nurture a sense of purpose.
Whatever your particular circumstance, we encourage you to explore these questions with an open mind and heart, without judgement or assumptions, knowing there are as many different ways to solve the problem of how to live a good life as there are people in this world.