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Theoretical Explanation Of Singlehood As A Lifestyle

1438 words - 6 pages

Theoretical explanation of singlehood as a lifestyle
A person who is not in a romantic intimate relationship is considered to be single. “Unclaimed treasure”, “old maid” and “spinster” are terms that are used synonymously to refer to women who remain single throughout their lives Baumbusch (2004). There’s a number of ways in which singlehood can be viewed, some may see it a personal choice while others might believe that it’s a symptom of problematic attachment styles. The purpose of this paper is to discuss explanations for why people may adopt single lifestyles, to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of these explanations and to finally support why I believe singlehood is seldom a ...view middle of the document...

I wasn’t ready to commit” Baumbusch J. L. (2004) The strength of this explanation for singlehood is that a relationship that is founded on one or only two of the mentioned components stands the risk of not being successful but the weakness is that the theory is too simplistic, different phases in life might present a feeling of different kinds of love, an example would be the fact that couples who have been together for a long time might only experience companionate love, Coon and Mitterer (2010) and this doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t love each other and should choose to be single rather.
Another theory that can be used to explain singlehood is that of interpersonal attraction. “Interpersonal attraction refers to the evaluations we make of other people – the positive and negative attitudes we form about them” (Baron, Byrne and Branscombe, 2007, p209). As Kiguwa, P. & Pillay, N. (2011, p317) rightfully put it external determinants of attraction exists outside of the individual and can encourage or discourage liking between people. One always has people around at school, work, in the neighborhood and everywhere else that one chooses to go so the theory of proximity which states that attraction is more likely to develop between individuals who share/occupy the same physical space or context , Kiguwa, P. & Pillay, N. (2011, p. 319) cannot be used to explain singlehood. Physical attractiveness on the other hand can definitely be the reason some people might want to be single. Research shows that both males and females express the importance or significance of physical attractiveness when choosing a partner in romantic relationship. Weiten (2007) in Kiguwa, P. & Pillay, N. (2011, p. 319) . A person who is not considered by many people to be physically attractive or who is culturally not considered beautiful, for example, in some cultures thicker, more full lips are considered beautiful whereas other cultures regard thin lips as attractive. Kiguwa, P. & Pillay, N. (2011, p. 319) might find it difficult to find a partner, this would obviously affect their confidence as well and this persons might end up choosing to focus on other aspects of their lives like their careers. This explanation of singlehood is not the best one due to the fact that beauty is relative as it has always been said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. However, as previously indicated, people have reported how important this physical attraction is to their choice of a partner so it is good to note that this might contribute to one’s choice to live a life of singlehood. The last point on the theory of interpersonal attraction is that a lot of people have found themselves in relationships where the person that they love doesn’t feel the same way about them, this is the reciprocity effect and it can definitely contribute to a decision to remain single.
Based on the work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (1973; 1978), Attachment styles are formed...

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