While it might seem that everyone's coupling up, not every woman wants to find a serious relationship or get married. Thirty-nine percent of Americans surveyed in 2008 felt that marriage is becoming obsolete, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center report. Whether a woman just hasn't found that right person, is fiercely independent or has no room in her life for someone else, the reasons why a woman would stay single are numerous and unique to each individual situation.
The low male-to-female ratio is a possible cause for women staying single, according a July 2012 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. When there is a scarcity of men, women may choose their careers or simply being single over fighting for one of the few "good ones."
While the low ratio of men in comparison to women may drive some females to choose a career over marriage, some women may still make this same decision regardless of the number of males who are available. Some women find the single life advantageous when focusing on advancing their jobs.
Been There, Done That
A woman who has already been married and divorced may feel that coupling isn't for her anymore, according to social psychologist Bella DePaulo in the article "10 Myths About Single People: Here Are the First 4" for Psychology Today. Whether she had a negative experience or simply realized that marriage isn't for her, a divorced -- or recently uncoupled -- woman may feel that staying single is the preferable road to travel.
She's Already Happy
There's no rule saying that a woman needs a partner in her life to feel fulfilled. Some women simply feel fulfilled independently. The idea that a woman needs a relationship to feel happy is a myth -- not a reality, according to DePaulo.
Having a romantic partner or a spouse isn't the only route to a relationship. Single women with enriching sibling and parent relationships may see no need for a spousal relationship.
Women don't necessary need a spouse -- or boyfriend -- to have a child. Thirty-five percent of women in the United States between ages 15 and 50 are single mothers, according to a 2011 Census Bureau report. Women who want a child, but not a husband, can still start a family.
Put Off by Players
If the majority of potential partners that a woman meets are players or just not suitable mates, the women may choose to stay single. In this case, being alone is preferable over being with someone who doesn't respect her or treats her poorly.
Single people who live by themselves often have more social interactions than those who are part of a couple, according to New York University sociology professor Eric Klinenberg in the article "One's a Crowd" for the New York Times. A single woman may worry that a serious relationship or marriage would impede her ability to go out with friends, decrease the number of social ties that she has or make her feel that she has to stay in with her mate.
Staying single allows a woman to maintain her independence and live a more solitary life. She doesn't have to worry about calling her spouse or changing her way of life to accommodate someone else. For example, if a single woman is offered a job in another city, she doesn't have to take her partner's or spouse's feelings into mind when making the decision to move.
Although there are plenty of women who are single by choice, some are single because their relationships just haven't worked out. Whether they don't know how, or where, to meet a potential mate or they just can't keep a relationship going, some women stay single even though they would prefer relationships.
- Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends: The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of New Families
- APA PsycNET: Sex Ratio and Women's Carer Choice: Does a Scarcity of Men Lead Women to Choose Briefcase Over Baby?
- Psychology Today: 10 Myths About Single People: Here Are the First 4
- Single Mothers By Choice: Deciding Whether Or Not To Become an SMC
- United States Census Bureau: Single Life
- PsychCentral: The Rise of the Single Woman
- New York Times: One's a Crowd