Types of Singlehood

Are you single? If so, what type of single person are you? No, I don’t mean I want a list of personality traits…you can be an “adventurous” single woman or a “homebody” single man, but that’s not quite what I’m asking.

You see, most sociologists break down singlehood into 4 distinct categories. Over the course of one’s lifetime this category may change (especially if one gets married!) by for the most part people over the age of 25 who haven’t tied the knot can readily pick out their designation. Let’s take a look at what these types of singlehood mean…

Involuntary & Temporarily
Single, but not by choice. This person has no current partner but truly desires one. They are also actively looking for a person to spend their life with, most often within the confines of a marriage. Despite the fact that there are 3 other categories, average Western society usually assumes that a typical unmarried person is both involuntarily single, but also only temporarily so.

Voluntarily & Temporarily
Many budding entrepreneurs, college students, or recently divorced people belong to this group. They are not against the idea of a committed relationship, and even imagine themselves in such a position one day. However, they are focused on either living life for themselves at the moment or are too busy pursuing an education/career opportunity to look for Mr. or Ms. Right. The new term Quirkyalone is a good poster child of being voluntarily single in a temporary dose.

Involuntary & Permanently
This type of single person does want to find a mate and get married, but for some reason their attempts at seeking out love have never reached this point. While a few members of this group dwell on this area of their life and become bitter, many more simply learn to accept that marriage is not part of their destiny. Of course, this doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy other, more casual relationships or good relations with family members. A good number of older Incels are in this category.

Voluntarily & Permanently
Those who inhabit this category are the “eternals”…men and women who have absolutely no interest in married life, and may even take steps to avoid the possibility of getting too deep into any casual relations they do have. It could just be that they relish having the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want. Or perhaps they feel certain laws or social expectations are too harmful to engage in a marriage contract. MGTOWs and Single-At-Hearts are usually quite at home with this designation.

By now a seasoned reader knows that I am a V&P, and happily so. But for my single readers, I want to know when you knew you’d be single, what category you currently fall into, and why you are in said category. Also, would you like to change the designation you are in, or are you comfortable with how your life has turned out so far?

25 thoughts on “Types of Singlehood

  1. And what of the functionally single? Those whose relationships (regardless of legal status) barely function if they function at all? According to some recent polling regarding sexless relationships, this category is quite large. The only “option” those who believe themselves to be well-meaning offer is to get divorced, as if that is as easy as hostile critics want us to believe. Such people wish they could become single again, even if just to try again with someone else. Unfortunately, the ex is never completely gone, and the resultant singlehood status is merely legal in nature.

  2. That’s a good point, Blurkel.

    The articles I utilized in writing this post defined “single” as not currently married (aka divorced, widowed, or never married at all), so that’s the terminology I was dealing with too. But yeah…functionally single is an option, albeit a very sad one. I can’t recall who said it, but I believe there’s a phrase that dictates it’s worse to be lonely in a relationship than to be lonely when single.

    And I, for one, agree. Unless there’s a major medical problem or both partners are asexual/have no libido, I can’t imagine being in a sexless relationship. The idea of not being able to give and receive physical love is heartwrenching, to say the least.

    They say that men usually cheat simply to get some of this intimacy, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love their wives or want to divorce her. They just crave physical intimacy which the wife is either deliberately withholding or is unwilling to provide. Honestly, I find it impossible to condemn this…

  3. At this point in life I am a I&P. I don’t know if I have become bitter, but I am definitely tired. But thank God for supportive family and good friends, otherwise I might have been broken.

  4. At first I was I & T. I wouldn’t have left/divorced my ex-husband if he hadn’t beat me. I figured once the divorce was final I’d find a kinder mate. But two years later I’ve moved confidently and comfortably into V & P. Even after trying dating again, I don’t have any interest in partnering-up.

  5. @KG

    Sorry to hear that, dearheart. I am glad that you have friends and family to spend time with and love, but sad to hear that you are tired of not finding a mate. Do you truly believe it is permanent?

  6. @The Blonette

    Hello there! Thanks for reading and following. If I may, when did you first figure out you were I&P rather than I&T?

  7. Right now, I am actually not looking (even though everyone around me is sort of trying). But if something comes along I wouldn’t say no. I am taking each day as it comes 🙂 So, its a 50-50 chance of being permanent (or not).

  8. @Melanie

    Hi, Mel. Hope life is treating you well. Yeah, your ex was a horrible jerkface. I’m so impossibly glad you aren’t in a relationship with him anymore…no woman or man should stay in an abusive marriage. You deserve to find someone who actually cares about you, but if you want to stay single from here on out, that is your choice…and of course, I support you in it. 🙂

  9. @KG

    Ha ha, my mother has been trying to convince me to get married so I have “someone to take care of me” as of late. I finally told her last week I’m an eternal bachelor…she wasn’t happy about it. I understand the whole ‘other people trying to help’ thing, even if our wants are on opposite sides of the scale.

    Kind of makes me wonder what is different about V&P people, especially as every other category eventually wants a mate or assumes they’ll find one. What allows us to be happy single, but not everyone else? My mother admits she’s afraid that I’m building up walls to keep people out, but that’s hardly true…I have friends, family, coworkers, and a nice FwB. I just don’t have any need to claim someone as “belonging” to me.

    How is it for you, when you reflect on wanting marriage?

  10. Single just feels right. It may not be forever and ever–I can’t tell the future afterall–but I’m content and don’t feel that driving desire to be with anyone.

  11. Mom’s everywhere are the same aren’t they ? I get that almost once a week from her. And it doubles if I am sick.
    Honestly, I never wanted to get married and then when I fell in love marriage seemed to the only way to be together (and that took me 10 years actually 🙂 to finally get hitched). But now after way too many complications that came with it and finally untangling myself from it, I feel I am very apprehensive about it. So if it happens, that would be a miracle by itself. Because I would have to really trust and be comfortable with that person that much to get there, which is the toughest thing as of now. Once burnt twice shy I guess. But I love to have a family of my own. I love kids. And I am too emotional by nature for trying anything else (say FwB for instance) because I might only complicate things for everyone involved. Wow, that felt like a rant Tarnished 🙂 , sorry about that.

  12. By now a seasoned reader knows that I am a V&P, and happily so. But for my single readers, I want to know when you knew you’d be single, what category you currently fall into, and why you are in said category. Also, would you like to change the designation you are in, or are you comfortable with how your life has turned out so far?
    Great Post Sophia. I am definitely an MGTOW. I am approaching 30, and have no plans of marriage. I had a girlfriend in high school for about 2 years. Then we drifted away as I went out of town for college. Then when I was in Law school in my first year we ran into each other and dated a bit. Then she was killed unexpectedly in a bad automobile accident. Need less to say it was very distressing.
    But aside from this experience, I have had some bitter experiences in the dating world with women. I dated a gal a couple years back and I liked her and thought I was “falling in love again.” I took her down to a vacation condo in I rented Puerto Rico and later found out she was using cocaine, and I found out she stole money for a credit card I lent her 9presumably she was addicted). Needless to say it turned out to be a bad experience. Moreover, a few years ago I tried a dating website POF and corresponded with a woman for a while. I took her out on a date to a nice French restaurant and she tells me she was married but in the process of separating. Then she says she was still living with her abusive husband who she still was not sure if she had completely fallen out of love with him She wanted a sugar daddy or savior obviously but she lied to me and told me she was single and lived alone.At this point realized I was very happy living single and wish to stay that. I have a good career, good hobbies( I play the clarinet and I love it) and some supportive men friends in my life.
    I have had a few poor experiences and through an mens support forum online I discover the MGTOW community. I was astounded that there were other men who felt the same way as I do. These are men that have defined their self worth as not needing societal validation to have a wife or girlfriend. It seems society is not accepting of a man or even a woman who is over 25 and single in many ways.The MGTOW community opened my eyes to the red pill. For the first time I was encouraged that there were other men who have chosen to stay single and realize their validation does not come through a woman but through inner self worth. Our society still has a long way to go Sophia. It still is a” coupled” society, where single people are often ostracized. Thankfully the MGTOW community can give some single men emotional support.
    The main thing is I have chosen to be single and given up marriage/dating in my whole life. The key is I am happy. I am not bitter like some extreme MRA’s are and Feminists are towards the opposite sex. It is not healthy to hate especially half the population. I am not religious in any way but I do believe in brotherly or sisterly love to my fellow human beings in this sometimes stressful and cruel world. I am delighted that I found your blog inasmuch as you seem like like minded. There needs to be more support/acceptance for older adults who choose to remain single in their lives.

  13. I’m V & P. Even as a child I knew I didn’t want to be married, but I wasted 25 years trying to make abusive men happy anyway due to societal pressures. I’ve been on my own for 1.5 years now and it’s been the happiest time of my life, something I don’t think I could ever give up. A casual relationship would be fine (although I’m not really looking) but I doubt I’ll ever again be partnered up.

  14. Interestingly enough, I’ve vacillated between all four of these categories at one time or another. Mostly it’s been Involuntary and Temporary. It used to be Voluntary when I was in my early 20s, but that stage is over. However, for the last 10-12 years I’ve been telling myself, “this is temporary.” So…

  15. @ Tarnished well my intense social awkwardness along with my lack of ever managing a relationship up until this point make me fairly sure……….does it make a difference if you want to be otherwise?

  16. @KG

    Yeah, my mother gets worse about it if I’m sick as well! It’s as though she believes that being married gives you magical vaccinations or something.

    Ah, so you’ve been married, but not any longer? I’d have thought that if you were in love there’d be fewer complications…unless it was unrequited love, in which case that can truly suck.

    I hate to say it, but being “in love” is very different than actually loving someone. When you’re “in love” the chemicals in your brain let you overlook various signals that would otherwise let you know about potential incompatibility. Hence, it’s easy to “fall out of love” once the lust and chemicals decrease.

    I believe I covered this in my post “What Is Love”, but I think in order to have a lasting relationship of any kind you can’t actually be “in love”. You have to really love the person as a whole, and that includes not blinding yourself to their faults and flaws, but truly caring about them in spite of (or even because of) these negatives. For example, I am not “in love” with my FwB. He has flaws just like any other person, but I believe his positive traits outnumber these, and I wouldn’t want to change these traits because then he would not be *him*.

    And don’t worry about rants, KG. I don’t judge such simple things.

  17. @Sophia Leo

    Societal pressures can go for a long walk off a short pier. I recall your life story…you put up with a lot that you didn’t deserve. 1.5 years isn’t that long to be an individual. I am glad you are happy being yourself, and finally able to live the way *you* wish.

  18. @The Blonette

    Ah, social awkwardness…I know thee well. I’m pretty bad at talking to/understanding women because I fail to notice tiny pieces of body language or voice inflections. Oh and noticing when a guy is flirting, I am horrible at that too.

    I think that if you truly put yourself out there it’s possible to find a mate, but would not be an easy job under any circumstance.

  19. @Royce

    Whew…wow, man. This was almost difficult to read. Thanks for sharing this, it really gave me a good glimpse into the type of women that so many MGTOWs have had to deal with. I’m truly sympathetic to what you went through, and do not begrudge your decision to remain single any more than I do Sophia Leo’s or Melanie’s. Men and women both have to realize that they are full people in their own right and that validation comes from recognizing your self-worth as a living, sentient being.

    You will never find without what is not already within…

  20. Dear Sophia,
    I found out about your blog from thatincelblogger. I am no longer allowed on
    that blog site because I believe that bitterness and hatred are futile.
    I see no good reason to hate-no matter what.
    I am terrified that people who hate to such a degree are sure to commit
    massacres. I used to think the dangerous terrorists were foreign. Now, I know
    they might well be domestic.
    If you speak out against such wild hatred I’m sure you will be targeted as well.
    Do you understand where such hatred comes from?

  21. @Lon

    I too used to visit ThatIncel on his blog, and while I wasn’t banned I couldn’t force myself to go there anymore. Unfortunately, for all his politeness that he showed to me, you are right that his words come from a place of hatred and bitterness toward all people who are born female. It is for this reason I sometimes have trouble talking to KC…He has never been crude or used foul language, but the fact of the matter is that he truly believes I am unworthy of basic human rights simply for being born with a clitoris instead of a penis. He does not care that I am a loving person, or that I am open minded, or that I enjoy having a voice in my government, or even that I am happily single and childless. He believes I should have my autonomy and rights forcefully taken away (because I certainly would not give them up without a literal fight) due to my birth sex…an aspect of my personhood I have no actual control over.

    I do try to understand where this pain comes from, and there is no doubt in my mind that this hatred is *not* natural. Nobody, of any sex or ethnicity, is born with hate in their heart. It is learned or self-cultivated…both of which have their own unique dangers. However, understanding and sympathizing with someone’s pain only does so much. I cannot understand the *process* by which it is formed, only attempt to soothe away the end result so that it doesn’t poison anyone else. As I told Blurkel and Ron, I honestly wish I could help others to know that they are precious. That they are loved, if only in the most basic of ways. But when a person, man or woman, has convinced themselves that anyone who has Trait Q or Characteristic Z is evil or morally deficient *on the mere basis of having* said Trait/Characteristic…well, in my experience there is very little anyone can do to make them see otherwise.

    Hatred and fear is not something I can truly understand, especially when directed at people I don’t know. Experiencing these emotions in regards to entire groups or individuals I have never and will never meet is not anything I’ve ever felt or thought. Honestly, if I find it impossible to hate someone who believes I should have fewer rights than a child, how can I hate someone I have never known or spoken to about their beliefs?

  22. I can kinda understand the anger and bitterness, it’s not so different with me. In my case it’s not directed solely at women, but rather at myself and the male-female dynamic.

    On an intellectual level I can understand why a guy who is average in pretty much any way possible doesn’t get attention when most moderately attractive women have several guys lined up at any point. Being completely invisible for my entire life still hurts though and at this point my resistence to act according to my gender role is pretty big because of this. Having been raised almost exclusively by women doesn’t help either.

    I guess I was born in the wrong body for my “taking care of myself and waiting patiently” approach.

    I know about the MGTOW stuff and read the horror stories. That’s why I would like to claim that I’m single permanently and voluntarily, I’m afraid it’s mostly sour grapes though.

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