Lorraine Courtney: I'm not in my onesie, crying over Facebook – being single is fabulous
China celebrated Single's Day this week. This is basically the anti-Valentine's Day where instead of celebrating your love, you celebrate not having a girlfriend, boyfriend, or life partner of some kind. It's as commercial as any other holiday; in fact it's the single biggest online shopping day in the world. This year Chinese singletons spent almost $6bn spoiling themselves. The holiday was started back in the mid-1990s by students who were frustrated by cultural pressures to settle down. What an idea.
According to the market research firm Euromonitor International, the number of people living alone globally is skyrocketing, rising from about 153 million in 1996 to 277 million in 2011. That's a massive increase of around 80 per cent in 15 years. In the UK, 34 per cent of households have one person living in them, and in the US it's 27 per cent. Our last census found that one-person households make up 24 per cent of the total and at 30 years of age 48 per cent of us are single.
Society tells us that every woman needs a man, and that not to have one, even for a moment, means we've somehow failed. We tell ourselves when we are not in a relationship that we are lonely when we are, actually, surrounded by people who love us.