With Valentine’s Day around the corner,
South Africans are facing a stark reality: they are love-starved. According to
a just-released survey, more than 32% of single adults admit to feeling
depressed and anxious about not finding love.
The national poll, which was conducted by
Pharma Dynamics (a generic pharmaceutical specialising in medication for the
treatment of depression and anxiety), turned up some interesting results.
Three in ten of the 529 single adults
polled nationally, said being single makes them feel lonely, while 12% said
they felt less attractive and 36% blamed themselves for their loveless
situation. The majority however (89%) still firmly believes in true love and
76% said that finding that special someone would contribute greatly to their
overall state of happiness.
generation are struggling to find long-lasting love
Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for
Pharma Dynamics says today’s generation of young people are finding it harder
than ever to find fulfilling long-term relationships.
“There are a number of factors that
contribute to making finding Mr or Mrs Right so much more difficult in the 21st
century. Globally, rates of loneliness are increasing as social structures
then and now
Back in the 80s, the General Social Survey
(GSS) collected the first nationally representative data on the number of
confidants (friends, family, soul-mates) that Americans had in their lives, and
the most common response was three.
In 2004, when the survey was done again,
the most common response was zero. This marks an important change in our social
structure and inevitably impacts on match-making,” she says.
According to Pharma Dynamics’ poll, the
gym, book and/or dance club seemed to be the most popular hangouts for single
South Africans to find love, voted for by 56% of participants.
More than 35% of respondents said they are
confident about finding their match online, while 26% cited the workplace, 23%
the supermarket, 22% the park and 16% still relied on the local pub to produce
their perfect mate.
and cons of online dating
Van Aswegen notes there are many pros to
online dating, but that one should be careful not to lean on the online dating
crutch too much.
“Online dating may in the long-run
discourage men from pursuing their partners more aggressively, leading to a
more passive approach. Instead of walking up to a woman at a café or party
after she’s made it clear that she’s interested, a man might not know how to
respond and be more inclined to open his laptop and send a message to several
single women about how much he likes their profile, while a genuine, real-life
opportunity passes by.
“On the other hand, women who rely too
heavily on cyber-dating too can become far less outgoing and less enthusiastic
about starting conversations with men in public.
online dating might be a solution
Limiting the use of online dating sites
might just force you to take more action in person. If you make yourself a
little more available and assertive, and you don’t block out the world around
you when you are out, you might just be surprised.”
to find love
More than 20% of the respondents have fixed
ideas about how quickly one should, ought to, have to and must find love and
36% admitted to having long checklists about their potential partners. 55% also
said they find themselves withdrawing from dating opportunities and
pre-emptively rejecting suitors based on past experiences and preconceived
Van Aswegen says the trouble with
checklists is that they are based on superficial attributes such as hobbies,
interests and looks.
“In reality successful long-term
relationships are rarely based on these. It is shared values and chemistry that
are essential. You can work through differences in hobbies and interests and
even get past looks. Those who have rigid attitudes about romantic love are
also the most likely to develop depression.
“It’s easy to get down about being single
even when you have an otherwise good life, but it’s important not to dwell on
the negative. Although negative thoughts alone are not enough to cause
depression, but the combination of cognitive vulnerability and a mildly
depressed mood can lead to a downward spiral that can eventually lead to major
to beating these Valentine's Day blues
To beat the blues this Valentine’s Day, Van
Aswegen suggests the following:
– Realise that being without a partner isn’t a character flaw and that
there is absolutely nothing wrong
with being single.
– Get on with your life and the activities that you enjoy, and stay
– Learn to be patient and relax a little.
– Forget about love at first sight and give love at fifth site a
– Take your time, stop worrying about whether your current date is
your best choice and just enjoy the process of getting to know somebody, even
if they don’t tick all your boxes right away.
Picture: Broken heart from Shutterstock
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