Being Single: State of Life, Vocation, or Both?

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Dec 20, 2019

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.


The number of “singles” in the regions where most of my readers live has increased rapidly over the past half-century. Most of us are aware of some of the reasons for this, but here are a few of them:

  • Delay from prolonged education

  • Reversion to single state because of divorce

  • Distrust of marriage from frequent divorce

  • Emphasis on individual freedom/fulfillment

  • Corresponding selfishness about having children

  • Sexual pleasure widely available outside of marriage

  • Economic pressures in affluent societies

  • Declining “peculiarity” (stigma) of being unmarried

  • Multiple options eclipsing marriage “by default”

  • Prolonged drift before settling on life-commitment

  • For the highly committed, so few soul mates

I am sure there are others but, in affluent societies generally, people are marrying later, less often, and less permanently. This naturally raises new questions, even within the Church, about the single state of life.  …

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