According to survey results released by Statistics Netherlands this week, the older single people are, the more likely they are to want to live alone. This is especially the case for women, they no longer want the ups and downs of a steady relationship.
Young and old women in particular not in a relationship
Results from Statistics Netherlands’ Family and fertility survey show that nearly one quarter of 18-79 year-olds are not in a steady relationship. Many young people in particular are single. Nearly half of 18-29 year-old men do not have a steady partner, compared with just over one third of women. The difference is caused by the fact that women start relationships at a younger age and often have an older partner (on average 3 years older). More women in their twenties therefore have relationships with men in their thirties than men in their twenties have relationships with older women.
Over the age of 50, and especially over the age of 65, more women than men are single. One of the reasons for this is that women live longer than their male partners, and are therefore more likely to be widowed. Between the ages of 30 and 49, the share of singles is around 20 percent and slightly more men are single.
Men without a steady partner, by age and sex, 2013
Women over 50 not very positive about relationships
The older single people are, the more likely they are not to want a steady relationship. Women in particular, are reluctant to have a steady partner at older ages. Nearly 40 percent of single women aged 50-64 years say they definitely do not want a relationship any more, compared with one quarter of single men in this age group. For the ages 65-79, this is even the case for nearly 70 percent of women.
People have various reasons for not wanting a steady partner. Six in ten women as well as men say they do not want to commit to a partner. More women than men say they have been unlucky in relationships, that relationships cause too many problems, and they do not have high expectations in this respect.
Young women more likely to postpone relationship
Many singles aged 18 to 29 years do want a relationship, but more women than men in this age group say they want to wait. From 30 to 49 years of age, there are no differences between single men and women in terms of wanting a steady relationship. Most of them say they would like to have a steady partner.
Single people and relationship wishes, by age and sex, 2013