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In some cases, single people may be uninterested in marriage, domestic partnership, or other types of committed relationships.Certain careers and positions require that people remain single.In recent years, studies have found that more citizens value career over personal relationships.The single-person households have also been spreading due to the high self-esteem it offers.Single people may participate in dating and other activities to find a long-term partner or spouse.People may remain single for a variety of reasons, including financial and emotional or physical health issues, stress in the family, time constraints, education, career, personal preferences, advanced age or social fears, living in a society or locality where there are an insufficient number of people of the preferred sex for romantic or sexual attraction, or simply extreme bad luck with finding anyone who will reciprocate an interest in a relationship.
From the 17th century the word was appended to names as the official legal description of an unmarried woman: Elizabeth Harris of London, Spinster.
Sometimes, this is coupled with celibacy or chastity, either for secular or for religious reasons, such as priests, nuns and monks in certain faiths.
Loneliness can occur for some people who look for but cannot find anyone they might wish to date, especially for those suffering the loss of companionship following divorce or bereavement.
If a marriage is annulled or found to have been void ab initio (i.e.
not valid in law to start with), and assuming the person was not married previously, that individual is considered 'single', rather than unmarried.