The American Loneliness Phenomenon
Polls tell us that 27 percent of Americans aged 60 or older live by themselves, more than anywhere else in the world. Older people in other countries, on the other hand, most often live with an extended family, as was once common here. Even older married couples tend to live without anyone else; more childless married couples, or those without children at home, live in the United States than the rest of the world. We’re number one! USA! USA!
I’ve been thinking about what is a very real epidemic of loneliness, especially in America. Rugged individualism gone wild. A lot of this is due to the unfortunate prevalence of dysfunctional immediate and extended families. I know very few families where there isn’t an often inexplicable dispute between parents and children, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or cousins. Many of the lonely I have known personally have been in this situation. Rejected by their parents, or having rejected them. Not talking to a sibling or sibling for years, even decades. Ostracized from their children or grandchildren. Facing the sad prospects of old age alone. Is this what anyone really wants?
Sociologist Eric Klinenberg’s new book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone documents the emerging “singleton” demographic, which he calls the “biggest unnamed social change of the last 50 years.” While Klinenberg tries to spin this optimistically, I consider it an anti-human, anti-culture tragedy of the highest magnitude. We often hear a lot of rhetoric, especially from conservatives, about “family.” But in reality, America rejected traditional family values many decades ago. The explosion of nursing homes in the last half of the twentieth century alone is testament to that.
While there are no doubt some hale and hearty exceptions to the rule; frontier-like throwbacks, I think most people who live alone do so involuntarily. Males, especially, are prone to the loneliness phenomenon. I have known many, and still know many. By and large, these males are alone because they couldn’t attract a mate. Again, there are exceptions, but in the vast majority of these cases, the male wasn’t being overly picky. The women were. If things are bad now, just wait until all the Incels out there start aging. Maybe they can program the sex dolls to engage in some kind of meaningful conversations.
I’ve known lonely women, too, but that is far more rare. Mostly, lonely women are either incredibly eccentric or mentally ill. And not attractive enough to compensate for that. Men will tolerate a whole lot of quirkiness if a female is good looking. In reality, almost all women can find somebody. Males are not renowned for being choosy, as mothers used to be about Jif peanut butter, according to the advertisers.
The statistics tell a sobering story. In 1950, 22 percent of American adults were single, accounting for 9 percent of all households. Today, more than 50 percent of American adults are single; about one out of every seven live alone. They comprise 28 percent of all households. For the elderly, the difference between America and the rest of the world is stark. While 2/3 or more of older people in countries like Iraq and India live with younger family members, only 6 percent of Americans do. Thanks to cultural drift, powered to a great extent by nonstop media and “educational” propaganda, most American children and grandchildren reflexively put Grandma and Grandpa in what everyone- even they- recognize are monstrous, expensive facilities where they will be mistreated. And have their fortunes depleted.
You know the brainwashing has been effective when children are willing to lose their financial legacy, just for the convenience of not having to take care of those who changed their diapers, fed and clothed them, and taught them all they needed to know. Money usually talks. But not in the case of our elderly, who are treated abominably in this country. In the Asian world, in Africa, in the Middle East- basically all the nonwhite cultures- elders are given the greatest respect by all. I remember being in a Korean friend’s home a few decades back, and watching how all the females in the home- and it was a very un-American like extended household of children and their spouses- waited on him, as the patriarch of the manor, like he was royalty.
Americans don’t refer to their older members of the population as “elders.” But we do get all those cool senior citizen discounts. Isn’t that enough? Sure, there are a lot of older people who have accumulated years, but learned very little. They can certainly be as ignorant as those younger than them. But the concept of honoring age is, I think, a good one. It doesn’t have to be a mindless tribute, but older people ought to be accorded what used to be called “respect for your elders.” I can’t think of anything sadder than the elderly, some still coherent enough to feel loneliness, bored beyond measure in their tiny rest home room, waiting in vain for a loved one to visit. This has been sadly exacerbated over the past year, of course, thanks to the absurd, unconstitutional COVID restrictions.
I have known people who, because they died alone, weren’t discovered for several days. “Wellness checks” are another aspect of the “new normal” that we all know and love in America 2.0. A close friend who undoubtedly would have been in such a situation had, I guess you’d call it the good fortune, to drop dead at a restaurant one morning in 2016. Otherwise, it would have been me calling the police to check on him, after not hearing from him for a few days. Like too many, he had several siblings. I saw how little they cared about him at the memorial service, as they kept furtively checking their watches. Like so many other lonely people, he deserved a better fate.
We are all social creatures. Yes, there are the outlier true loners, who prefer no other company. But almost all of us like to have someone around; to talk to, to hug, to advise and take advice from. You don’t find loners in the animal kingdom. If we can’t count on our blood relatives to love us enough to at least check up regularly on us, then what can we count on? Some of those I know who live alone have been cast aside by “religious” parents, who go to a nondenominational church regularly. Love your enemy? No one does that, least of all the very devout. Love your neighbor? No, but call the police if their car has expired license tags. Love your children? I guess not, in some cases.
Maybe I care so much about the subject because I hate being alone. I fear being left alone. I don’t think my children would ever abandon me, but maybe other parents didn’t think so, either. The Clint Eastwood movie Gran Torino powerfully exposed what is an all too common dynamic in modern American families. I guess if they could get most American women to see babies as impersonal “fetuses” that have no rights, they can demonize the elderly. Remember all those TV shows and movies where the adult man or woman is distraught over an upcoming visit from their parent/s. It’s depicted as a traumatizing event, not as a welcoming reunion with your closest loved ones.
We are often coldly reminded that we go out of this world the same way we came in- alone, and with nothing. I wish all the Americans utterly devoted to adopting rescue dogs and cats could save a bit of that empathy and compassion for their parents, or children, or siblings, or grandparents, or lonely aunts and uncles. If you can’t stand to visit a lonely loved one in person, or even give them a weekly phone call, at least buy them a life alert, or make sure they have a cell phone. Sometimes, they don’t die from heart attacks. Or broken hearts. They can easily fall, and not be able to summon help in time. Didn’t we all watch the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial?
Charity begins at home, says the wise but oft-ignored old adage. America does the opposite, whether it’s a foreign policy giving aid to other countries instead of our own needy citizens, or individuals opting to donate to soulless charities that use most of the contributions for overhead expenses, or rescuing animals, rather than taking in a loved one who’s all alone in the world. Or even interact regularly with them. No free healthcare for even the poorest Americans, but illegal immigrants pay no medical expenses. Your money’s no good here, amigo! Our horrendous government has put the interests of average Americans last for a long time. Why, though, do so many individual Americans put their own loved ones last?
All the lonely people out there, like all the homeless ones, have a story to tell. How they wound up lonely. How they ended up being homeless. I don’t think very many choose to be alone. The relatives who neglect them, however, do choose to do so. I have so many friends on social media who are alone. I’ve spoken to some on the phone. One of them recently vanished from Facebook, and I’ve lost her number. I worry about her. I hope her family cares enough to check on her. I chat and text with other lonely people I’ve never met. So many are starving for attention. And affection. Maybe I’ll start a Lonely Hearts chat service. While some lonely people are understandably suicidal, not all are. We have suicide prevention hotlines. Why not loneliness prevention hotlines?
If you have a relative living alone, call them. Better yet, go see them in person. Bring them some carryout, or preferably a home cooked meal. The Incels need sex. The lonely need companionship. A pat on the back. An assurance that they haven’t been forgotten. Giving is better than receiving. Helping others can be incredibly rewarding. As someone once said, the best deeds are those that can never be repaid. Do onto others.
Posted on July 5, 2021, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.
Don, there is so much to say here Are you familiar with the author, F. Roger Devlin? His book, “Sexual utopia in Power” gives a pretty good explanation of how things came to be the way they are today. I don’t see anything “hateful” in his book, but for some reason it was banned on amazon. Thankfully, I got it before it was banned. To sum it up, he writes that because of the sexual revolution, we are in a situation where 80% of women are only interested in the top 20% of men…..which leaves average looking, middle class guys often out in the cold. In the past, these kinds of guys had a much easier time finding a wife to raise a family with. This situation has led to a lot of very thirsty and desperate men in the USA. I see so many fit, good looking guys with fat, ugly women in this country, it’s amazing. It’s amazing what dudes will settle for in the USA. When it just comes to sex, any average to even below average woman can go into any bar and have sex, as there will be plenty of guys willing to oblige. It’s not so easy for men, an even at times, good looking men. I don’t think most women understand the rejection that most men have to endure in the dating game. Anyway, I know this is off the subject, but it is related to at least one part of this article. I hope you don’t mind.
P.S. I don’t endorse prostitution Nor would I ever recommend it to anyone….but considering the state of things in the USA, perhaps we would have less miserable incel types if prostitution was legal. Perhaps the USA needs a Tijuana of its own. Just a thought. I could be wrong.
I think the shift in demographics has a lot to do with economic motivations for young people to move to big cities with higher paying jobs than their hometowns. People used to move only 1-2 times in their adult life 50 years ago, now they move 5-10 times in their adult life. I’ve moved more like 20. For a job, or to go to school, and/or because the grass seemed greener in some other place than where I was. I have few/no close friends after all that moving around. People used to be able to support their family and buy a house and a car working humble jobs, like hardware store clerk. Now people can’t afford to live on that, much less support a family, so we go off to college and we move here and there for a better paying job. I’m sure there are other forces at work too that I’m missing that have killed the extended family, because there are many so-called liberal, Marxist forces at work on us constantly who want us to be more loyal to the STATE than to our own families. They want to degrade gender identity, eliminate ethnic differences, they want to turn our kids against us, they don’t want us to have financial security, and they want us to not just have but be dependent on a college education so they get 4 more years to indoctrinate and brainwash us with anti-American philosophies like critical race theory.
Thanks for bringing this up. You make some important points. I should have mentioned the increasing tendency for adult children to move to other states, often seemingly as far away from their parents as possible. In cases I know of, the adult children have high paying positions, and could easily get similar jobs much closer to home. There’s a stark contrast there, too, with a huge number of Millennials forced to live at home into their 30s and even 40s due to the fact most jobs don’t pay enough to live independently. A fortunate minority of Millennials enjoy the fruits of this rigged economy, and most often opt to relocate, as society clearly suggests that being in another part of the country is a further sign that you’ve succeeded. Being stuck at home, because you can’t afford to move out, makes you a loser. And more often than not an Incel. These Millennials will unfortunately mostly be fated to wind up living alone in their later years. The numbers I cited in this article will become even sadder. Family dysfunction isn’t going to get any better, and neither is the rigged economy.
I haven’t heard of Devlin or his book. Do you know if he’s still alive? Sounds like a great guest for my show(s). As you probably know, I cite this 80/20 split often- it’s certainly relevant to our rigged economic system. I wonder if Devlin’s book helped inspire the MGTOW movement? What he is describing is exactly what the Incels claim. I agree with you about the rejection so many men are forced to endure. It’s not just women who don’t understand or empathize with this- the culture mocks it and has no respect for the feelings of males who have been rejected. They’re “creepy.” I think prostitution should at least be decriminalized. But the sex dolls may make prostitutes (and in the most extreme scenario, many human females) obsolete. Thanks.
Devlin is definitely still alive and kicking. In fact, I just heard him interviewed. I would love to hear you interview him. Don, do you have an email we can reach you at? I may know a way to get in contact with him.
Lol. God forbid fit men could possibly fall in love with a fat woman. What a pathetic mindset
I should add a thing or two. In many ways, men in this country are becoming obsolete. As the feminists say, ” I don’t need no man”. It’s an evil movement, but unfortunately they’re right. Women can and often do earn more than men. Men and women now compete in the job market. Many professional women are repulsed by being romantically involved with a middle class working Joe type. These types of women tend to only be interested in men who make more money than they do. This situation is related to your article, Don, because it leads to plenty of lonely men. Considering this situation, it’s no surprise that more and more western men are going to foreign destinations to marry and raise a family….or just screw hookers. Regardless, the resources of American men tend to be valued more in foreign lands than they are in the west.
It wouldn’t let me reply to your comment asking for my email for some reason. Anyone can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love Devlin’s contact info. Thanks.
The lonliness problem for the Elderly was brought upon themselves.
In MOST cases, they are reaping all the love, care, and concern they have sewn.
You are right- parents who did a poor job with their children may be experiencing karma. But I don’t sense that it’s as simple as that. I’ve known abusive fathers and neglectful mothers whose adult children rave about them and publicly express their love on social media. On the other hand, I’ve known good, loving parents who put their children first and have had to endure being shut out of their adult lives for unclear reasons.
You are oh so right. I worked in nursing homes for several years and the loneliness was palpable. My weekly visits were to do for them what they needed…to talk, to get hugs, bring a favorite food or movies they liked to watch. They loved having company. I even brought my puppy in to see them…they loved it. Magazines, books, a game of checkers, or anything I could find to lift their spirits. What wonderful people they were. When I asked about family, they often said, sadly, “oh they have their own lives”. That was very sad. I sat with them on bad days, when they talked about their fears about death, and reassured them as I could. I just loved them if you understand what I mean. No regrets and I will do it again when I can.
This phenomenon was first documented over 50 years ago by the sociologist Philip Slater in his classic work, The Pursuit of Loneliness. Nothing has changed. Its only gotten worse.My mother who was a nurse got me my first job as a cna in these hell holes known as nursing homes. I worked there about a year and couldn’t take it anymore. And this was in 1980! I have since done work in home health care on and off. Believe me there is no comparison. These fortunate few at least maintain a sense of dignity and self-respect. The sense of loneliness and depression was one of the first things I l noticed in nursing homes.Pray that you never find yourself in such a situation. Its a sentence to a living death.It is one of the great signs (and there are many) of the decline of the humaneness of American culture.
My grandfather was right; television did destroy family life in this country!
Great trues and big sad stories. We lived in Monterrey Mexico and the situation here is more or less the same but not in all the cases. We moved to my parent´s home and live our house empty and without services. My parents are the best, our children are learning that (I hope). In the past I learned this from my parents, we has here my grandparents in my mother´s side and let me try to pronounce this in spanglish my uncles great grand parents (the uncles from my grandmother in my father´s side) maybe that doesn´t have any sense in english, ok they were old and last a lot. Alfonse (guelito Poncho) almost hit 92 and Angelina (guelita Enge) 88 (they celebrated 62 anniversaries together) since 1935. Alfonso was from 1907 and used to talk to me about Mexican Revolution (1910-1921) he was an alive witness for me. The same story with my grandparents in my mother´s side (Manuel and Elida) My parents built a huge house with a pretty big garden and bring them all together. My parent´s worked a lot but we always had 4 adults to take care of us. 21 years later my brother Luis and I graduated from College and several years later also got our degree´s diplomas. In 1998 we still had 3 of the 4 elders alive, Between 1999 and 2000 passed away the last 3. My parents were alone for several years like and behaved like a renewed married coulpe recharged and reloaded (maybe that doesn´t have any sense in english) ok like teenagers… they arive to their home late on weekends very funny I was worried on weekend because they didn´t arrive until very late.
Time passes, then my family and I (my wife and kids) decided to moved to my parent´s home like 12 years ago and left our house and repeat the story. We celebrated Angela´s XV in this garden inside our home, now she is 18 and we are shaking because she has a boyfriend, eduardo is 15 and playing football as a wide receiver. Angela is in junior high and Eduardo has finished junior high school ¡We made it!…al last. We had an extra son from the original family program 10 years ago, he is the marveloous Manuel (Manuelito). When several years later you have an extra son, in Mexico you call him or her “pilón” (pilon) ok Manuelito is our “piloncillo”, he just finished 4th grade in elemental school.
My wife and I are very active inside the Catholic Church, we have to work, my kids always have adults in home. In addition, one of my brother in law was living alone and we brought him to live with us, he is more than perfect because he knows how to cook mexican food, Francisco Javier alias “Kiri” is our chef and even Nina is fat (our dog or bitch, maybe this is a bad word ok our female dog). The story continues…
Returning to the article you wrote, my wife and I saw recently the movie “I Care a lot” with Peter Dinklage and Rosamund Pike very sad about tutors or guardians and alone elders and how these tutors or guardians take advantage to depleat the fortune of these elders putting by the force in nursing homes, sale their homes to pay the bills and have profit everywhere. After reading your article I found the answer to my question regarding how many americans are in this situation, they live without their families and the government has a program (in the movie) to let these guardians do whatever they want to take care of them, some doctors fill the paperwork and missinformed about their mental condition to let these sharks with the support of police officers and a judge take these elders, remove their cell phones and put them in nursing homes by the force. Apparently they are the good ones, but they are worse than the devil. Even a gangster “Peter Dinklage” couldn´t beat the system and I don´t want to tell you how the movie has an unexpected end… even worse.
Although I have a woman in my life for the last 20+ years, I would be perfectly fine with being by myself as There is a major difference between being alone and being lonely—-I am past 60 and have had a lot of women in my life and if I was ‘single’ I wouldn’t want to even be bothered with a woman at my age —-It is better to be alone than to keep bad company . I enjoyed my ride, and if it ended tomorrow , than I would be fine with that
I think you would have done better without calling certain groups derogatory names. The only ones that helps are the Globalist.
…in America, there is a “LONELINESS” epidemic, but Canada, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Australia, etc., are just as bad for this contagion! Many of us have been burned by women/men , who care only for our $$$$, not ourselves! These are the gold-diggers, and many of them are out there. There are also many women, who can’t find the right mate (many from good white, Christian European back grounds). The Nordic countries (Sweden Norway, Finland) are Lutheran/Protestant, and they show little affection for children and the family structure, so now they are reaping this barren tide! This is a big problem for white, western countries and will lead to the FINAL and permanent collapse of the West!
You sound scared. Is that what God made you to be? The amount of females that have criticized me for spending hours working alone to be able to support myself, follow my dreams which has included producing music that made it onto television, and perform independent charity work abroad is staggering and most are of my ethnic demographic. I don’t fear dying alone. I fear not living, period!
This article could have been written specifically about my life.
Cracker countries are done. Scotland is now making it illegal to call a pedophile a “pedophile.” You must call them “MAPS” now. The leading cause of death in Canada now is assisted suicide. Over ten thousand people have been murdered by their government including a 16 year old kid who was simply couldn’t get a girlfriend. The family unit is absolutely destroyed in America. The parents reject their kids, the kids reject their parents, the girls reject the guys, even the guys hate each other and don’t want to socialize. Drug addicts all over the place. 80,000 dead from fentanyl. LGBT agenda being pushed hardcore on the children. Chemical castration of 9 year old boys. I’m not even scratching the surface yet. Crackers have become evil degenerate morons and they deserve their countries to be taken over by Muslims and other third world trash. Crackers are their own worst enemy and I say this as someone who is extremely right wing, essentially white nationalist until now. Crackers are already a small minority and will become a much smaller minority because they will continue to abort their kids, not have kids, have mixed kids, kill themselves, get killed and increasingly become fags and lesbians(again no kids), which is probably better since they don’t even take care of their kids anyway and let pedophiles in drag groom them to become sodomites.
I can’t argue with your bleak assessment, Crackerslammer.
Harsh but true
And then there are those of us who ARE married and in their 60’s and feel lonely anyway.
As a teacher of foreign language at the high school level for many years who had students for up to four years straight, I have been forced to witness this sad transformation in our society. Dating barely exists anymore and it’s form and function are warped beyond recognition. Few young people have any understanding of normal dating– as it was intended to be originally. Even if they do have an understanding of what dating is and what it’s supposed to accomplish, they cannot find a like-minded person to date. The young men, particularly white men, are lost when it comes to dating and socialization. So many of them do not have fathers at home to teach them by word or example how to court young ladies. They do not have fathers at home who encourage them with the old familiar saying that there are “other fish in the sea” when they are rejected by a certain young woman and that this is part of a normal elimination process that one goes through to find a willing mate. They, therefore, do not have the confidence and bearing to initiate dating and they do not have the intact self-esteem that they need when their advances are rejected and they are left to deal with disappointment. So we see that having a dad at home is a very important factor in successful dating for our young men. The sad part is that he is often, very often, not there.
I began teaching in the 80s when things were normal but through the years I began to see that male and female relationships were now mutated and weird which coincided with two things. The first, as I mentioned, was the increasing absence of the father from the home and the second was the hypersexualization of courtship. Rather than being based on enjoying conversation and getting to know the personality of the other person, the dating relationship began to be about pure sexual attraction and initiating sexual relations before people even really knew one another. This meant, of course, that the physically attractive began to be more valued and those who were less attractive were cast aside. After all, sexual fantasies are not built on having sex with unattractive people. It seems everyone wants a Brad Pitt or a Tom Cruise.
When young women have a father at home, they began to look for someone very much like him. I had a student once who told me that she wanted to marry a balding man because she loved her father and thought he looked adorable that way! Average dads at home mean that average guys have a chance.
If you could see the hopelessness that young men and women feel today, you would feel the same heaviness and sorrow that I do. None of this is their fault. It has been done to them by their parents’ and grandparents’ generations that slowly but surely carved out a truly weird existence for them.
Allow me to add that the term “incel” absolutely infuriates and horrifies me. The term is spoken with such scorn about those who have been captured and driven to despair by a world that has been created for them! These despairing young people who cannot find a mate now must also live their lives knowing that the so-called experts have put them into this very sad category with its own special label. If it were up to me, this word would be stricken from all texts and never be used again. My heart truly hurts for these young people.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your beautifully written response, JJ. I have transitioned over to Substack for my regular writings, and pinned this particular article at the top of my home page. Would you mind copy and pasting this important, astute comment on the thread there? You can find it at donaldjeffries.substack.com. Again, thank you!
I am humbled by your kind response, Mr Jeffries. Thank you. Of course I will post it where you asked. It is the least I can do for these sad and lonely fellow Americans.
By the way, I often hear the chorus of “Eleanor Rigby” in my head as I view the sad landscape of our society.
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