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Single people may engage in dating to find a partner or spouse. Not all single people actively seek out a relationship, however, as some are content to wait for the 'right' person to enter their lives, while others do not seek relations at all.
According to the United States Bureau of the Census, the fastest-growing household type since the 1980s has been the single person.
Loneliness can occur for many single 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. Some single people, however, regard and appreciate solitude as an opportunity.
There is a legal distinction between a single person and an unmarried person. Generally, an unmarried person may have been married and now be widowed or divorced. In some cases, mortgage papers have had to be redrawn because the buyer was mistakenly described as "unmarried" rather than "single." (This left open the possibility that a mysterious ex-spouse might claim a part interest in the house being purchased.)
Single men are often referred to as bachelors—while single women generally are only named bachelorettes in festive contexts in American English. Elderly single women are sometimes referred to as [spinsters, but the term is considered pejorative and sexist.[How to reference and link to summary or text] Catherinette was a traditional French label for girls of twenty-five years old who were still unmarried by the Feast of Saint Catherine.
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