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Are People Single by Choice? Involuntary Singlehood in an Evolutionary Perspective


A substantial proportion of people living in Western societies do not have an intimate partner. The current research attempts to estimate the occurrence of people who are involuntary single—they want to be in an intimate relationship but they find it difficult to do so—in the Greek cultural context. Evidence from two independent studies (N = 1682) indicated that about half of the participants who were single, they were involuntary so. It was also found that, mating performance—how well people do in starting and keeping an intimate relationship—was a significant predictor of involuntary singlehood, with low scorers facing a higher probability to be involuntary single than high scorers.

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The authors would like to thank Georgia Kapitsaki and one anonymous reviewer for their constructive feedback which enabled the improvement of this work.

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Correspondence to Menelaos Apostolou.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Apostolou, M., Papadopoulou, I. & Georgiadou, P. Are People Single by Choice? Involuntary Singlehood in an Evolutionary Perspective. Evolutionary Psychological Science 5, 98–103 (2019).

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  • Involuntary singlehood
  • Singlehood
  • Mating
  • Mating performance
  • Mate choice