The number of people living alone is increasing in Finland (; ), in Europe () and globally. Individualisation is growing, and many public institutions are adjusting to the rising number of single clientele. At the same time, the couple norm persists, and monogamous partnering is still often seen as the most appropriate way to organise intimate adult life. In this study, we analysed the written stories of 19 single men aged 29–64 and found that the couple norm was predominant in their stories. Internalisation of the norm caused feelings of inadequacy, a lack of self-appreciation and uncertainty about the future. Many men attributed their singlehood to events in their past and felt a lack of agency at present.
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