Experiences, Challenges and Coping Strategies of Never Married Single Women in Pakistan – A Qualitative Analysis

  • Khushboo Rafiq Sindh Madressatul Islam University
  • Narjis Fatima, Ms.
Keywords: singlehood, relationships, stigma, sociology of time, social identity, feminism, marriage


Objective. Intimate relationships have their own vital position in any psychological and social wellbeing
hierarchy. This study aims to understand the reasons why some women over 30 years of age remain single,
and the social dynamics associated with their marital status.

Method. The study collected data through semi-structured interview of 8 educated Pakistani women aged
between 30-36 years, living in Karachi. The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach was used to
explore the causes of singlehood.

Results. The transcribed interviews were analyzed, and common themes and phrases were identified. Five
main themes were derived namely similarity/affinity, freedom, ambition, match making process and
unpleasent life experiences.

Conclusion. Study findings highlighted that principal reasons for being single are compatibility factor and
safeguarding ambition/freedom. Family pressures, lack of support to travel/live alone and social commentary
are the main challenges faced by single women. Self-help strategies and virtual support groups are the major
coping mechanism employed.


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Author Biography

Narjis Fatima, Ms.

Narjis Fatima 

Ms. Narjis Fatima is the first author of this manuscript. She is a Psychology graduate from University of Karachi. She has been working as a freelancer with different NGOs. Her research interests lie in the areas of cognitive and behavioural psychology, feminism, social work, and sociology.


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