Buried in this article on how love doesn't really exist (or at least, not in the form we romanticize it), there's this depressing gem:
With Valentine's Day around the corner, many Americans are facing a grim reality: They are love-starved. Rates of loneliness are on the rise as social supports are disintegrating. In 1985, when the General Social Survey polled Americans on the number of confidants they have in their lives, the most common response was three. In 2004, when the survey was given again, the most common response was zero.
According to the University of Chicago's John Cacioppo, an expert on loneliness, and his co-author William Patrick, "at any given time, roughly 20 percent of individuals—that would be 60 million people in the U.S. alone—feel sufficiently isolated for it to be a major source of unhappiness in their lives." For older Americans, that number is closer to 35 percent. At the same time, rates of depression have been on the rise. In his 2011 book Flourish, the psychologist Martin Seligman notes that according to some estimates, depression is 10 times more prevalent now than it was five decades ago. Depression affects about 10 percent of the American population, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Not to brag or anything, but put three drinks in me and everyone becomes my confidante. Ole!
(No, but seriously: I never knew life could be so wonderful until I acquired my first best friend, Ryann, at the advanced age of 14ish. Ryann was the first lady aside from my mother who embraced my weird head on, unblinking, and then goaded me into taking it up a notch, most notably through our collaboration on Deathcock 3000, a sciency, g-rated porn we wrote when we were 17—and based on the hypothesis of kamakaze sperm—and starred in together. As you'd expect from nerd virgin best friends, the "porn" involved waaay too much talking about science and absolutely no nudity or even touching. Everyone needs a best friend with whom to film non-erotic porns together.)