Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

If You Are Single, Is Every Day Independence Day?

Test your knowledge of independence and interdependence

Get-a-CLUE is back! The Communication League for Unmarried Equality (CLUE) is kicking off its second blogfest on Independence Day. The theme is independence – and interdependence – in the lives of people who are single.

Is it true that single people are especially likely to value their independence? Are they especially likely to savor solitude? Does independence imply a lack of connection with other people?

Take the quick quiz below to test your knowledge of single-people’s independence and interdependence. All of the quiz answers are based on research. All of the answers are at the end. The links within each question take you to a discussion of the research results.

Apologies to regular readers of this blog, for whom this quiz is likely to be way too easy.

#1 When a family member such as an aging parent becomes seriously ill and needs lots of care, who is most often expected to provide that care?

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A The grown child who is single

B The grown child who is married

#2 When someone is sick, disabled, or elderly and in need of care for at least three months, who is more likely to actually provide that care?

A Single people

B Married people

#3 Who is more likely to provide help to friends, neighbors, and coworkers by providing a ride when needed, doing shopping or other errands?

A Single people

B Married people

#4 Who is more likely to help friends and neighbors with housework, yard work, repairs, or other work around the house?

A Single people

B Married people

#5 Who is more likely to provide advice, encouragement, and moral or emotional support to friends, neighbors, siblings, and parents?

A Single people

B Married people

#6 Who is more likely to maintain ties with siblings?

A People who stay single or get divorced

B People who get married

#7 True or False: When people first get married, they spend less time with their friends and maintain less contact with their parents than they did when they were single, but that’s just a newlywed effect – within a few years, their connections with their friends and parents are just as frequent as they were before.

#8 True or False: Any tendency among married people to focus less on friends, neighbors, parents, and siblings is just a White thing; it does not happen among African-Americans or Hispanics.

#9 Who is especially likely to savor their time to themselves?

A People who are single at heart

B People who are not single at heart

#10 Who is more likely to want to make big decisions mostly on their own?

A People who are single at heart

B People who are not single at heart

#11 Who is more likely to prefer handling challenges on their own?

A People who are single at heart

B People who are not single at heart

#12 How do most single people live?

A Most single people live alone

B Most single people live with other people

Answers: The answers to both True/False questions (7 & 8) are False. The answer to the last question (12) is B. The answer to all other questions is A.

For more on what all of these results might mean, check out “Are single people more independent or more interconnected than married people?

[Notes: The CLUE organizers are Cindy Butler, the Executive Director of Unmarried Equality, Christina Campbell and Lisa A. of Onely, Eleanore Wells of The Spinsterlicious Life, and yours truly. For those of you following along in hashtag land, the tags for this event are #unmarriedequality, #singlesblogfest, and #endmaritalstatusdiscrimination. Our first blogfest was on the topic of economic discrimination against single people. The dozens of people who participated, and the links to their posts, are here. I’ll post the list of Independence Day participants soon.]

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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