Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

Married People Are Mad! How Dare I Say Singles Are Better?

For decades, reporters, pundits, and even social scientists have been claiming that married people are better. They sometimes do so without qualification and without apology. Now look what happens when someone turns the tables. Read More

The single experience

Ha. Bella. Why be mean? But then again, I do come prepared: I do cite research whenever I give an opinion on an article. I have exceptional memory, but for me, is my way to not only justify my point and study, bu also justify my knowledge on the recent studies and show biases. All my seven sisters are married. You bet my single life is a choice.

But do you think is right for someone in your status to, well, discredit other people's opinions? I recall to use myself as an example at times. But not because is a simulated practice, but because I am the research. Married or not, the single life can have benefits, which does make sense. I don't think married couples should have more of a right to have tax credits than single people. Single people can be one of the most hardworking people in our country. I don't think is right to choose favorites, but that's another debate.

There may be a balance to counter-attack those who are expressing on experienced than research. Is it right to call out someone because they can't cite scientific study? Maybe not. I think is a low blow. They may be too busy to understand the recent studies, or just may skip by their memory. Is that a right to call out their lack of objective information? Probably not. After all, is clear these married couples come to PsycheToday. Why? Let's not ask why(lol).

Just as much are my sisters are happy, I think it makes sense for single people to be happy in their current situation. My experience is only that. My point of view. And I think, married couples, are only innocent expressing their opinion. Is not a fair fight. Says this single, comely man.

Wow.

I commented becuase the APA would never allow the word "better" in any research paper. You also made many general, sweeping statements, which I am glad you found a way to clarify - this was for testing? Very ethical, no? I am qualified, just as you are qualified. I don't have time to go back and read every post you write and to then comment. Yes, as one woman, I wanted to point out that I do not fit into your "research-based" universal statements of single and married folk. I felt the need because your statements were basically inclusive of everyone in the world - with no limitations mentioned, (a part from a few at the start and several others needing two or more links clicked). It is nice to know, however, that you knew those headings were ridiculous and there was no need for me to even post, as this was only a test.

For the record, I do believe Franky, has a point- there is no need to be mean, especially when you involved your readers in a study without their consent.

Hush

Ashley, you gave your "consent" when you decided to post a comment on a public forum. That goes for everybody else who has a beef with Bella quoting their comments. You didn't write her a private email. You posted comments on a public forum. That means those comments can be sited by anybody. Nothing unethical about that whatsoever. She didn't need your permission.

You're just upset because you did exactly what Bella knew you would do.

What's 'mean' is the widely

What's 'mean' is the widely held attitude in almost all societies that to be unmarried - especially if you're a woman - is a sign of social failure and renders you a lower status human being. I think this was a clever little experiment and quite revealing. Some 'happily married's' seem to have protesteth too much!

Neither post was mean

I don't believe either article was mean. I think Bella was making a very valid point in her use of language to describe the projections society makes about singles and married people. There is a bias against single people in our society and it is so pervasive it is rarely even noticed much less remarked upon. The original post, as Bella has stated merely appropriated and aped the languaging used so often in the myriad studies of married people. It was provocative because it was applied to a different, less commonly represented point of view. In other words it made some readers feel defensive of their choice to marry - and in so doing allowed them to experience the feeling of societal judgement single people face on a regular basis.

Finally Bella was making a point repeatedly that much of the research used to inform these views on marriage are inaccurate, poorly developed and/or executed, or worse - use personal anecdotes as examples of demographic data. You experience is your experience, and cannot be denigrated or denied. However it also not representative of a wider demographic. The two are apples and oranges.

Nothing to say on this

Nothing to say on this article but its really Excellent article. its really tough to live alone because I know this better way I am 24 now and single so this is really helpful for me.. Thank you for sharing.!!

I wonder if part of the reaction is due to the nature of the PT blogs

While the article may have been confrontational in tone, I've also noticed that blogs on this site attract a lot of trolls. I wonder if that might part of the reason for the reaction

I don't believe this was a confrontational article at all.

In fact, it seemed to be a rational walk through complex subject matter, done in a very balanced way. It isn't nearly as obvious to me, but Bella is probably right when she refers to all of these articles proclaiming the superiority of marrieds. I also don't think one way is superior to the other. Some are better in relationships, and some are better single. Glenn (Married for a long time.)

The married and the psychologists

Psychologists have to get paid. Psychologists must establish a customer base. People who are most likely are going to pay a psychologist will have disposable income and are self-absorbed enough to care deeply about how they feel all the time. The people most likely to have a disposable income are those live in a household with two incomes, pay less taxes and have enough time on their hands to dwell about their personal problems. This psychologist-paying demographic is most likely to be married.

Consequently, the field of Psychology is extremely lopsided towards married people and their various perceived problems. The Psych Industry would be shooting itself in the foot by pointing out the negative aspects of marriage and not championing marriage all the time. Psychology Today provides may articles and tips on how to make one's marriage better because that is what maintains the client base. Psychology Today does not mind that it is biased and often providing bad advice. Some people operate better as single.

Great Experiment

We've all seen the married-is-better posts and no one seems to be telling those posters they don't need to be mean. We're numb to their constant stream of denigration and we know that we can't change their blowhard ways any more than we can stop our grandparents from saying racist things at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. Yet when Dr. DePaulo turns the tables, there's a huge reaction.
I've been in this blog community for years and I noticed the shift in tone, and I knew she was trying to provoke a conversation. Participation has been lackluster lately as we've heard less from the "regulars," and some of them came back to comment (Yay Simone, Alan and Crimson!) It was refreshing just to see people reacting. My comment is, why are so many married people reading this blog? What is their interest in it? I know when I was married years ago and under extreme tension because I was realizing I was gay, I spent most of my evenings skulking around the neighborhood gay bookstore and people-watching, trying to see if these people were my tribe. Could a similar phenomenon be at work here?

Hi Psyngle. "why are so many

Hi Psyngle.

"why are so many married people reading this blog?". Yeah good point. I mean, they're welcome and can contribute valuable insights to the discussion. Except when it becomes a disgustion. So yeah, good point.

CC

It's very obvious that single people read married people's blogs

so why can't married people read single people's blogs? Are we supposed to live in our own worlds? What about understanding each other? Glenn

Don't Be So Sensitive

Everyone who has been married for any length of time secretly wishes that he or she was single but usually it would be too costly to untie the knot and then there are the kids to think about. So we do our best to live together and we tell ourselves we are superior. It's a coping mechanism, like old people telling themselves that they don't miss being able to run and jump because now they have "wisdom" -- don't take it so personally.

Hard not to

take it personally. I certainly try but when asked by EVERYbody and I do mean everybody (at least eventually) "why aren't you married" usually followed by a qualifier such as you're so nice, smart, fun, pretty, etc etc etc as if those attributes would not stay on the market...then it is hard not to wonder why do they keep asking? Women are worst about this but men sometimes do it too.

The worst, of course, is the why aren't you married? Hate men? Got annoying traits no one can stand? Snore? You poor dear...tsk tsk tsk....

I do agree that it is a coping mechanism on the part of marrieds. I don't think I could stand to be with one person my entire life. I was with a man for 5 years and toward the end, I could barely stand to be around him. I talked to him about "things" and he would only do them more to piss me off I guess so I'm quite certain he was just as tired of me. I began to question why we were together and the answer became something I found untenable. We just didn't want to go to the trouble to break up and find somebody new. Sad.

Why should we have to take it at all?

If married people have personal problems because they got married then that is there problem. Single people are not living to be married people's bully victims.

If you don't want to be married then get a divorce. If you choose to stay married then put up with the negative consequences. Let us live our lives without married people's nasty negative judgment and insults.

Sensitivity

I'm "taking it too personally" when my own mother passes judgment? I don't think I'm too sensitive, I think other people aren't sensitive enough. All we're doing here is replacing the constant stream of negative feedback with our own positive images of our lives, so we can keep our heads on straight when we go back to our families, jobs, and friends. From this forum, I've learned how to talk to people in a way that enlightens them rather than just fends them off.

Time to turn the tables on the marrieds

So tired of marrieds bitching about their partner to me then turning around and saying "don't worry some day you will find someone" when I have never complained about being single. They are miserable and jealous that I am not. I've had plenty of offers and turned down several proposals because I was not so desperate to being married that I would marry just anyone who offered. I've always been different not really needing to be around others let alone needing to be in a relationship just for the sake of fitting in. So stop treating me like something is wrong with me because I didn't marry out of high school just so I had a place to live or in order to have a sexual outlet or to pacify my parents which is why most people get married.

Stuff

Hi Bella,
I'm surprised it took you *this* long to write this kind of article comparable (to an extent) to the ones we see all the time about married people. = ) That study you got would have pushed me over the edge, too.

It's so depressing there are so many dense, bitter, defensive people out there, as evidenced by the comments. Well done with the experiment.

Christina

I loved being single. I love

I loved being single. I love being married. I also think trolling easily offended married women is a very effective way of generating web traffic lol.

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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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