Vulnerable Single People and Resilient Single People

On the average, the health and happiness and self-esteem of single people is just fine, and often a lot better than just fine. Some single people, though, are relatively more vulnerable to singles-bashing messaging, and others are more resilient.

Success Depends More on Friendship Skills than Romantic Ones

American culture is obsessed with romance. But if you are a 20-something year old looking into the future, your skills at friendship are going to be more important than any romantic success. Here’s the evidence.

Singles, What Are You Already Doing Successfully?

Single people, please share the ways in which you have already successfully mastered some of the challenges of living single.

What Would Make Your Life Better as a Single Person?

What would improve your life as a single person? Consider every possibility, from small practical matters to sweeping societal changes.

The Secret to Balancing Time Alone and Time Together?

Groups of people have been coming together to create a new kind of community which offers the possibility of easy sociability and deeper friendships while also allowing for some privacy and solitude.

The Least Appreciated Perk of Living Alone

Married couples and roommates obsess about it. Essayists, polemicists, and scholars never stop writing about it. People who live alone, though, can just smile and shrug.

Why Political Spouses–and All Spouses–Know Less Than We Do

Research suggests that a perfect stranger is more likely than Huma Abedin to know when Anthony Weiner is lying and when he is telling the truth. Not that I care. I want to base my judgments of the candidate on the candidate, and not on the testimonials of the candidate’s spouse.

Denial of Discrimination: What Motivates It?

Discussions of the death of Trayvon Martin have included impassioned denials of racism and discrimination – not only in that case but more generally. There are powerful motivations behind the denial and explaining away of all sorts of isms, including singlism. Even those who are targets of discrimination have reasons not to acknowledge what is happening.

Celebrations of Finland’s Success Leave One Big Group Behind

An article at The Atlantic, “The secret to Finland’s success with schools, moms, kids—and everything,” claims that “Finns have incredible equality and very little poverty.” Unmentioned in the article is the unusually high risk of poverty among people living alone.

Second Singlehood: A Time to Blossom, by Diane Marty

From Diane Marty’s guest post: “Those of us raised in the self-sacrificial Christian tradition were taught to suppress individual desires during the coupled years when the needs of the conjoined entity, the couple, are paramount. But I was another entity now—a widowed, newly single-again woman, uncoupled and free to make new choices.”

Alone and Together: Declarations of In(ter)dependence

More than a dozen singles bloggers talk about maintaining their independence while also forging and maintaining meaningful human connections. Not all of them achieved what they were after the first time around. Plus, other research and riffs on in(ter)dependence.

If You Are Single, Is Every Day Independence Day?

In the U.S., July 4 is Independence Day. If you are single, is every day Independence Day? Is independence just another word for social isolation?

Single-Minded Change Agents: The Women of Onely.org

How is it that some single people become motivated to really do something about all the singlism and matrimania? Christina Campbell and Lisa A. of Onely.org answer 7 questions about their experiences at consciousness-raising and their quest for social justice for single people.

Myths about Marriage and Single Life: Weight of the Evidence

A new singles’ collection: Amassing the evidence to crush myths about marriage and single life, welcoming your stories, and more.

Genes and Marriage: Their Claims, My Qualms

A new study uses behavioral genetics to try to make the claim that getting married results in physical and mental health benefits. The authors had to concede that getting married did nothing for physical health. I explain why I don’t buy their claims for the small effects they did find.

Best Story I’ve Ever Read on Singlism in the Workplace

Single people, and adults without children, tell their stories of discrimination in the workplace and how one of them got it to stop. The practice is not just personal—it’s institutional.

The Loneliness Panic

Once again, the loneliness panic is upon us. Before we get too carried away, let’s consider some new data and some neglected perspectives.

Becoming Single Again: How Has it Made You a Better Person?

Myths about the supposedly transformational power of marriage need to be countered by personal stories and scientific data on the value of living single.

What Anthropologists Know About Single People

Anthropologists have a view that is as big as the world. What they have to say about marriage, family, and single life will take you way beyond the prevailing platitudes of contemporary American life.

Doomed to be Married? 5 Reasons Wise People Worry

An article with the title, “Doomed to be single?”, raises questions about why people think it is just fine to publish, unapologetically, blanket condemnations of single life. What happens if we turn the tables?

Why Are We so bad at Detecting Lies?

In an important review paper based on data from many thousands of people, Maria Hartwig and Charles Bond showed why humans are so bad at detecting lies. It turns out that the most popular theory – among laypersons as well as academics – is wrong.

Have You Experienced Discrimination? Keep Quiet or Else!

Have you been accused of playing the race card or the victim card or any other such card? Research shows that people are very harsh in what they say about people who claim discrimination—even if it is clear that the people in question really did experience discrimination. Maybe making the race-card accusation says more about the accuser than it does about the target.

Is Marriage a Status Symbol or a Rebuke to Uppity Women?

What do college-educated American women have in common with Merida from the movie Brave, Diane Lockhart of The Good Wife, Kate Beckett of Castle, Alex Blake of Criminal Minds, and Bridget Jones? Should they be proud?

Why Do We Call Them ‘Single Mothers’?

There’s something wrong with the term ‘single mothers,’ how it is used, and how it shapes our view of their lives.

Are Single People More Resilient Than Everyone Else?

For decades, social scientists have been predicting that getting married makes people happier and healthier. The media has been persuaded, and has blithely perpetrated singlism and matrimania. A close look at the findings, though, shows that single people fare far better than theories or mythologies have led us to expect. What are we not understanding about single life?

Is It Healthier to Live with Someone?

If people who are not married acted more like married people in one particular way – by living with another adult – would they be healthier? Does it depend on whether the unmarried person is divorced or widowed or has always been single? Is it naïve to assume that married people are healthier, regardless of living situations?

When Isolated People Are Not Lonely and Connected People Are

A 20-year study that followed people into old age found that some who were objectively isolated were not at all lonely, and others who were not at all isolated were lonely. Who were these people? What were their lives like?

Are Married People Less Likely to Kill Themselves?

In the late 1800s, Durkheim said that married people are less likely to commit suicide than people who are not married. In the 21st century, that claim still echoes through the media. But we have better studies now, analyzed more rigorously. If you are looking for people especially likely to kill themselves, don’t look at people who have always been single.

Do It My Way: Women Telling Women How to Live

Lots of women are getting tons of attention for the unsolicited advice they are heaping on other women. The content of this how-to-live genre is varied, but the bottom line is not. All of these presumptuous dispensers of life lessons are saying that their way is the only good and noble way to live. That’s not progress.

Alone, In Pain, Dirty, Burdened, Poor…and Utterly Fulfilled?

How can an experience marked by so much that is scary, painful, and threatening end up so utterly transforming? Shouldn’t healing experiences be comforting ones?

Pages