The Unwritten Rules of Sharing Your News

There is an emotional logic to our understanding of who should be the first (and second and third) to know about psychologically significant matters. When these disclosure rules are broken, and a person who should have known first is one of the last to find out, relationships are ruined. When rules are broken in the other direction, intimacy is deepened.

The Happy Loner

Why do we see sociable people as having special skills, while feeling wary of people who are good at spending time alone? Why isn’t the ability to savor solitude a special talent, too?

The End of Marriage

The number of people who are not married has been increasing for decades. But even if those increases slow or reverse, marriage is dead. We have seen the future and all of its possibilities, and marriage can never drag us back.

Get Married or Get Pummeled: Actual Claim in Washington Post

The Washington Post actually published this headline: “One way to avoid violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married.” It did not stand.

Single in the UK, Post Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones was funny, but not exactly inspirational. Now in this guest post, UK blogger and author Paula Coston shares a much more enlightened perspective on single life from the UK.

Will Mate-trimony Make It Fashionable to Be Single?

Mate-trimony, frennymoons, frenniversaries, life insurance for friends – can these kinds of ideas add up to a better place in society for singles and their friends?

Santa Barbara Slaughter

In the wake of the horrible Isla Vista mass murder, we have heard all about mental health, gun violence, misogyny, our media culture, and more. One topic, though, seems to have been completely overlooked.

Ditch the Fairytale – and Monogamy?

The author of “Screw the Fairytale” has a thing or two to say about our obsession with romantic partners. For example: Why just one at a time? Why assume everyone wants one? What’s with the assumption that if you have a serious relationship partner, you are going to live with that person?

What If Monica Lewinsky Had Been Married?

In systematic research in which two people are described in identical ways, except that one is said to be married and the other, single, the single person is consistently judged more harshly. What can that tell us about the thought-experiment of how Monica Lewinsky would have been viewed differently if she had been married?

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.

23 Ways Single People Are Better: The Scientific Evidence

The scientifically-documented superiority of single people can be found in all sorts of domains, such as health, social connections, values, generosity, resilience, and personal resources.

Unconscious, Gut-Level Lie Detection?

If you ask people directly whether someone is lying or telling the truth, they seem like lousy lie detectors. But what if you could find a more indirect way of finding out what they know? Then, would you find that people really do have some unconscious or implicit or gut-level knowledge of when other people are being dishonest?

The Deep Rewards of a Deeply Single Life

There are profound satisfactions of the deeply-single life, as one writer discovered in her early 30s, after about a decade of always having a boyfriend.

Do Fewer Babies Create Happier Humans and Better Societies?

As more women are having fewer children, a panic has developed about what this might mean for societies. Here are five ways in which the tendency toward having fewer children might actually be good for individuals and nations.

Relationship Virgins

If you are in your 20s or 30s or even older than that, and you have never had a romantic relationship, maybe you are not as alone as you think.

Get Married, Get Heart Disease: Study of 3.5 Million Adults

A fundamentally flawed study got lots of attention. It actually did NOT show that if you get married, you will have a healthier heart. The results for coronary heart disease actually suggested, though did not prove, just the opposite.

How Body Language Lets Us Down

Body language can be so seductive. It can also be terribly misleading. It can be lead us astray in the bedroom, in politics, in the marketplace, and in everyday life. It can also be nearly useless in airport screenings.

What Married and Single People Do Differently

Can you predict how married and single people differ (and do not differ) in how they spend their time? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been keeping track for more than a decade.

What Are Friends For? Views from Single and Married Life

People who talk about friends and friendship in the context of marriage (including scholars) sometimes have a very different take on the topic than do single people and scholars of single life.

Singles Humor: Funny or Not?

Humor is tricky. What’s funny or telling to some is something else entirely to others. What do you think of these examples?

What You Know About Marriage That the NY Times Does Not

If you include in your study only the people who are likely to give you the results you want, that’s not science. Almost all studies of the implications of marital status for health and happiness do just that.

About Those 27 Wrong Reasons You Are Single

I thought I was done with “why are you single” writings, but Sara Eckel’s demolishing of all those patronizing, contradictory, and inaccurate nuggets of advice was satisfying even to someone like me who has no interest in becoming unsingle.

An App That Feels Sorry for You

Time magazine’s sorry app hits a new low with its regressive attitudes and the values it thinks we should live by.

10 Steps for Getting Over Humiliation

Is it possible that what separates the successful from the unsuccessful is not getting humiliated – that happens to everyone – but how they cope with humiliation? Here are 10 tips from one of the most celebrated psychologists, who admits to three big-time humiliations.

Study: Got Married Sooner Than You Hoped? That’s Depressing

In a decades-long study, those who married younger than they had hoped were more depressed than those who married around their ideal age. Those who married a lot later than they had hoped were also more depressed. Those who married younger than they had wished and those who married a lot older were no less depressed at age 40 than those who wanted to marry but never did.

Lefties’ Love Affair with Marriage

Lefties have been terrific allies to those advocating for same-sex marriage rights. But in many important ways, they are just as matrimaniacal as people on the right. They have little to say about the benefits, protections, and perks denied to single people of every sexual orientation.

Debunking Every Myth about Marriage, All in One Place

Here’s where you can find the truth on just about every myth about how getting married will transform you. You can find out about happiness, health, sex, living longer, interpersonal connections, providing care and getting care, the fate of the children of single (vs. married) parents, and much more.

The First American Singles Day Celebration

China has a National Singles Day, but it is the matrimaniacal kind, in which singles look for and celebrate The One. Why not a more enlightened version in the US? One enthusiastic and energetic single woman is trying to make that happen and has already organized some events.

Why Do Boomers Divorce So Much More Than Everyone Else?

Boomers are bucking the trend toward fewer divorces. So why are they divorcing so much more often than everyone else? One view is that they are innovators with high standards for their conjugal partners. That would be so boring if boomers went from transformers of society to garden-variety matrimaniacs.

Getting Married and Not Getting Healthy: Decades of Data

If you get married, will you get healthier? Here I scrutinize decades of data, and take on the claims about physical health (including weight, exercise, blood pressure, stroke, heart health, sleep, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and cancer), and mental health (including emotional health, depression, suicide, and psychopathy).