Best Media Debunking of the Myth of Marital Bliss

For way too long, reporters who should know better have been perpetuating myths about the benefits of marrying based on working papers and press releases. Finally, someone challenged those claims instead of just repeating them.

How Not to Think About Single People

When "experts" offer their opinions on single people, they sometimes reveal what they do not know about single people and single life. A recent New York Times story includes a number of claims just begging to be critiqued. Readers, have at it!

How to Be Happily Single for Life

In a study of lifelong single people in Ireland, 65 and older, those who had chosen to live single were happier and had fewer regrets than those who were single because of constraints. The single-by-choice seniors were contentedly pursuing their interests, volunteering, and socializing with friends and relatives.

Marital Privilege: It's Not Just a Courtroom Thing

The growing awareness of white privilege and male privilege has opened our eyes to many other kinds of privileges. Yet amidst all this consciousness-raising, most people have remained oblivious to the unearned privileges that advantage at least half of the adult population – people who are married.

Getting Married Makes You Happier? No, Part 2 [UPDATED]

Heard about the recent research supposedly showing that marrying makes people lastingly happier? It actually showed that in vast swaths of the world, married people are not happier than single people. It also replicated the finding that any increase in happiness among people who get married and stay married is just a short-lived honeymoon effect.

Getting Married Makes You Happier? Again, No, Part 1

In this, the first of two posts on the latest study claiming that getting married makes you happier, I explain why no study has ever definitively shown that getting married causes people to become happier—and no study ever will. In Part 2, I'll critique the latest study in detail.

Your Comfort Zone: Should You Just Stay in It?

Overcome your limitations? No, embrace them. So says Meghan Daum in one of the many brilliant essays in her new book, "The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion."

Why Don't We Confide in the People Closest to Us?

Researchers have long assumed that we discuss our most intimate matters only with the most important people in our lives. A sociologist just tested that assumption, and discovered just how wrong we have been.

Top 2014 Living Single Posts – and a Few Other Things, Too

Here are the 2014 Living Single posts that attracted the greatest number of page views, plus some other things, too.

Can a Computer Tell When You Are Lying?

If I fed a transcript of your communications into a computer, could the computer tell if you were lying? In a review of 44 studies, some cues to deception were unearthed by the computer programs. In important ways, though, the computers were really pretty lame at figuring out who was lying.

Are We Less Lonely Than We've Been in Decades?

For decades, teenagers and young adults have been telling researchers how lonely they feel. Guess what? In contrast to all the scary headlines you have been seeing about the increasingly lonely Americans, trends suggest just the opposite. What should we make of that?

How to Be Alone: 14 Quips and Tips

I wasn't so sure I would appreciate a book called "How to Be Alone" – I love my solitude and hardly need lessons. It turns out, though, that Sara Maitland's book is filled with great insights and perspectives. Here are a few of my favorites.

Telling Lies: Fact, Fiction, and Nonsense, by Maria Hartwig

You have probably heard countless claims about detecting deception made by Paul Ekman, the most famous deception researcher in the world. In my opinion, he is not the best deception researcher. Maria Hartwig is. I have asked her to tell us what we should and should not believe about cues to deception, and how well we can detect deception, in this guest post.

Who Can't Keep their Stories Straight: A Cue to Deception?

It seems obvious that over time, the statements given by witnesses who are telling the truth will be more consistent than those given by witnesses who are lying. The prosecutor in the Ferguson, Missouri case (in which a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black man) seemed to assume that. But is it true?

How to Become Your True Self

Social scientists have addressed one of the central questions of our lives: How do we become our best and truest self? The goals we set and the plans we make are critical, but how do we know whether we are pursuing the goals that will result in a meaningful and fulfilling life?

I Heart Me -- Really?

The Chinese have outdone the Americans with the day they set aside for their shopping extravaganza. And it all started with single men marking their marital status with drinks.
Are You Guilty of Friend Jealousy, or a Victim of It?

Are You Guilty of Friend Jealousy, or a Victim of It?

When people see their romantic partner as the center of their life, but are not so sure their partner feels the same way about them, friends get caught in the cross-hairs. People who are insecure about their romantic relationship act badly when their loved-one wants to hang out with friends—and that bad behavior threatens the relationship they care about the most.
Aubord Dulac/Shutterstock

7 Ways Your Negative Thoughts Can Help You

In the workplace, in your relationships, and in everyday life, there are ways in which negative thoughts and bad feelings can actually be good for you. Here are 7 research-based examples.

No to Marriage: Not a Good Deal, or not Even on the Table?

Many people who choose to live single are not doing so because they are waiting for "the one" or "putting marriage aside" or because marriage "does not offer a good deal anymore." Marriage was never on the table.

8 Ways Singles Are More Connected, Caring, and Generous

Do you think that it is married people who are holding our families and communities together, who are most generous, and who are contributing the most toward the care of old and disabled people who cannot care for themselves? Here are 10 evidence-based ways in which you are wrong. It is single people who are the most connected, caring, and generous.

Who's Afraid of Single People?

Throughout history, people have often bemoaned "the sharp decline of social trust and the breakdown of community ties." Today, those social ills are sometimes pinned on the rise of single people. The data, though, indicate that it is people who get married who become more insular.

The 9 Ways Boring People Can Bore You

Studies of the social psychology of boredom show that we can bore people with what we say or don't say and with our style of interacting. We are right to worry about being boring: people who are judged as boring are judged harshly in many other ways, too. There is, though, one way in which boring people are seen as superior to interesting ones.

How to Scare People into Getting Married

An "expert" tells single people that they had better hurry up and get married or else their lives are going to be nasty, brutish, and short. Also, they won't have "important self-insights" like married people do and they won't know how to get along with people, either. This was in the Wall Street Journal. In the year 2014.

Dilbert Creator Discovers Single Life and Writes New Rules

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has just had the best year of his life. That was not by chance. Here are the three principles he set out to follow in order to create the most rewarding experiences for himself and the other people in his life. One of his principles seemed risky but it worked out far better than he feared.

Is This David Letterman's Most Shameful Top 10 List?

I'm used to lame jokes about single people, but David Letterman's "Top 10 reasons why you are still single" left me reeling. Do you think his list – especially the last reason – was acceptable?

You Are Engaged, in the Best Way!

To the readers of this blog who have often engaged in discussions of the posts, may I thank you on the dedication page of a new collection? And a few more topics of national and international significance.

7 Stunning Ways Life Was Different in the 1960s

The sixties was an inspiring decade, but it started from a pretty dreary place. Some characteristics of the U.S. in 1960: nasty attitudes, hardly any women had bachelor's degrees, marriage (the male/female type) was nearly universal, and only 1 in 350 kids lived with a mother who had never been married.

Weirdest Thing Ever – at Least in My Life

Two weird things: (1) how my Singled Out book got implicated in a marriage, and (2) the assumption I had made about myself that I had to revisit.

Best Things about Living Alone – for People Who Mean It

"Best things about living alone" lists are everywhere. They are filled with the most superficial attractions of solo living. Here are some of the profoundly fulfilling rewards of living on your own, for people who aren't just trying to convince themselves that they like it.

Do Heavy Internet Users Have a Lousy Social Life?

To the purveyors of gloom over what the Internet is supposedly doing to our social lives, hear this: The number of friends Americans have in their lives is substantial, and that number has been increasing. What's more, the increase in the number of people Americans see or hear from at least once a week is greatest for the heaviest users of the Internet.