Of Holiday Bullies and Double Standards

People can be very judgmental about how they think other people should spend the holidays. Even those advice columns that are supposedly even-handed often have different standards for people who are single vs. coupled.

David Brooks, Nuclear Family Scold, Cries Uncle

NY Times columnist David Brooks argues that people are better off when they “bind themselves” to two-parent families. He thinks that laws should discriminate in favor of “family formation and fertility.” I’ll take him on with data.

Are Couples Mean to Singles?

Usually, I decide for myself what to write about here, but every so often, a story shows up in my inbox so many times that I feel that I have no choice but to share it. An essay in the BBC News Magazine is a recent example.

The Single Best Bit of $$ Advice for Single People

A recent report shows that single people are not as far along in their retirement planning as married people are. Here are some big-picture answers to why that is and what can be done, and not just with regard to money.

8 Cool Facts about Halloween

Here’s what psychology can tell us about drinking on Halloween, sex differences in costumes, and other fun facts about trick-or-treating.

Guided Fantasies for the Future

When you think about retirement, you can fantasize about where to live and how to spend 168 hours a week. But you can muse about all of that, and more, even if you are not there yet.

Bite Me? That’s What TV and Movie Romances Do

Does it matter that movies and TV shows are awash in matrimania? Is there any link between watching these shows – or believing in the messages they convey about romantic relationships – and how people in romantic relationships feel about their real relationships?

Did You Miss the Debate Shout-Out to Living Alone?

Did you think the issue of choice was missing from last night’s debate? Actually, we heard about a different kind of choice, one that has probably been missing from all Presidential debates throughout history.

Redesigning Marriage: Experts Miss the Best Idea

A New York Times reporter interviewed experts on marriage, asking them for their suggestions for making it stronger. I’ll tell you about some of them here. First, though, guess what suggestion none of the experts offered.

5 Absolute Truths About Lies

Decades of research on deceiving and detecting deceit suggest five seemingly dismal everlasting truths. The sixth everlasting truth, though, is that the first five are not really all that bad.

Top 10 Living Single Posts Since 2011 Singles Week

Readers’ 10 favorite Living Single posts during the past year are not about just one theme – in fact, they are about 10 different themes.

Who Is the True Avatar of the Lonely Crowd – the Single Person or the Couple?

It is National Singles Week, and English Professor Michael Cobb gives us something to celebrate with his provocative new book offering arguments for the uncoupled.

Yes, We Really Do Want Lifelong Singlehood

A recent post asking whether you really do want lifelong singlehood, or whether you are just fooling yourself, is a throw-back to the 1950s. The authors repeat the usual bogus claims about marriage, and seem oblivious to contemporary critical thinking about marriage and single life.

If You Live Alone, Have You Made a Virtue of Selfishness?

A critic argues that people who live alone are abdicating their responsibility to develop the good character of the next generation.

Sex and the Single Voter: 2012 Edition

In 2004, I wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about the caricaturing and dismissive ways that single people were being treated in the Presidential campaign. Now, it is not just single people who are under assault.

Does Capitalism Love Single People?

Are marketers so smitten with single people that they are actually portraying them positively in ads and encouraging people to divorce?

4 Single Men: All Hetero, Living Together for 18 Years

A story of four single men who have been living together for nearly two decades is also a story about the living arrangements of our 21st century lives, and how we find our place, our space, and our people.

How Ordinary People Become Extraordinary Liars

Jonah Lehrer is one of a long line of ordinary people who stumble down the path toward becoming extraordinary liars. How does that happen?

Deplorable Article on the Pathetic Single-Parent Family and the Awesome Married One

A lengthy story in the New York Times pronounces married-parent families superior to single-parent families, especially economically. There was no acknowledgment of the financial favoritism built right into our laws, nor of any of the other workings of singlism. The reporting of the social science data falls short, too.

Should Marriage Be Abolished, Minimized, or Left Alone?

In "Minimizing Marriage", Professor Elizabeth Brake takes on the prevailing mythologies about marriage by subjecting them to rigorous philosophical analysis. Her insights are about so much more than just marriage.

‘Having It All’? Four Reasons Why I’m Having None of It

The Atlantic magazine story on ‘having it all’ produced an avalanche of opinion, critique, and commentary. At least four points continue to get short shrift.

To Be or Not to Be Single: What Does the Internet Have to Do with It?

Now that the internet offers access to so many more potential partners, are more people in romantic relationships than ever before?

Defensive About Not Having Children? Philosopher Says We Have It All Wrong

“Choosing whether or not to have children is,” a philosopher argues, “the most significant ethical debate of most people’s lives.” The burden of proof should rest “primarily on those who choose to have children, not those who choose to be childless.”

The Last ‘Why You Are Single’ List You Will Ever Need

Inoculation is the best medicine. Read this list of reasons why you are single, and you can resolve never to click on a list with a title like that ever again.

The New Life Option that Would Have Shocked Me in My 20s

Increasingly, we can live as we like, have sex with whomever we like – or not at all – and avoid much of the stigma of the past. What I never anticipated is a direction that today’s young adults are heading.

Marriage Fraud

In the law, marriage fraud includes faking a marriage in order to get benefits such as health insurance or immigration status or tax breaks. Maybe the real fraud is that you need to be married at all (“legitimately” or otherwise) in order to qualify for some fundamental human dignities.

Single at Heart: The Missing Pieces

Sex and stigma and children and aging and oh so much more. People who answered the single-at-heart survey suggested additional questions on these topics and others.

What Does It Mean to Be Single at Heart?

Here’s how people who are single-at-heart differ from those who are not in matters such as valuing solitude, feelings of personal mastery, preferences for socializing, feelings after a romantic relationship ends, and much more.

Vulnerabilities of Singles with No Children: Part 4

I have previously described the strengths of people who are single and have no children. Here I review some family-relevant vulnerabilities.

Do Single Women Pursue Careers Because There Are Too Few Men?

In the “briefcase vs. baby” research, the authors never seriously considered any interpretations other than their own. They also did not recognize some of the most serious limitations of their work.