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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Single People

Answers to 37 big questions about single life

For two decades, I’ve been researching and writing about single life, and reading and discussing other people’s research and writings. With the help of some brilliant people who have contributed guest posts, I have been able to address just about every big question about single life.

I try to keep these writings about single life organized by topic. Recently, I’ve added a few new topics as well as lots of new articles to the topics that were already in my collection.

The outline of the newly updated collection is at the bottom of this article.

Do you want to know what to think about all those claims that getting married makes people happier or healthier and all the rest? (Hint: Don’t believe them!) You will find lots of writings about those issues in the first section, topics 1-8. That section also debunks myths about the supposedly isolated and self-centered single people (so not true), and about the fate of the children of single parents (not gloomy).

Do you want to know about the different ways that single people are living? That’s in the second section, topics 9 and 10.

What is it that draws people to single life? When people embrace single life, what do they find so fulfilling? The section, “The best of single life,” addresses that in topics 11-14.

The next section, topics 15-20, addresses the basics. Just how many single people are there? What does “single” mean? Most of the research and writings on single life are about single women, but what do we know about single men? What about lifelong single people? Older single people? People who were once married but are now divorced or widowed?

Since you are reading this, you probably already know about singlism, the stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against people who are single. A section on “Singles advocacy and why we need it” (topics 21 and 22) gathers some writings about what we need to do. It also includes discussions of how single people have been stereotyped and shamed – as well as articles on how single people have sometimes been celebrated.

In every major arena of our lives, there are issues around people who are single. Those issues are discussed in writings about the place of single people in the workplace, the educational system, the medical establishment, politics, religion, the military, business, advertising, and popular culture (topics 23-32).

The last section, topics 33-37, is called “We need to rethink these matters.” Think about what you might expect to read elsewhere about topics such as relationships, family, love, holidays, pets, loneliness, and marriage. In the relevant writings in that section, you will not find the conventional wisdom. I hope you will like what I have to say better.

Did I miss something? Unless it is a question about dating, let me know.

Click HERE to find the articles on all the topics listed below.

Myth-Busting about Single Life

1 HAPPINESS On getting married and (not) getting happier: What we know

2 PHYSICAL HEALTH and MENTAL HEALTH Getting married and (not) getting healthy

3 LONGEVITY Debunking the myth that married people live longer

4 RELATIONSHIPS, ATTACHMENT, CAREGIVING, VOLUNTEERING Single people are caring, connected, attached, and unselfish

5 SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES Single parents and their children: Don’t believe the prophesies of doom

6 NO CHILDREN Adults with no kids: Naming, shaming, and talking back to the shaming

7 SEX Getting married and (not) getting sex (and other sex-relevant topics)

8 MONEY Getting married and getting more money (and other articles about the economics of single life)

How we live now

9 21st century living arrangements

10 Living alone

The best of single life

11 Single at heart

12 The real reasons for living single

13 Solitude

14 Friendship

Some basics about single life

15 Demographics (number of singles, age when people marry, rates of divorce and remarriage, etc.)

16 Defining single and naming different categories of singles

17 Single men (separate category because so much writing about singles is about single women)

18 Lifelong single people

19 Older single people

20 Divorce, widowhood, remarriage

Singles advocacy and why we need it

21 Singles advocacy and the issue of privilege

22 How singles are celebrated and stereotyped and shamed

Singles in different domains and different places

23 The workplace

24 Research and teaching

25 Religions and places of worship

26 Advertising, marketing, and business

27 Politics

28 Health care and illness

29 The military and foreign service

30 Popular culture (TV, movies, books, and magazines)

31 Celebrities, world figures, and people in politics and the media

32 Singles around the world

We need to rethink these matters

33 Relationships, family, and love

34 Holidays

35 Pets

36 Loneliness

37 Marriage

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