Singles and Singlism: International Edition

A week of good and bad, here and abroad

Posted Oct 01, 2013

Last Monday, I left for a trip to Finland where I was invited to give three talks on singles and singlism. Returning meant flying from Turku to Copenhagen, then to Chicago, where my flight to LA was delayed for hours, and then so was my transportation back to Summerland. Plus, I had no access to my email accounts. So today, hours after returning to the warm sun of Summerland, I’m still working my way through thousands of messages. For now, I’ll just offer a preview of things to come.

Issues about single people followed me all along the way. Before I even got to Finland, newspapers in airports were offering headlines about the latest study supposedly showing that if you are single, cancer will kill you much faster than if you are married. When I arrived, a journalist had a copy of a story from a Dutch paper, and asked me to comment on it. So one of my upcoming posts will be about that, but if you have read the second chapter of Singled Out, you probably already have a pretty good idea of why we single people shouldn’t just go ahead and off ourselves now and just get it over with.

Below are some other topics for posts in the next week or so, here and at my other blogs. (One of my other blogs is set up so that posts can be written in advance and then scheduled to appear at any time, so some of the posts there were written before I left and are not on these particular topics.)

  • After my first talk in Turku, I got asked a question that I had never been asked in all of the 15 or so years that I have been writing and speaking about singles. Then, after my last talk, I got asked it again. (UPDATE: Here's my post about that.)
  • The organization that invited me to speak in Finland is the Association for People Who Live Alone. I learned that there are a number of other associations for single people and/or people who live alone in other European nations. There are intriguing similarities across countries in the issues that matter to these groups and in how the groups are faring.
  • A journalist I criticized for mocking single people has responded by describing her difficult life as a widow — and calling me an ass.
  • Another journalist has sent me questions about the previous post here, How many people choose to be single? She has assembled a list of reasons why the Pew estimate of the answer to that question is an overestimate. She offers no observations or questions as to why the estimate might actually be an underestimate.
  • Maybe I will also share some of my observations about Finland (with appropriate caveats about the brevity of my stay) and the acts of kindness I experienced there. (UPDATE: Here it is.)
  • I probably won’t write a post about this, but after the numerous demoralizing topics (such as that study about how singles are supposedly doomed to an early death), it was good to receive a link from our friend Christina from Onely to a lighter story with the title: “One in eight single men prefer new iPhone to new partner.”