Unapologetically Single? Here Are the Best Ted Talks for You

The most empowering talks about living single, plus critiques of marriage

Posted Feb 23, 2019

When I was planning my TEDx talk in 2017, I wanted to find other great TED talks about single life for inspiration. There was not much. Since then, things have gotten a bit better. For this list, I dropped the requirement that the talks had to be TED talks; there are some terrific singles-relevant talks that are not. I also included some talks that are not specifically about single life but are relevant to important aspects of it. You will also find talks relevant to singlism, as well as some critiques of marriage.

Suggestions for additions are most welcome. Please share them in the comments section.

No Reservations: What’s Great about Being Single

#1 “My life is mine,” by Tracee Ellis Ross

#2 “What no one ever told you about people who are single,” by Bella DePaulo

#3 “Living Single,” by Eric Klinenberg

Singlism: Stereotyping, Stigmatizing, Shaming, and Marginalizing Single People, and Discriminating Against Them

#4 “The danger of a single story,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This isn’t specifically about single people, but it is relevant to single people and any other group of people who get marginalized when just one story is told about them.

#5 “Sick while single? Don’t die of discrimination,” by Joan DelFattore

#6 “I don’t want children. Stop telling me I’ll change my mind,” by Christen Reighter

Of course, many single people do have children. I’d love to add to this list a great talk about them. Post a comment if you have one to suggest.

Not Specifically about Single Life, but Relevant to It

#7 “The new American dream,” by Courtney Martin

This is a big-picture talk, asking how we should live and work

#8 “The power of introverts,” by Susan Cain

Not all single people are introverts, but enough of them are to make this talk relevant. (For more detail, see “The personalities of people who stay single and like it.”)

I’d also like to add to this list some great talks on the important people in our lives other than romantic partners – friends, relatives, mentors, and so forth. Suggestions are welcome.

Critiques of Marriage and Romance

#9 “Love, Inc: How romance and capitalism could destroy our future,” by Laurie Essig

#10 “Cancel Marriage,” by Merav Michaeli

#11 “Searching for love to escape ourselves,” by Hayley Quinn

#12 “Charlene doesn’t understand romance,” by Charlene’s World

This one is from a child. I don’t buy that she generated it all herself, but it is kind of funny if you like that sort of thing.