Archives for General

General

Matrimania Mars the Olympics

I am in awe of Olympic athletes. The commitment they show with their bruising training schedules is impressive. So is their stunning level of skill. On top of all that, the Olympic opportunity occurs just once every four years. The pressure once they get there seems almost unfathomable. The athletes who make it to the Olympics deserve to bask in their moment – especially (but not only) if they make it to the medals podium. The Olympic games, and the medals ceremonies, should be all about the athletes and their amazing achievements. But, of course, they are not. Matrimania – the over-the-top hyping of marriage, coupling, and weddings – is greedy. It saturates society, seeping into every nook and crevice. And now it has spoiled the Olympics, too.
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General

What Does the Most Powerful Person in the World Want?

Perhaps no person anywhere has more responsibilities, more power, or more burdens than the President of the United States. Barack Obama gets precious little sleep. At the end of the day, when there are no more meetings on his calendar, when he’s already had dinner, and – except for the stack of briefing papers – his time is his own, what does he want to do with his time?
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General

Have You Ever Taken a Mental Health Day?

One of my former graduate students, who was not only brilliant but also wise, used to take what she called a “mental health day” now and then. She would set aside all of the ordinary obligations and tasks and commitments and intrusions of everyday life, and head high up into the mountains with her dog. It calmed her. With every step, her anxieties seemed to dissipate. Her aversive ruminations transformed themselves into quiet contemplation. The next day, she could step back into her usual busy life feeling healthy, happy, and refreshed.
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The Psychology of Plagiarism: 3 Ways People End Up with Their Own Name on Someone Else’s Words

One time many years ago, when I was teaching at the University of Virginia, I got this distinct feeling of familiarity while reading a student’s paper. I thought I had read the passage somewhere else, but at first, I just couldn’t place it. Then I realized why it was familiar: I had written it myself. After class the next day, I asked the student to stay for a moment to talk to me. I told him the words he has deposited into his paper were my own, and asked him why he did that. He thought for a moment, then said, “Well, it was just so well-stated, I couldn’t think of a better way to put it.”
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Would Anyone Join a Singles Community that Has Nothing to Do with Dating? Oh, Yes!

What would happen if you invited single people to join an online community all about living single life fully, joyfully, and unapologetically, with no discussions whatsoever about dating or mating or other attempts to become unsingle? Would anyone even join? If people did join, would the group last? I issued just such an invitation a year ago (on July 9, 2015), right here at my “Single at Heart” blog.
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Is the Season of Celebrations Getting You Down?

The beginning of summer is just one of those times of year when it seems that everyone is celebrating. It is wedding season, so friends and family are celebrating their marriages (and, if you are old enough, the grown kids of your friends and family members are also celebrating). It is graduation season, so again, all the graduates you know (or parents of graduates) are celebrating, too. If you’ve never married or had kids, do you feel left out and a little down in the midst of all this merry-making? I think it depends a bit on what you wanted from your life. If you really wanted to marry, if you really wanted to have kids and celebrate all their accomplishments with them, then this season must really hurt.
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8 Ways 30-Year-Olds Are Different Now Than They Were 40 Years Ago

Are 30-year olds all that different now than they were nearly half a century ago? In some ways, they really are. That’s what the Census Bureau just told us in a report comparing 30-year-olds in 1975 vs. 2015. The characteristics assessed in the report were education, job status, income, homeownership, marital status, parental status, living arrangements, and enrollment in school. If you want to test your own knowledge or intuition about these matters, don’t read any further until you’ve thought about your answers: How do the 30-year-olds from 1975 and 2015 differ the most and how do they differ the least?
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Two of the Profound Rewards of Staying Single

Do you like your single life? Settle into it. Research suggests that it can be rewarding in ways you rarely hear about. There's a lot of angst these days about the growing numbers of people living single, and especially about young adults who routinely reach the age of 30 without ever having married. By one respectable estimate, one out of every four of today's young adults will reach 50 as a lifelong single person. Many of their parents are freaking out. Some of the young adults who want to marry are also on edge. My hope for all of us is that we get to pursue the life paths we want, whatever they may be. But I think we have an overly anxious and pessimistic view of lifelong singlehood, and I say that based on data. There is not nearly as much research as there should be on single life, and not all of it is as up-to-date as I would like, but there are some telling findings.
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