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Answers to All Your Questions about Single People and Single Life

I have been writing about single people and single life for many years. During that time, I have probably written on just about every relevant topic (except dating and other attempts to become unsingle). I put together collections of links to articles about more than 30 different topics. You can find all of them here, or you can go directly to the particular topics that interest you by clicking the relevant links below.
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50th Wedding Anniversary: Is It an Accomplishment? Guest Post by Kristin Noreen

[Bella's intro: It has always bothered me when people heap such high praise and applause on people who stay married for a long time when other significant relationships are not similarly valued. I wrote about one example of that here previously. Recently, in the Community of Single People, Kristin Noreen asked whether a lengthy marriage should qualify as an accomplishment. I thought Kristin's post was written in a careful and a compelling way. I liked it a lot. But it got a lot of push-back. I asked Kristin if she wanted to share her argument here, and respond to the reactions it elicited. Happily, she agreed. Thanks, Kristin!]

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Single by Choice and Single at Heart: Is There a Difference?

The name of this blog, "Single at Heart," refers to a set of single people who, culturally, are almost entirely invisible. They are the single people for whom living single is how they live their best, most authentic, most meaningful lives.

You may have heard people say that being single is better than being in a bad marriage. Well, for people who are single at heart, being single is better than being in a good marriage.

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Why Study Single People?

For nearly two decades, I have been researching and writing about people who are single. It is a real passion for me. Yet some people – including some single people – recoil at the thought. Why should single people be examined as if they are some bug under a microscope, or some exotic species separate from other humans?

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The Most Liked Single-at-Heart Articles: 2015

I write about so many different aspects of single life (all of them, in fact, except dating and trying to become unsingle) and I'm passionate about just about every topic. At the end of the year, I like to look back and see which articles my readers seemed to like best. There are different ways to assess that. Here, I'm using the number of Facebook "Likes" each article attracted.

Here are the Top 12 Single-at-Heart articles for 2015. All of them were "Liked" more than 100 times.

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The Community of Single People Is Drawing Members from Around the World

"For the first time, I feel like I belong somewhere," said Ibrahim Umar.

"It's such a comfort to have people to talk to who don't have to be brought up to speed," offered Kristin Noreen.

Edward Bayley added, "Knowing that this is a global community that has no boundaries in terms of age, gender, or background, made me realize that I am not an exception to a rule, but part of another rule altogether."

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Have You Been Shamed for Being Single?

The December 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine includes the story, "Stop Single-Shaming Me!" As reporter Julie Vadnal notes in the tagline, "If you're single, it's seen as a problem to be fixed."

I was delighted to learn that Vadnal is a single person who is not dating and who doesn't hide that fact. But her admission of being "Tinder-less" is what brought about some intense single-shaming by the people around her.

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If You’ve Been Single All Your Life, You Have a Lot to Be Proud Of

For years, I have been reading, writing about, and listening to the stories of people who are single. I'm interested in all varieties of single people, including those who are divorced and widowed as well as those who have always been single. I've always been single myself, so I probably can't help thinking about other people's stories from that particular perspective.

In some ways, people who have always been single are the targets of the most negative stereotypes. If you are divorced or widowed, the condescending narratives insist, at least you were wanted by someone at some point in time. If you've been single all your life, the story goes, you must have issues.

When I listen to the stories of divorced and widowed people, I come to a different conclusion: People who have always been single have so many reasons to feel proud. What they have learned to do for themselves, the many tasks they have mastered (or figured out how to accomplish with the help of others) – all of that is truly impressive.

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Give Yourself the Gift of Dignity

Over at another psychology site, a pair of bloggers asked whether marriage or living together or staying single was best, and proclaimed that single was the worst. They even perpetuated the typical misleading claims about how science has shown that marriage is best.

It hasn't.

I have been debunking those claims for a very long time. Below, I'm sharing the Preface to a collection of my writings on the topic. I offer it as a reminder to give yourself the gift of dignity. Do not accept other people's claims that your life is second rate (and not just when it comes to living single). Maintain your dignity. They don't get to take that away.

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