Archives for myths about single people - Page 2

General

Almost 30, the Hardest Time to Be Single? Part 2

A conversation with Wendy Wasson

In the first post in this series, I described the widespread belief that living single only gets harder as you proceed through midlife and then through later life. I also said that my guess, in most cases, is that just the opposite is true. I think that single people are likely to find their lives full of more joy and less angst as they proceed through their adult years. I found a few snippets of research that supported that possibility. Still, I admitted that the most convincing study of this question has yet to be done.

In this post, I'll begin my discussion of this topic with Wendy Wasson. Dr. Wasson is a psychotherapist who, in her practice, has worked with many single women of different ages. She is also one of the creators of the website MySingleSpace, and for nearly a decade had conducted SingleSpace workshops. She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University, where she has been on the faculty of the Feinberg School of Medicine.

Continue Reading

General

At What Age Is It Hardest to Be Single? Part 1

Recently, a reporter asked me how the experience of living single is different at different ages. Is there a time when it is especially difficult? A time when it is not that difficult at all? I remembered that a few years ago (before I started blogging for Psych Central), I published a conversation I had with a very insightful psychotherapist, Wendy Wasson. I just reread that conversation and found Dr. Wasson's perspectives just as fresh and penetrating as I did the first time, so I wanted to share them here.

This is the first of the four-part conversation. In the coming days and weeks, I'll publish the next three parts:

Almost 30, the Hardest Time to be Single? Part 2
Challenges of Living Single at Every Age: Part 3
Single After 40 and Single Again: Part 4

Continue Reading

General

Another Spin on the Marriage-Go-Round: New Data on Americans Who Marry Over and Over Again

You don't need to be an American to know that Americans just love marriage. Matrimania – the over-the-top hyping of marriage, coupling, and weddings – is pervasive. But the evidence for our special relationship with marriage is not just in the popularity of shows like The Bachelor or the tedious regularity with which TV shows, movies, and novels end at the altar. It is also in the hard numbers – Census Bureau data on the frequency with which Americans get married, and then get married again, and then get married still again.

It is a pattern with Americans. Andrew Cherlin told us all about it, by putting together the data that were available to anyone who wanted to take a look, in his aptly-titled book, The Marriage-Go-Round. Americans, he demonstrated, are more into marriage and coupling than people in any other countries in the Western world. Americans marry more, divorce more, and engage in more short-term cohabiting relationships.

Continue Reading

General

115 Years Old, Still Single, and Still Living Alone

"Can staying single really help you live forever?" That was the headline of a story at Fusion, picking up on an article at the New York Times that zipped around the internet soon after it was published – fittingly, on Valentine's Day.

Our heroine is Emma Morano of Italy, born in 1899 and now one of the five oldest people in the world. She has been single since 1938 (so, for 77 years). Times reporter Elisabeth Povoledo said of Morano that she is "convinced that being single for most of her life…has kept her kicking." In Morano's own words, "I didn't want to be dominated by anyone."

Continue Reading

General

Patricia Arquette, Jon Stewart, and the No Good, Very Bad Week for Women Who Are Single or Have No Kids

To be single or an adult with no kids is to be in a group that is often stereotyped, stigmatized, or ignored. Those derogated and marginalized categories are different from other stigmatized categories, such as certain racial groups, because there is far less awareness of the prejudice and discrimination. That means that there is also less effort put into the avoidance of boorish behavior toward people in those groups. And it means that sometimes even people who consider themselves open-minded and anything but bigoted in fact behave badly – without even realizing it.

In just the past few days, there have been two high-profile examples. The first has already gotten so much attention that there is a backlash to the backlash. I'm talking about Patricia Arquette's acceptance speech at the 2015 Oscars when she won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Boyhood. Here's the key part:

Continue Reading

General

Do Fretful Discussions about Living Alone Drive You Mad?

It has been quite the week for angst about living alone. On the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, aptly titled, "The bed's too big without you," the high-powered, ultra-talented female doctors were hanging around waiting for their printer to produce body parts when they launched into a discussion of how hard they found it not to have someone else in their bed. One after another, they moaned and decried the sadness of living alone, until, at last, the youngest of the group admitted that she loved having her bed to herself.

Continue Reading

General

Check Your Marital Privilege

[This article is co-authored – in alphabetical order – by Lisa Arnold, Rachel Buddeberg, Christina Campbell, and Bella DePaulo. We are cross-posting it on all of our blogs.]

"White privilege" and "male privilege" are familiar concepts in our cultural conversations. There is, however, another vast swath of unearned privileges that have gone largely unrecognized, even though they unfairly advantage about half of the adult population in the United States. We're talking about marital privileges. People who marry enjoy social, cultural, economic, and political advantages that single people do not, simply because they are married.

Continue Reading

General

The Worst — and Best — of Valentine’s Day

It is that time of year when my inbox fills up with emails from people asking for favors. They want me to promote their products about dating and mating, and assume that because my blog and my books have "single" in the title, of course I would be interested in doing so. They've never read any of my work, nor that of any other person writing about single people in a way that is not saturated with singlism.

Continue Reading