Archives for Psychology

How we live now

Committing to Single Life: Is There a Time When You Just Know?

All sorts of life transitions are marked by rituals that memorialize a particular day, or a particular event, as significant. Graduations. Birthday parties. Retirement celebrations. The wedding ritual, marking the day of the official transition into married life. More and more often, there are also divorce events, putting a stamp – sometimes a celebratory one – on the end of a marriage.

But what about people who are single and decide to continue on that course? People who perhaps are single at heart – who believe that they lead their best, most authentic, and most meaningful lives by living single. Others, too, whose commitment to single life may not be an unqualified embrace, but who have weighed the options in their life and decided, single it is.

Is there a time when they just know that they want to live single?

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College Love Stories, Reimagined

I went to Vassar College because a friend of my father's, knowing that I had good grades, told him I should apply there. At the time, I had never heard of it. Neither had my dad.

I grew up in the tiny town of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, outside of Scranton. Once I realized that Vassar was an elite school, I was a bit embarrassed to have tried for admission. About a month after I applied, my high school guidance counselor asked if I had heard anything back yet. I said I hadn't, and didn't really expect any good news. To which she replied, "Oh, honey, you shouldn't feel that way. In 1933, a girl from this school applied to Smith, and she got in."

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21 Ways Single People Are Taxed More Than Married People on Tax Day and Every Other Day

Americans become especially attuned to fairness in taxation when April 15 rolls around, but for people who are single, every day is tax day. When single people pay more than married people do, either financially or emotionally, they are subsidizing married people.

Here are just some of the ways in which every day is tax day if you are single.

When you are single, every day is the day when you pay more...
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If You Are Single with No Kids, Who Is Your Family?

Today in the U.S., it is just about as ordinary to be single as to be married. There are 107 million unmarried Americans who are 18 or older; if you start counting at 16, singles have outnumbered married people for years. Alongside the steady and remarkable increase in the number of single people is another striking development – the rise of people who never do raise any kids.

If you are single and you have no kids, who is your family? Do you even have one?

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Marriage Is Over, and Not Just in Iceland

Iceland, it seems, is done with marriage. So says CNN in the article, "Is marriage outdated in Iceland?" My inbox is filling up with "did-you-see-this" emails and the article has already been posted several times in the Community of Single People. For good reason. Icelanders are not just forsaking marriage, they also seem to be remarkably free of stigma and shaming when it comes to people who are single, perhaps especially single parents.

Americans, in contrast, are getting married much more often than Scandinavians. (Sometimes the same people in the U.S. do it over and over again). In our land, matrimania and singlism are rampant.

But here's the thing. Even in the U.S., the end of marriage has come. Let me share my favorite rant on this topic:

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Love & Affection

My Single Life: What Hurt Wasn’t Loneliness, But Getting Left Out

So far as I can tell, one of the most-read articles I've ever written was "I've been single all my life. I rarely get lonely." I can't take credit for the idea of writing about my own (rare) experiences of loneliness. The editor of the Washington Post Solo-ish column suggested it.

Although I rarely experience the loneliness that other people expect to be a big part of single life, I have experienced painful moments that I do attribute to being single. Those moments are not about being lonely but being excluded.

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Married People Really Are Better Off Than Singles in This One Way

Ever since I first started studying the scholarly research on marriage and single life, as well as doing my own research and writing, I have been railing about widespread but inaccurate beliefs. For example, I can assure you that research does not show that getting married makes people happier or healthier or more socially connected. I say this as someone who has published more than 100 scholarly articles and taught graduate courses in research methods for decades.

But getting married does typically give something important to people, and lots of it: Money. I'm not just talking about the obvious things, such as the economies of scale that people enjoy when they share a place and all of the expenses rather than covering them all themselves if they live alone.

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