Archives for Relationships - Page 2

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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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Some Couples Are Faking It to Get Through the Holidays: Can You Tell Which Ones?

I know that I'm supposed to feel self-conscious around the holidays, walking into all those holiday parties on my own when so many others are coupled-up. But I don't. In fact, I feel both happy and proud. Happy, because I'm a sociable person and I like some of these gatherings; and happy because I also love my solitude, and after the party is over, I can go home to some.

The proud part is more interesting: I like it that I don't grab onto someone just to try to fit in at a time of such relentless coupling.

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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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Living Apart Together, Part 1: The Importance of Women’s Wishes

"I need my space" is not just a lame excuse.
After years of traveling the country to explore the innovative ways people are living for How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century, two things became very clear. First, there is no one best way to live – different lifespaces work better for different people. Second, in choosing their living arrangements, people aren't just looking to share their lives with others – they also want time and space to themselves.

In what is perhaps the quintessential expression of the contemporary quest for both independence and interdependence, some committed couples are choosing to live apart, in places of their own. There is even an acronym for them – they are LAT, Living Apart Together.

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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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Single? It Should Be Your Right, But It Isn’t

Are you single and dreading the holidays, or any of the other days of your life, because of the way other people perceive you and treat you? Do you just know they are going to be asking you why you are still single (even if you like being single and have made that clear!)? Are they already assuming that you can cover for the others at work because, in their stereotype-addled minds, you don't have anyone and you don't have a life? Do you already feel like a second-class citizen because of all of the benefits, perks, and protections you don't get but married people do simply because they are married?

The problem is, you really are a second class citizen. You shouldn't be. You should have a right to be single that is equivalent to the right to be married.

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