Archives for Students

Love & Affection

The Hidden Hunger for a Valid and Validating Portrayal of Single Life

Many single people feel good about their single lives. That’s true even for plenty of single people who do not want to stay single; they, too, often feel proud of how they are living their single years fully, rather than just marking time until they find The One. In the popular culture, though, and in everyday life, much of what gets reflected back to single people is damning. They are told, falsely, that they need to marry if they want to live a happy, healthy, and long life. They are mocked as selfish and lonely and desperate to escape single life. Other people try to fix them up, as if they were broken. After a while, it can be a bit much.
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Love & Affection

Beware, Friends and Family of Single People: Singlism Is Contagious

There are so many ways in which single people are treated like they are not as important as married or coupled people. I coined the term “singlism” to refer to the stereotyping, stigmatizing, marginalizing, and discrimination against people who are not married. Singlism seems to be contagious. It affects not just single people, but the important people in their lives, especially if those people are not romantic partners.
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Marriage

What All Unmarried People Should Say about Themselves

Guest Post by Kim Calvert [Bella’s intro: I’ve been studying single life for a long time, and practicing it even longer, so I know the kinds of questions that people have about singles. Often the questions are about the ways in which unmarried people differ from each other. Shouldn’t we be looking separately, I am asked, at single men and single women? Longtime single people versus newly single? Rich versus poor, living alone versus with others, and every other distinction you can possibly imagine. For research purposes, the answer is yes. It is important to understand the many shades and complexities of single people. But in this important guest contribution, the very wise Kim Calvert makes a different argument.
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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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Love & Affection

Are You Marginalizing Your Students and Friends Who Are Single?

Here’s something that is news to some of the smartest teachers and savviest students: Not everyone is interested in marriage or coupling or dating. Even those who eventually might be interested are not necessarily interested at the moment; maybe they have other more engaging or pressing concerns. I don’t think there is a lesson plan anywhere that incorporates this important truth. And I don’t think you will find it in any of the back-to-school advice articles that saturate the internet as the new school year draws near.
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Marriage

The Often Overlooked Vulnerability of Singles in the Workplace

Most stereotypes of single people are negative. But there is one way single people are consistently viewed differently than married people that seems mostly positive: Single people – especially if they do not have children – are seen as more independent. In the workplace, when people think of singles as independent, they may also think something else: that single people with no children are not tied to a job the way that a breadwinning parent is. So, if something goes wrong at work, the single person can simply leave.
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General

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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Love & Affection

When Marriage Is Glorified, It Is Not Just Single People Who Are Hurt

The very wise and savvy advice columnist, Carolyn Hax, responded to a single person who was experiencing something all too commonplace in the lives of single people: Her friends were disappearing. Increasingly, the advice-seeker said, they have “different priorities.” My guess is that many of them were marrying and having children, though she didn’t say so explicitly. The person who wrote the letter was really missing her friends. She wanted that deep and enduring friendship connection again, not just quick catch-up events that happen less and less often. She asked Carolyn Hax if finding her “one true love” was the only answer.
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