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20 Years of Psych Central: Caring Is Our Foundation

"We're driven by the daily reminder that through our efforts, we may be able to save lives."
–John Grohol, Fonder and CEO of Psych Central
[Bella's intro: I have been a blogger at Psych Central since 2011, and it has been a wonderful experience. This year, 2015, marked the 20th anniversary of Psych Central. I invited John Grohol, the Founder and CEO of the site, to tell me more about Psych Central and its 20-year history. I am so delighted that he agreed to do so. I thought I already knew a lot about the site, but from his answers, I learned so much more. John, you are a true inspiration! Many thanks for all that you do.]
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Your Perfect Life: What Would It Look Like?

We all know that no one's life can ever be perfect, but it can't hurt to dream. And what better time than now, with the New Year approaching. Reassessing and re-envisioning your life can happen any time at all, but there is something about starting a fresh new year that seems to welcome that reflection even more.

There are so many potential components of an ideal life that you might like to consider. Here are a few.

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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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