Archives for January, 2012

Love & Affection

Not the Favorite Child? Maybe that’s a Good Thing

Guest Post by C. Riven Wood

[Bella’s introIn an email exchange, C. Riven Wood shared some of her personal experiences with me. I think she has some important insights and writes beautifully, so I asked her if I could post her essay here. Happily, she agreed.]
From the Bottom of the Heap to the Garden of Eden
By C. Riven Wood
His paintings were lauded; mine were dismissed.  His opinions were...
Continue Reading

Marriage

What Counts as “Having It All” for You?

To a dramatically greater extent than decades ago, you get to create your own life path. Gone are the days when the standard path through adult life was to get married very young, have kids, stayed married, and have grandkids. Gone, too, are the days when people often stayed with the same company for a lifetime.

Now we can stay single or cohabit or get married or cycle through different relationship...
Continue Reading

Love & Affection

Does This Smart, Accomplished Feminist Have a Problem with Single Women?

Caryl Rivers – a notable professor, author, feminist, and cultural critic – has a problem with what the Atlantic magazine has to say about women:
“The venerable magazine regularly publishes thoughtful reporting and analysis about the Middle East, politics, the future of China, the global economy, climate change -- on and on. It's only when the publication gazes on the 50 percent of the population that is not male that it...
Continue Reading

Love & Affection

Part 2: Social Scientists Do Not Hear What Singles Are Telling Them

In my previous post, I promised to explain how the authors of a really terrific study seemed to miss what their own results were telling them about single life. Here are the goods:

In a 6-year study designed to test the implications of getting married (or entering a cohabiting relationship) for well-being, health, and social ties, here is what the authors found: Singles remained more connected to friends and...
Continue Reading

Love & Affection

Social Scientists Do Not Hear What Singles Are Telling Them: Part 1

A just-published 6-year study of people who marry, cohabit, or stay single is one of the best of the thousands of studies on similar topics ever published. It is terrific methodologically – it is a longitudinal study, meaning that it follows the same people over time. We can see how those people change in their happiness, health, self-esteem, and relationships with other people as they cohabit or marry or stay...
Continue Reading

Love & Affection

American Marriages: Happiness and Health Decline Over Time

We know about the trajectories of happiness for German and Dutch people who get married and stay married. Longitudinal research (in which the same people are followed for years -- in the German study, more than 20 years) has shown that when people marry, those who will stay married enjoy a “honeymoon effect.”

They become a bit happier around the time of the marriage, but then that happiness dissipates over time. On the...
Continue Reading

Love & Affection

Do Married People Neglect Their Friends Because They Are So Busy with Their Kids?

One of the big, stereotype-busting findings that has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years is that married people are in some important ways less socially connected than single people. Results from several national surveys, reported by Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian, show that Americans who have always been single are more likely than currently married people to support, advise, visit, and stay in touch with their siblings...
Continue Reading

Love & Affection

Single by Choice: A High-Profile Celebration

This is Terri. She’s successful, happy, and at 38, just fine with never getting married. Ever.”

That’s the caption to the picture illustrating an article I’ve been fantasizing about for more than a decade. Finally, someone has actually written it. The article is the cover story of the most recent issue of Boston Magazine, “Single by choice: Why more of us than ever before are happy to never get married.”

Reporter Janelle Nanos nails it...
Continue Reading