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People Who Are Decidedly NOT Single-at-Heart Describe Their Fears and Joys: Part 3

In my last post, I shared some of the personal accounts of the appeal of solitude, as offered by people who see themselves as single at heart. The single-at-heart typically love their time alone.

It is a different story for those people who say that NO, they are not single at heart. First I will relate some of the ways they talked about time alone. As their comments indicate, that’s not what they enjoy. Yet that hardly means that they do not live happy lives. They appreciate different things than do people who are single at heart. So in the second part of this post, I’ll share some of their descriptions of what they love about their lives.

Asked why they are not single at heart, survey respondents sometimes offered answers that pertain to the experience of spending time alone. Here are some examples:

  1. Because I’m lonely.
  2. Because I do not want to live alone all the time.
  3. Because I feel pathetically lonely on my own, and sometimes just wish I could spend a night in with a partner instead of going out with friends, or sitting home alone.
  4. To be single and alone is scary in many aspects, mainly when it comes to old age.
  5. I’m happier with my spouse than when alone
  6. Because I have been single and nothing is the same alone. I felt afraid when I had to handle big problems or illness and was very lonely at night or on holidays.

Examples of where people who are not single-at-heart find their joy:

  1. I love my wife.
  2. I just love being around people and I like to have some sort of continuity in relationships and being with someone is the best way of guaranteeing it.
  3. I enjoy the companionship of another. I have more fun with someone I am close to. I love looking after others.
  4. I find myself wanting a relationship and to be married because I would like that security of having a best friend to talk to daily, and be intimate with daily.
  5. I like living with my “best friend.”
  6. I live life to make other people happy.
  7. I believe in love and I need my girlfriend to make me happy, and I love making her happy and taking care of her…although she takes care of me more.
  8. As a person whose spouse died, I miss that love we shared. There’s simply nothing better than two people sharing life together who totally know each other and totally love each other. Nothing else comes close.
  9. I like having a partner to share everything in life with.
  10. I want to share my life experiences with a loved one.
  11. I want someone to spend my life with and grow older with. To enjoy the wonderful blessings in life, such as children and home life; and to be there for each other in the difficult times.
  12. I always appreciated a sounding board who cared enough to make decisions with me. And I like taking care of people.

You can read more about the survey results here, here, and in my previous post, “Odes to Solitude: In the Words of People Who Are Single-at-Heart.”

Happy couple photo available from Shutterstock.

People Who Are Decidedly NOT Single-at-Heart Describe Their Fears and Joys: Part 3

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard; Academic Affiliate, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara), an expert on single life, is the author of several books, including "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" and "How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century." Her TEDx talk is "What no one ever told you about people who are single," Dr. DePaulo has discussed singles and single life on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and her work has been described in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and magazines such as Time, Atlantic, the Week, More, the Nation, Business Week, AARP Magazine, and Newsweek. Dr. DePaulo is in her sixties. She has always been single and always will be. She is "single at heart" -- single is how she lives her best and most meaningful life. Visit her website at

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APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2012). People Who Are Decidedly NOT Single-at-Heart Describe Their Fears and Joys: Part 3. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 May 2012
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