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The Affordable Pair Act: Guest Post by Beth O’Donnell

[Bella’s intro: I am often contacted by people who would like me to publish their writing as a guest post. Usually, I have to think about it. Is the article really something that would interest “Single at Heart” readers? Is it smart enough? Fresh enough? Not so with today’s guest post. As soon as I read Beth O’Donnell’s witty essay, I knew I wanted to share it. It begins with Rush Limbaugh’s claim, “If single women vote Democrat, then Republicans would be wise to start a dating service.” You just know it is only going to get better after that, and it does! So, enjoy. And thanks, Beth!]

The Affordable Pair Act

Guest Post by Beth O’Donnell

Now that Election Day has come and gone, and we don’t have to bother our pretty little heads about voting and all that boring stuff, it’s time to explore new solutions to the pesky single woman problem.

In case any of us seriously considered it, Rush Limbaugh wants us to know Uncle Sam is not spousal material. Thankfully, Uncle Rush has an idea that singles, especially those of us over 40, might risk heart, head and even go to the polls to support: a GOP dating service. Get us married and get us off the dole. Brilliant!

For the plan to be successful to Uncle Rush, singles of both parties must participate because married women vote Republican. And so, though I am sure he would hate the association with Obamacare, I propose a bi-partisan “Affordable Pair Act,” or APA.

As a 40+ single woman, embarrassment and inertia keep me from joining an on-line dating service. I tried human matchmakers but the expense almost made me apply for food stamps. Uncle Rush would be appalled at that outcome, even though I- never married, no dependents- am only eligible to receive them for a total of three months in any three year period.

Mandating dating, however, takes the decision out of women’s ring-less left hands and puts it where it belongs: with the government.

Before dismissing the APA as over-reaching and intrusive, consider that popular proclamation that being single is bad for your heart, your well-being and your longevity. (Those studies are embarrassingly flawed, and have been ripped apart time after time, but no matter.) If only these studies were reliable, then the APA might save as many lives as the ACA.

Though “ObamaPair” is a catchy name for a marriage brokerage, the government and/or Uncle Rush doesn’t have to start a dating service de novo. We can borrow the health care model for the APA and mirror much of the ACA, for example, by compelling participation by the unmarried and their employers. Additional similarities:

  •, eHarmony, It’s Just Lunch, Great Expectations and other matchmaking services will administer APA services, like Blue Cross and Aetna do for the ACA.
  • Since single is a pre-existing condition– congenital, actually—matchmakers on-line or in real life cannot turn away any verified unmarried person. Therefore, providers must compete for members and offer a variety of plans to meet all budgets.
  • As a last resort—because, frankly, some singles are last resort spouses– states may institute high risk pools. Anyone who tried at least four USDA-approved (United State Dating Authority) fix-up processes and yet remains stubbornly single will be forced to enroll and be assigned dates. Fussiness cannot be tolerated; settling is good public policy.
  • Where the states fail to act, the Republican and Democratic National Committees could be delegated authority to fill the gaps with real- not political- parties and other proven and measurable boy-meets-girl tactics.
  • Employers of more than 50 must offer matchmaking on their menu of benefits and, in contrast to all other job perks, subsidize unwed workers. Those who do not will be taxed $2000 per unattached head per year.
  • Out-of-network providers, i.e., friends or well-meaning aunts, who arrange blind dates are not eligible to receive any subsidies. However, alll successful efforts must be documented via Facebook Status in order for singles to be released from the APA participation obligation.
  • Any single who selects high cost options, i.e., the Millionaire Matchmaker, is subject to the 40 percent Cadillac tax. However, the revenue generated from the tax will be earmarked to defray the costs of lower-priced options for less-well-off singles.
  • Exemptions are available to anyone who submits a notarized affidavit to their employer and home state exchange, certifying their engagement. A jeweler’s receipt is acceptable evidence. (Note: Long-term or co-habitation relationships are not sufficiently committed to be eligible for waivers. They show no sign of compliance with the federal government definition of married.)
  • Married couples will receive 10 year licenses. Economic subsidies are at their highest for women who stay married for 10 years. Additionally, there are 30 million single women over 40 and only 20 million single men. The 10 year license creates an opening/opportunity for every woman to hook a man.

This is a high level, summary proposal. Congress is likely to add in celibacy and contraceptive requirements and other regulations – perhaps, the third date rule or ‘never call a man unless he calls you.’

Why am I so certain my cohorts will do a well-manicured march on Washington for the Affordable Pair Act? For the same reason as Uncle Rush: money. Can you say 2 for 1?

When we marry, we become eligible for family-discounts. Our gym fees will be cut in half and we can take a cruise without incurring the “single supplement” penalty.

Our housing expenses—including property taxes– will be sliced in two, as will our utility bills. I might even be able to add Showtime to my, correction, OUR cable bill.

We will be covered by our spouses’ health insurance policies, leaving us substantially more in our paychecks to spend as foolishly as single people. This has the added benefit of keeping the nation’s economy moving.

In a nod to the GOP, many of the unmarried will see income tax reductions. Uncoupled single people never pay less than married couples on the same amount of taxable income.

And finally, since women out live men and, since people like to believe that wedded women out live everybody (even though they don’t), we can take advantage of the Social Security payments that are reserved for spouses, divorcees and widows.

Doesn’t that sound like what Uncle Rush had in mind?

About the Author

Beth O’Donnell writes about life for single women over 40 on her website, Single and the Sweet Side of 40. Beth provides practical strategies for readers and clients to develop the confidence and skills to go out and “Play With Yourself.” Because life waits for no man; everybody else is waiting for you.

[Notes from Bella: (1) Thanks again, Beth! (2) I want to say again, because it cannot be emphasized enough, that all of those claims about how getting married results in getting happier, healthier, living a longer life, and so much more are myths, not facts. You can find careful debunking here. Nor do single people spend their money foolishly; that part was tongue-in-cheek. (3) For more about the array of benefits and rewards and protections that only married people get, and the many domains of discrimination against single people, see the book on Singlism. (4) The ebook versions of many of my books are now available in the Kindle Unlimited subscription program and in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.]

The Affordable Pair Act: Guest Post by Beth O’Donnell

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. (2014). The Affordable Pair Act: Guest Post by Beth O’Donnell. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Dec 2014
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