In a culture so saturated with singlism and matrimania, it is a rare treat to find a serious discussion in which it is single life that is said to bring special insights or benefits. Occasionally, though, it does happen.
“On the street alone, Gornick encounters ragtag characters who tech her about her humanity. Or tell her to bugger off. Both the highs and the lows make her life richer.”
Then Shteir adds this:
“Would she be so open, so available, so observant, if she were surrounded by the comforts of marriage and family?”
As an example of an enlightened view of single life, this one is marred by the assumption that equates marriage and family with comfort. Setting that aside, what about the rest of it? On city streets or other venues of everyday life, are single people more open and more observant than married people?
I don’t know of any relevant research, so I’m just speculating. Personally, I can be a very internal person, preoccupied with my own thoughts. So that can make me more clueless than observant. But what about single people more generally?
Single people who choose their single life (such as those who are single at heart) are living outside of the conventions of societies that celebrate marriage and coupling. Maybe that makes them more open. They are crafting lives of their own, rather than following cultural scripts. Maybe that makes them more observant. Maybe they look at life more closely, with an open mind.
What do you think?
[Note. At long last, I’ve joined Twitter, @belladepaulo. I’m looking for interesting people to follow, especially (but not only) if they are interested in singles’ issues and innovative ways of living.]
Woman on a bike photo available from Shutterstock