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Questions about Single Life? Here Are Scientifically-Grounded Answers that Will Make Single People Proud

What do you want to know about single people or single life? Although what we know about singlehood lags far behind what is known about marriage, we know a lot more now than we did a few decades ago.

A few years ago, I started organizing my own writings, and those of some of the people who have written guest posts for my blogs, by topic so that readers could find what interests them fairly easily. You may have seen that collection of writings about single life previously. In the past few days, I’ve been updating it, adding new topics and many new articles to the collection.

The outline of the newly updated collection is at the bottom of this article. When you go to the collection, you can click on any of the topics that interest you.

Do you want to know what to believe about all those claims that getting married makes people happier or healthier or adds years to their lives? (Hint: Don’t believe them!) You will find lots of writings about those issues in the first section.

Do you want to know about the different ways that single people are living? That’s in the second section.

What is it that draws people to single life? When people embrace single life, what do they find so fulfilling? The section, “The best of single life,” addresses that.

The next section is about the basics. Just how many single people are there? What does “single” mean? Most of the research and writings on single life are about single women, but what do we know about single men? What about lifelong single people? Older single people? People who were once married but are now divorced or widowed?

Since you are reading this, you probably already know about singlism, the stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against people who are single. A section on “Singles advocacy and why we need it” gathers some writings about what we need to do. It also includes discussions of how single people have been stereotyped and shamed – as well as articles on how single people have sometimes been celebrated.

In every major arena of our lives, there are issues around people who are single. Those issues are discussed in writings about the place of single people in the workplace, the educational system, the medical establishment, politics, religion, the military, business, advertising, and popular culture.

The last section is called “We need to rethink these matters.” Think about what you might expect to read elsewhere about topics such as relationships, family, love, holidays, pets, loneliness, and marriage. In the relevant writings in that last section, you will not find the conventional wisdom. So if you like thinking about things in ways that are different from how most other people think, you may enjoy those writings.

Happy reading!

Click HERE to find the articles on all the topics listed below, or click the links to specific topics that are right here on this page.

Myth-Busting about Single Life

HAPPINESS On getting married and (not) getting happier: What we know

PHYSICAL HEALTH and MENTAL HEALTH Getting married and (not) getting healthy

LONGEVITY Debunking the myth that married people live longer

RELATIONSHIPSATTACHMENTCAREGIVINGVOLUNTEERING Single people are caring, connected, attached, and unselfish

SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES Single parents and their children: Don’t believe the prophesies of doom

NO CHILDREN Adults with no kids: Naming, shaming, and talking back to the shaming

SEX Getting married and (not) getting sex (and other sex-relevant topics)

MONEY Getting married and getting more money (and other articles about the economics of single life)

Other Topics

How we live now

21 century living arrangements

Living alone

The best of single life

Single at heart

The real reasons for living single



Some basics about single life

Demographics (number of singles, age when people marry, rates of divorce and remarriage, etc.)

Defining single and naming different categories of singles

Single men (separate category because so much writing about singles is about single women)

Lifelong single people

Older single people

Divorce, widowhood, remarriage

Singles advocacy and why we need it

Singles advocacy and the issue of privilege

How singles are celebrated and stereotyped and shamed

Singles in different domains and different places

The workplace

Research and teaching

Religions and places of worship

Advertising, marketing, and business


Health care and illness

The military and foreign service

Popular culture (TV, movies, books, and magazines)

Celebrities, world figures, and people in politics and the media

Singles around the world

We need to rethink these matters

Relationships, family, and love





Photo by torbakhopper

Questions about Single Life? Here Are Scientifically-Grounded Answers that Will Make Single People Proud

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," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyZysfafOAs. 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 www.BellaDePaulo.com.

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APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2017). Questions about Single Life? Here Are Scientifically-Grounded Answers that Will Make Single People Proud. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/single-at-heart/2017/04/questions-about-single-life-here-are-scientifically-grounded-answers-that-will-make-single-people-proud/


Last updated: 24 Apr 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Apr 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.