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Even More Things That People Get Wrong When They Put Down Single People

Lately, I’ve been discussing an email sent to me by a mental health professional that was full of stereotypes and other disparaging claims about single people. First, I described all those demeaning characterizations, and then, in my previous post, I began to draw from social science research to debunk those claims. There were so many false statements made by that person that it has taken me two posts to refute them. This is the second of the two.

I addressed the first four false claims last time. Here I’ll pick up with #5. I’m going to skip over the man’s suggestion that single people are barely human.

#5 THE FALSE CLAIM: Single people are unable to connect with other people “even in the smallest ways.”

WHAT THE RESEARCH ACTUALLY SAYS: Single people have more friends than married people do, and they do more to maintain their ties with their siblings, parents, friends, and neighbors than married people do.


#6 THE FALSE CLAIM: Single people do not have intimacy, do not have attachment, and do not have everyday social interactions with other people.

WHAT THE RESEARCH ACTUALLY SAYS: Single people have all three: they often have close relationships with other people (sex, too), they have genuine attachments to other people, and they are often more connected to other people in their everyday lives than married people are.


#7 THE FALSE CLAIM: Asexual people have no intimacy in their lives.

WHAT THE RESEARCH ACTUALLY SAYS: Intimacy is something bigger and broader than just sex. Asexuality is a sexual orientation, not a sexual dysfunction.


#8 THE FALSE CLAIM: Single and divorced parents are to blame for the problems of society and their children are criminals.

WHAT THE RESEARCH ACTUALLY SAYS: Many of the disparaging claims about single parents and their children are grossly exaggerated or just plain wrong. In fact, there are ways in which the children of single parents are doing remarkably well.

In the last of this four-part series, I describe why “It scares me when therapists have prejudices about marriage or single life and don’t even realize it.

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Photo by Elaine with Grey Cats

Even More Things That People Get Wrong When They Put Down Single People

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. (2018). Even More Things That People Get Wrong When They Put Down Single People. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from


Last updated: 20 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Jan 2018
Published on All rights reserved.