In July of 2015, I started an online Community of Single People (CoSP), mostly for people who want to live their single lives fully and joyfully and are not trying to become unsingle. We discuss every aspect of single life except dating.
This week, the number of people in the Community just passed 3,000. In celebration, I want to share some information about who we are, where we come from, and what we discuss.
The Community of Single People (CoSP) is a lively group. Data from the most recent 28 days show that each day, close to 20 new conversations are started. At least 75% of the members are active – they have viewed, commented, posted, or reacted to a post.
Number of New Posts Every Day
Percent of Members Who are Active in the Community
Just under 75% are women
Just under 25% are men
Just under 1% did not identify as male or female
CoSP members cover the entire span of adult life. Excluding the 16 members who are not yet 18, there are more than 200 members in every age category.
209 are between 18 and 24 years old
663 are between 25 and 34 years old
797 are between 35 and 44 years old
620 are between 45 and 54 years old
427 are between 55 and 64 years old
229 are 65 or older
Where We Are From
CoSP members come from 100 different countries. The COUNTRIES with at least 10 members are:
1755 United States
200 United Kingdom
56 South Africa
11 New Zealand
Other countries with 3 or more CoSP members, listed alphabetically, are:
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
There are 101 CITIES with 4 or more CoSP members. Here are the ones with at least 20 members:
60 New York, NY, USA
41 Los Angeles, CA, USA
32 London, England, UK
31 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
29 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
21 Washington, DC, USA
20 Philadelphia, PA, USA
20 Denver, Colorado, USA
20 Seattle, Washington, USA
20 Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Our Most Popular Discussions (from the past 28 days)
We have discussed many different topics since 2015. Here are my paraphrases of the recent conversation starters that generated the most comments.
- Are you an introvert or an extravert?
- What do you say when someone asks why you are single?
- Why do some people pair off while others stay single?
- Sometimes single people are stereotyped because of their love of pets (for example, the cat lady) but some of us are proud of loving our pets. Let’s post pictures of them.
- Sometimes relatives ask us why we are still single, but they rarely ask what we are doing with our single lives. If they did, they would hear all sorts of answers, and not the self-pitying ones they expect.
- Is there anyone else who has never fantasized about their wedding?
- I love my quiet time, independence, and freedom, and would not want to give that up. What about you?
Reasons why you might NOT want to join the Community of Single People
I love the Community of Single People. I’ve written about it before, and each time, I’ve explained why I love it and why I think it appeals to thousands of people. But this time, I think it is important to note that not everyone likes it. Plenty of people join and then leave.
I think there are several kinds of discussions or dynamics that some people don’t like. First, we talk about singlism, the ways in which single people are stereotyped, stigmatized, marginalized, or discriminated against. They range from examples from our personal experiences (such as disparaging things our colleagues or relatives or friends have said) that some of us care about and others consider insignificant, to the more obviously consequential examples (such as the ways in which the health care system makes it harder for single people to get the care they need). Some members of CoSP do not like these discussions. It is always an option to scroll past those conversations, but if it is going to bother you to see them at all, then you should not join this group. And if you join in but bash other single people (for example, calling them bitter or selfish or any other stereotype), you will be warned and then perhaps banned from the group.
In our group rules, we ask everyone to be civil. In a group as large and diverse as ours, though, not everyone agrees on what counts as civil. Sometimes people post memes or quips about people who are not single that others consider offensive. Some members have ways of commenting that others find offensive. CoSP has administrators, not moderators, so we do not monitor everything that is posted, but instead consider specific posts or particular members that other members complain about. Again, you can scroll past things that you don’t like and you can block people you find annoying, but if just seeing these kinds of posts or comments would bother you, then CoSP is probably not the group for you.
Why I Think It Is Meaningful that Thousands of People from 100 Nations Have Signed Up for This Community
Tell someone that you are single, and sometimes you will get that “poor thing” look in response. This doesn’t happen as often as it once did, but the stereotype that what single people want more than anything else, is to escape single life, is still pervasive. I think it is heartening, and stereotype-shattering, that many of us are gathering to discuss living our single lives to the fullest. We talk about the challenges as well as the joys of being single, but you won’t find much of that “poor me, I’m single” sort of attitude. And you won’t find any tips for how to nab a romantic partner.
We are living our single lives expansively, joyfully, and unapologetically. Or we are aspiring to do so and getting help from one another along the way. That people like us exist would come as news to lots of people. Well, here we are.
[If you are not interested in an online community but you do want to read more about single life, I’ve collected many writings from this blog and elsewhere and organized them by topic; you can find them here.]