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Quotes for Solitude Lovers and Unapologetic Single People

Sometimes all it takes is a few words or a few sentences to capture a great insight or an intriguing perspective. I keep a folder of my favorite quotes and quips about topics of special interest to single people who like living single. I share them here every so often.

The topics in today’s collection are solitude, marriage, and friendship. The first six quotes in the section on solitude are from Fenton Johnson’s At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life. A previous installment of my favorite quotes also focused on solitude; I found those quotes in Stephanie Rosenbloom’s Alone Time. My first collection of quotes published here also included a few on solitude as well as some quips about marriage. I’ve included just a few new quotes about friendship here, to add to my much longer previous collection.


 “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.”

–Henry David Thoreau


“I prefer to be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe.”

–Louisa May Alcott


“I may have to keep some place where I can do to be by myself now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all the confinements of even an attractive cage.”

–Amelia Earhart, to her husband in her “wedding letter”


“He was seldom less alone than when alone.”

–Walt Whitman’s description of an unnamed person (Fenton Johnson thinks Whitman was talking about himself)


“The cure for loneliness is solitude.”

–Marianne Moore


“It is a business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong.”

–Friedrich Nietzsche


“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”

–May Sarton


“I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.”

–Henry David Thoreau


“You know what, I like drinking alone. I like it. I’m sorry, I think it’s cool.”

–Jessica Biel, on drinking alone when she learned about her Emmy nomination in 2018


“The fact that living alone may make it ‘difficult to go back to living with someone else’ is a disadvantage only to people who anticipate ever wanting to go back to that.”

–Felicia Nimue Ackerman, who wrote more than 200 letters that were published in the New York Times


“If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.”

–Anton Chekhov


“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”




“Stories about love offer models for how you might commit your life to another person. Stories about friendship are usually about how you might commit to life itself.”

–Hua Hsu, review of “The Politics of Friendship,” by Jacques Derrida


“Love is a source of anxiety until it is a source of boredom; only friendship feeds the spirit.”

–Edmund White


“Friends are two people standing side by side, looking ahead in the same direction.”

–C. S. Lewis



“The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.”



“I didn’t do strategic planning. But I must have seen [my choices] as marriage and family or write these plays. And it was more important to me to write the plays.”

–Wendy Wasserstein


“No one wanted to claim me, and I didn’t want to be owned. I didn’t belong to my father and I didn’t want to belong to a husband.”

–Sheila Michaels, “the feminist who brought ‘Ms.’ to the masses”


“They put you on the couch, and they stare at you like you’re a pillow that doesn’t make sense to them. Like, ‘What do we do with that? We have to match that somehow…”

–Jen Kirkman, comic, on how married people treat single people


“I’ve found if you have a really good sauté pan then you don’t need someone to share your life with.”

–Henry’s Kitchen (cooking show)


“Life is not a fairy tale. If you lose your shoe at midnight, you’re drunk.”

–Unknown; made the rounds on Facebook


[Want something more than a quip or a quote? Previous discussions, many of them from this blog, are here: solitude, friendship, marriage.]

Quotes for Solitude Lovers and Unapologetic 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. (2020). Quotes for Solitude Lovers and Unapologetic Single People. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 May 2020
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