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Who Is the Romantic Partner of Your Dreams? My Favorite Real-Life Answer

If you are single, you have probably been asked all sorts of questions that are not always welcome or appropriate. Questions like, “Why are you single?”, or even worse, “Why are you still single?”

I’ve explained what’s wrong with those kinds of questions, in case it is not already obvious, and offered some of my favorite answers before. You can find them here.

Another question just assumes that if you are single, of course you fantasize about potential romantic partners. It is not just ordinary unmarried men and women who are subject to that childish, matrimaniacal way of thinking. Fully grown, tremendously accomplished adults get treated that way, too

And sometimes they come up with excellent answers! My favorite is from nearly a decade ago. It was February of 2011, when protests on the streets of Egypt were riveting the nation and the world. Piers Morgan was interviewing Barbara Walters, and somehow he found time to ask her about the men in her life. (He meant the conjugal kind, of course.)

PIERS MORGAN: Come on, which man, if you had five minutes to live, you would take —

BARBARA WALTERS: if I had five minutes to live, I wouldn’t want to be with any man.


BARBARA WALTERS: If I had five minutes to live, I would be with my daughter and closest friends. At this point in my life, I would not want to [be] with any one man.

Next, Morgan wanted to get the dirt on Walters’ dating life. She responded by describing what Henry Ford had said to her years ago when she asked him the same question:

BARBARA WALTERS: …he said that’s none of your business. I thought, why don’t more people say that to me? Fortunately, they don’t.

But I’m going to say it to you. I think you’re adorable. I’m so happy you’re here. I think you’re the most charming man. I wish you every success. It’s none of your business.

Who Is the Romantic Partner of Your Dreams? My Favorite Real-Life Answer

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). Who Is the Romantic Partner of Your Dreams? My Favorite Real-Life Answer. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Aug 2020
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