5 thoughts on “Beyond Matrimania: Single Life in Movies, TV, and Books

  • June 12, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Rizzoli and Isles was a TV show featuring two female leads who excelled at their jobs and were not preoccupied with finding romantic partners.

    • June 12, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Yes, I forgot about Rizzoli and Isles. I used to watch it until one episode when one of them make a snide remark, I think about another single woman, because she was single, and I stopped watching. Maybe I should have forgiven that one act of singlism.

  • June 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you! I always wondered why they gunked up the plot of the “Wonder Woman” film with a romantic angle, and personally thought he was completely beneath her.

    Just to contribute, I read a lot of fantasy and fairy-tale/myth retellings, and always consider it a point in a book’s favor when there is no romantic pairing-up in it (or when the potential romance doesn’t go the usual way). As a result, I can perhaps add to the list–though I admit I didn’t click through to the “more books” link and therefore apologize in advance for any duplicates that may show up.

    Beastkeeper by Cat Hellison
    Mechanica (and its sequel, Venturess) by Betsy Cornwell
    Valiant by Sarah McGuire
    The Dreamhealers series by MCA Hogarth (consisting of Mindtouch, Mindline, Dreamhearth, Dreamstorm, and the novella Family)
    The Garden by Elsie V. Aidinoff
    Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher (I think; it’s been a while since I’ve read this one)
    Several of the Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey–The Wizard of London, Blood Red, A Study in Sable, and A Scandal in Battersea in particular, though From a High Tower does a good job of being ALMOST romance-free
    The Bright Empires series by Stephen R. Lawhead almost begins with a breakup, after which both the male and female parties go on to lead single lives of adventure and fulfillment
    The male hero of Pratchett & Baxter’s Long Earth series is what I’d call a single-at-heart, and a loner, despite having been married, there are (at least) two strong female characters–one of whom is also single-at-heart and a loner, the other a nun–and there’s an entire race of post-humans who don’t conduct relationships the same way as their predecessors
    The Circle of Magic and Circle Opens quartets by Tamora Pierce; the Circle Reforged quartet is not quite as good in this particular sense, but the content is much more heavily weighted toward the friendship bonds than romantic ones, and the unrelated Immortals quartet makes it through three of the four books before romance makes a (fairly understated) appearance
    Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon is a complete hoot–the kind of book that even adults can laugh at, despite being written for much younger readers
    Most of Mitch Albom’s books don’t feature a heavily couple-oriented plot, though it’s been a long time since I’ve read most of them, too, so I can’t necessarily vouch for which ones in particular any more
    The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane manages to make it through three books before there’s much reference to coupling up, and 8 before the main characters actually go through with it (before which it’s a lot heavier on the friendship angle), and book 10 actually contains a reference to asexuality–although to be fair, the asexual person still prefers a coupled relationship
    And the Tarma and Kethry books (Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and the anthology Oathblood) by Mercedes Lackey are super-strong on the friendship, girl-power, diversity, and cultural-identity angles, and the romance is definitely secondary and actually contributes to plot in a way that most books utterly fail at

    Hope someone enjoys a few!

    • June 12, 2018 at 3:08 pm

      Wow! Thank-you, NCP, for all those suggestions. Most are new to me so I will look into them.

  • July 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    I’m not sure about Harry Potter- it was definitely an “Everyone gets coupled up” epilogue, and Sirius and Dumbledore had tragic events define their lives in ways that precluded romantic relationships. There are many positive non-romantic relationships, but it had such a couples-centric ending:(

    Gravity Falls does this much better. Its an animated show that all ages will love, and has something for everyone. A few characters find romance by the end, but it’s a very single-positive show that has a much greater emphasis on sibling and friendship love, and several episodes deal with unrequited love in a surprisingly mature way. I can’t recommend this show enough!


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