In research on stereotypes of single people, my colleagues and I found that other people believe that single people are lonelier than married people, and that they become even lonelier as they get older. In fact, though, there is no evidence from longitudinal research that getting married makes people less lonely, and there is evidence that getting married makes people more insular.
Here are some of my writings on loneliness. You will not find the usual story lines about loneliness here. There are way too many misconceptions out there and it is time to debunk them.
Matrimania – the over-the-top hyping of marriage, weddings, and couples – is pervasive every day of the year, but it really gets ramped up over the holidays. So does singlism – the stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against people who are single. Pitying single people practically becomes a national sport.
Here is my collection of writings on being single for the holidays. Don’t expect any singles-pity. But you may find the tables turned on those kinds of emotional practices. Enjoy!
I’ve just put together a collection of 65 of my writings on single life in a book called The Best of Single Life. I think these are some of my most empowering articles, making a strong positive and utterly undefensive case for single life as the good life. In the book, I explain what I think is best about single life, for those who are as enthusiastic about living single as I am, as well as for those who do not want to stay single, but do want to live their single lives to the fullest while they are single.
The Best of Single Life is available in paperback here and here, and as an ebook here. The book includes 8 sections:
- Why Singles Are Thriving – Despite All You’ve Heard to the Contrary
- Single Life: We Chose It
- Mocking Those ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists
- The Good Life and the Successful Life
- Savoring Our Solitude: Choosing to Spend Time Alone
- Valuing Our Relationships: Choosing to Spend Time with Others
- Sex and the Single Person: Have It Your Way – or Just Skip It
- Are We Missing Out by Being Single – or Are They?
Here’s a sampling of some of the 65 articles in the collection:
- 7 secrets of successful single people
- Who wrote the book of love? Happy single people
- Fear not: The advantages of people unafraid to be single
- Are single people more resilient than everyone else?
- Why aren’t married people any happier than singles? A Nobel Prize winner’s answer
- Wedding porn doesn’t turn us on: Age at first marriage has never been higher
- The last ‘why are you single’ list you will ever need
- Elements of the good life: Our list is too short
- Sweet solitude: The benefits it brings and the special strengths of the people who enjoy it
- The happy loner
- Best things about living alone – for people who mean it
- Single, no children: Who’s your family?
- If you are single, will you grow old alone? Results from 6 nations
- Who keeps siblings together when they become adults?
- Bigger, broader meanings of love and romance
- Getting married and getting sex (or not)
- Asexuals: Who are they and why are they important?
- Are monogamous relationships really better?
- 23 ways singles are better
- What you miss by doing what everyone else does
- Top 8 reasons not to marry
- Keeping marriage alive with affairs, asexuality, polyamory, and living apart
- How many married people wish they were single?
- The end of marriage
I hope you enjoy it! (You can find my other books here.)
Now that solo living is becoming increasingly popular around the world, we know much more about it than we did before. Below is what I have written on the topic so far.
Psychology journals are overflowing with articles about loneliness, and have been for decades. Recently, scholars are starting to study solitude, in the sense of the positive aspects of being alone. Take a look at what we know so far.
My most extensive writing on how we live now is in the book by the same name, How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century. That book has been named as one of the 12 Nonfiction Books Every Woman Needs to Read, alongside books by authors such as Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem. It was also named by Kirkus as one of the Best Nonfiction Books for 2015.
By the way, the picture is of a “pocket neighborhood” right here in Santa Barbara. It was designed by the visionary architect, Ross Chapin, who also wrote the book on the topic: Pocket neighborhoods: Creating small-scale community in a large-scale world.
Here are some other things I’ve written before and after the book was published.