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Mania Over Today’s Matrimony: Top Critiques [Updated]

[Originally, the subtitle of this post was “Top 2 Critiques.” But comments posted over at Living Single have been terrific, and so some new critiques deserve to be added. You can find them at the end.]

My most recent post over at Living Single celebrates many people who are not getting married today. Here I want to continue the festivities by tossing a bouquet of respect and admiration to those savvy scribes who have said something smart about the topic. No cloying sentimentality, no predictable plaudits, no breathless guessing about who’s in and who’s out.

Here are excerpts from my two favorites.

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Get Married, Retire Happy?

Singlism alert! Thanks to Jeanine and Peggy for this one. At Yahoo, by way of US News & World Report, we learn this “secret” to attaining bliss after you’re done working for pay: “married or cohabiting couples are more likely than singles to be happy in retirement.”

I can’t find the original report, and I always like to read the original. Nonetheless, this looks easy enough to take on. Does this finding (assuming it is reported accurately) mean that if you get married, you are more likely to be happy in your retirement?

Anyone who has read Singled Out – and not only those readers – can figure out the answer. It is “no.” The study is not counting everyone who ever got married. The researchers are taking all of the people who got married then got divorced or became widowed, and setting them aside or adding them into the singles group. So if you remove at least 43% of the people who ever got married from the married group, then you can say that getting married means that you will be happier in retirement. Note that all singles are included in the singles group, not just the happiest ones.

Thanks for letting us in on the secret, you Yahoo.

Can You Handle the Truth?

In my role as a scholar who has studied deception for decades, I am often asked why people lie. Sometimes there is a more personal and poignant question behind that question. What others really want to know is how they can get the people they care about to be more honest with them.

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UK Couples Want Better Treatment of Singles

Readers have been alerting me to the new UK study that calculated the extra money it costs to live solo compared to living as a couple. I’ll get to that topic in a later post. As is my custom, I went to the original report to see what it actually did say, and discovered some other findings that surprised and impressed me. So far as I can tell, they have not made it into the media.

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