The assumption that if you get married, you will get healthier is so much a part of our conventional wisdom that it is rarely challenged. Back when I was just practicing single life and not studying it, I had no idea that the supposed truism was actually a myth. I figured that out fast, though, once I started going to the original research reports and scrutinizing them. I drew from what I had learned from decades of doing research and teaching graduate courses in research methods, but some of the mental errors in the claims about the research are so egregious that you should not need any formal training to realize how ridiculous they are.
There are a lot of “why are you single” lists popping up these days. I have mostly stopped clicking on the links. Maybe some of them are fine. Back when I used to look at them, though, far too often they came with an attitude that was insulting to single people – that all single people are single because there is something wrong with them and they need to be fixed. That’s an example of singlism and like all instances of that prejudice, it is unfair to single people. Only rarely did the authors ever concede that some people are single because that’s exactly what they want. Maybe they are even single-at-heart – not only do they like living single, but that’s how they lead their best, most meaningful, and most authentic lives.
The brief version of this post: I’m an Amazon Associate and I make a tiny bit of money every time someone buys something on Amazon after clicking one of my links (such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0312340826/?tag=wwwbelladepau-20). You don’t even need to buy whatever product the link takes you to – anything on Amazon is fair game. But it doesn’t work for me! I can’t use my own links to get those rewards. But I do buy things from Amazon, and I would be happy to use other people’s links, or links associated with good causes, so that they can get a tiny bit of money each time I buy something. Anyone want to send me a link? I’ll also post links here that are relevant in any ways to enlightened views about single people.
Now here’s the more detailed version.
As a person completely enjoying the freedom of being single, retirement sounds like a blast. A little planning should go into it, so that the party that is coming down the tracks is absolutely worth the wait. So here are a few things to consider along the ride.
Over at my Living Single blog at Psychology Today, I wrote a post about my recent visit to the Bellingham cohousing community, and along the way, described the notion of cohousing. Take a look at that first, then check out some additional pictures here.
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.