Older Single People: Here’s What We Know

According to the prevailing cultural narratives, single people in later life have two big things going against them: They are single and they are old. Now focus on the older single women and you have the trifecta: They are single, they are old, and they are women! If conventional wisdom got its way, they would be doing terribly. But guess what? They are not. There are real challenges, for women and men, to aging in an ageist and singlist society. Considering what they are up against, it is remarkable how well older single people are doing.

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The Best of Single Life: A New Collection

cover, Best of Single Life

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:

  1. Why Singles Are Thriving – Despite All You’ve Heard to the Contrary
  2. Single Life: We Chose It
  3. Mocking Those ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists
  4. The Good Life and the Successful Life
  5. Savoring Our Solitude: Choosing to Spend Time Alone
  6. Valuing Our Relationships: Choosing to Spend Time with Others
  7. Sex and the Single Person: Have It Your Way – or Just Skip It
  8. 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.)

The New Science of Living Alone: Here’s a Lot of What We Know

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. You may also want to take a look at the chapter on living alone in How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century.

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New Book Project Is On!

Last January was when I first decided, with lots of input from my agent, on the theme of my new book project. It is about the many creative ways that we are living now that Americans are spending more years of their adult lives unmarried than married, and only about 20 percent of all households are comprised of mom, dad, and the kids. These are huge change from decades past. (See below for more on the theme of the book.)

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Single-at-Heart: What Do We Know about It?

People who are “single at heart” live their best lives by living single. For them, single life is their most authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling life. They embrace single life for positive reasons, not because they have “issues.”

I have been writing about people who are single at heart since 2010. The concept got a big boost when it was mentioned prominently in the New York Times in 2013. People who are single at heart have now been mentioned in many places in the media and in scholarly writings.

Interested in whether you might be single at heart? Take this brief survey.

If you think you may be single at heart and you want to share more detailed stories about your life, this questionnaire asks lots of questions for you to answer in your own words. I originally created this questionnaire to learn about people who are single at heart, in much more depth, for the Single at Heart book I am writing. I have already written a lot of the book, so if you answer the questions on the questionnaire, I may not be able to include you in the book. But I am always interested in hearing your stories.

Below are some of my blog posts and other writings about what it means to be single at heart. Some of them appeared in my blog at Psych Central. That site was discontinued in 2020, and all the blog posts were taken down. I am slowly moving those posts to my blog on Medium. Apologies in advance for the ones I haven’t moved yet.

Some key characteristics of people who are single-at-heart

People who are single at heart: Here’s what we know about them

Are you single at heart?

14 signs you are a confirmed bachelor (or bachelorette)

Maybe similar to single-at-heart

Single by choice and single at heart: Is there a difference?

“Single at heart”: Is it Quirkyalone’s naughty cousin?

When ‘super singles’ end up neither super nor single

Oblivious, complicit, and healthy loners

Some great things about being single-at-heart 

Fear not: The advantages of people unafraid to be single

People who are single at heart have been thriving during the pandemic

14 ways to tell that someone is happily single

Some suggestive evidence for the resilience of people who choose to be single

The ‘single-at-heart”: Beacons of innovation in a blandly married world?

Travel ways of the single-at-heart

How to become your true self

Living the single-at-heart life like you never could before

Writing a script for “single at heart”

Single-at-heart in Holland

Stop saying that being single is better than being in a bad relationship

Some questions and issues

Commitment phobic, or is single life a better life for you?

Some people get all weird when you say you chose to be single. What’s up with that?

“No one really wants to be single”: 9 ways we are misled into believing that

Recognizing your single-at-heart inclinations: Does greater maturity help?

Single at heart: Is it hard-wired?

Committing to single life: Is there a time when you just know?

Does your God love you if you are single at heart?

The missing pieces: What we still need to know about people who are single at heart

Personal stories and examples of people who are single at heart

Why I’m single, then and now: Guest post by Joan DelFattore

A woman after her own heart: Guest post by Edie Jarolim

Coming out as single-at-heart: Guest post by Psyngle

I’m better off single. You might be, too.

Single at heart in New Zealand – she is, her husband isn’t

Are these successful entrepreneurs single at heart?

This reader dreams of being single

Is she or isn’t she? Who is single at heart and why does it matter?

John Keats was single at heart and expressed it beautifully

Some people who are single at heart are married: What’s that about?

Is Whoopi Goldberg “single-at-heart”?

The movie “Brave”: Has Disney gifted us with a princess who is single at heart?

Here are results from the first 1200 participants in the Single at Heart survey:

Preliminary results of the single at heart survey

What does it mean to be single at heart?

Odes to solitude in the words of people who are single at heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alone: The badass psychology of people who like being alone

The Best of Single Life