Though National Singles Week (September 21-27) has come to a close, Bella DePaulo assures singletons that not being in a committed relationship does not necessarily equate to loneliness or solitude. DePaulo, a psychology professor and author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Systematically Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, gives the lie to academic studies and conventional wisdom suggesting that married people are happier, and that a single life is an incomplete life.
DePaulo also targets discriminatory practices that favor married people, such as “the 1,136 federal benefits, protections, and privileges that are available only to people who are legally married” and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The 100 million unmarried American voters remain an untapped political demographic, DePaulo writes. And the media portrayal of marriage and couples’ culture is not doing people any favors.
“You are no more likely to live happily ever after if you get married than you were when you were single,” DePaulo writes. The statement could be reassuring or unsettling, demanding on your point of view.