Americans Just Want to Be Single?

An article from Psychology Today

Americans Just Want to Be Single?

A few quotes (the reader comments on the page were also interesting):

Between ages 25 and 34, married people are in the minority
Published on September 30, 2010
by Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

….The most irresponsible explanation

Sadly, the one explanation with no data whatsoever to back it was published in the New York Times. The paper quoted Joel Greiner, who said that economic considerations were not the real issue: “It is more a fear of intimacy and fear of marriage.”

Who’s Joel Greiner? He’s “the director of counseling for the Journey, an interdenominational church in the St. Louis area.” Couples in his congregation tell him they are living together while they save money, but he’s decided they’re just scared. That’s right – he is not citing scientific research. He’s not even pointing to what the people in his congregation have told him, except to say that he doesn’t believe it. This is what the New York Times uses to perpetuate its singlism. Singles are just scared of intimacy. Some guy said so.

(For previous discussions of this non-issue, check out Times reporter thinks single women fear intimacy; I’m afraid he’s wrong, and How to make even good findings sound bad.)

The explanation no publication suggested

So let’s see, is there any other possible reason why more and more Americans are living single? Has it occurred to any scholars or reporters that it is increasingly possible to live a full, complete, and meaningful life as a single person, and so a growing number of Americans are opting to do so? No! Apparently, the thought never occurred to them.

For that, you’d have to go to, say, someone whose thoughts about single life are not prefabricated. Take David, for example. He sent me one of these stories with a note about the low rate of marriage: “Why can’t it be because people simply prefer being single?”

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