The Art of Being Single by E. Bernstein

The Art of Being Single by E. Bernstein

(Link): The Art of Being Single

Excerpts:

March 2019

After Katie Tomaszewski divorced at the age of 28, she felt ashamed to be alone.

So she did what she thought a single person should do: She over-dated, over-worked and over-socialized, inviting friends over for dinner nearly every night because she was afraid of being lonely.

“It was constant socializing and constant distraction,” says Ms. Tomaszewski, now a 36-year-old Pilates instructor in Chicago. “I became desperate and depressed, looking for someone—anyone—to save me from being alone.”

Yes, it can be tough to be single. But a new study published this past December in the Journals of Gerontology offers hope for those who are struggling.

Singles today are more satisfied with their lives than singles in the past, the study found.

And people who are single become more satisfied with their lives as they grow older, according to researchers from the German Centre of Gerontology in Berlin, who analyzed data from the German Ageing Survey, a nationally representative sample of people between the ages or 40 and 85. Experts say the findings ring true for Western countries broadly.

This is important news, because one of the biggest demographic trends of the past 50 years is the rise of singles: In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey reported that more than 120 million U.S. residents, or almost 48% of adults aged 18 or older, were divorced, widowed or had never been married. In 1970, 29% of the population, or 39 million adults aged 18 or older, were single.

And yet single people still face a stigma. Bella DePaulo, a social scientist and author of “Singled Out,” has been studying singles since the late 1990s and has coined the phrase “singlism” to describe the ways in which people discriminate against singles.

The stereotyping includes the assumptions that singles are miserable, lonely or selfish; that they are desperate to get married; that there must be something wrong with someone who is single.

…Society is organized around couples—they get breaks on everything from club memberships to tickets and events. 

…She says the hardest time to be single is around the age of 30. That’s when the expectation to be married becomes most intense.

Friends and relatives are marrying, or are already married, and single people often feel like the odd person out.

This feeling is most acute in single people who socialize primarily with couples. “Couples often demote their single friends to lunch or daytime events or children’s birthday parties, basically treating them as if they are not fully adult,” Dr. DePaulo says.

…So how can you be happiest being single? Focus on creating a full life now, for yourself, rather than finding a partner.

Surround yourself with other happily single people.

Watch the language you or others use to refer to singlehood. (Ever walked into a restaurant alone and had the host ask: “Table for just one?”) Be proud of the life you’ve created.

...LIVING A HAPPIER LIFE

How can single people lead a happier life? Here are some tips:

Start now. Don’t wait until you have a partner to travel, buy the house, take a risky career move, learn a cool new hobby.

Don’t ruminate on being single. It will make you feel worse. Research shows that single people who were told they will end up alone scored lower on cognitive tests than those told they will find a partner.

Remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side. “You don’t know what people’s stories are,” says Dr. Girme. “Don’t compare.”

Schedule time to do things, or see people, that make you happy. “You can’t just expect joy to fall into your life,” says Jennifer Taitz, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles and author of “How to Be Single and Happy.” You need to plan for it.

….Be fully present. Whatever you’re doing—working out at the gym, walking in the park, having brunch with friends—don’t constantly check to see if there’s someone attractive around to meet.


Related:

(Link): Research: Being Single [or Fear of Being Single] is a Meaningful Predictor of Settling for Less in Relationships

(Link): Woman Says She is Lonely in Marriage to Husband Who Ignores Her in Favor of His Job, Watching TV, etc.

(Link):  Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

(Link): Woman Wildly Happy She Got Divorced (Dear Abby Column)

(Link): Dear Prudence: Help! I’m Glad My Awful Husband Is Dead.

(Link): Love Couldn’t Save Me From LonelinessBy M. Puniewska

(Link): What You Lose When You Gain a Spouse – What if marriage is not the social good that so many believe and want it to be? by M. Catron

(Link):  When You Are Lonely In Your Marriage by K. Parsons

(Link):  Do Married Couples Slight Their Family Members as Well as Their Friends? / “Greedy Marriages”

(Link):  The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement

(Link):  Asking Too Much Of Marriage – Married People are Lonely

(Link):   Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis

(Link):   Women Who Dump Women Friends As Soon As They Get A Spouse or Boyfriend (Letter to Advice Columnist)

(Link):  Why Do We Feel So Lonely (via USA Today)

(Link):   Lonely People’s Brains Work Differently

(Link): Japan’s Prisons Are a Haven for Elderly Women (Who Are Very Lonely)

(Link):   Why Lonely People Stay Lonely

(Link): Dear Abby: Teen Gets a Boyfriend, Snubs Her Old Pal 

(Link):  Continue Being a Butthole Wife: Death is Not a Justification for Husbands To Be Entitled, Selfish, or Abusive Buttholes

(Link):  Why Don’t Some Men Realize A Relationship Is Over Until It’s Too Late? by N. Reilly

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