How the ‘Solo’ Movement is Rewriting Misconceptions of ‘Sad, Lonely’ Single Life

How the ‘Solo’ Movement is Rewriting Misconceptions of ‘Sad, Lonely’ Single Life

(Link): How the ‘Solo’ Movement is Rewriting Misconceptions of ‘Sad, Lonely’ Single Life

The “solo” movement is quickly becoming popular, especially among women who are tired of being told they need to settle down.

Jan 19, 2022
By Joyann Jeffrey

It’s projected that 1 in 4 millennials will never tie the knot — and that’s absolutely OK. Recent studies show that getting married isn’t necessarily the key to happiness.

Single people tend to exercise more, have more friends and are more likely to volunteer in their communities than married folks.

That’s why Peter McGraw, a 51-year-old behavioral economist, started an online community known as (Link): the “solo” movement that celebrates single life and rewrites the misconception that “singles are sad and lonely.”

“Why is it that when you ask a married person, ‘Are you happy?’ and they say yes, you believe them,” he told TODAY’s Maria Shriver. “And then when someone asks a single person, ‘Are you happy?’ and they say yes, there’s still some doubt there? If someone says they’re happy, trust them — because there’s many ways to be happy in life.”

What is the “solo” movement?
This movement aims to enforce the notion that people can find happiness and fulfillment outside of marriage.

Continue reading “How the ‘Solo’ Movement is Rewriting Misconceptions of ‘Sad, Lonely’ Single Life”

What Does Marriage Ask Us to Give Up? By Kaitlyn Greenidge

What Does Marriage Ask Us to Give Up? By Kaitlyn Greenidge

(Link): What Does Marriage Ask Us to Give Up? By Kaitlyn Greenidge

Excerpts:

January 4, 2022

[The author discusses how she didn’t get married until around her late 30s, but then she got divorced, and she lives in a noisy home with many family members]

…What has not materialized is the intense loneliness that people warned me would come with divorce.

…It’s a different world from the one my parents inhabited when they divorced, one in which many people treated their separation as if it were an infectious disease and shunned us for a number of years.

…Marriage, of course, can be all those things to many people, but my own brought something different, which has led to this desire to be alone again.

Continue reading “What Does Marriage Ask Us to Give Up? By Kaitlyn Greenidge”

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)

I have mixed feelings about posting a link to this (way below).

I know if you are literally alone – if you are a never married, divorced, or widowed adult, and you either don’t have children, or you are not on good terms with your biological family (or many of them are deceased or out of state), that it may be hard to feel positive about the message below.

Snowman
Snowman

I  know it can be difficult to hear Christians writing “you’re not alone, God is with you” if you are, as I said, literally, physically alone in your apartment or home.

It would be nice to have an actual, breathing human sitting across from you, rather than have to rest in the idea that there’s this God in Heaven who cares about you, and have to take that on faith.

I do think Christians (churches especially) need to step up to the plate more and make more of an effort to include those adults who live alone, who aren’t married, who don’t have a nuclear family of their own…

Rather than doing things like over-focusing on nuclear families, and closing churches down on Christmas Day (yes, some churches have been known to (Link):  withhold services on Christmas Day, because they assume every one is at home watching their biological child and spouse opening presents under the tree).

Never mind that some sites say that (Link): half or over half of the American population is now single – singles out-number married couples, and that stat won’t be changing any time soon, all the focus on Nuclear Families is excluding about half the American population.

So, what are you members of churches out there doing to reach out to the lonely and single in your areas?

Churches, you can stop it any time now with slobbering all over the married- with- children couples already. The “Nuclear Family” has received the “lion’s share” of affection and attention from churches and Christian culture for far too long now.

Time to start acknowledging the single and childless among you.

Churches have been losing in attendance in the last so many years – if they want to increase attendance, it might help if they start focusing on single adults.

(Link):  God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field

Dec 25, 2021

Loneliness a terrible thing.

And as is often pointed out, at no time is loneliness more poignantly felt by scores of people than at Christmas.

If there’s an upside to the whole COVID fiasco, it’s that many of us had the opportunity last Christmas to experience a little bit of what that’s like. Millions of people had to stay separated from family — and we quickly realized that it’s not so great.

And it should have served as a wake-up call for those who call themselves followers of Jesus.

Continue reading “God’s Big Message at Christmas: You Are Not Alone, by Chris Field (Churches Need To Reach Out More to the Singles In Their Communities)”

Singleness Lessons I Learned from the Early Church – The history of Christian celibacy is more complicated than we’d like to think by Dani Treweek

Singleness Lessons I Learned from the Early Church – The history of Christian celibacy is more complicated than we’d like to think by Dani Treweek

(Link): Singleness Lessons I Learned from the Early Church – The history of Christian celibacy is more complicated than we’d like to think by Dani Treweek

Excerpts:

by Dani Treweek
December 2, 2021

Lately, Christians have cast their minds and social media musings back to the early church on the topics of singleness and sexuality. Much of the conversation centers on past spiritual practices of celibacy and claims about what early church leaders taught about singleness.

Some suggest that early church leaders enthusiastically ‘tore down’ the centrality of marriage within the church. Others argue that the way we understand the (so-called) “gift of singleness” today is a direct inheritance from apostles and the church’s earliest centuries.

As a history nerd, practical theologian, and never-married Christian woman, I may not agree with every supposition, but I’m delighted by the revitalized discussion about how we can see ancient ideas about singleness in a new light.

After all, church history is our history, and this ancient era is ripe with fascinating insights (and quite a few conundrums) about singleness—many of which are still relevant to discussions on faith and church life today.

The lessons we can learn from the ancient church about singleness are many and mighty, but they are neither simple nor straightforward.

In fact, early church leaders do not offer us a singular narrative about being single. …

Continue reading “Singleness Lessons I Learned from the Early Church – The history of Christian celibacy is more complicated than we’d like to think by Dani Treweek”

Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

This doesn’t bother me, and it is as it should be.

There’s nothing wrong with marriage or wanting to be married, but, too often times, secular culture, many religions, and in particular, Christian gender complementarians, have made far too much out of marriage, to the degree all these groups make women who never marry, or who marry only past their mid-30s, or who are divorced, feel like they are big, worthless losers.

Some secular conservatives and Christians even run around on their podcasts, tweets, and blogs saying as such – that single or childless adults are selfish or losers.

Complementarians especially are pretty bad about this, because they tend to define “womanhood” as, and to tie a woman’s worth and purpose, to if she marries and has children .

While I am not a supporter of the far left’s anti-nuclear family views, I also don’t agree with how so many Christians have gone the opposite and equally damaging route by advising women that their value or identity resides only in being a wife and a mother – something the Bible does not teach, by the way, but actually says that being single is better than being married (see 1 Cor. 7).

Christians often seem to forget that Jesus of Nazareth never married and never had children – yet Christians shame or exclude adults today who don’t marry and/or who do not have children.

(Link):  Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning

  • Pew research found 9% of Americans saw their partner as a source of meaning, down from 20% in 2017.
  • Dating during a pandemic is hard, and couples had to confront unhappy relationships in quarantine.
  • Paired with the declining birth rate, it seems Americans are finding fulfillment on their own terms.

Some people spend a lifetime looking for their soul mate. But more Americans are finding life’s meaning in other things.

A new report from Pew Research Center that surveyed more than 2,500 Americans found that 9% of respondents cited their spouse or romantic partner as a source of meaning in life.

That’s quite a drop from 2017, when 20% said the same.

Continue reading “Fewer Americans See Their Romantic Partners As a Source of Life’s Meaning”

Marriage Rates Are Plummeting. Why Are Reality Dating Series So Popular?

Marriage Rates Are Plummeting. Why Are Reality Dating Series So Popular?

(Link): Marriage Rates Are Plummeting. Why Are Reality Dating Series So Popular?

Why the dating-and-marriage storyline still appeals so much to audiences who are increasingly opting out of the tradition.

by Joanna Weiss

Follow conservative punditry over the past few years, and you might think America is becoming a nation of unrepentant singles.

Last July, Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance warned a conservative think tank about a “civilizational crisis,” marked by declining marriage and birth rates, and promoted by the “childless left.”

 Census data that shows low marriage rates among millennials and Gen Z-ers — only 29 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds were married in 2018, compared to 59 percent in 1978 — begets headlines bemoaning a “marriage crisis” or predicting “the end of marriage in America.”

But if the dream of marriage is dead, you wouldn’t know it from the trailer for the upcoming season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.” The three-minute video, released last week, features a single schoolteacher named Michelle Young, a herd of healthy male suitors vying for her hand and a shimmering word cloud of courtship cliches:
“I’m looking for my soulmate.” “You give me goosebumps.” “When I’m with him, I feel fireworks.” Young declares that “I’m ready to fall in love,” and she wants more than just romance. “Miss Young,” one of her students says, “is looking for a husband.”

Continue reading “Marriage Rates Are Plummeting. Why Are Reality Dating Series So Popular?”

Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest

Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest

If you’re a Christian – you must recognize that 1 Cor 7 specifies that it is better to remain single than to marry, and no, that wasn’t merely a concession to a specific historical situation.

The Bible doesn’t teach that “marriage makes society better” or will repair a culture or nation. Christians who keep promoting that view are, from a theological perspective, in error.

As to the portions of this article where people interviewed claimed that marriage makes people happier (and I won’t be copying those portions to my post below) – wrong! That is a claim that’s been refuted before.

(Link): Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest 

By Nicole Alcindor, CP Reporter

Higher percentages of Americans view marriage as being “old-fashioned” as just over half believe that marriage is needed to create strong families, according to an annual nationwide survey released on Tuesday.

Continue reading “Fewer Americans Think Marriage is Needed To Create Strong Families, New Poll Suggest”

Men’s Fertility Fears Spawn a Mini Industry by Robbie Whelan

Men’s Fertility Fears Spawn a Mini Industry by Robbie Whelan

The print version of this article has a different heading than the online version for some reason.

(Link): Men’s Fertility Fears Spawn a Mini Industry by R Whelan

Sept 10, 2021

A crop of companies aims to make sperm-freezing a routine procedure for young men, as employers start to offer it as a benefit.

[Article opens with the example of a 39 year old man who had medical issues, so he got some of his sperm frozen]

…. For decades, the conversation about waning fertility has been focused largely on women.

… Recently, a small group of biotech startups have hatched, dedicated to what they say is an underserved market: male fertility.

Armed with recent scientific research suggesting that the quality of sperm is declining in the West, the companies are trying to make sperm-freezing a routine procedure for young, healthy men,  one covered by health insurance and free of stigma.

Continue reading “Men’s Fertility Fears Spawn a Mini Industry by Robbie Whelan”

Why Putin’s Desperate Push for More Russian Babies Will Fail

Why Putin’s Desperate Push for More Russian Babies Will Fail

I placed parts of the following article in bold-faced type.

Too often, a lot of people, religious conservatives in particular, shame people who cannot or do not marry and have children, whether it’s by circumstance or choice.

Too many religious conservatives, and a lot of progressive secular culture for many years, implied or outright stated if an adult didn’t marry (or have children) that there was something “wrong” with them, they were a loser, not a “true” adult, or were being selfish.

It is just quite irritating and insulting how so many people in many cultures the world over don’t treat adult singleness (or being childless or childfree) with respect.

Complementarian Christians in the United States have often tried to sell a “fairy tale” view off marriage, that if you just trust God, God will send you a great soul mate, and you will find nothing but happiness as a result.

(Those same Christians, though, will tell Christian women married to abusive Christian husbands that they cannot divorce their abuser!)

Christians also set up unrealistic expectations for sex in marriage. At least while I was growing up, and into the 1990s, a lot of Christians sold this bogus view that if you just hung on to your virginity that God would not only send you a great spouse, but you’d have regular and fantastic sex.

But witness those of us who remained sexually abstinent and yet still remain single, or those who married but ended up in sexually unsatisfying marriages.

I’m not opposed to Christians advocating for a traditional, Christian sexual ethos, but they need to stop making grand, sweeping claims and promises claiming that you will have a rosy (marital) future if you just remain chaste – because often, those promises do not come to pass.

I am not Russian, but if gender roles and gender expectations in Russia are anything like I’ve grown up with in the United States, it sounds like (based on a quote by a Russian woman I’ve included below) as though Russian culture – like American culture, especially Christian complementarians – expect women to place every one and every thing as a priority over what they, the women, want.

I am so tired of cultures the world over expecting that women defer to men generally, to what governments want, etc.

(Link): Why Putin’s Desperate Push for More Russian Babies Will Fail

Anna Nemtsova
Mon, September 6, 2021

Russia is facing a dire demographic crisis, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The country’s dramatic natural population decline in the past six months—more than double the rate from the same time period last year—is so severe that it prompted President Vladimir Putin to come out with a rallying cry in support of larger families last week. “A strong family bringing up two, three, or four children,” he said, “should be the image of a future Russia.”

Realizing this goal will be a Herculean task, for many reasons. No matter how conservative the country is made out to be on state television, the States Statistic Service reports that as of 2020 73 percent of Russian marriages ended in divorce, with 48 percent divorcing before having children.

Continue reading “Why Putin’s Desperate Push for More Russian Babies Will Fail”

These People Have Chosen The Single Life — And They Are Thriving by Michael Blackmon

These People Have Chosen The Single Life — And They Are Thriving by Michael Blackmon

(Link): These People Have Chosen The Single Life — And They Are Thriving by Michael Blackmon

Excerpts:

June 14, 2021
by Michael Blackmon

…In choosing to be single and child-free, [49-year-old author and educator]  Turner’s relationship with herself has blossomed. “All my time is for me. I don’t have to dress up for anyone but me. I don’t have to shave. It’s so freeing to go out and not worry about how I look, will someone find me attractive or not,” she said. “I find that I have more confidence and security within myself. I am not looking to [a partner] for validation.”

Turner is just one of hundreds of singles who responded to a BuzzFeed News callout asking the unattached if they were happy.

The submissions were varied, from people who had been single for just a few months to those who had been going solo for much of their lives.

Continue reading “These People Have Chosen The Single Life — And They Are Thriving by Michael Blackmon”

China: The Men Who Are Single And the Women Who Don’t Want Kids

China: The Men Who Are Single And the Women Who Don’t Want Kids

(Link): China: The Men Who Are Single And the Women Who Don’t Want Kids

A once-in-a-decade population census has shown that births in China have fallen to their lowest level since the 1960s – leading to calls for an end to birth control policies. But some in China say these policies aren’t the only thing that’s stopping them.

Despite being hassled by her mum about it, Beijing resident Lili* is not planning to have children any time soon.

The 31-year-old, who has been married for two years, wants to “live my life” without the “constant worries” of raising a child.

“I have very few peers who have children, and if they do, they’re obsessed about getting the best nanny or enrolling the kids in the best schools. It sounds exhausting.”

Lili spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity, noting that her mother would be devastated if she knew how her daughter felt.

But this difference of opinion between the generations reflects the changing attitudes of many young urban Chinese toward childbirth.

Continue reading “China: The Men Who Are Single And the Women Who Don’t Want Kids”

How Marriage and College Switched Places by Daniel Markovits

How Marriage and College Switched Places

(Link): How College Became a Ruthless Competition Divorced From Learning

Excerpts:

by Daniel Markovits

… [In years past] School and work were not a path to wealth and status—certainly not for women, nor even for men. Elites were indifferent to education and disdained work.

The landed gentry in Pride and Prejudice look down on Elizabeth’s working uncle, no matter that he gets his income from “a very respectable line of trade.”

….Courtship and marriage [back in the day] were as ruthless as schooling was casual.

Because elites married instrumentally—to shore up lineages—everyone wanted to marry the same people for the same reasons; even those who saw through the regime could not completely escape it.

…Marrying well demanded skill, judgment, and luck. The challenge of marrying to secure wealth, status, and love was so great that it could sustain the forward progress of a novel, as it does in Pride and Prejudice. The basic pattern was repeated in so many stories that critics have given it a name: the marriage plot.

The path to the top looks very different today, almost a mirror image in which work and school have traded places with inheritance and marriage.

Continue reading “How Marriage and College Switched Places by Daniel Markovits”