Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5

(Click the “more” link to read the rest)

I agree with the author of this. I find it annoying when people try to cheer me up about my never married status by telling me “Jesus is your husband.” Oh please.

My Savior My Spouse? (Isaiah 54:5)

by Camerin Courtney

If you’re one of those singles who finds comfort in Isaiah 54:5—”For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name … “—you should probably stop reading this column and go reread that passage instead. I’ll catch you next time around.

But if you’re one of those singles who reads that verse with equal parts confusion and consternation, read on, kindred. You’re in good company.

Maybe part of what “bothers” me about this verse is the timing of when it’s quoted to those of us without a spouse—usually right after we’ve expressed loneliness, a desire to be married someday (perhaps someday soon), or sadness over the end of a relationship.

The quoters mean to be encouraging, I know, and sometimes this verse does offer a needed reminder that God is always with us; he’s a relationship constant in a world of frequent moves, shifting friendships, painful divorce. And he offers not just any relationship, mind you, but intimate relationship.

God desires the kind of close interaction with us that sparks comparison to that of a husband and wife. He’s not a distant, cold, ambivalent God; he’s an up-close, hands-on, how-was-your-day, cares-about-the-details kind of God. At least when we let him be that kind of God. And yes, sometimes hearing this verse reminds me of all these wonderful truths.

But most days, when this verse is directed specifically at singles, it can be guilt inducing. You feel lonely? Just cling to Jesus. You want a husband? Jesus already is your husband. Isn’t he enough for you?

Well, yes … and no. Yes, Jesus is my foundation, my savior, my hope. He’s the friend I chat with when my eyes first open in the morning, when I’m in the shower, when I’m driving to meet a friend for coffee, when I’m washing dishes in my pj’s.

Continue reading “Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5”

Singleness and Scripture – responding to Christian myths about singleness

Written by a 40 year old women who’s never been married, has no kids:

Singleness and Scripture

by Lisa Harper

Although being single in America no longer is atypical (the latest US census reveals more single/divorced/widowed women than married ones), in the Christian subculture, singleness often seems an anomaly. I can’t count how many times church people have awkwardly asked me, “Do you have any children?” or “Where’s your husband?”

My favorite answer is, “My future husband’s lost and won’t stop to ask for directions.”

The quip usually prompts giggles and diverts attention from my lackluster dating life.

Sometimes I wonder if myths about Christians and singleness contribute to making women without a diamond ring on their left hand feel like misfits.

Let’s look at some of the faulty theology surrounding singleness, and get the Bible’s actual take on the subject.
Continue reading “Singleness and Scripture – responding to Christian myths about singleness”

Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles never married christian

Excellent piece by Jackson Watts (I omitted the footnotes; you can visit the link “The Scandal of Singleness” to view them); click the “more” link to read the rest:

(Link): The Scandal of Singleness

Sometimes others know us better than we know ourselves. Though the world sees through a darkened lens, occasionally it observes something in Christians worth considering. Recently, a New York Times has done just that in exploring the bias in evangelicalism against hiring unmarried pastors [1].

Erik Eckholm recounts the case of one experienced pastor unable to find work after searching since 2009. According to Eckholm, most evangelical churches will never seriously consider a single pastor for fear that (a) he cannot relate well to married couples, or (b) his sexual orientation is in question. While it would be easy to target search committees for their myopia, the data shows that this bias extends throughout many evangelical denominations.

This trend represents the concerns of Christians about the state of marriage in America. Many publications have noted the fact that unmarried adults are now the largest demographic in America. According to the last census, nearly 50% of American adults are unmarried—the most in history. It is in this vein that evangelical theologian Al Mohler responds to Eckholm’s findings: “Both the logic of Scripture and the centrality of marriage in society,” he said, justify “the strong inclination of congregations to hire a man who is not only married but faithfully married” [2].

So, is this bias against singles, especially in ministry, justified? Is the privileged status of marriage over singleness Scriptural? Is singleness as scandalous as some imply? I contend that the church’s witness is hindered insomuch as it ignores or belittles faithful expressions of singleness in the church.

Continue reading “Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles never married christian”

Article: Sensitivity to Singles’ Needs Grows

(Please use the “more” link below to read the rest of the post)

April 2012

LOUISVILLE, KY. — When he looks out over his small congregation on Sunday mornings, Steven Schafer sees a picture of modern American family life.

About half of the congregants come from what was once typical – families headed by married couples.

The rest include “a lot of single parents, a lot of divorced parents, a lot of grandparents raising their kids,” said Schafer, pastor of Ridgewood Baptist Church. “The traditional family is not the norm.”

That presents a major challenge to churches, which are struggling to respond to the revolution in how Americans structure their families, households and romances.

Nearly half of American adults today are unmarried – whether never-married, currently divorced, separated or widowed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Married couples account for just under half of all American households – down from 71 percent in 1970, according to the U.S. Census.

Yet still today, married people are more likely than singles to be church attendees. And churches often seem focused on the nuclear family, whether it’s in the sermon topics or the posters on the walls or the graded Sunday Schools.

The Rev. Kevin Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen Church, said his congregation is trying to create a culture in which “you’re not abnormal if you’re single.”

“One is a whole number,” he said. “You’re not a fraction.”

Continue reading “Article: Sensitivity to Singles’ Needs Grows”

For older never married Christians – ‘Single in the Church’

Here’s an excellent article for older, never married Christians (unfortunately it is in PDF format. I prefer HTML pages):

(Link): Single in the Church – Eunuchs in the Kingdom, by Clyde Ervine (PDF)

One of the things I like about this article is that Mr. Ervine points out something I’ve noticed for a long time now: almost all material for single Christians is directed at divorced people, or for 20-somethings  who are assumed will get married at one point, but there is hardly any material, support, encouragement for those of us (like me) who are over 40, who wanted to be married, but who have never been married (and may never be married). Many churches refuse to even acknowledge the existence of people such as me, or they don’t ever stop to consider some may never marry.

Fifteen Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do To Your Single Friends

(Click the “more” link below to read the rest)

Fifteen Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do To Your Single Friends

by N. Cottrell / Ally Spotts

Here are a few items from the list:

1. Please don’t tell us that as soon as we become “content” being single, we’ll meet “the one.” It sounds nice, and I get the point, but I know plenty of people who have gotten married before achieving perfect contentedness with single life. Not to mention, I’ve been content being single for awhile now – and I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t precisely this attitude which sometimes keeps us stuck.

2. Please don’t stop inviting us just because we’re single. We get it. You’re “married” now or whatever. But you’re still you. And we still want to be friends. Fifth wheel. Ninth wheel. 301st wheel. Whatever. We’re used to it. Just invite us to come.

3. Please don’t tell us how “easy” we have it being single. There might be some truth to that statement, but you know what? We get this a lot. And don’t forget that when life gets rough you have someone to share the load with you. Remember to be grateful for that.
Continue reading “Fifteen Things You Shouldn’t Say or Do To Your Single Friends”

Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin

Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin

(Link): No One Wants to Talk About It

By Julia Duin
Why are evangelical singles sleeping around?

(Link): Where Are America’s Virgins? Discouraging the Virtuous


Three decades later, virginity is under such withering attack, you would think it was child abuse. It is associated with words such as ‘frigid,’ ‘prideful,’ ‘judgmental’ and ‘holier-than-thou.’  “Virginity” was on the Washington Post Outlook section’s 2010 list of the year’s top 13 things to “throw out.” There are now books out with titles like “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women” by Jessica Valenti.

….The nay-sayers seem unusually ferocious these days in their zeal against the ideal of virginity. I am surprised at how would-be defenders in the religious community are doing such a poor job of striking back.

In January, Christianity Today’s women’s blog, Hermeneutics, reviewed, a singles site for virgins seeking other virgins. The writer suggested the idea was unrealistic, moralistic and “poses problems” in terms of exalting a potential partner’s virginity rather than his or her Christian commitment. Yet, now as in previous eras, virginity is a major test of one’s Christian commitment.

Agree with the Bible or not, Scripture is clear that sex is to be abstained outside of marriage. It is the job of the church – likewise the mosque and temple and other traditions that at least on paper aspire to purity at the marriage altar – to hold the line. The church has surrendered its teachings on chastity, so it’s no wonder that even among the devout, the virginity percentages are dismal.

Continue reading “Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin”

Remaining Chaste in an Unchaste World

God’s Alternate Intimacy ~ Remaining Chaste in an Unchaste World

– by Julia Duin


[I met my friend for lunch and] she told me of the thirtieth birthday party of another single friend. One of the birthday cards she got said on the front that there are worse things than being over thirty. On the inside it announced, “You could still be a virgin.”

I can still see the pain on her face. “I felt like a freak,” she told me. I think many singles lose their virginity because they have no compelling reason not to do so. They don’t want to be considered freaks.

Many of our friends — even our Christian friends — consider life without sex abnormal. If we are divorced or widowed, they wonder why we don’t use our newfound freedom to explore sexual frontiers; if we used to sleep around before conversion but now do not, they wonder why we are suddenly acting virtuous.
Continue reading “Remaining Chaste in an Unchaste World”

Spinsterlicious Life Blog

I’m not sure if the woman who owns this blog is a Christian or not. I’m pretty sure it’s a secular blog, but it is interesting. The woman who owns the blog is, I believe, over 40 years old, and she has never been married. She is trying to take back the word “spinster” so as to remove the negative connotations it has.

Spinsterlicious Life

where delightful, single women who know how to live and love life, and the people who love them (…or wonder about them) engage with each other. We’re putting a spin on Spinster!

Older Single Christians And Sex – article by Julia Duin

(Click the “more” link to read the entire post)

Why are evangelical singles sleeping around?

By Julia Duin

Not long ago, a minor flare lit the evangelical horizon as Lauren F. Winner, a senior editor for Christianity Today, wrote a tell-all column on “evangelical whores.” The piece appeared on the new multi-religious website,

Miss Winner, a fairly recent convert to Christianity from Orthodox Judaism, had written a potboiler of a piece suggesting that unmarried Gen-X evangelical Christians often sleep together and that the rest of us might as well deal with it.

Married evangelicals, she wrote, aren’t willing to talk about sex to their single friends, “except to remind us that True Love Waits. This slogan,” she continued, “might work when you’re 15. Ten years later, catch-phrases don’t really do the trick.”

She went on to describe how the typical church doesn’t really get it. Well-meaning preachers use platitudes to remind their singles to stay celibate, if they say anything at all. Most don’t. Instead, pastors ignore the “thousands” of unmarried evangelicals who disobey this injunction. Why, Miss Winner asked, can’t we talk about this reality?

Continue reading “Older Single Christians And Sex – article by Julia Duin”

For anyone who is following or visiting this blog….

I hope anyone who visits this blog understands I use it often to vent and not as a general or all purpose blog where I discuss all facets of my life.

I try not to get bitter or stay angry over being single at my age (I’m over 40 and have never married), and I have other interests in life that have nothing to do with the issues of dating and marriage. I do not spend all my time pondering about marriage and singleness.

This is a blog I use to post articles about singleness and marriage, but I also like to post to it if or when I am grumpy about the whole ‘still single at 40’ issue. If you’re trying to base your opinion on me on the content and tone of this blog alone, you’re not going to get the complete picture of who I am. I’m not quite as grumpy in general as I am on the blog.

Quitting Church – why single Christians aren’t going to church – church has failed Christian singles

(I posted this to a previous entry but it’s so good, I wanted it to have its own page. Click “More” to read the entire post. I have looked at the HTML behind this post and cannot figure out why the blog is displaying the font at such a huge size.)

Quitting Church

The URL is-

(An interview with author Julia Duin)
Q. How have megachurches reshaped our thinking about church life?

People want their needs met. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but I was really attacked on a recent radio show for suggesting churches should be more willing to cater to some pretty obvious needs.

Like, I was asked what singles – an underserved group if there ever was one in church life – need, and I said, “To get married.”

Pastors in other countries, e.g. India, see matchmaking as part of their job description but here in the States, it’s every believer for him or herself. And there are record amounts of single Christians out there today, few of whom wish to be that way.
I really got attacked for suggesting peoples’ needs should be met, as the typical churchgoer is supposed to be in this to be a servant, not to get their needs met.
At least that’s what’s preached.
That is nonsense, of course; parents walk in all the time expecting to have their children given Christian teaching in Sunday school, so that “need” is considered legit. People do need friends, they need fellowship, they need to hear from God. What is so bad about churches tending to those things?
The megachurches have set themselves to identifying felt needs and providing the staff and programming to meet those needs. They’ve brought marketing into the equation. I am not a megachurch attendee, as I like to know my pastor and have my pastor know me, but I can see the attraction.
Q. You say that today’s churches are set up to minister to whole families, but not so much to singles and women. What are singles and women experiencing at church today?
Women are slotted into childcare jobs and maybe ushers or the choir – or the worship team, as it’s called today.
But women like me, who are seminary-educated, are given no place to teach. The offer is never extended. Ditto for other women who are lawyers, accountants, etc., who know things that could be of some benefit to the body of Christ. These women are underused at best. Or they are told they can only minister to other women.
When you’re used to be treated equally in the job market, it’s like entering a time warp when you go to church and are told that who you are is dependent on who or what your husband is.
Women whose husbands are elders or ministers have more freedom to exercise ministry, but all other women aren’t given much of a chance.
What’s also galling is how so many women are treated like sexual temptresses. I get tired of pastors telling me they cannot be alone with me and can’t meet me for coffee somewhere, while it’s OK if they get together with a male parishioner.

The Church / Christians Have Failed Are Failing Older Single / Never Married Christians

(Click the “more” link below to see the rest of the links)

If you examine the rest of my blog, you will find other posts by me where I explain and opine about how many churches neglect and insultingly stereotype older singles who have never married.

Here I would like to upkeep a list of links about the topic. (If you know of any others, please post the link in a comment below this entry, and I can add it to this blog post.)

PDF: What I Wish I Had Known About Singles Ministry by Bill Flanagan

Is The Church Failing Single People by Catherine Francis

Singles make up an increasing proportion of the Church. But are we ignoring their needs and contributions?

Continue reading “The Church / Christians Have Failed Are Failing Older Single / Never Married Christians”

Book Review of Not A Fan a book by Kyle Idleman

PDF Format:
(Link): Book Review of “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idleman (review by J. O. Hosler)

The book reviewer believes that Idleman’s book contains a  Lordship Salvation slant; Lordship salvation teaching seems to distort the gospel of Grace the Bible teaches.

I really wish there was an HTML version of the review available; the review is only available in PDF format.

I have seen Idleman on a television series of the same name (“Not A Fan”), which airs on network TBN at times, and while I do believe the man is sincere, I am sometimes a little put off by his emphasis upon works or performance.

Life is difficult enough as it is without a preacher trying to tell me I’m not doing enough for Christ, I’m failing at my faith walk, or implying I’m selfish if I’m not giving up every single material possession I own to work in a homeless shelter 24 hours a day seven days a week or to go serve as a missionary in the deepest jungles of Africa.

There are different, and equally valid ways, of serving the Lord, and not all of them have to involve missionary work in Africa or working in a soup kitchen.
Related post, this blog:

(Link):  Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

(Link): Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan

Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure

    Sixty-three percent of all births to women under 30 in Lorain County occur outside marriage, according to Child Trends, a research center in Washington. That figure has risen by more than two-thirds over the past two decades, and now surpasses the national figure of 53 percent.
    The change has transformed life in Lorain, a ragged industrial town on Lake Erie. Churches perform fewer weddings. Applications for marriage licenses are down by a third. Just a tenth of the students at the local community college are married, but its campus has a bustling day care center.
    The New York Times interviewed several dozen people in Lorain about marriage here. What follows are their stories.

Continue reading “Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure”

Why Online Dating Doesn’t Work

One of my married friends got me to join a dating site or two about a year ago, despite the fact I tried them before, am uncomfortable with them and hate them. They haven’t worked for me.

Why Online Dating Doesn’t Work

A team of psychologists reviewed online dating sites and their conclusions are not promising. Christie Nicholson reports

Online dating might give you something, but it’s probably not a soul mate.

Most sites rely on what’s called an “exclusive process”—they use an algorithm to find romantic matches based variables, from interests to fetishes. But now a team of psychologists from five universities has performed a systematic review. And they say that most claims for the power of the “exclusive process” don’t pan out. Their report is in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

The existing “matching algorithms” miss key variables for long-term love. They necessarily make matches before the parties meet. But studies show that the strongest predictors of solid relationships are a couple’s live interaction style and ability to handle stress. Data about characteristics like personality and attitudes cannot accurately predict how that real life interaction will function.

The scientists also note that online profile photos are poor proxies for the chemistry sparked by meeting in the flesh. Which leads to a lot of disappointing coffee dates. And many potentially successful matches never happen.

Of course the researchers admit online dating helps singles meet more people more quickly. And so might still lead to that magic match. But that’s statistics, not psychology.

Related post, this blog:

(Link): Facebook Uses Photo of Dead Girl (by suicide) in Dating Site Ad

(Link): Is it a date? Or hanging out? [2014] Survey reflects confusion (article)

(Link): Beware of Rapists on Christian Dating Sites

(Link): Stop Telling Your Single Friends to Try Dating Sites – Please.

(Link): Creepizoids Weirdos and Perverts on Dating Sites

(Link): Woman Meets Man on Dating Site, He Steals Her Dog and TV on First Date

(Link): Police urge caution when using dating websites / Murderers on Dating Sites

(Link): Woman Meets Man on Dating Site, He Steals Her Dog and TV on First Date

(Link): Men Posting Profiles on Dating Sites Could Use Some Tips (from Dear Abby column)

(Link): Internet dating firms entice lonely hearts with faked profiles based on real people (article)

(Link): San Jose woman loses $500,000 in online Christian Mingle dating scam

Never Married 38 Year Old Christian Guy Wants to Know Why Churches Treat Him Like a Freak

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I totally related to this guy’s question. A guy calling himself “John” wrote in to the Christian television show “The 700 Club” and asked the hosts a question about why, as a 38- year- old, never- married man, so many churches have rejected him (or left him feeling rejected).

I’m just a few years older than John is, though I am a woman. I have never been married, but I wanted to be. I don’t know why I’m not married.

I have to disagree with host Pat Robertson’s reply – Robertson tells the guy, John, that the rejection is all in his head and that churches do not “reject” older singles. WRONG!

The letter writer, John, may not be “rejected” per se by churches, but most churches, and many Christians, do treat single or never- married Christians over the age of 35 and 40 differently – and that in a negative fashion.

We older, never married (single) Christians are either ignored by churches, or most Christians and churches assume that everyone over 25 years old is married with kids, or, they assume if you’re 40, you have been divorced at some stage – (wrong again, I’ve never been married).

Some Christians (the married ones) let loose with the gossip and slander against the older singles…. they assume if you’re over 35 and never married, you are some how “flawed,” a weirdo, or homosexual (none of that is true, either).

Here is a partial transcript from today’s show:
Continue reading “Never Married 38 Year Old Christian Guy Wants to Know Why Churches Treat Him Like a Freak”

The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.

The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.

Braitman is 58 now [and never married], though she has the carriage of a much younger woman.

But she wanted a partner. She still does.

Braitman grew up in Queens, watching her father dote on her mother. She saw her brother become a wonderful husband. She does not think marriage is broken and does not think life — at least her life — is better lived alone. It just worked out that way.

She went to college, moved across country, built a career in media. She dated, took up hobbies and developed a loving circle of friends. For most of her life, she assumed the right one would eventually show up. Now, she thinks there has been a detour.

After Thanksgiving last year, Braitman read a review of Diane Keaton’s new autobiography, “Then Again.” It contained this quote: “I never found a home in the arms of a man.”

The sentence laid Braitman flat. That’s her truth, too. Of all the men she has known romantically — and there have been plenty — none ever felt like home. It’s that plain. Whatever point-counterpoint, yin-yang recognition of a kindred other happens to people, it has not happened to her. At least, not yet.

We talk a lot about singles, but we don’t talk about this: what it’s like to live without a partner while longing for one, over years, then decades.
Continue reading “The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it.”

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

From the New York Times, excerpts from:

The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage

In a nationwide survey conducted in 2001 by the National Marriage Project, then at Rutgers and now at the University of Virginia, nearly half of 20-somethings agreed with the statement, “You would only marry someone if he or she agreed to live together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along.” About two-thirds said they believed that monationwide surveyving in together before marriage was a good way to avoid divorce.

But that belief is contradicted by experience. Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

Researchers originally attributed the cohabitation effect to selection, or the idea that cohabitors were less conventional about marriage and thus more open to divorce. As cohabitation has become a norm, however, studies have shown that the effect is not entirely explained by individual characteristics like religion, education or politics. Research suggests that at least some of the risks may lie in cohabitation itself.

WHEN researchers ask cohabitors these questions, partners often have different, unspoken — even unconscious — agendas. Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage. One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.

Sliding into cohabitation wouldn’t be a problem if sliding out were as easy. But it isn’t. Too often, young adults enter into what they imagine will be low-cost, low-risk living situations only to find themselves unable to get out months, even years, later.

…I’ve had other clients who also wish they hadn’t sunk years of their 20s into relationships that would have lasted only months had they not been living together. Others want to feel committed to their partners, yet they are confused about whether they have consciously chosen their mates.

Founding relationships on convenience or ambiguity can interfere with the process of claiming the people we love. A life built on top of “maybe you’ll do” simply may not feel as dedicated as a life built on top of the “we do” of commitment or marriage.

Singled Out – about being single in today’s society

An article about singleness. This article appears to be written by someone who is liberal, and I am not a liberal.

I don’t agree with all of the article, but I do agree with much of it, and I related to a lot of it. Here are some portions from the article:

Singled Out

By Katie Roiphe

….And it’s disconcerting that living alone, especially for a woman, is still something of a taboo; that vast swaths of the population still foster only barely submerged fantasies of spinsters and cat ladies; that children still sit cross-legged on the floor playing games of “old maid.” In a recent, highly rational exploration of the subject in the New York Times, Klinenberg, a sociologist, points out that nearly half the households in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. consist of a single person, and yet we continue to view the lifestyle of people who live outside of a couple to be as worthy of cover stories as that of rare leopards prowling across the front of National Geographic.

….In the hot pink, 75-cent paperback edition, she [Helen Gurley Brown] writes about the single experience: “You see enough picture stories in national publications about couples and families to make you feel like the sole occupant of a life raft. To further depress you, the couples and families are always blueberry-pie normal, as industrious as gophers, as much at home in the world as an egg in custard. We know the married state is the normal one in our culture, and anybody who deviates from ‘normal’ has a price to pay in nonacceptance and nonglorification.”

….All the public drumrolling about deciding not to get married, or to live alone, or to have a baby on one’s own, is in direct proportion to the resistance single people still feel from the culture, the curiously old-fashioned outsider status they seem to enjoy.

It is testimony to how much truth still holds in Helen Gurley Brown’s statement that the single woman’s “whole existence seems to be an apology for not being married.”

Why, one might wonder, should single women still be apologizing to anyone, explaining, elaborating, elucidating, as though they are stuck between the pages of an Austen or Trollope novel? These articles would not continue to appear and we would not continue to read them if the choices they described were simply the boring, private choices they should be. (Or as Helen Gurley Brown wrote to the single girl, “You may marry or you may not. In today’s world that is no longer the big question for women.”)