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Guest Post: Why People Living Alone Can Be Happy May 28, 2013

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Guest Posts, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
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4 comments

6a00d8341eb61d53ef01348621cb5a970c-800wiCopious Readers, as you may have noticed, Onely likes to have guest posts from anyone who has something to say about how single people experience life–we welcome (even crave) input from all cultures and all sorts of relationship statuses, from divorced to widowed to single and seeking to single and happy to asexual and even married. Here is another guest post, this time by Ryan Thurmost, who talks about the benefits of living alone, which as you know is just one aspect of being single (and a privileged one at that). What other benefits can you add? Or drawbacks? Do you agree or disagree with the stated benefits? For more information, check out Eric Klinenberg’s book Going Solo

Why People Living Alone Can Be Happy

Everyone wants to find true happiness, but this can be a difficult task. Many find it surprising that living alone may be one of the solutions, but they really shouldn’t be. For a lot of us, it just makes sense. Here are some of the reasons why individuals who are living by themselves might actually be the quintessential picture of happiness :)No Financial Fights

If you surveyed a bunch of people who have roommates about their biggest stressors, you might discover that finances are the biggest reason for disagreement in their apartments or houses. Those who live alone have total control of their budget. If a bill doesn’t get paid, they have no one to blame but themselves. On top of that, they’re free to do what they want with extra spending money (within reason, of course) and don’t have to consult with someone on mundane topics such as whether or not to keep the A/C on high. They can install a new appliance when they want, they can order whatever cable package they want, etc.

Loving Themselves
You’ve probably heard people say that it’s hard to love another person when you don’t exactly love yourself. Individuals who live alone usually have the time to focus on themselves. They’re less likely to have to worry about caring for someone all day long, and they don’t constantly have to clean or cook to suit the needs and tastes of another. People who live alone have time to explore their hobbies and get to know both what they really like and what they want to do with their lives.


Pets
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Microwave Cooking for One: Sad or Spectacular? May 29, 2012

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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5 comments

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Christina and I had a mini-Onely reunion when I landed in Philadelphia for a conference (she drove all the way up from Northern Virginia to see me – yay!). Among our many adventures, we found ourselves wandering around a delightful used bookstore in downtown Philly. Just as we were about to leave, I stumbled upon a major find – a cookbook entitled Microwave Cooking for One. It was so amazing, I decided to splurge and buy it ($2 USD + tax), and I gave it to Christina, since I don’t have a microwave.

We haven’t tested any of the recipes, but wanted to share some of our favorites so far – they range from fancy to practical, as you can see:

Lobster Tail:

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Fresh or Frozen, it’s no problem!

You can be sure to enjoy a rubbery, buttery meal for one with this delicious “Lobster Tail” meal for one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macaroni:

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The lovely Ms. Marie T. Smith gives us a more traditional recipe for pasta in the second version of this recipe, but if you cook the first version, the pasta (which she generally calls “macaroni”) will absorb all the water! I’ve never seen pasta do this, but I’m intrigued by the powers possessed by the microwave. There’s nothing like enjoying a soggy pasta topped with cold sauce (we can’t figure out why the sauce isn’t getting microwaved too) all by oneself.

Obviously, Christina and I are all in favor of cooking and eating for one and are happy to see progress made in this direction, but we also value our dignity. You might be able to guess our answer to this question, but we don’t want to be unfair to the talented Ms. Smith… Copious Readers, what do you think: Is Microwave Cooking for One Sad or Spectacular?

Love Us? Then “Like” Us! August 31, 2011

Posted by Onely in Pop Culture: HOPE for the Onelys, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Take action.
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4 comments

To Our Copious Readers:

Well, we’ve finally joined the 21st century: Onely’s on Facebook! If you “like” us, the bonuses are endless: You’ll receive updates about our blog posts, pro-singles events or occasions, as well as links to articles or websites of interest to the singles’ advocacy community. What’s more, you can add content of your own: Feel free to post to our Wall and know that you’re a member of a growing special interest group.

Now all we need is for you to “like” us (for incentive, we’ve posted a special bonus link on our Wall). Luckily for everyone involved, it’s pretty easy: You can just click the “like” button over on the right sidebar of the blog, or you can search for Onely (we’re a page, not a person) from your personal Facebook account.

Also, don’t forget that you can still connect to us via Twitter, email subscription, RSS feed – or you can go the good old-fashioned route of bookmarking Onely as a “Favorite” on your web browser!

Happy “liking”!

– Lisa and Christina

Secret Lives of the Happily Single: Red Meat Edition June 15, 2011

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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20 comments

Welcome to the latest installment in our series Secret Lives of the Happily Single (SLOTHS), where we both stereotype and celebrate the delectably gross habits you can enjoy if you live alone and/or don’t have a “partner”. 

Vegetarians might not want to read below the fold.

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Beginnings in Beirut: A (Long-Term) Onely Adventure June 5, 2011

Posted by Onely in Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, solo travel.
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24 comments

To Our Copious Readers,

I am thrilled to share with you exciting news: I’m moving to Beirut!

That’s right — I hinted at it a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s Onely official: I’ve accepted an Assistant Professor position at the American University of Beirut and will be moving in early September.

Between applying for jobs, interviewing for a number of them, flying to Beirut to make this decision AND finishing my dissertation (!), these last few months have been a whirlwind of intellectual and emotional activity. I could never have predicted that I would begin my career overseas, much less in Lebanon — but after my visit, I knew I had to go. When else, I wondered, would I ever get an opportunity like this — an opportunity that will allow me to cultivate my love of travel, improve my understanding of other cultures, all while actually pursuing the career for which I’ve been trained? To be honest, I had low expectations — the academic job market is rough, especially in the Humanities, and I assumed I would end up living in Farmville USA for most of my career (no offense to actual Farmville residents). And who knows, that might be true in the long run — it’s only a four-year contract and who knows what will happen after that.

Living overseas is one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do but never saw fitting into my life plan… I didn’t study abroad (even though my undergrad school offered a semester in Spain); I never pursued the Peace Corps (though I studied the application occasionally in my early 20s); hell, I hadn’t even ever left the country until a few years after college. Yet every time I’ve traveled overseas, I’ve longed for a more sustained (and sustainable) experience. Instead, time and money always got in the way.

So, needless to say, I feel incredibly lucky right now. And terrified at the same time. But more than anything, I’m certain that whatever the future brings, my Onely attitude will keep me on the right track (and will surely produce some interesting adventures, which I’ll share along the way!).

So I’m curious, Copious Readers, what are the big life decisions you’ve made for which a Onely attitude has been necessary? And what kind of advice do you have for me as I move forward?

– Lisa

If I Die Young and Freakishly December 23, 2010

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Just Saying., Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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8 comments

My dad’s coworker died at 36 of a heart attack in his car after work. Security guards found him after noticing the car sitting, engine on, in a nearly-empty parking lot. People–me included–told the story in sad whispers: “In the car. With the engine on.”

If I die under odd circumstances (“odd” defined as “not passing away in a bed while asleep with a spouse holding my hand”), I don’t want people to harp on the details in a shocked or pitying way. If I go, I go with no regrets. (Except maybe that I never visited Dick Proenneke‘s house, and that my computer is full of revolting first drafts.)

As a Oneler who currently lives alone (“alone” defined as “with two cats”), any of my potential death scenarios–tripping on a cat on the stairs, choking on roast beef, cracking my skull on the bathtub–takes on an extra dollop of “Oh, geez, that’s terrible”: my body would inevitably have to lie there alone for a while before my office sends the dogs after me, or my mom calls the cops to find out why I haven’t phoned her in the last 24 hours to ask whether she thinks the two-week-old stroganoff is still good. Then someone would have to come and discover me, and the grapevine would vibrate with murmurs like, “And they had to break open the door! And there she was!”

Well, so what?

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Great Onelies in Real Time: Chen Wei-yih to Marry Herself October 22, 2010

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onelies in Real Time, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
11 comments

In Sex and the City, it sounded too good to be true. But Chen Wei-yih, a 30-year-old Taiwanese woman, is making it a reality: She’s marrying herself.

And the event — scheduled for November 6th — is making international news. Check it out on the Huffington Post, Wei-yih’s blog (if you can read Chinese), and/or friend her on Facebook if you support her. We at Onely think Wei-yih (and those friends and family who support her) rocks, though we wonder if she will enjoy the same benefits as her “real” married counterparts do.

We’re wishing her all the best. Copious Readers, what are your thoughts?

– Lisa (and Christina)

Isn’t it sad that some people are surprised that you can be happily single? April 6, 2010

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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15 comments

Kudos to Contented Single, who (inadvertently) titled this post thanks to her comment at the end of this discussion about whether or not being Onely has made me clueless. In answer to her question, YES I DO think it’s sad that some people are surprised that you (we) can be happily single! In fact, running this blog has spoiled me; I’ve clearly forgotten how unusual the Onely mindset seems in the public’s eyes.

Having my friend Jenny in town last month reminded me of that. We don’t know each other all that well, and I offered to let her stay with me since our national annual conference was here in Louisville. I wasn’t sure how things would go, since we only ever see each other in academic contexts — and since I try to keep my academic life separate from this blog, she doesn’t know anything about Onely. She stayed with me for five days, and during that time, not only did she insist that my friend George was “in love” with me — she also kept mentioning how “happy” I seemed being single.

Her surprise was as great as mine! The second night she was in town, she told me how different I was from most of her single friends back home, who she described as strangely “resentful” when she got married last summer. And a couple nights later, after she met George and couldn’t help trying to pair us up — and I kept resisting her compulsion, she finally “admitted” that if I was really happy being single, then (she supposed) there wasn’t anything wrong with that.

I almost told her about Onely, but then I decided against it because I was just so fascinated by her surprise that I wanted to see if it would last through the whole visit. And it did. So when I saw her off, I felt pretty satisfied, knowing I’d made a good impression on her as a happily single person. I think she’ll carry it with her — I guess we need more Onelers to represent!

Copious Readers, have you had experiences like I had with Jenny, when someone expressed surprise by your happy-and-single status?

– Lisa

PS: Jenny also told me that she felt that after she got married and started wearing a wedding ring all the time, she’d noticed a big change in the way men treated her (less as an object). Made me think that I should start wearing a fake wedding ring on errands or when traveling — as a social experiment! If you have thoughts about this, please share. :)

Neurotic or Not? You decide! March 1, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Just Saying., Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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18 comments

I am an incredibly private person when it comes to the bathroom. So private, in fact, that even though I live alone, when my dog is anywhere around the bathroom when I am about to use it, I make her either leave the room or close the door completely.

So, when Christina mentioned last week in an email to me that one of her cute new kittens SAT ON HER LAP while she used the bathroom, I was, quite frankly horrified. Here is the transcript of the email conversation that followed:

Me: “ewwww, i would SO never let an animal sit on my lap or anywhere near me while i was peeing!!! that’s so disgusting — definitely a Onely activity.”

Christina: “There is no ‘let’ with cats. If they want to sit on your lap when you are on the toilet, they just jump up there before I know it’s coming. This morning Theo used his claws to get leverage.”

Me: “it’s called SHUTTING THE DOOR to the bathroom!”

Christina: “huh? What is this door-shutting of which you speak? I believe I remember something like that from many years ago when I used to live with other people. . .”

I hate the thought of anyone (or any thing if you don’t think animals are people too) watching or listening to me while I’m on the toilet — which I realize might be understood as slightly extreme, but I’m okay with that because it’s better than the alternative — a dog sniffing my crotch or a kitten clawing my legs while I’m totally exposed and relatively helpless. But while I think Christina is totally crazy for being so open with animals, she thinks I’m strangely prudish.

We made fun of each other for a while, but it seems that neither of us can muster the rhetorical skills necessary to convince the other that she’s nuts… So, we’d like you, Copious Readers, to settle the debate: Who’s the neurotic one? Me, her, or somewhere in between (no hard feelings, we promise)!

– L

photo credit: EyalNow

OMG, I’m One of THEM. February 6, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
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24 comments

Copious Readers, after a year and a half of blogging about positive singlehood and of punditing for singles’ rights, I have gone over to the dark side. I have two new men in my life. No, that’s not the dark part. We here at Onely are not against love, dating, or relationships. We are, however, against obnoxiousness. And I’m obnoxious.

I spend all my non-work hours with Alvin or Theo. Several times in the last week I’ve postponed phone calls to friends and family so that I could hang out with, cook for, or cuddle with a new flame. I’m sleep deprived because we stay up too late laughing and talking. When people do call to find out where I’ve been, I barely ask about their lives, but instead I blather on and on about how handsome Theo is or how smart and funny Alvin seems. I send emails with no message, but maxed out with photo attachments, many of which look kind of the same. Instead of doing my Arabic homework or writing my Adequate American Novel, I crawl around on my hands and knees looking for the boys’ balls.

Alvin and Theo are both a lot shorter than I am, but I’m pretty progressive about that kind of thing. And I loooove their back hair. Alvin is adventurous and brings out my wild side, but Theo is more shy and has a chronic worried look on his face that makes me want to comfort him. I’m lucky I don’t have to choose between them, because they seem to enjoy sharing my lap.

Oh, my poor matchmaking coworkers, who don’t have kittens to help them ride out the Stormageddon. I will try to comfort and support them on Monday:

“Oh, you’re kittenless? Aww. That’s too bad. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find some one day.”

“So, why is a great person like you still kittenless?”

“What, you say you’re happy with your dog? What are you, some kind of freak?” (Special shout-out to Lisa.)

“Hey, so you’re kittenless, right? I know this great calico who just happens to need a person!”

Copious Readers, can you forgive me?

–Christina

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