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U.S. adults have “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”–Do other cultures also infantilize the unmarried? November 28, 2012

Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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29 comments

The U.S.’ widespread use of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” is a decades-old cultural relic, from a time when we married barely out of boyhood or girlhood. But now more and more adults are waiting until their late twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, or beyond to marry (if at all). So what does it say about our society that we call the people we’re dating “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”?

It SAYS that our society views unmarried people as younger/less evolved/more childish than married ones.

To be sure, our habit of using boyfriend/girlfriend in perpetuity did not arise from a concerted or conspiratorial cultural effort to infantilize unmarrieds. But the passive persistence of the terms does represent how singles are viewed. (For all that alliteration, you may thank this glass of wine.)

A thirty-eight-year-old hetero female has a boyfriend? Come on.

Progressive thinkers (usually as an extension of Queer rhetoric) have played with new terms: Significant Other; Partner; Life Partner. . .  These terms allow people of all ages to achieve the rare art of sounding both stodgy and mysterious at the same time.

Copious Readers, Onely requests your responses: (more…)

Some Like It Single: Special K March 20, 2009

Posted by Onely in single and happy, Singles Resource, Some Like It Single.
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2 comments

Welcome to yet another installment in our new series, Some Like It Single, where we profile (relatively) small, independent blogs dedicated to exploring what it means to be “single” in American culture and, we hope, around the world.

This week, we’re featuring Special K, where you’re sure to receive a healthy dose of introspective, intriguing, and just plain good writing about what it means to be a single woman meandering through life around the age of 30. K describes, in highly readable and prosaic language, what it means to negotiate between what she wants (or thinks she wants) and what American culture seems to expect of her.

complaints-new-and-improved (more…)

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