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Pioneering Singles’ Advocate Dr. Bella DePaulo BlogCrawls onto Onely! September 26, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Singled Out.
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23 comments

Happy Last Day of National Singles’ Week!!

final Singled Out TP coverYes, it’s the end of Unmarried and Single Americans Week, but don’t be sad! We’re going out with a bang! Today singles’ advocate extraordinaire Dr. Bella DePaulo relates some personal watershed moments when she realized she didn’t have to find a “Sex and Everything Else Partner” if she didn’t feel like it. One reason Onely hearts Bella is because she has coined some fabulous terms to describe the lopsided treatment of singles in society, including singlism (discrimination and prejudice against single people), matrimania (the myth of marriage as a cure for personal and social ills), and the much underused SEEPie.

How I Discovered that Living Single Was My True Happily Ever After

by Bella DePaulo

In seventh grade, on a break from class, best friends Maureen and Linda took turns walking slowly and deliberately, hands clasped at their waists. They were practicing the walk down the aisle. They also compared notes on their wedding dresses, the bridesmaids’ dresses, and who those bridesmaids would be. No, they were not getting married at age 12 – they were just fantasizing.

Even as a 7th grader, I found this strange. I just didn’t see the appeal of planning, or even thinking about a wedding. Turns out, I never would.

I have always lived single, and never yearned to live any other way. For a long time, though, I was puzzled by the disconnect between the way I liked to live, and the kind of life so many others seemed to wish for, and expected me to wish for, too.

I tried out several solutions to this. I had a bug hypothesis for a while – marriage was a bug, and I just hadn’t caught it yet. Eventually, it would get me. (Looking back, I’m now bemused that I did believe in a disease model all along – but the disease was marriage, not singlehood.) Then I tried out the long-distance version of the longing – maybe I’d like it if I had a long-distance relationship. That way, I could have my time and space to myself all week, and have a partner for the weekends. I thought about it, but I never felt it.

I don’t think there was a specific moment when I realized: I LIKE living single. This is who I am. It is not going to change.

To get to that point, I think I had to understand a bigger point – it is fine (good, even) to live the life that is most meaningful to you, even if your way is not the most conventional one. (more…)

SEEPage November 24, 2008

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Singled Out.
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19 comments

For all you writers out there!! Here Bella DePaulo admits that in an early draft of her opus Singled Out, before she heard about Liz Spencer and Ray Pahl‘s study of different kinds of personal communities, she had a “clunky phrase” to describe significant others who form the nexus of their partner’s social life (per Spencer and Pahl, that would be a “partner-based personal community”). The term DePaulo used to describe that kind of significant other was “Sex and Everything Else Person,” aka a “SEEPie”. She said that readers of the draft hated the term, so she scrapped it. But I like it! I wonder how our Copious Readership feels about Seepies. Either way, it just goes to show you what a freakin’ headache writing is.

I was raised in a foreign service family. This means that my mom, dad, sister, and I travelled around together, one little square unit. This setup feeds into the partner-based personal community paradigm. (more…)

Being Eaten By Cats: thoughts on the myth of dying single August 11, 2008

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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6 comments

Remember the Sex in the City episode where Miranda almost chokes to death while alone in her apartment? In the aftermath, she fills her cat’s bowl to overflowing so that, should she choke again, the animal won’t feed on her bloated corpse. I watched this episode and felt the exact empathy and horror the producers wanted me to feel. But in this Onely venue I feel compelled to rethink Miranda’s situation:

1) If I were lying there on the floor dead and my cats were hungry, I would want them to eat me, of course. (more…)

REVIEW: SINGLED OUT, by Bella DePaulo–Exploring the myth, “You will die in a room by yourself where no one will find you for weeks” August 11, 2008

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews, Singled Out.
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3 comments

DePaulo, Bella. Singled Out, How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006

(This is an ongoing, serial review, continued from an earlier post)

 In Singled Out, DePaulo explores the myth of singlehood, “You Will Grow Old Alone and You Will Die in a Room By Yourself Where No One Will Find Your For Weeks”. 

“How could marriage possibly provide insurance against dying alone? (more…)

REVIEW: SINGLED OUT, by Bella DePaulo–Why are matrimaniacs matrimaniacs? August 5, 2008

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews, Singled Out, We like. . ..
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4 comments

DePaulo, Bella. Singled Out, How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006

(This is an ongoing, serial review, continued from an earlier post)

In Singled Out, DePaulo theorizes that “matrimaniacs” (people who fixate on the importance of marriage and coupling) belittle single people for the following reason:

(more…)

Book Review: Singled Out, by Bella DePaulo July 21, 2008

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews, Singled Out, We like. . ..
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DePaulo, Bella. Singled Out, How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006.

From Singled Out

“Some components of singlism are built right into American laws and institutions, which means that neither coupled nor single people have any say about sustaining them. Take Social Security, for example. If you are a married person covered by Social Security and you die, your spouse can recieve your benefits. But if you are a single person who worked side by side with the married person at the same job for the same number of years and you die, no other adult can receive your benefits. Your money goes back into the system.”

How could I have never asked myself: Why? DePaulo explores why few people question our culture’s ingrained bias toward coupledom, and why we should start.  (more…)

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