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Psych Today Post Deletes Comments from Progressive Singles November 7, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.

The 30-percent-offensive post “10 Things You Can Do To Enhance Your Life”  I wrote about recently is one of the five most popular posts on Psychology Today. It was fifth this morning and now it’s number three. Why is this a huge problem? Reasons A-C below, where C is the most disturbing:

(A) As I said in my previous post, three of the ten suggestions assume that the reader has a “mate”.  (Watch a sunset with your mate; go to bed ten minutes early with the one you love, write a thank-you note to your mate.) Presumably thousands of people are reading these suggestions and internalizing the insidious notion that everyone must either have or strive for a mate, in order to lead an enhanced life.

(B) Several people left comments on the 10-Things post, saying how “awesome” and “lovely” all the suggestions are, and presumably thousands more have read the comments and further ingested the notion that it’s “awesome” and “lovely” to watch a sunset with a mate (and, by extension, perhaps less lovely without one).

(C) On the day I composed my original post griping about this, at least three astute Psych Today commenters had left comments challenging the inclusion of the three “mate” items in the list. As of yesterday, and as of today, those particular comments are gone–presumably removed. I don’t have any record of their existence (why would I think I’d need to make one?), but I know I saw them. I also know that Onely made a comment which has since disappeared.

It seems bizarre to me that an author or admin would remove three comments as benign as the ones I read, but I can’t think of what else might have happened. I welcome, and hope for, alternative suggestions.

Otherwise, Copious Readers, please go comment on the 10-Things post and let the author and the many readers of the post know that only seven of the ten items are actually “awesome” and “lovely”.  Your comments may be removed later, but even having them up for a little while might offset this post’s perpetuation of the Mate Myth.



1. Bella DePaulo - November 7, 2010

Christina, As a Psych Today blogger, I can officially respond to other posts. May I draw from your posts — probably at length, and with attribution — in my response? He can’t delete MY post! Thanks again for all you do.

Onely - November 8, 2010

Sure, go ahead, cite away. Bear in mind that I don’t have any record of those initial three comments that went missing (though I imagine they’re in a Google cache somewhere at the very least). I can’t even remember what they said, except that I was impressed that they all took issue with the mate-mania.

Bella DePaulo - November 8, 2010

Thanks, Christina! I’ll probably work on this late night tonight. In the meantime, if anyone reading this has a copy of any of the deleted comments, please pass them on to me and I’ll include them in my post. You can either send them to me here in the comments section of this post, or email them to me at BellaDePaulo [at] gmail.com. (My ucsb email is also fine.)

2. RachelAB - November 7, 2010

The first thing I noticed on Goldsmith’s blog that he seems to define “emotional fitness” (the name of his blog) rather narrowly and partner-centric: “Harness the power of emotion to deepen your love with your partner, become more successful at work, and more.” Couplecentric from the get-go…

I see two comments that are pointing out the couplemanic angle of his list, including one from Onely, which you posted today in response to the disappearing comments.

3. eleanore - November 7, 2010

Wow. If it’s indeed true that he removed comments that were less-than-supportive, we should call him out on that. I’m happy to follow your lead…


Onely - November 9, 2010

Hi Eleanore, as you can see from the comment string, the whole issue has been scaled up a bit, so if you want to go comment on Bella’s Psych Today post that would be great. I did already. = )

4. Thomas - November 8, 2010

I have read the subject talked here in Psychology Today blog. And I follow your link to this site.

That is actually a very good article. I am now contemplating to entice somebody to watch the sunset with me…

Onely - November 8, 2010

Oh, it’s definitely got seven good suggestions in there, no doubt. Enjoy your sunset. = )

Onely - November 8, 2010

Since it’s our policy to not delete comments from our posts, we’re going to leave Thomas’s comment up; however, I’d like to post a warning here that Thomas’s name is hyperlinked to a site called “www.flingonow.com”

Just sayin’

— Lisa

singlutionary - November 9, 2010

If only psych today had handled your comment in a similar vein:

We’re going to leave Onely’s comment up; however, I’d like to post a warning here that Lisa’s name is hyperlinked to a site called: “Onely: Single and Happy”

Oh the horrors!!!! One can experience happiness watching the sunset alone?? Do we dare allow this insidious thinking to propagate unchecked on the internet?? DELETE!! DELETE!!! Or at least delete 30 percent of these Onely type comments.

Onely - November 9, 2010

Thanks Lisa. As you can see, I happen to speak some Flingon.

5. singlutionary - November 8, 2010

I find it far more frustrating that the comments are disappearing than the article itself. However, I agree that there are problems with discussing the world only in terms of partnership. Many many people are not partnered. To define partnered as “normal” and “healthy” is to say that being unpartnered is abnormal and unhealthy. This is not true but it becomes true when single people — who would otherwise be living full, healthy, rewarding lives — begin to see themselves as lacking.

If the article was directed to couples, that would be fine, but say so in the title” “10 things to enhance your life with your partner”

Onely - November 8, 2010

Agreed–As Rachel points out, the blog is already couple-centric, which would be ok if it stated as much overtly.

6. Bella DePaulo - November 9, 2010

Here’s what I posted at Psych Today:


I just added this to the previous Onely post on the topic but I just realized that this was probably the more appropriate place to put it.

Predictably, the post has already elicited complaints about my complaining!

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