Guest Post: Single in the Cocktail Hour of Life December 31, 2014Posted by Onely in Dating, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, Singles Resource.
Tags: Beth Portolese, childfree, Cocktail hour of life, economic effects on singles, entertainment propaganda, Fifty is the New Fifty, Single over fifty, singleton gene
Happy 2015 everyone! Christina here. It’s a new year–we’re all one year older and despite what the Clinique “anti-aging” posters at the mall say, another year past is nothing to be afraid, sad, ashamed, or angry about. All of us who have made it this far are privileged. So let’s not say that forty (my age!) is the new thirty. Why do we need to go back to thirty? (When I was thirty I was a poor grad student with a broken toe that had me limping for several months.) Instead, let’s say forty is the new forty! Copious Readers, please welcome Beth Portolese, who taught me that concept:
Onely is happy to have a guest post by Beth Portolese, founder and publisher of FiftyIsTheNewFifty.com, the online magazine targeting people in “The Cocktail Hour of Life.” As always, we note that guest posts may or may not entirely reflect the views of Onely.org (though usually they do).
Over 50, Single and Gratified
Guest post by Beth Portolese
I am a woman in my 50s with no husband and no children. What I do have is a happy and fulfilling life. Regular readers of Onely are probably not surprised by this. Being unmarried and childless (or childfree, depending on your POV) and living happily single is not necessarily an oxymoron, although folks might think so when reading women’s and general interest news magazines or watching television.
I didn’t anticipate winding up this way. When I was a kid I figured I would get married while I was in college and be on my way to having my first child right after I graduated, because that is what magically happened to and for girls at the time.
The reality is that I got married at 33 and never got around to having a child before my marriage slid downhill. Since my divorce, I have had a few relationships, but have spent most of my time single and definitely living solo. And, for the most part, I prefer to live this way.
Why is it that so many people feel that heterosexual men and women who don’t fit the standard mold of being both partnered and parents must be unhappy and lonely? It’s a mystery to me, especially since I’m well aware that you can have a partner and feel quite alone anyway. I have many single friends who feel the same way and we have created an ‘urban family.’ My particular group formed because we all live in Manhattan and worked together at some point resulting in us having gotten to know each other over the years. My brother and a few other siblings were added into our group, which increased its size. We all come together for various events and holidays to support each other, celebrating the good and productive things in our lives.
I recently saw a piece in the news about a gene Chinese scientists believe they have discovered. It’s being called the ‘singleton gene’. Apparently, their research shows that those who have this gene are 20% more likely to be single than others. Hmm, well maybe I have this gene! If so, perhaps the fact that I enjoy not having the responsibility of a relationship is genetic. If genetics enter into it, people might accept that being alone is normal for some people – it seems that when people believe biology = destiny, they feel a lot more comfortable.
Guest Post: Why People Living Alone Can Be Happy May 28, 2013Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Guest Posts, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
Tags: benefits of living along, Ryan Thurgood, single living, singles blog
Copious 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
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.
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.
Microwave Cooking for One: Sad or Spectacular? May 29, 2012Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: cooking for onelers, lobsters, maraconi, microwave cooking for one, single people have dignity
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:
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.
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, 2011Posted by Onely in Pop Culture: HOPE for the Onelys, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Take action.
Tags: facebook revolution
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!
— Lisa and Christina
Secret Lives of the Happily Single: Red Meat Edition June 15, 2011Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
Tags: how to eat red meat, living alone, single habits, singles kitchen
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.
Beginnings in Beirut: A (Long-Term) Onely Adventure June 5, 2011Posted by Onely in Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, solo travel.
Tags: Beirut, international solo travel, international travel, moving to Lebanon
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?
Great Onelies in Real Time: Chen Wei-yih to Marry Herself October 22, 2010Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onelies in Real Time, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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)
Tags: happily single people need to represent!, spreading the Onely news, surprised and happy, undercover Onely
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?
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.