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June 16, 2006



Mary O,

This is a very interesting article. I do agree with the article that people can lead "morally significant" lives as single people, because I believe that no matter what hand you're dealt you can lead a morally significant life.

However, that doesn't mean that there's no pain in being single. If they were really so fulfilled, why would they need to be among "kindred spirits" in the "Quirkyalone" chat room? Buried within the article is enough evidence to debunk it.


Wow. I don't think I've ever been so offended by a posting at this site before. I'm nearly speechless.

The most obvious problem with non-single people critiquing the single lifestyle is that their own past single experiences do not represent the feelings or situations of all single people. Clearly, people now partnered or married were unhappy enough with singledom that they gave it up when the potential for partnership came along. Not everyone is eager to get married. Not everyone wants to procreate. Not everyone is you.

I'm single and I'm happy and I have no interest in a partner. I'm financially self-sustaining, I'm interesting, I'm secure, I'm happy. Whether or not I might be happier with a partner, and why I might be happier (societal approval, favorable tax cuts, or actual love?), is immaterial. I might also be happier if I sold all my worldly possessions and moved to Siberia. The remote possibility of an equally or more fulfilling existence out there does not negate the joy I take in my life.

The questions as to who will take care of single people, and to whom these people will pass their belongings is pretty frequently heard and pretty narrow-minded, in my opinion. It perpetuates a vision of sad little spinsters sitting in rocking chairs, wearing threadbare sweaters and talking to the cats. A single person is not an island. We have friends, we have family, and we have active communities. (Besides, if your husband dies first, if you're infertile, who will take care of *you* in your old age?) To discount us simply because we aren't (or aren't yet) married is nothing less than bigoted. It's telling me that my worth as a human being is somehow less than yours.



While I thought many of the claims in the post were overblown I seriously doubt her intention was to demean your worth as a human being.

Though I understand the point of the post, I think a more careful wording would have been wise. For example, the blogger seems to make an assumption that people who are single, who choose to remain single, are somehow more self-centered than their married counterparts.

Obviously, this is true in some cases, but by no means in all. Marriage can serve to draw one out of oneself, but so can many other human activities and institutions. Prayer comes to mind as an example.

In addition, there seems to be a confusion of a couple of issues.

I wouldn't quibble with the statistical data Ms. Hayes has presented. However, those things only show that, on the whole, married people tend to perform better along lines of measurement we tend to think add up to happiness, living longer, sexual satisfaction, financial stability.

The problem is that those things do not add up to happiness for everyone.

Of course, I don't know if this matters to you but it is also significant to me that the writer fails to mention the strong biblical affirmation of singleness.

Neither marriage nor singleness can serve as ends in themsleves. It is not the primary function of either to fulfill us emotionally, sexually, or financially.

Rather both states of existence serve to further one's service to God. I think I'm on pretty solid ground to say that, when this is the goal, singleness is, in every way an equally blessed state.


I am still single and older...and I don't find Mary's post offensive -- it is commenting on the reality of our culture's self-obsessed and selfish expectations about everything in life both materially and in love. Thank you Mary for writing about this -- you can't imagine how many men out there expect a woman who is insanely gorgeous yet plays sports better than Beckham, and likes to fly fish, yet docile and smiling, is a intellectual giant, but never smarter than him, and can run sprints in heels, and likes his sexy truck. And women do the same in reverse. So I loved your post --it's so true!

In saying that, I have done all the things you recommend, and...am...well still single. I don't think we can always just make marriage a priority and find it. Life takes stinkin' bad turns sometimes...and despite all that I can say I'm still happy. Disappointed? Sure. But also happy. Yes. Sadly, our culture leaves absolutely no room for those of us who live between the three culturally acceptable realms -- 1. those who are blissfully married or 2. those who live a sleazy "sex in the city" life (and pretend to be happy while gathering enough excess baggage that even an airline will charge 'em for) and 3. some miserably angry man-hating radically off-kilter feminists who oppose everything sweet.

There are a significant and growing clump of us out there who fit none of the above three categories -- who have tried to find that one imperfect guy who is perfect for us, and haven't found him. For those of us like that -- we can and do live a meaningful life that is ~ definitely ~ equal to those who are married. We are no less worthy in God's eyes. Unfortunately we don't fit into the three packages that our culture wants to cram us into. But yet we remain very valuable in God's eye for the impact we can make on the world.

And those of us in this category, we don't act like emotional drones who flail around serving our self-interest and yelp out how "happy" we are. Instead, quite the contrary, we acknowledge our disappointments in life. We don't fake that we are neurotically happy in our selfish realm then run around offended and opposing everything.

We let our faith and goals in life reign supreme over the harsh reality that life doesn't always go as planned. And we live...happily, with faith, friends, and commitment to what is good, sweet and loving in this world.

Thanks Mary!


I realize this makes things much less interesting, but I think it's best to try as much as possible to respond to what people have actually written, and not to what we imagine they are secretly thinking. Nowhere did I read Mary say anything about "worth as a human being."

And I seriously doubt, given that she spent such a good portion of her life single, that she would think anything even resembling this sentiment.

Jeannine's point is very apt, that many of these apparent "choices" are in fact beyond people's control. That's why I think it's important to face the indelicate fact: surely a big reason it's become so hard to marry (for those who want to) is as Mary says, because selfishness is encouraged--particularly in men.

Verbify is right that we can't make assumptions about all women, but for those who do want to get married, why pretend that they are unaffected by the hookup culture when they are?

The Boston Globe site is driving me batty right now and not letting me login to pull the quote, but I found that comment by that 40-year-old man quite creepy (the one about how she'd have to be a "hell of a woman" or some such thing...sounded vaguely menacing).


I'm with Verbify, I found this post massively offensive, or maybe just laughable, I can't decide. But in that way that happens here sometimes where what's written is just so far off from my reality, I'm not even sure it's worth comment.

I mean honestly, where do you even start???

Mary O'Hayes

Hmmm, some people are reading into what I said and concluding (projecting?) some things I did not say. Not a word about anyone's "worth as a human being." Nor did I say that people being selfish is the only or the main reason behind what is a disturbing trend in our society. It's a problem for all of us that people are marrying less and not having kids. One of the people quoted in the article said "Singles are the new future." Hate to break it to her, but there is no future if we're all singles. The future belongs to those who believe in the future and who have children and grandchildren. Look at most European countries and Japan today, they are not replacing themselves and they're in a demographic death spiral. There's no future when you glorify being single and mock being married ("the tyranny of coupledom").

Aside from larger implications for our society, I think it's very sad for the tons of single people out there who very much would like to be married, but can't find mates who are willing. I know many single people who are unhappy about this, many have more or less resigned themselves to it.

Verbify, if I recall, you're in your 20's. Being single in your 20's is a blast. Plenty of adventures, footloose, not tied down. Being single in your 30's is less fun, as you watch your friends couple up and have kids. Being single in your 40's can be difficult and lonely. How you think about being by yourself might change as you get older.


Mary, that's an interesting - and true - statement you made about the perspective on singleness changing as we age. It has already been pointed out that there are some people who simply do not wish to marry, but I still believe that they're the exception rather than the rule. I've been a member of the "exception" for a good part of my life, and at almost 46 do not have much regret over never having married, but I will confess from that vantage point that I sometimes wish I had a "built-in escort" in the shape of a spouse when holiday season rolls around, bringing with it the obligatory company party, or when I'm thinking of planning a vacation and no single friends are left or available, or when it's difficult or even impossible to purchase a home without a second income added to the mix. In no way do I mean this to sound self-pitying, and many singles do such things alone and with grace. But prolonged or permanent singleness has another side than the breezy picture that was presented in the Boston Globe article, and that picture can indeed grow darker as one ages. "Fair and balanced," as Bill O'Reilly would say, that article was not.


Lizriz, I'll raise you one: I'm married, and this post is totally distant from my reality!

I love how people marry for selfish reasons, have kids for selfish reasons, and then go around telling unmarried people without kids that they're selfish! People get married because they're lonely, or because they want the status that comes with it, or, more rarely, because they're in love. They have kids because they have a strong biological urge to reproduce. And then they dress the whole thing up in fake altruistic motives and declare that the whole world ought to behave like them, on pain of moral inferiority. There's also this weird assumption going on that all people (or at least, all people of the same sex) are exactly psychologically alike, so that if getting married or giving birth is a great experience for the speaker, then it must be a great experience for everybody.

To be fair, I have just as little sympathy for the aggressively moralizing childfree. Stupid, stupid mommy wars. A pox on both your houses!


I'm single and wouldn't say I'm deliriously happy, but how many married people are deliriously happy once the honeymoon is over? Have you ever heard of divorce? I agree with Mary that women shouldn't pretend to be happy if they aren't. But they shouldn't project their own feelings and experiences onto everyone, either. Being single in my 20s was a drag for reasons I won't bore you with. But now that I'm 37, and in the words of Christian Dior, have "won a few races and know how to pace [myself]," I like it a lot more. I'm secure enough to look at another 37 years on my own without wondering what people will think of me or what I'll think of myself. I see my life as only getting better. In my 20s, I wondered, "Why doesn't anyone love me?" Now I think, "I'm just not into these guys." I know that loving and being loved is wonderful, and there's no substitute for it. And for the right person, I'd consider getting married. But husbands and wives aren't the only source of love and happiness. My best friend is single and probably always will be, like me. So is my best guy friend. I know "friends" sounds trivial, but my best friend and I have known each other longer than a lot of couples stay married. I also feel the presence of love at home--something holy, perhaps--and a husband might actually be a distraction from that. And of course, there is my family. I daresay I could have gotten married in the last few years if I'd simply wanted a husband, but what a mistake that would have been: I wasn't in love.

The single women I know in their 50s and up don't want to get married--and I have no doubt they'd have a husband if they wanted one. They've either been married and didn't like it or they don't find their married friends as happy as they are. To me, that's a big ol' clue that you don't need a husband to keep from going downhill.

A Non Y Mous

I generally find it interesting and somewhat funny that anytime someone doesn't agree with someone these days they get all upset and say the opposing opinion is offensive. The word 'offensive' is used so frequently and liberally these days that its lost its meaning. Infact I find it offensive that 'offensive' is used so often by the so-frequently offended. :-)


Dear Modest Colleagues:

You may be interested a discussion going on right now on Dawn Eden's The Dawn Patrol blog, through whose Haloscan comments I reached your site.

Dawn will have a new book out in the fall called The Thrill of the Chaste, and she posted an excerpt from it on the Dawn Patrol. Well, did that bring out the hornets! I refer you to the many links and comments currently on the page.

Oh -- and you will want to pre-order that book!


I think people go through periods where they are happily single. I was a happy single and rather resented people assuming I was not happily single--I was only 25, but that's old-maidhood in Mormon culture--but I was also happy to get married. Then once I was married, I was most emphatically unhappy while I struggled to adjust to living a family life as opposed to a single life. I'm not sure if I could have stayed happily single forever. I didn't know what being married was like, so I could have gone either way.

My mother-in-law was widowed at 26 (with three small kids) and never remarried. She had several unhappily single years, but now she says she has no desire to remarry. She likes being on her own. Obviously, though, that is different from never being married.

All of the single, never-been-married women I know would much rather be married. I don't see many articles about them.

But I definitely share your concern about the devaluing of marriage. Promoting marriage doesn't necessarily demean singlehood.


"Remember where you came from: a married mother and father (for most of us anyway)."

Oh yes, I remember coming from a married mother and father. My miserable twenty-one years with them was replete with endless marital arguments, screaming, physical violence and threats. My parents were so engaged in their death-dance of mutual abuse that they couldn't have cared less about the terrible damage they continually inflicted on their children. I can remember so many days where I just didn't want to go home from school because I knew that as soon as I stepped into the family home, the fighting, crying, beatings and confidences from both my parents about how the other parent was evil and cruel would be there.

I lived with the infidelities of both parents, and with the abuse that they both meted out to their children when their preferred target, their spouse, was not available. I lived in a continual atmosphere of fear, despair and dread. Holidays and birthdays were a nightmare, and the few "peaceful" stretches of my parents' marriage were nothing more than times where their children waited in anticipation of the next explosion of marital misery.

My parents did not have the decency to divorce and free everyone of the endless round of agony until their children were grown and moved away. They no longer had their audience and "buffer zone" of terrified, miserable kids to perform for and mistreat. Suddenly there was no-one but themselves left in the battle - and they finally separated and went their separate ways.

If you take a look around the Internet, you will find many people like me, who went through the sheer hell of being a child of such a marriage. Such marriages are hardly rare. In fact, in the decades before divorce was easily available, they were very common. Parents of such marriages stayed together for a plethora of excuses, disguising the fact that they really stayed together because they throve on the sickness of their marital relationship and the endless drama of their battleground. Women claimed that they had no way to support themselves outside of the marriage; they were staying together "for the sake of the children"; they stayed together because their religion prohibited divorce; they stayed together because divorce wasn't accepted in their families/communities, etc. No matter that the children trapped in such a terrible situation were suffering daily. I knew many kids who lived through similar situations. Their pain and fear was pitiful; their wishes that their parents would just divorce and end all the grief were universal. Those children craved one thing - a peaceful home life. If married parents weren't going to be able or willing to provide it, they would have been very happy to be in a single parent home that did.

In other words, in my life, the entire pathetic situation was nothing more than the mutual selfishness of two people who cared little about the grief they were putting their children through while they seemed to thoroughly enjoy their endless struggle. I can see nothing selfless or admirable in their marriage, and nothing of the joy and happiness associated with marriage in the original post here.

Amazingly, after their divorce, both my parents morphed into entirely different people during their post-marital single lives. I was actually fortunate enough to have maintained relationships with both of them, unlike my siblings, and found that, free of their poisonous partnership of marriage, they were actually likable people with much to offer others. When they both remarried other spouses, multiple times for both of them, the poison was back. The fighting and violence began again, and they morphed back into the selfish and self-centered people they were during their marriage to each other, where the devil could take the hindmost, they were going to fight as hard as they could fight no matter who it hurt or how damaging it was.

In other words, my parents are some of those people who probably should remain single. There are many such out there. All it takes to see that there are many people who simply are not equipped to be married or to reproduce is to take a look at a newspaper, or to be around a family court for a day or two. There are many, many, many marriages out there that never should have been, where it would be best for all involved for the marriage partners to have remained single.

Mary O, perhaps marriage has been very positive for you, and that is a great thing. However, it is not necessarily the bromide that will make life for everyone better. There are people who simply are not capable of being happily married, and these people might be better off remaining single. This is not to say that all people who choose to be single would be bad marriage partners, but if anyone is ever in any doubt that they would be able to function well in a marriage, to me that is a great big warning sign that marriage might not be the best option. Also, there are people who simply do not care to be married, and who have full, active and very happy lives as singles. Assuming that singles are really, underneath, desperately unhappy, is quite a leap of logic, just as assuming that all married couples are really, underneath, as desperately unhappy as my parents were, would be.

After all, aren't you glad the fellow who says that it would take "one hell of a woman" to be his marriage partner is going to remain single? I can't see the point of issuing blanket advice to all to marry - even with attitude adjustments. There is no single living arrangement that is mutually beneficial for all people.

As for the fears that birth rates in certain countries will fall to damaging levels - in a world where the population is continually growing, I doubt that the dimishing of the human race will ever be a problem. Yes, some societies may eventually fall by the wayside through population shrinkage, while other societies may rise in prominence through population growth - that has always been the way of things, through history. No question about it though - there are plenty of people out there, and more are being born every minute. No need for people without a mindset for marriage to marry and procreate - there are already teeming masses already doing that.


"Single and Accepting It"

Would be the title that applies to most like me.

Of course we would rather be married!


"each and every one of those allegedly deliriously happy single people would rather NOT be single. But due to a number of societal trends, there are fewer people interested in marrying"

So they don't want to be single, but they don't want to marry either?

I read it as, the women would rather be married but the men aren't interested.


Aside from the fact that "selfish" with all of its connotations, was thrown in there, the statistics are inaccurate.

For one, single women live longer and healthier than married or divorced women, so marriage is really only better for men. The "more generous" statistic is also misleading: it shows only money given, not time and energy, and it's people who have more money that are more generous, which coorelates with marriage because a two-income family has more cash than a single-income family (normally). So it seems to me that this marriage thing is a raw deal anyway you slice it (if your female).


And, going along with TF: my parents made themselves, me, and my little siblings miserable (and continue to make my siblings miserable). These are people who should REALLY divorce and be done with it. Marriage isn't this happy fix-all for anybody.

And I am happy in my singlehood (which I'm sure everyone will fob off as I'm only 21). I don't want to marry, I don't want my identity subsumed by another human being. I like who I am, and I am secure in who I am, and I don't feel the need to put in the emotional work of a marriage and family when it's exhausting enough trying to get through aviation.


Here's the problem. I may be ready to get married if the right partner came along, but the majority of men I know aren't interested in marriage at all until maybe their mid- to late thirties.

Not all of us belong to religious communities where early marriage is encouraged and valued, and in any case I think that unless one is willing to grow with one's partner rather than grow apart (and who is, today, when "starter marriages" seem to be the norm?), that people shouldn't marry before their mid-twenties, if then.

And childbearing early in life is for those who have the economic privilege to do so. While in my graduate program there are many women (and men!) starting a new career after having a family, many companies today simply do not offer the flexibility needed to raise kids. It's difficult.

I'm lucky enough to work in a field where jobs tend to be flexible, but alas...no partner.

It's not easy today to be 25 and dating for keeps. Harder still if you're not religious.


I think that the author's experience may be true for herself and resonate with those who have similar experiences and feelings. It is important to remember though that we are all very different. I married young and was absolutely miserable and divorced by 23. Thankfully no kids. I spent the next ten years dating, very happily single, and focusing on a rewarding career. At 33 I met the man of my dreams and got married after living together for a year. He was ready to commit before I was. Last year just after I turned 38 we had our first child. We are talking about adopting a second child next year. I had no problems conceiving and my pregnancy was smooth and uneventful but we just think that would be something special to do for a homeless child. My best friend just had her second child uneventfully at 40. I know this is not necessarily the case for all women who wait but neither is it the case that all or most can't conceive. I wouldn't want to change a thing about my life other than the pressure I felt to get married young. Of course I wouldn't dream of thinking my life path would be appropriate for all women. I am grateful to live in a society that allows for individual approachs to marriage, cohabitation, and sexual fulfillment. I wouldn't want to live in a society that tried to enforce rigid "norms".


You can be miserable single, married, divorced, in a Democracy or a socially secure Socialist Republic. You can find happiness too.
Singlehood gets worse as you get older in a society that values youth. You can do some of the things you did in your 20s in your 30s but get comfy with the feeling of being the old guy/gal in the club, or group. Your circle of friends gets smaller and it does get harder to make friends or break into units of friends that have grown into each other. This is a problem in places and in social groups where people keep moving away for jobs, educational opportunities, kids, etc.
Being single in my mid to late thirties, I am enjoying it for what it is and hope for marriage before it is impossibly too late for children. I look forward to the benefits of creating the people who will pick out my nursing home (kids), and brace for the negatives.
Lastly, my parents had a bad marriage, there was fighting and abuse among them and they divorced after my sister and I were adults. Yet, even my mother says that staying together was the best option because during a year long separation my mom seemed to attract creeps for boyfriends creating an unsuitable environment for us girls. My parents were bad spouses but they made for even worse single parents. Sometimes it's just levels of bad and worse.


There's so much emphasis on the importance of reproducing oneself here. I had a young hysterectomy, so does that mean there's no point in my getting married at all?

It doesn't matter whether you are married or unmarried, with kids or without 'em. All that matters is that you serve the Lord to the best of your ability. In many ways a single person is able to serve a wider circle, since they are not narrowly focused on their own family circle. Would Mother Theresa have managed that she did if she'd had a husband and children expecting her full-time attention? Would Florence Nightingale?

Some women are called to a special kind of service, and that is between them and God.


I'm 38 and unmarried and life for me is more fulfilling now than it was when I was 20 and desperate to be married. I'm also confused about your point how people who have decided to be married with children "are the future" - does that mean that couples who are infertile are not a part of the future? What about my contributions to the world and to foster kids who I support as a single person...are they not signs of one who is committed to the future?

Your view of the future and it only being created through the creation of children via marriage is a very narrow one.

Mary O

Just wanted to get back to a few people here...
Dean,"Neither marriage nor singleness can serve as ends in themselves.... Rather both states of existence serve to further one's service to God." Agreed, however, there has been a significant decrease in people getting married for the past thirty years or so, and I don't think it's because more singles are dedicating their lives to service to God. There are social trends, and this one presents some problems for all of us.

Antigone, I believe you are mistaken about what studies show about benefits of marriage to men and women. More recent studies show greater health benefits to men than to women, but there are still major advantages to women. Married women are less likely than single women to be alcoholics, less likely to suffer depression, less likely to suffer domestic abuse and crime, among other things. The New York Times reported on this data last year:


While men derive greater emotional benefits than women from marriage, that's probably because women have more sources of emotional closeness than men do (sisters, friends). Interestingly enough, the benefits cited in these studies don't extend to cohabitating people. It's the commitment of marriage that brings stability and advantages, to adults and (especially) to children.

The financial benefits aren't just because of two incomes, they're because you're splitting rent or mortgage and utilities. Better for the earth too.

Antigone, you said "I don't want my identity subsumed by another human being." Where on God's good earth did you get that idea? If anything, a good marriage frees up an awful lot of energy that allows you to develop as an individual. You're sharing all the stuff we have to do in life, not doing EVERYTHING by yourself, and you have a built-in backup. Independence is great, but it can be over-rated too. Some growth and experiences can only happen in relationships.

L.B., I'm not buying the "only privileged people have kids when they're young" argument. Statistically, that's way off the mark. While we all want to see more family-friendly companies, today there is greater flexibility than ever in the working world. Definitely we should all work for improving that.

Is marriage for everyone? No, certainly not. But it's enormously beneficial for most people. The article I criticized extolled how great being single is, and it was (IMO) ridiculously one-sided and misleading.



I'm really glad that you're not accepting that argument, because that's not what I said. I said that early childbearing should be for those who can afford to do so, since women should make sure that they can support themselves and their families before they have families, since one can't depend on men to stick around or stay alive.

Do less educated women who make less tend to have more children, and earlier? yes. Is this because they love children more, or because educated women with more money have more knowledge of and better access to (gasp!) different forms of birth control?

In any case, I find criticizing women who wait until they have an established career and stable marriage to bear children needlessly cruel.


Hmm, I just remembered something else. Last year at a librarians' conference, I picked up a free copy of a book entitled _Hearts West_, a very slim book about mail-order brides in the American West. It gave some history and some profiles, and told some lovely stories (as well as some nightmarish ones.)

However, what really struck me was this: Today, young single men have take-out restaurants, pre-prepared food, washing machines, dry cleaners, and other modern conveniences to take care of what was traditionally "women's work." Now, granted, most bachelors have rather low housekeeping standards and don't eat as well as if someone were cooking for them...but it made me wonder. Many of these frontier men needed women to take care of household and farm tasks as much as they needed them for companionship and sex.

So today, after the industrial and sexual revolutions, in very practical terms, many people today don't see the concrete benefits of marriage--they see tying their lives to another person and never having sex with anyone else again.

terri m

It's not that all people are called to the vocation of marriage; they're not. But here's the thing. Over the last generation or so it seems that parents have conspired in this delay or avoidance of marriage by their offspring. For one, they have consciously or unconsciously raised their children to be perpetual adolescents. Certainly not in a lack of instilling discipline or by discouraging ambition; there's no dearth of driven, ambitious adults. But when parents sustain them fiscally and keep them in the immediate family orbit by plying them with gifts and handouts, health care, cars, rent, vacations, etc. many young people are not(can you blame them?) leaving childhood behind. Aging adolescents simply don't want to marry. Where does that leave those remaining out there searching for Mr./Ms. Right?

On the other hand , many parents advise their children to go out and live for themselves for as long as possible before settling down to marriage, as if that was helpful preparation for a happy union. They should know better.
It's a sad but true fact of human nature that the longer one spends in years living exactly as one pleases, the more difficult it will be to live together with another who has spent much of HIS life living as he pleases. While virtue and integrity and kindness are vital attributes to look for in a spouse, no one should think that full maturity is expected in the early years of marriage. On the contrary, youthful marriage actually matures a well-formed person. Whereas, novelty seeking, serial partying, serial dating, drowning oneself in work, and materially indulging oneself on a regular basis for 10 to 15 years after college does nothing, by itself, to make a person ready for a mutual self-giving marriage. (The same could be said for not delaying children after marriage.)

Because of this common occurrance in our society today of living singly longer, I know many a late-married and troubled couple who think that marriage (or child rearing)itself as an institution is the problem rather than looking in the mirror at their own defects and the honest effects of their previous choices.

What to do? We should start by looking to our next generation. Parents should begin explaining marriage to their kids from an early age. Talk to them about the qualities that go into making oneself a good spouse and what to look for in others. Certainly not perfection, but not a "Love is blind" view either. Help your children now to become good future husbands/wives. All and more of the virtues needed for a very happy marriage are the very same that make for a loving, contented individual. Most importantly, teach children that they are not fully mature when they've finally learned to take care of themselves, but only when they've learned to take care of others!


This article is shocking and completely offensive to 'happy single people'.

I am a very attractive, intelligent 35 year old woman who has no problem getting a mate - but unless I fall utterly completely madly in love (therefore get in a state that my heart dictates that I need to be with that person) I have absolutely NO desire to have a mate.

My life is full of joy and fulfillment - I have many people that I love and am extremely close to my family. I know what love is, and grow and learn everyday thanks to the presence of my loved ones.

I have NEVER felt lonely, and greatly enjoy my own company. I lead an extremely busy life, and love my freedom.

As I have absolutely no need for constant companionship/mate/significant other to make my life complete, if I ever decided to be in a relationship it would have to be with someone who made my life, my being, my everything BETTER. As my life is pretty great as it is, yeah this person would have to be PRETTY GREAT. And why should I compromise????? So as not to be SINGLE!!!!!!?????????

I repeat and i repeat - I LOVE BEING SINGLE!!!!!!

I don't sleep around - thats not why I am single. But hey, if I wanted to then it's my right.

"Advice: Singles should stop pretending they're happy and OK with being single, admit that your life would be richer with a mate. Tell yourself that you want a wife or husband, and make that a priority. "

What a load of BS.

Get back in your time machine and plonk yourself back in the 1950's - we HAPPY SINGLE PEOPLE don't need your crap.


Here, here! Unfortunately for them, those "happy married people" are likely to be divorced in a number of years, and then try to get happy like we single people already are. Married people don't realize that single people can thrive and be happy - apparently, it did not work for them.


this article is a personal opinion ...why should someone be told to marry if he does not feel he needs it.happiness is a very personal term einstein would define it differently than donald trump..trust me. as far as institution of it is concerned historically it was more about merging assets and expanding families. This is information post modern world where your contributing to the greater good(intellectually ...tangibly so)is more important than what someone else thinks is good for me.of course the way great modern western civilization has come about is by granting people this freedom to pursuit of their own individual aspiration and happiness.why do you think this great free civilization will only produce britney spears and no steve jobs and bill gates?


Anyone can be happy if they have half a mind to. Married or unmarried.
You don't get married to become complete you get married because you are complete. You share your completeness with another complete individual (At least in the best of all worlds). Or you don't marry because you feel happy to be complete on your own.
It's not one size fits all people.
Rollerskating in a buffalo herd is a whole other matter...


I'm confused by the thought that you have to be married to have children. My mother was single when she had me and my brother, and remained single up until i was 14 with my stepdad (which did not change her motherhood or anything when she married him). Just because one is single, it doesn't mean that the world will end from an extinct population. Also, my mother was a wonderful single mother and there are many single mothers and single fathers and adoptive parents (both hetero and homosexual), etc. in the world that did not have a child the "traditional" way, but that are happy and good parents. The notion that marriage has that much responsibility for the future, or reproduction specifically, i don't buy.


"Not much of a future there. Who will take care of them in their old age? What will they pass on and to whom?"

I'll take care of myself, with all the money I didn't spend on a wedding, children, or a mate.

I write, I teach and I create- I pass on a piece of myself to everyone I meet, everyone in my extended family and all of my friends.

In married-with-children friends I see the stress of keeping a relationship together, the stress of raising children and I don't envy them.

Is there happiness to be found in marriage and children? Of course, but there's also a lot of happiness to be found in the single life- I have more personal choice and freedom than my married friends. I value that and wouldn't have it any other way.


I'm in my 50's, single, happy, female, retired. I was married, raised my kids and had a peaceful divorce. I spent DECADES taking care of everyone around me, I've made my "contribution" to society. Now I take care of me. I don't have time to worry about how I will be cared for when I'm old, I'm too busy living it up now. I'll probably die hang gliding when I'm 90 and broke. I have friends, family and hobbies I enjoy. I'm FREE and most of my married friends are jealous of me. Their lives are an ongoing negotiation with their mates and children. I do what I want, when I want, where I want. So what if it's selfish? It's a free country and I'm happier than I've ever been. Gotta go, my life is waiting!


I also think that the author's experience may be true for herself and resonate with those who have similar experiences and feelings but I don't this is the experience for most single women.
the topic can be continued on "Hapsing" for those wanting to meet other happy singles and discuss more.

Robin Smith

Of course, I don't know if this matters to you but it is also significant to me that the writer fails to mention the strong biblical affirmation of singleness.


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