Staying Single: A Valid Choice for Millions

Marriage isn't the only healthy choice, experts say
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2012 3:28 PM CST
A single woman harnesses the sun on a seaside walk.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Americans can sympathize with people who are alone because of divorce or the death of a partner—but what about the eternally single? In a society obsessed with romance, lifelong singles are often ostracized and considered flawed, the Washington Post reports. “Do they just not like me?” asked Bella DePaulo, author of Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. “Or is it because I’m single and they’re coupled, and couples date other couples essentially.”

In a nation with 96 million unmarried adults, many have given up on finding "the one." And DePaulo's book reveals it's not all bad: Lifelong singles are as healthy as married people, and the so-called "happiness bump" for married folk dies down after tying the knot. Yes, the unmarried can get lonely, but it's time we salute their life choices too: “Settling just never seemed like the right move,” says Wendy Braitman, author of the blog All Things Single. “Because that, I think, tears at your soul.”

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