Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles

Singletude is a positive, supportive singles blog about life choices for the new single majority. It's about dating and relationships, yes, but it's also about the other 90% of your life--family, friends, career, hobbies--and flying solo and sane in this crazy, coupled world. Singletude isn't about denying loneliness. It's about realizing that whether you're single by choice or by circumstance, this single life is your life to live.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Singles in the News: 9/20/09-9/26/09

Better late than never! Here's the recap of relevant stories from National Singles Week! Strangely enough, even though this week-long observation of the achievements and challenges of single people received full coverage in the blogosphere, it was largely ignored by the mainstream media, with very few articles referencing it. While there were lots of pieces about singles, almost none had anything to do with discrimination against singles, relevant research and statistics, or trends that empower the single population. The hottest topic last week seemed to be cougars, a theme that is starting to wear out its welcome. It was unclear whether National Singles Week was simply flying below the media radar or whether it was intentionally overlooked, but it's obvious that we need to redouble our efforts to popularize it next year, perhaps by gearing up for it well before September.

In other news, my flu-like symptoms have almost cleared up, and although I remain affected by a more chronic problem, I think I've adapted to it well enough that there shouldn't be any further disruptions in the Singletude schedule. Thank you to everyone for your patience!


"To Get a Job, Married Chinese Women Pose as 'Singles'"
By Venkatesan Vembu
Summary: In a surprising case of reverse discrimination, employers in China, reluctant to hire workers with outside commitments, have provoked married women to misrepresent themselves as single.


"Half of Single Americans Prefer a Partner Over Staying Solo, According to New Survey From People Media"
SOA World Magazine
Summary: While it's true that 52% of the 27,000 singles polled by People Media, Inc. responded that they definitely weren't single by choice, they barely edged out the 48% who were happy to provide reasons they liked being footloose and fancy-free. The article itself admits that this is "an almost equal number." So it's interesting that the headline focuses on those who didn't like the single life instead of those who did. It's also interesting that the singles polled were visitors at niche dating sites owned by People Media, so this survey was already skewed toward a population of relationship seekers. Yet the unnamed author acts like this was a random sample! Of the 48% who endorsed reasons why they liked being singletons, the most popular answer by far was "the freedom to spend my time as I choose."

"Online: Separating the Women from the Moms"
By Sarah Mahoney
MediaPost News
Summary: A marketing study has found that single women and mothers have very different shopping habits. Moms are more likely than child-free singles to take advantage of coupons and samples and to solicit contact from companies whose products they like. Single females, on the other hand, are slightly more likely to trust blog reviews even though they're less likely to blog themselves or frequent social networking sites.


"How Many Coffee Dates Does It Take to Find the One?"
By Heather Sellers
Summary: This isn't your typical clownish story about first date nightmares. This is an elegant, lyrical piece by a writer who calls herself "the first Match divorce," a meditation on the culture of online dating after middle age, the readjustment of a divorcee in a married social circle, and the line between desire and desperation. It also turns the smug married stereotype on its head, presenting us with a single woman who is more dissatisfied with her singleness than her coupled acquaintances assume: "My friends," Sellers says, "think I am so happy alone and I will not admit it."

"Most Matchmaker Users Driven by Search for Perfect Partner"
The Chosun Ilbo
Summary: A Korean matchmaking agency surveyed 116 single clients, and the majority (44.8%) said they turned to a matchmaker "because they believe it can find them good matches." The second most common attraction to matchmaking (22.4%) was "the frequency of dates the service provides." A lack of opportunity to meet eligible singles was the most popular explanation given for why respondents were unattached (48.3%), while 21.6% were "too busy with work," which is apparently a growing problem for overstressed young employees in Korea.

"Please, Don't Call Yourself a 'Cougar'"
By Monica Hesse and Ellen McCarthy
The Washington Post
Summary: Mrow! Hesse and McCarthy hate the term "cougar" and want the whole world to know about it. Join them for a transcript of their crusade for a more dignified term.

"Sailing Club Brings Older Singles Together"
By Fred W. Wright, Jr.
St. Petersburg Times
Summary: Surely you've heard of speed dating, matchmaking, Meetups, and a host of other events with an eye to pairing people up. But these singles have found a different way to sail off into the sunset--literally.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Sewer Nightmare Serves as Homebuyer Warning"
By Peggy Bunker
Fox 31
Summary: This cautionary report investigates ways in which single female homeowners may be ripped off by sellers or laborers. A divorced woman and first-time homeowner who unknowingly purchased a house with major plumbing issues is interviewed. Single women are encouraged to do their homework regarding pre-sale home inspections and market rates for labor services. A video clip is included. This news segment wins the Singles With Singletude Award because it addresses a scam that I haven't seen publicized before, one that specifically targets single women, and I think that's important.

"Will Hollywood Be Nice to 'Cougar Town'?"
By Jane Ganahl
Summary: Singles author Ganahl analyzes how Tinsel Town has portrayed cougar relationships over the years.


"1,000 Homeless Families in Coventry"
Coventry Telegraph
By Les Reid
Summary: When funding is scarce, British singles bear the brunt of cuts in services for the homeless.

Singleschmucker Award
"Sharon Owens: Why Do Those Feckless Single Parents Get So Many Benefits?"
By Sharon Owens
Belfast Telegraph
Summary: I'm no expert on the welfare system in the U.K. and can't verify whether or not young single women there are purposely getting pregnant in droves to access government subsidies. However, it's clear that Owens demonizes single mothers, painting a picture of their offspring as mentally ill, drug-addicted, promiscuous ne'er-do-wells destined to repeat their parents' fate. If the British studies she holds up as "proof" are at all similar to the American ones, then they're unreliable because they can't separate the effects of divorce from the effects of a childhood reared in an unhappy, unstable home. They also confuse single-parent homes with step-family homes (another situation entirely) and single moms with young and low-income moms. (How much lower is child mortality in true single-parent households as opposed to blended family homes? How much more likely are babies to die in infancy when born to single moms who aren't teenagers living in poverty?) Apparently, Owens has fallen for the myth of the magical power of marriage, not considering that the absentee fathers she idealizes may have done far more damage to their children had they stayed. Though Owens protests that she's "not rushing to judge single parents or, indeed, the children of single parents," those prove to be empty words as she transfers the self-professed stigma and embarrassment she experienced as a child of divorce to today's generation. Luckily, in the 21st century, being the son or daughter of a single parent is, rightly, nothing to be embarrassed about.

"When Single Women Turn 50, Cats and Pounds at the Door"
By Paula Voorhees
The Explorer
Summary: You will wonder if Voorhees is joking as she drags out every stereotype of the older single woman--out of shape, overrun with felines, living at home with mom...oh, yeah, and a shopaholic. She's not. Somehow, all this leads to is a story about flatulence at the gym, in which the writer attempts to regain the humor she forfeited in the intro. Hey, if you want to write a story about the travails of working out, write about the travails of working out. Don't use that as an excuse to take a cheap shot at single women. Voorhees may think she's funny, but instead she's full of hot air.


"Divorce in America: Ind., Fla. Counties Are Tops"
By Tamara Lush and Deanna Martin
Associated Press
Summary: We hear a lot about locations that attract never-married singles, but what about the areas that draw the divorced? It turns out that Wayne County in Indiana has the highest percentage of divorced citizens in the nation (19%), but a close second is Monroe County in Florida, in which 18% of residents have severed the ball and chain. Contrast this with a national divorce rate of 10.7% of the population. Both Indiana and Florida seem like magnets for divorcees; both states have multiple counties ranking in the top 10. Unfortunately, instead of sticking to the facts, the article deteriorates into a platform for the National Marriage Project.

"Lost in Tualatin, Suicide on His Mind"
By Jill Rehkopf Smith
The Oregonian
Summary: An Oregon community responds to the plight of homeless single men, spearheaded by a man who almost turned to suicide after his marriage ended. There are not yet any shelters in the region for single people.

"Rise in Single Living Changes UK Homes Market"
Summary: The USA isn't the only country seeing a surge in single homebuyers. The U.K. anticipates a 54% increase in singles living alone by 2026. But whereas women are the fastest growing segment of single homebuyers in America, it's single men who are most likely to nest by themselves in Great Britain.

"Smart Women Make Wise Investment Choices"
By Ian Freskos
Lumina News
Summary: A whopping 90% of women will be responsible for their own (or their family's) finances at some point in their lives. If it sounds implausible, remember that many married women will be divorced or widowed before the end of life. This article advocates sound financial strategies such as taking advantage of IRAs, investing, and saving early for retirement. Single men, all this applies to you, too.


"Single in the 'seo? Not a Problem"
By Michelle Fevola
The Lamron
Summary: A college student advises her classmates to stay single.

"The Truth About Dating: Perpetuating Stereotypes?"
By Steve Penner
Summary: A dating coach explains that it's not his fault if singles really do react to each other in stereotypical ways. Besides, by drawing attention to unproductive behavioral patterns, he hopes to encourage people to break out of them. Or so he says with a wink and a smug grin. Perhaps it hasn't occurred to him that the kinds of singles who seek out dating coaches may be a little different than the general population. Just sayin'.


"A Stylish Sunday with Candace Bushnell"
By Carissa Chesanek
Summary: A review of Candace Bushnell's appearance at a Connecticut country club reveals her inspiration for Sex and the City and the true identity of Mr. Big.

"Choosing Hope: Life Choices Celebrates 30 Years"
By Hope Young
Summary: A pregnancy resource center provides single moms with health care, discount items, and parenting education. The director's one misstep is that she seems to think single women only ever choose abortion because of financial limitations.

"Female Cougars Are on the Prowl. Or Are They Just a Male Fantasy?"
By Paul Harris and Anushka Asthana
The Observer
Summary: Another article examines portrayals of cougars in the media and the negative critical reaction to the new TV series Cougar Town as well as to the term "cougar" in general.

Do you have thoughts on any of the stories above? (When commenting, please reference the title of the article.)

Want to stay current on changes in the world that impact singles? Read the latest news about singles every day! Check out the Singletude newsreader under Singles in the News on the homepage!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood?
Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Announcing the Winner of the Singletude Giveaway Contest

The first Singletude giveaway contest ended today with a random drawing at noon. And the winner is...Lauren of New York, NY! Lauren has already received an email notifying her of her win. For her contest entry, she submitted some awesome questions, several of which Singletude will be addressing soon in the "Q&A."

A great big thank-you to everyone who participated in the contest! If you didn't win this time, don't worry! You'll have lots of opportunities to enter future giveaways.

Thanks also go out to and author Cherie Burbach for donating the prizes.

Check back soon for the "Singles in the News" roundup of media coverage from National Singles Week.

Want to stay current on changes in the world that impact singles? Read the latest news about singles every day! Check out the Singletude newsreader under Singles in the News on the homepage!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood?
Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Singletude Giveaway Contest Ends Tomorrow

Today is your last chance to enter the Singletude giveaway contest! The prize is a gift basket from worth over $150, so don't miss your opportunity to score these goodies. The lucky winner will be selected in a random drawing tomorrow at noon, so all entries must be in before then.

"Singles in the News" may be delayed this week again. On top of my previously mentioned health issue, I've also now been hit with a nasty flu or virus! The universe has not been my friend this month! Stop back later today, tomorrow (when the contest winner is announced), and Wednesday, though. "Singles in the News" should be up by then if not sooner. There was a lot of great coverage last week since it was National Singles Week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Singles Sleep Better

It's National Singles Week! Happy holidays to all you Singletude readers and to the 96 million Americans who live without the help (or hindrance) of a spouse every day and are just as happy, healthy, and wise as their coupled counterparts! A special shout out to those who are not just unmarried but unattached, standing totally on their own, since we know that discrimination against singles is social as often as legal.

In honor of National Singles Week, Singletude is holding its first ever giveaway contest! The drawing is quickly approaching on 9/28, so make sure your entries are in by 9/27. The prize is a gift basket overflowing with more than $150 in prizes sponsored by, so hurry and submit your entry before time runs out. Now, on to today's topic...

If you've been single for awhile, the days of sharing your bed may be like a distant dream or, more accurately, a distant nightmare. Ah, yes, now it all comes back to you! Tossing and turning while your bedmate's snore drowns all but the sound of your teeth grinding in the dark. Quivering in the frigid night air as you cling to the four square inches of blanket that your beloved spared you. Rousing from your happy place again so you can make way for your honey to reach the lamp, the tissues, the water, or the slippers. Jerking awake as your sweetheart's alarm blasts the robins right out of the trees outside. Stumbling out of bed on jello limbs that lost their circulation beneath someone else's butt, your shoulder cradling your neck, which can't stand up straight after eight hours wedged over someone else's arm. You call it "The Quasimodo in the Morning Show."

A couple of weeks ago, a commenter called Autonomous on the blog Onely directed readers to a BBC News article entitled "Bed Sharing 'Bad for Your Health.'" The article reports on research by Dr. Neil Stanley of the U.K., who found that sleeping with someone (in the literal sense) increases sleep disturbances by 50%. This makes sense, he says, because our ancestors only recently traded their single straw mats for cushy queen-size mattresses. We weren't really meant to sleep together at all! So, presumably, the single state confers a great advantage in the bedroom that most couples miss out on. This advantage has far-reaching effects, too. As the article notes, sleep problems are associated with heart disease, stroke, depression, and, yes, even divorce, among other potentially fatal consequences. So...does this mean we can say that singles are healthier than marrieds?

If so, the media doesn't want us to know about it. While the major news outlets are all too happy to showcase studies claiming that married women sleep better than singles or that married couples have lower blood pressure during sleep, they're less eager to report findings that indicate singles might be better off. Besides the Huffington Post, no prominent American news site featured Stanley's research even though it's not unheard of for American news shows, papers, and web sites to run stories on medical breakthroughs in the international community. If Autonomous hadn't spotted it, I would've missed it altogether. My Google newsreader didn't pick it up, and, to my knowledge, it didn't make the rounds of hub sites where it might've caught the eyes of readers checking their email or the daily forecast. So why no love for this story from the American media? Is it possible that the powers that be in the U.S. want to suppress research that doesn't cast marriage or intensive coupling traditions in a flattering light? Research that indicates remaining single can be not only as healthy as but healthier than pairing off?

British sociologist Dr. Robert Meadows was also quoted in the article as saying, "People actually feel that they sleep better with a partner, but the evidence suggests otherwise." Years of drumming biased headlines into people's sleepy heads have obviously hypnotized them to believe that significant others glued to their sides are always better for their health, even when their own bodies scream otherwise in the morning. The article states that a mere 8% of forty- and fiftysomething couples sleep alone. (Statistics for other ages weren't recorded.) The other 92% apparently suffer through night after night of disrupted sleep. And for what? The perception that couples should sleep side by side because they must never be apart? Are we so entrapped by The Cult of the Couple that we would sacrifice our rest and ultimately our health because society dictates that those who have sex together must sleep together?

Undoubtedly, some people enjoy whispering in the dark, drifting off to sleep in another's arms, rolling over into a warm, inviting body on a cold night. But just as undoubtedly there are people who would always or at least sometimes prefer "to have a cuddle and then...toddle off down the landing," as Stanley puts it. If this study is accurate, most of them, like it or not, will share their beds anyway.

Luckily, we singles don't have to lose sleep over matrimaniacally approved sleeping habits! During National Singles Week, as on every night, we get to...

...decide when bedtime is.
...indulge in whatever bedtime rituals we prefer such as reading, watching TV, or having a hot drink.
...choose what goes into and what stays out of the bed including food, books, laptops, phones, pillows, blankets, real animals, and animals of the stuffed variety.
...adjust sleeping conditions like temperature, amount of light, and background noise as needed.
...sleep anywhere in the bed in any position, occupying as much space as desired.
...sleep through the whole night completely undisturbed by another human being.
...decide when to wake up and what to wake up to, whether an alarm, music, cell phone, TV, dog or cat, morning songbirds, or pure silence.

On that note, I think I'll turn in early!

Do you prefer to sleep by yourself or with someone else? Why? Have you ever had trouble sleeping with someone else? If so, why? What things do you like about sleeping alone? Did you know about the British sleep study before you read about it here? If so, where did you hear about it? Why do you think the media didn't publicize this study as much as some others that promote marriage and/or diminish singles?

Fun Link of the Day

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Singles in the News: 9/13/09-9/19/09

Sincere apologies that "Singles in the News" is late again this week. I've developed a health problem that makes it difficult for me to sit at the computer for long periods of time, and I'm trying to adjust to that.

In the meantime, don't forget that the Singletude Newsreader is now available on the homepage with fresh singles news every day! You can find the newsreader right under Blog Archive. Just click on your topic of choice to display related headlines. Current topics are "single adults," "single people," "single women," "single men," "single moms," "single dads," "single mothers," "single fathers," and "single parents." If you can think of any other search terms you'd like to see, please feel free to post a comment here.

On to this week's roundup! There were a lot of stories on singles this week, but, sadly, many of them gave this week's winner of the Singleschmucker a run for its money.


"Review: I Can Do Bad All By Myself"
By Jette Kernion
Summary: This otherwise unremarkable movie review contains a rare pro-single message: "I also caught a whiff of the same sexist message that came through in Tyler Perry's earlier film Daddy's Little Girls: single women just can't lead a decent life until they marry a Good Man and get themselves some children to raise, whether those women are successful lawyers or boozy singers. In Perry's movies, everybody needs a supportive and loving spouse, a family, and a healthy church life. Otherwise, you might end up dead, or worse yet, like Madea."


"7 Types of Men Single Women Encounter"
By AV Flox
Summary: This trip down memory lane sums up the seven types of men that Helen Gurley Brown so condescendingly described in the '60s--the Eligibles, the Eligibles-but-Undesirables, the Womanizers, the Married Men, the In-the-Closet Men, the Divorcing Men, and the Cubs. Can you imagine what an uproar there would be if a single man categorized women so disparagingly, say as Nice Girls, Whores, Bitches, Career Women, Married Women, Single Moms, and Cougars? Good grief!

"Preparing to Sell Your Home"
By Ginny Mees
Summary: Many real estate articles for singles address how to buy a home, but this one explains how to prepare it for a sale. Moving from room to room, the writer lists the steps you should take to ready each space for an open house.


Singleschmucker Award
"Q&A: Comedian and Author Aaron Karo Takes Us Inside the Eternal Bachelor's Mind"
By Jessica Bartlett
The Frisky
Summary: Just what we need, another book that reinforces stereotypes about the "beer-drinking, chick-banging perennial bachelor." This one is called I'm Having More Fun Than You by Aaron Karo, who sits down to talk about it in a stunningly offensive interview in which he asserts, "If you're a [single] woman, you start to feel self-conscious, and if you're a guy, you realize, 'Wait a minute...I'm living the dream.'" This sweetheart goes on to brag about his "numbers," his female rating system, and his love 'em and leave 'em philosophy while advising single women to beware of the double standard because "women who sleep around are sluts and guys who do get book deals." Single ladies, are you crying yet? A self-proclaimed champion of bachelors, Karo does nothing to advance the cause of single men who want to be taken seriously as mature, productive individuals. Instead, his glib insistence that he speaks for his entire demographic reduces the single male to a shallow, pathetic individual who lives to objectify women and contribute nothing more to society than a bunch of used condoms. To top off this edifying exchange, Bartlett plays the jealousy card, asking Karo if this is all about how much he envies his married friends. Um, no. This is about how much of a schmuck he is. Marriage won't make him a good guy; it'll make him a married schmuck. And, to prove it, he is now the winner of his very own Singleschmucker.

" Poll: 95.5% of Single Men Feel Powerful, Career Oriented Women Are Better in Bed Than Stay-at-home Moms"
Summary: Look beyond the big, splashy headline, and you'll find a press release with more substance than it would suggest. The big find here has nothing to do with bedroom antics. It's that 88.9% of single men surveyed would prefer to be with a "corporate ladder climber" versus a "stay at home mom," but 85.8% of single women would rather be stay-at-home moms if their families could afford it. Furthermore, 100% of men surveyed said they'd be happy to have a partner who made as much or more money than they did, but 90.3% of women thought that "it would be hard for the guy to be in a relationship with a woman who makes more money, and it would cause a strain in our relationship." As with many of these online dating service polls, the results aren't reliable because the statements participants must endorse are leading questions, worded to elicit certain responses. Also, some singles may have felt pressured to respond in ways they perceived as "right" or politically correct. However, it does seem likely that there is a difference between the roles that single men and women would prefer to take in relationships, even if that difference isn't as drastic as this survey implies. Could that be yet another reason why more people are remaining single? It would have been nice if a married population had also been polled to see if attitudes toward gender roles changed with relationship experience.

"Industries with Jobs for Single Women"
By Paula Santonocito
Summary: Health care. IT. Sales. Education. The federal government. The green energy market. Any questions?

"Kate Gosselin Says Being a Single Mom Is Hard"
Summary: Yes, it is. Especially for single moms who don't have millions in the bank, a 6,000 sq. ft. estate, 24/7 hired help, and their own fanclub. Cry me a river of crocodile tears. Am I the only one who's sick and tired of listening to this woman whine? She makes a mockery of single parenthood, and her singletude is sorely lacking.


"Are Single Men at Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer?"
eFitness Now
Summary: While the article is fair-minded enough to admit that we don't know for sure and that there are other, more significant factors which predispose men to prostate cancer, it still advances the theory that single men are more susceptible because they don't have spouses to nag them into getting their annual prostate exams. Unfortunately, we can't know what the study really demonstrated because there is no link or citation.

"Banish Single Men to All-male Mega-city"
Maktoob Business
Summary: Amina al-Hail of Qatar's Ministry of Education has proposed that single men be transferred out of the capital since their record numbers are making families uncomfortable. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

"Best Place for Single Straight Women--San Jose?"
By Anna Marie Hibble
San Francisco Chronicle
Summary: Two Californian cities are contrasted by their ability to draw single female homeowners.

"Cougar Cruise: Older Love on the High Seas"
By Scott Mayerowitz
ABC News
Summary: Remember the First Annual Cougar Convention? Well, it's spawned the First International Cougar Cruise, hosted by Singles Travel Company. The weekend Mexican cruise, which costs $258-582 depending on accommodations, departs from San Diego, CA. In this story, the newly crowned Miss Cougar America shares her thoughts on May-December romance and why she likes "cubs," a rather demeaning term for adults of any age. Note also how the reporter defines cougars as "older women who prey upon young, virile men." And sap their strength, steal their "seed," and eat them afterwards, too, I suppose.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Dating Over 50 vs. Being Killed by a Terrorist"
By Kristen Meinzer
Summary: This brief, upbeat article corrects the longstanding myth that single women over 40 are more likely to be killed by terrorists than they are to get married. Not only do 41% of divorced women over 50 remarry, but the author wisely asks if it's "possible (probable, even) that a lot of women over fifty who are divorced don't WANT to be remarried." Her answer? "We think so." Unfortunately, there wasn't much competition for the Singles With Singletude Award this week, so this pro-singles article wins it easily.

"Learn to Be Smart Singles"
By Carla Hinton
Summary: A Smart Singles class in Oklahoma emphasizes "put[ting] careful thought into major relationship decisions," communicating even when it's difficult, and working to improve relationships. Says one participant, "It really teaches you to value yourself. It teaches you to figure out what your values are." Sounds like they're onto something. When is this class going nationwide?

"Surrogacy--A Gift of Modern Science"
By James Johnson
Best Syndication
Summary: Have you ever thought about becoming a single parent by a surrogate? Then check out this article, which explains the basics of surrogacy for those who might want to pursue this option.


"Money Talks. At Least to Lovers."
By Lee Dye
ABC News
Summary: New research from the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University concludes that "tightwads" and "spendthrifts" may be especially attracted to each other, setting these couples up for problems in long-term relationships. The survey of 1,000 single and married individuals suggests that this attraction is unconscious, reflecting a desire to stop "being too reckless, or too stingy, with your money." The study, "Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction: Tightwads and Spendthrifts in Marriage" by Scott I. Rick, et al., actually is much more relevant to marrieds than singles, but it seems aware of its potential biases, especially its all-important sample bias.

"Region Mulls Over Women's Shelter"
By David Fleischer
Summary: Responding to the finding that up to 10,000 single women live under the poverty line, York, Canada makes plans to open a homeless shelter.

"Single Women On-the-go: What to Do If You Miss Your Flight"
By Jody Yetti
Summary: Finding yourself alone in an airport in a strange city can be an anxiety-provoking experience for a single traveler, female or male. The writer explores three situations in which you might get stuck in an airport--when you're late for boarding, when you miss your connection, and when you get bumped from an overbooked flight--and lays out your options. Hint: you can talk your way out of a lot if you're pleasant and cooperative.

"What Every Man Can Learn from George Clooney"
By Sarah Hampson
The Globe and Mail
Summary: There are so many things about George Clooney that one could emulate--his professional success, his acting craft, his charity work, his gentlemanly carriage and personable demeanor. But, as usual, this disappointing article wants single men to emulate his womanizing. Hampson plays up the worst stereotypes of single men, calling Clooney a "playboy" with "commitment phobia" in danger of becoming, like all single actors, "a slightly creepy Hugh Hefneresque cliche." Yet, in the next breath, she seems to relish her identification with the aggressor, reminding single guys that "women, if treated well, will accept almost any disappointment" and egging them on to "have your tart, muffin and cupcake, and eat them, too." Thanks, Ms. Hampson, for promoting seedy stereotypes and encouraging single men to "serial date with impunity." Your single sisters thank you for your support.

"Women's Center Lands $400,000 Federal Grant"
By Phil Devitt
Summary: Transitional housing for "single women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence" gets the green light in Massachusetts.


"The Economic Benefits of Marriage: A Closing Gap"
By Barbara Kiviat
Summary: Even though married couples still reap the benefits of two incomes and over 1,100 legal and financial perks, singles are slowly catching up, especially as wages rise for working women, or so the article contends. However, it also cites the falling birthrate and increase in nontraditional living arrangements as partly responsible for singles' gains in economic security. In other words, singles are getting by because they aren't having kids or living on their own, and the author seems to view that as acceptable, which is a problem. Granted, she supports policies "to let unmarried individuals recapture some of the advantage of marriage," but these mainly apply just to single parents. It begs the question of why there should be an "advantage of marriage" at all.

"Why Women Are Attracted to Bad Boys, Thugs, and Players"
By Deborrah Cooper
Summary: Cooper does a decent job of explaining how the confidence, leadership, individuality, bravery, and resourcefulness of a "bad boy" attracts single ladies, not the callousness, arrogance, manipulation, dishonesty, or violence that may accompany him.

Do you have thoughts on any of the stories above? (When commenting, please reference the title of the article.)

Don't forget to enter the Singletude giveaway contest for your chance to win over $150 in prizes from! Time is running out!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Singles in the News: 9/6/09-9/12/09

Since Singletude did not run a "Singles in the News" column last week, here are a few highlights that you may have missed. Since we're playing catch-up, no Singles With Singletude or Singleschmucker titles will be given this time, just links to some stories that shouldn't go unread.


"Single Mom Follows Her Own Dating Rules"
By Aisha Sultan
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Summary: Belying its title, this interview is less about dating than about one single mom's journey to acceptance and enjoyment of her singleness. The challenges of single parenting are also discussed (hint: a tight group of friends helps big time). Says interview subject Alison Fox, "Now, it's been five years, and I realize that it's so much better to be happy and on my own. It makes me a better person, a better mother and a better friend."


"Program Seeks Mentors to Assist London's Single Moms"
By Kathy Rumleski
The London Free Press
Summary: Canada's nonprofit Single Women in Motherhood (SWIM) introduces a mentoring program that will pair young single moms with older women who have already walked the path of single parenthood.

"Young Single Adults Less Likely Than Teens to Use Condoms"
By Mike Barber
The Calgary Herald
Summary: With age comes wisdom...or complacency. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality has published a worrisome report stating that Canadian teens are more responsible in the bedroom than single adults! Condom use declined by over 30 percentage points between the ages of 15 and 34. The researchers speculate that serial monogamy may lull long-term singles into a false sense of security.


"Cougar Pride"
By Sarah Boesveld
The Globe and Mail
Summary: Most stories about the cougar phenomenon are sensationalistic, thinly disguised advertisements for this or that speed dating event or niche dating site. This one is an actual piece of journalism, attempting an unbiased probe into the culture of the cougar that includes popular misconceptions, interpretations from women on both sides of the fence, and predictions for the future of the sugar mamas.


" Dating Site Kick-off Party Is Improv Matchmaking Event at IO for Singles"
Summary: Yeah, yeah, it's another online dating site. But the twist is that it's an "ageless-timeless" zone in which you don't have to share your DOB (though you must be at least 21). It's also a worldwide site, so you're not restricted to the borders of your zip code. Even better, this site isn't for those who want to email endlessly. Webcam chatting and guided singles vacations are what it's all about at TribeofSingles. Hmmm...So you're flying around the world to share a hotel with someone of unknown age from a foreign country. Sounds like this site is poised to become a tribe of cheaters to me. But, hey, it's not my place to tell you how you should use it!


"Extend Antyodaya Scheme Benefits to Single Women: CPI(M)"
The Hindu
Summary: At the All India Women's Democratic Association conference, single and separated women were urged to petition for the same welfare benefits that widows receive.

"Single-hearted: While All Are Welcome, Church Caters to Single Adults"
By Renee Skalij
The Sun Herald
Summary: Breaking tradition with the matrimaniacal religious right, a single pastor at a Nazarene church in Mississippi says that he wants to be more inclusive of singles.

Do you have thoughts on any of the stories above? (When commenting, please reference the title of the article.)

Don't forget to enter the Singletude giveaway contest for your chance to win over $150 in prizes from! Time is running out!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have a rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a Singletude Q&A or your rant or rave in a Singletude Sound-off!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Singles in the News: The Singletude Newsreader Is Here

Those of you who've been following along with Singletude's Sunday series, "Singles in the News," are no doubt wondering if the media forgot about singles this past week. Actually, there were a number of great articles about the single life, but I was sick and was not able to review them. Unfortunately, this illness is sticking around and still requiring a concerted effort to sit at the computer and focus my thoughts. Hopefully, this will resolve soon, and Singletude will be back on schedule, so watch this space.

In the meantime, there's a newsreader on the Singletude homepage right under Blog Archive, so you can follow along with the latest singles news every day! Just click on the term you want to search--"single women," "single men," or "single adults"--and the magic of Google will return the relevant headlines.

Also, don't forget that the deadline for entering the Singletude giveaway contest is approaching quickly on 9/27/09! To win over $150 in prizes from, hurry and enter now!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Advice Q&A: How to Answer "Why Don't You Have Children?"

Last week, Singletude reader Ami was in search of memorable replies to singlist questions. With the help of other readers, Singletude offered some possible answers to one of those questions in "Advice Q&A: How to Answer "Why Are You Single?" Suggested replies ranged from informative to tactful to (hopefully) funny. (If you have other ideas, it's not too late to add them to the comments!)

Ami also asked about how to answer those folks who think just because they know, courtesy of Twitter, what half the world is planning for the weekend, they also have the right to know what you're planning for your womb (or someone else's womb if you're a guy).

Q: The following are questions people ask me frequently. I would love to have some better, newer answers. Any and all suggestions appreciated.

2. "Do you have children?" I used to say a simple "no" and leave it at that. But, I adore children, and I sensed some parents were a bit offended. Lately I say, "No, I just have doggie-kids. I love my dogs. I have lots of nieces and nephews, though. I just love being an aunt." Or, if I know the person is single and childless, I simply say no. That one isn't too bad. But parents tend to ask part two of that question, which is...

3. "Why don't you have any children?" This is rude and offensive. It puts me on the defense, and I'm not sure why. I have never desired to have children. I did try to conceive for two years at the beginning of my marriage because my ex-husband talked me into it. I am looking for polite answers, vague answers, and especially witty, sarcastic answers. =) I need a good answer for the different types of askers. For many, I don't mind shaming them a tiny bit for asking. My goal is that they take a hint and don't ask the next single girl. Better yet, ask a man my age.

A: It's understandable that this question makes you feel defensive. Asking why you don't have something implies that you should have it, that you are not the norm if you don't. That is rude and offensive. Beyond this judgmental implication, the question is also impolite because the decision to have children is such a private one. Finally, magnifying the insensitivity to the nth degree, this question rubs salt in the big, gaping wound of anyone who wants kids but, for one reason or another, can't have them.

As with questions about why you're single, the question of why you're child-free presents an opportunity to broaden your interrogator's mind and help him or her understand that parenting is not for everyone. Just like married couples who don't get why some singles wouldn't want to have the pleasure of living on top of someone else 24/7, some parents can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to wipe snotty little noses and drooly little mouths as a prelude to morning coffee. Or, worse, they equate this lack of interest with a fatal character flaw like selfishness, egotism, intolerance, or--the very worst of all--an irrational hatred of cute, cuddly poo factories.

Seriously, though, there are plenty of singles who like kids just fine but don't want to raise them or simply don't want to raise them alone. That's a valid reason not to have a baby and one that other people should be expected to accept. As you noticed, though, sometimes parents bristle because they misinterpret a choice not to parent as a judgment on them for choosing parenthood or even a judgment on their children. So, if you want to explain your decision to a parent, it's good to phrase it in a diplomatic way that makes it clear you're not condemning their lifestyle. For example, you might say, "I love kids and spoil my nieces and nephews rotten, but I don't have any myself. I admire people who take on that commitment. It's such an important job. But I've always felt driven to dedicate myself to (fill in the blank with some of the pursuits you love). I believe that's the best way I can give of myself."

However, questions about your childbearing plans, even more than questions about your marital status, are highly personal, and you certainly don't owe anyone an answer, no matter how innocent their intentions. On the contrary, since this line of questioning can be embarrassing and even painful, it makes sense if you'd rather discourage it entirely. So...bring on the one-liners!

Significantly, I think, a Google search revealed few sources that address how a single woman might answer "Why don't you have kids?" So, some of the following web pages were intended for infertile or childless couples. Nevertheless, most of the responses are adaptable and span the gamut from, as you said, polite to vague to witty and sarcastic. Feel free to look them over:

"Great Comebacks for Questions and Criticisms for Not Wanting Kids"
"How Do I Answer the Following 'Rude' Questions?"
"No Kids? There's Gotta Be a Snappy Comeback"
"When Are You Going to Have Kids?"

Some other comebacks I've heard or thought of over the years:

"That's not what life had in store for me."
"Some people don't. Guess I'm one of them."
"I used to ask myself that question. Now I know the answer. I made the best choice for me."
"I wanted to save them from a lifetime of therapy."
"My therapist tells me I should kick the drug habit first."
"Because I wouldn't force my worst enemy to relive my adolescence, much less my own child."
"I can't even feed myself three square meals a day!"
"I used up my maternal instinct on my dogs/cats."
"I don't? Oh, no! I must've left them at the mall/the doctor's/McDonald's/etc.
"Kids? What a great idea! I'll pencil that in between my hour-long commute and 10-hour workday...or before my Wednesday night class...or after my weekly co-op board meeting...or maybe on Saturdays after the soup kitchen."
"As you can see, mom jeans just aren't 'me.'"
"I consider it my own contribution to carbon reduction."
"Because I really like sex."
"Because I know how to use birth control responsibly."
"Because I don't believe in 'accidents.'"
"Why, are you volunteering free childcare?"
"Why don't you ask my ex?"
"I did." (meaningful silence)
"Not everyone has that option."
"Because I've been waiting to see how yours turned out first!"

When we return to "Singletude Q&A," we'll brainstorm some more creative answers to matrimaniacal questions, so keep your thinking caps on!

If you're a child-free single and feel comfortable sharing, do you hope to be a parent someday? If you're child-free by choice, how did you reach the decision not to have kids? How would you advise Ami to answer people who ask, "Why don't you have children?" Can you think of any witty one-liners?

Fun Link of the Day

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Disclaimer: Clever Elsie is not a licensed mental health professional and does not give professional advice. Her answers are based on experience and what she hopes is more common sense than displayed by her eponymous Grimm Brothers character. She cannot be held legally responsible for your choice to follow her advice, although she thanks you for thinking it clever.

Don't miss your chance to enter the Singletude giveaway contest to win over $150 in prizes from! The deadline is 9/27/09, so enter today!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Singles in the News: 8/30/09-9/5/09

It's interesting how themes crop up in every week's current events. This week, single women feature prominently in "Singles in the News."


"Ten Important Research Findings on Marriage and Choosing a Marriage Partner"
By Spencer DeGraw
Summary: About five of them are helpful. The other half are grossly inaccurate or misleading. See if you can figure out which ones are which in this close runner-up for the Singleschmucker.


"Of 13 Million Abortions in China, Most Are Forced, Says Expert"
By Vicky Jiang
The Epoch Times
Summary: Single women are among the demographics most frequently coerced into unwanted abortions in China due to the country's one-child policy. This frightening article lifts the curtain on a veiled practice that inflicts untold physical and emotional trauma on single mothers and couples with "too many" children.


"Cougar Town: 2009 Fall TV Preview"
By Kelly West
Summary: Cougar Town, a new show about a freshly single mom who must re-enter the dating scene alone, debuts on ABC this fall. Watch a clip here.

"Financial Advice for Suddenly Single Women"
Summary: Chicago's ABC affiliate interviews Beverly Tobocman, author of Now That He's Gone: A Financial Therapist's Guide to Life After Loss. Written for women who have recently lost a spouse through death or divorce, the book outlines the three most important questions that the newly single should ask about their financial resources, the three professional advisers they should have in their lives, and a recipe for emotional healing that includes building a community support network and cultivating thankfulness. Much of this sound advice could apply to always-single women and single men, as well. A strong contender for the Singles With Singletude Award.

Singleschmucker Award
"From MILF to MILM (Mother I'd Like to Marry)"
By Dr. Wendy Walsh
Summary: Okay, we get it. The author is a single mom by circumstance and wishes she wasn't. That's fine. But that's no reason to slyly cast doubt on whether her friends are single by choice, as she does with the qualifier, "at least that's what they tell me." It's also no reason to dispense lousy relationship advice to other single women. For instance, she endorses one wife's method of "helping her husband feel like a king in his own household," her goal "to make herself indispensable, and to remind him how valuable he is." No word on whether her husband lets her rule with him. Maybe he just likes having an unpaid attendant. Then she hypes her book, The Girlfriend Test: A Quiz for Women Who Want to Be a Better Date and a Better Mate, reinforcing the time-honored tradition of separating single women into the ones you wed and the ones you bed. Of the 100 attached males she interviewed for the book, she says, they overwhelmingly did not want women who were "'too independent.'" So there you have it, ladies. If you want to find a man, pretend to be incompetent--but not too incompetent since you'll need to make yourself indispensable around the house while you're dusting off his throne. What makes this article even more of an affront is that it's written by a psychologist. Please, if you have the weight of a PhD behind your words, speak prudently, or you too may find yourself awarded a Singleschmucker.

"No Place for a Woman"
By Trisha Elliott
Summary: Although homeless single men still outnumber single women in Canada three to one, single women are the fastest growing homeless demographic. They also represent a qualitatively different population of homeless; single women are more likely to be on the streets because of domestic violence or inadequate income, while single men land there due to job loss, substance abuse, or release from the prison or hospital systems. The consequences of homelessness can also be more dire for single women, as evidenced by a study which found that 37% of homeless women in Toronto had been physically attacked and 21% sexually assaulted. Perhaps worse, many women who aren't officially counted as "homeless" endure repeated abuse by male partners or family members so they can keep a roof over their heads. Prepare for this article to challenge the conventional wisdom that you may have bought into about homeless women.

"Single-minded Entrepreneur: Bethenny Frankel"
By Paula Santonocito
Summary: Reality TV star Bethenny Frankel gives some inspirational though not particularly practical advice on becoming a self-made single woman. Could that be because most of her capital stems from a wealthy ex-husband, not her own blood, sweat, and tears? Her book, Naturally Thin, is a bestseller because she has face recognition from The Real Housewives of New York City and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Self-made celeb? Yes. Entrepreneur? Not so much.


"5 Things Single Women Can't Resist"
By Melissa Noble
Summary: Nothing wrong with these tips to help single men successfully take on the bar scene, but for no discernible reason, the author insists on working in that shoddy study about how single women supposedly prefer married men ("Singles in the News: 89/09-8/15/09"). Honey, not only did that study have some significant design flaws, but it had nothing to do with marriage or married men, period. Get your facts straight.

"County Renews Homeless Voucher Program"
Lake Stevens Journal
By Christopher Schwarzen
Summary: Snohomish County in Washington prioritizes single adults and single parents in its fight against homelessness.

"Rhode Island Governor Defends Speech at Anti-gay Marriage Event"
Summary: Rhode Island governor Don Carcieri spreads misinformation about children raised in single-parent, unwed-parent, and same-sex parent homes.

"Why Women Stay in Bad Relationships"
By Danielle Skinner
The LU Gazette Online Edition
Summary: A great big "amen" to the columnist's reminder that "IT IS OKAY TO BE ALONE"! This short but sweet article urges women to gather their self-esteem, stop settling, and ditch abusive men because, after all, being alone isn't so bad when you have you on your side. (This applies to men in unhealthy relationships, too!)


"20 Questions to Ask a Matchmaker"
By Melinda Maximova
Summary: An interview with San Francisco matchmaking service Perfect Search provides an overview of the professional matchmaking process and answers typical client questions.

"85% of Single Men Would Date Heavy Women; 90% of Single Women Feel Men Can't See Past a Few Extra Pounds, States"
PR Newswire
Summary: According to a survey conducted jointly by,, and, while 90% of single women think extra weight makes them unattractive to men, 85% of single men agree with the statement that "a couple of extra pounds is fine by me." However, it should be noted that what constitutes "a couple of extra pounds" can vary greatly from person to person. In fact, some of these numbers don't add up. The press release claims that 79.9% of single men placed no limits on size, with love the only deciding factor. Yet 63.8% said "a couple of pounds" was the max and that girlfriend contenders "should be working on losing it." I'm no math major, but didn't we exceed 100% long ago? Similarly confusing results from the single ladies claim that 87.6% gave an unequivocal yes to the prospect of dating a "bigger guy," but 74.3% said it "depends on how overweight he is," and another 29.8% said no way, Jose. This, ladies and gents, is why matchmaking services should stick to matchmaking and leave the research to the academics.

"Interview: Liz Verney on the Upper Valley Haven Expansion"
Summary: Vermont Public Radio interviews the director of a homeless shelter about the creation of a new facility for single, childless adults.

"Japan's Economic Downturn Pushes More Onto Streets"
By Peter Ford
The Christian Science Monitor
Summary: Single guys, think you have it bad in the American recession? In Japan, where one-sixth of the population lives in poverty, single men are swelling the ranks of the homeless, and the state is "notoriously reluctant" to provide aid to the unmarried. "When you fall out of the safety net in Japan, you wouldn't believe what is not available," says one philanthropist.

"Miss Cougar USA Crowned in California"
By Jeffery
Summary: A report on the first Annual Cougar Convention notes that single men outnumbered women five to one.


"Destination: Destiny"
By Jody Yetti
Summary: Are you a single woman (or single man, for that matter) who loves to travel but can't afford the life of a jet-setter? Relax. Most of us can't. But by traveling during the off-season, using frequent flier miles, choosing modest accommodations, and cutting our stays short, we singles can make a little money go a long way--all the way around the world.

"Institute for Women's Policy Research News Release--Labor Day Not So Celebratory for Many Women"
Summary: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced that 12.2% of single moms are unemployed. Compare that to 8.9% of all women and 10.2% of all men. What's more, the unemployment rate for single women with children is increasing faster than in the general population. To combat this state of affairs, the Institute for Women's Policy Research recommends promoting subsidized daycare, family-friendly work environments, education and job training for women, anti-discrimination legislation, and unionization. Another runner-up for the Singles With Singletude Award, but the winner is...

Singles With Singletude Award
"On Labor Day and Every Workday, Single Women Struggle to Stay Even"
By Page Gardner
The Huffington Post
Summary: With an unemployment rate of 11.9% as compared to 9.7% in the general population, single women are the big losers in this recession. And they were disadvantaged from the beginning, earning just 57 cents for every dollar earned by a married man. Citing power in numbers, Gardner backs unionization as a robust solution to advance economic opportunities for single women, who make approximately $2.00 an hour more with union membership and are significantly more likely to have health insurance and pensions. In a strong field this week, this article edges out the competition for the Singles With Singletude Award because it refutes the media-driven misconception that all women are striding ahead of all men in this recession. Singles are not, and since they have no second income to fall back on, they are the ones most at risk.

Do you have thoughts on any of the stories above? (When commenting, please reference the title of the article.)

Don't forget to enter the Singletude giveaway contest for your chance to win over $150 in prizes from!

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have a rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a Singletude Q&A or your rant or rave in a Singletude Sound-off!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advice Q&A: How to Answer "Why Are You Single?"

Recently, a Singletude reader wrote in with some questions about how to answer those matrimaniacs who can't fathom why you haven't yet partaken of their particular brand of crazy. Ami, a single, child-free thirtysomething, is looking for appropriate responses--or, better yet, snappy comebacks--to a number of questions that make singles cringe. We'll address one of those questions today, the dreaded "Why are you single?"

Q: I am single by choice and circumstance. Quite simply, I would be thrilled to meet a man who is like-minded and up to my personal standards. These are standards I set for myself, for the most part. I have not met him, and I refuse to settle for less than I deserve. I am happy living alone and enjoy time to myself. I would much rather be single than in an unhappy relationship. It isn't always easy, but I don't let any man cause me to believe otherwise. The following are questions people ask me frequently. I would love to have some better, newer answers. Any and all suggestions appreciated.

1. "Are you serious? YOU don't have a man??? How can that be? You are beautiful/intelligent/successful/yada, yada...WHY would YOU be all alone/single?" I won't lie and say I don't enjoy the compliments, sincere or whatever. But, they simply reaffirm what I already know...I deserve a man that is right for me, and I won't settle for less. Nobody should. Those who do often end up miserable.

A: When someone asks why you're single, they might as well ask, "Why are you 25?" or "Why are you Irish?" or "Why are you tall?" Well, uhm...because I am. It's as though they assume that singleness is the symptom of some problem, which they could fix for you if only you'd clue them in, rather than a part of who you are--and only a small part, at that, subject to change. It's also like asking, "Why are you Buddhist?" or "Why are you a Democrat?" or "Why are you a librarian?" in that it's a question that can't be seriously answered without a lengthy, personal discussion. And who wants to have a lengthy, personal discussion with someone you just shook hands with five minutes ago? For that reason, when someone asks why you're single, it can feel like the psychological equivalent of backing you into a corner and leaning into your eight inches of personal space--with garlic breath, no less.

As offensive as it can be, though, if you're so inclined, it can be a great opportunity to educate the nosy party about singles. Something I've noticed over the past year and am still coming to terms with is that many people who ask questions like this aren't aware that they're offensive or--hello?--awkward. Sometimes they imagine you must be upset about your singleness (usually because they would be if they were single) and want to encourage you or help in some way. Other times, they may be genuinely curious. They may even just be making small talk and don't know what else to say.

Does that mean it's okay for them to ask why you're single? If it's not okay with you, of course not. But if they're not asking with intent to hurt or irritate, then they're asking out of ignorance, and the best way to combat ignorance is with knowledge--in this case, your firsthand knowledge of being single. What you said in your first paragraph, Ami, was terrific! As much as you might relish firing back with a real zinger, a candid explanation like you gave in your intro above could help a singlist person (i.e., someone who has a bias against singles or being single) open his or her mind and understand how "single" can be a good choice, not an unfortunate mistake. It might also help them realize how a question like "Why are you single?" can deeply affect someone. On the other hand, a sarcastic comeback could put them on the defensive or make you seem defensive, reinforcing their unfavorable attitudes about singles.

But what about those people who ask why you're single out of spite, arrogance, envy, or their own insecurity, people who see your crestfallen face and secretly think, Score! What about when you don't have the time or patience to tick off the top 10 reasons you're single to someone standing between you and your lunch break? What about when you're tired of taking this whole single thing so seriously? For some clever one-liners, check out:

"Single Women and Men Give Advice on How to Respond to 'Why Aren't You Married?'"
"Why Are You Still Single?"
"Funny Comebacks to 'Why Are You Still Single?'" (Read the comments for some real gems!)

Some other retorts I've heard or thought of myself include:

"Why not?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"Why are you (insert something they can't change such as 'American,' 'blonde,' or 'short')?"
"Because I don't settle."
"Because I won't take part in a legal system that discriminates against singles."
"Because I can't afford his-and-hers closets, and I like my space."
"Because I like drinking milk out of the carton."
"Because I like a good night's sleep."
"Because if I wanted to be someone's mother, I'd have a baby."
"Because I already have a job."
"Because it's so much fun getting proposals!"
"Because my home is the only place I can get away from people."
"Because I want my cat/dog to grow up in a stable environment."
"Because when I argue with myself, I always win."
"Because I wouldn't want to inflict my cooking/housekeeping/driving/etc. on anyone else."
"Because I can't walk well when I'm attached at the hip."
"Because after I grew up, taking orders from someone else got old."
"Because if I married just anyone, I might deprive a village of its idiot."
"Because if I end up with a bad model, I can't get my money back."

And, last but not least, Singletude reader Bobbyboy has been known to answer the question "When are you getting married?" with "When I'm ready." Simple, gracious, and no-nonsense, the kind of answer that brooks no argument. Another version modified to fit "Why are you single?" would be:

"Because I'm not ready to be married."

Just for fun, you might also want to take a look at a former Singletude post, "'Why Aren't You Married Yet?'"

In the next installment of "Singletude Q&A," we'll tackle another of Ami's questions, how to respond to that favorite of smug marrieds, "Why don't you have kids?" (Hint: "I did, but they got to be too much of a hassle" might not cut it.)

Why are you single? How would you advise Ami to answer that question? Can you think of some witty one-liners?

Fun Link of the Day

Do you have a question for Clever Elsie about some aspect of the single life? Have an unpublished rant or rave about singlehood? Write in, and you just might see your question in a "Singletude Q&A" or your rant or rave in a "Singletude Sound-off"! Singletude makes every effort to republish submissions in their original form but reserves the right to edit your submission for length and clarity.

Disclaimer: Clever Elsie is not a licensed mental health professional and does not give professional advice. Her answers are based on experience and what she hopes is more common sense than displayed by her eponymous Grimm Brothers character. She cannot be held legally responsible for your choice to follow her advice, although she thanks you for thinking it clever.

Don't forget to enter the Singletude giveaway contest for your chance to win over $150 in prizes from!