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.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Singles in the News: 1/17/10-1/23/10

Perhaps due to the approach of Valentine's Day, dating, romance, and marriage were hot topics last week. Singletude is not covering as many dating stories as it once did, but I believe the following articles are newsworthy because they either report on relevant trends, contain useful information, or are woefully singlist.


"Singles Open to Interracial Relationships Because of President Obama: Poll"
PR Newswire
Summary: A joint survey from dating web sites,, and finds that 69% of single men and 75% of single women "are more open to having an interracial relationship because President Obama is African American." Also, 61.6% of single men and 80% of single women believe that prejudice against interracial couples is a thing of the past.


Singleschmucker Award
"Fix 'Marriage Penalty' in the Home Buyer Tax Credit"
By Joseph Brand
Summary: The author is right. There's a marriage penalty in the home buyer tax credit such that marrieds aren't eligible unless both qualify, whereas if two singles purchase a home together, the one who qualifies can claim the credit. But elsewhere in the legislation lies a singles penalty, and that never gets a mention. To be eligible for the credit, a married couple can earn up to $245,000 a year. But a single individual can only earn up to $145,000. This has the effect of cutting off singles once they've attained the status of upper middle class while continuing to help couples straight up into the ranks of the wealthy. That extra $100,000 that the married couple is allowed can buy a lot more house than the single person can afford. Perhaps this would be more fair if the credit was based on the number of individuals in the family unit rather than on the marital status of the home buyer. Families with children, whether headed by married or unmarried parents, are going to need more space than are singles who live alone. But it's a serious injustice to permit marital status itself to be the determining factor. Think of the travesty of a childless couple who can afford to purchase a house twice the size of that of a single mom with five kids!

"Minister Calls for Law to Force Italy's 'Big Babies' to Grow Up"
By Michael Day
The Independent
Summary: Italian singles are notorious for mooching off their doting parents well into adulthood, and now some government officials are calling for legislation that would force these singles out of the nest, although how it would work is not explained. My own thoughts on this are divided. On one hand, by our cultural standards, able-bodied adults are supposed to take care of their parents, not vice versa. On the other hand, Italian culture is not American culture, and how people choose to design their living arrangements doesn't seem like something that should be subject to governmental control in any country. Furthermore, the Italian legislators' crusade against dependent singles begs the question of whether they intend to also crack down on dependent marrieds. My guess is no. Yet how is it different for a working individual to support a spouse than it is for that person to support a grown child? If we okay one arrangement but not the other, that's discrimination. Besides, it's not true that all singles who live at home are supported by their parents. Some choose to live at home for company, convenience of location, or even to help their families. Ultimately, Singletude's position has to be that family structure is a private choice and should not be a public matter, nor should the accepted definition of family be restricted to only married couples and their minor children.

"New Economics of Marriage: The Rise of Wives"
By Richard Fry and D’Vera Cohn
Summary: Among other discoveries, the Pew Research Center finds that "married adults have made greater economic gains over the past four decades than unmarried adults." This is at least partly due to the fact that people who attain higher levels of education are both more likely to marry and more likely to earn higher incomes. Also, "for unmarried adults at each level of education, however, men's household incomes fared worse than those of women." That means that, between 1970 and 2007, single women saw their incomes grow more than did single men. However, single men still continue to earn much more on average than do single women. The median household income for a single man is still about $17,000 more per year than the median household income for a single woman. Now compare that to how single women fare against married women and watch the figure jump to an annual difference of almost $26,000! For single men and married men, the difference is less dramatic but still significant, with married men earning approximately $9,000 more per year.


"2010 Top 10 Cities for Single Women"
By Paula Santonocito
Summary: Boston, Washington, DC, and New York are the cream of the crop on this year's list. Results are based on job outlook, cost of living, transportation, social and entertainment venues, public health, ratio of singles to marrieds, ratio of single women to single men, and some intangibles such as "aesthetics, personal style, and community support."

"Nepal Court Blocks Cash Incentive for Marrying Widows"
By Gopal Sharma
Summary: Good news! Singletude is happy to announce that after months of protests, the Supreme Court of Nepal has ruled that the government may not provide dowries for single women, financially rewarding the men who marry them. Single women had feared that the new policy would encourage spousal abuse and abandonment and further undermine their efforts to be recognized as fully functioning members of society.

"When Divorced Parents Start Dating Again"
By Amy Wang
The Oregonian
Summary: This sensible article advises newly divorced parents to find other single friends rather than jump into dating relationships. And how should a divorced mom or dad introduce the kids to a new partner once she or he is ready to date again? Very S-L-O-W-L-Y. Single parents should talk about the new love interest for awhile before inviting him or her over, maintain a healthy balance between family time and time with the boyfriend or girlfriend, and skip sleepovers together when the kids are around.


"The Right Man Is Getting Harder to Find"
By Richard Whitmire
The Wall Street Journal
Summary: A discussion of the gender imbalance within the college-educated U.S. population sympathizes with single women who can't find male peers.

"Valentine's Day Traditions Around the World"
By Denise Ngo
Summary: In the U.S., V-Day is primarily a celebration of couples, and singles get ignored. However, in other countries around the world, it's an occasion for single people to celebrate with a number of highly ritualized customs. While most of these customs are overly focused on matchmaking, it's nice that they're inclusive of singles so that couples aren't the only ones having fun. Plus, they make for an interesting read.

"Why Would Anyone Get Married?"
By Edward Keenan
Eye Weekly
Summary: Studies may conclude that marriage is a raw deal for women, so why do so many single women want to get hitched? And if it's such a bonus for men, why do they avoid it like the plague? This (happily married) writer muses that it's because single men have more realistic expectations for marriage than single women do but reasons that they should get married all the same because "the world is.... better faced...with a friend and confidant and partner--a family member--at your side." Singletude can accept that it's a boon to have a loyal partner in life. But why are we so small-minded that we think it must be a sexual or romantic partner?


"A New Approach for Singles Looking for Love"
Summary: Though Singletude is not covering dating as much as previously, this new Internet dating site has a twist that's too interesting to ignore. is based on the philosophy that romance should grow out of attraction rather than vice versa. The site believes that the online prelude to a meeting puts the cart before the horse, so they send each member printed calling cards that link to the member's Internet profile, which he or she can then slip to would-be dates. If a lucky candidate returns the member's interest, he or she can look up the member and make contact.

Singles With Singletude Award
"Experts Express Doubts About BadgerCare Basic Health Insurance Proposal"
By Jake Miller
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
Summary: In Wisconsin, a state-funded insurance program for low-income single, child-free adults is now charging premiums that some people worry are unrealistic for singles of limited means. This isn't the kind of article that would usually win a Singles With Singletude Award, but this week there really weren't any outstanding, pro-single articles. This story wins simply because it takes a critical stance toward a state government that is cutting health benefits for low-income singles, and such stories are fairly rare. Most journalists don't seem to have a problem with how single, child-free adults are excluded from the health benefits available to other groups and, in fact, tend to side with those who believe it's "unrealistic" to cover them. So this article is appreciated.

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.

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