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Rethinking Loneliness


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Rethinking Loneliness  💖

Rethinking Loneliness: Singledom and the Stigma of Solitude

How the rise of single Americans is reshaping society—and the way we view and experience solitude.


Marriage rates are at a record low and the number of unpartnered adults is steadily on the rise.

Still, for any single person, it can be a pain going it alone in a society that historically favors the married. And

comfortable in solitude or not, anyone can struggle with feelings of loneliness from time to time—feelings no doubt

exacerbated during the pandemic.

Read on to explore and examine how singlehood has been defined throughout history and pop culture, as well as

how demographic factors, office culture, and tax codes can contribute to disparate experiences of single people.

Plus, the importance of life choice representation, and the power and pleasure of eating, traveling, and thriving


Single Doesn’t Mean Being Lonely or Alone

Singles can face mistaken stereotypes and value judgments that they are less happy, or lonelier. For many, being

single is simply a relationship preference or even an orientation.


We’re eating alone more often than in any previous generation. But why should a meal on our own be uninspired?

Why shouldn’t the French saying “life is too short to drink bad wine” still apply?

Group tour companies are accommodating more and more solo travelers, who are looking for company—and

someone else to handle the complexities of traveling during the pandemic.


The idea of making a home into a place for others, as opposed to one’s self, is falling out of style.
The Utilitarian Pleasures of Playing Board Games By Yourself
Sam Harrison
Atlas Obscura

It’s a movement made for the moment.

Singles are split between being on and off the dating market.

Married to the Job: How a Long-Hours Working Culture Keeps People Single and Lonely

Demanding bosses, impossible workloads, 24/7 email—no wonder many employees feel they have no time outside

work to find love.


A study shows some women downplay their ambitions to find a partner.
Men Are Now More Likely to Be Single Than Women. It’s Not a Good Sign
Belinda Luscombe

Almost a third of adult single men live with a parent.


The word ‘spinster’ is still freighted with pity and misogyny, yet the number of women living this way is growing. It’s

time to reconsider what it means to be ‘never-married’.


In reality, it’s the idea of marrying for love that’s untraditional.
Single Moms vs. Single Dads: Examining the Double Standards of Single Parenthood
Maressa Brown

Investigating the disparities and pinpointing how we can do better to support all solo parents.
“Marriage Should Not Come With Any Social Benefits or Privileges”
Vicki Larson

Social and legal benefits that favor the married disadvantage the single. Why should your love life be used against



Tax policies have preserved the inequality that has long defined America.
Decolonizing Love In A World Rigged For Black Women’s Loneliness


The world is rigged for Black women’s loneliness and isolation. Here’s how to decolonize love.
Families of Choice Are Remaking America
Bella DePaulo


Through their networks of friends, singles are strengthening society’s social bonds.


I fully acknowledge the pandemic has been an unhappy experience for plenty of single people. Here’s why the

“single at heart” community feels differently.


Billy Baker on loneliness and finding connection.
A History of Loneliness
Amelia Worsley


The Conversation


Although loneliness may seem timeless and universal, the word seems to have originated in the 16th century.
How the ‘Crazy’ Cat Lady Became One of Pop Culture’s Most Enduring Sexist Tropes
Rae Alexandra

The stereotype has been with us since the Middle Ages. But where did it come from? And why has it stuck around?

BONUS READ: ‘Spinster’ and ‘Bachelor’ Were, Until 2005, Official Terms for Single People via Smithsonian

One Legacy of the Pandemic May Be Less Judgment of the Child-Free
Samhita Mukhopadhyay
The Atlantic

The coronavirus could change lingering cultural assumptions about what makes for a full and happy life.

BONUS READ: The Rise of the Childfree Movement on TikTok via Mashable.
How Being Single Has Been Rebranded
Vicky Spratt

There’s a reason why the most lucrative forms of popular culture continue to ask questions about how men and

women should be (or not be) together—it’s because we haven’t got it right yet.
Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
Maria Popova
The Marginalian (formerly Brain Pickings)

“Loneliness is difficult to confess; difficult too to categorize. Like depression, a state with which it often intersects,

it can run deep in the fabric of a person.”

BONUS READ: May Sarton’s Stunning 1938 Ode to Solitude via The Marginalian.
Alone in the Kitchen: The Seductive Nature of Solo Cooking
Wendell Brock
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If two’s company and three’s a crowd, maybe now one is the magic number in the kitchen.
How to Enjoy Being Single
David Robson

Defy society’s singlism and discover ways to embrace a joyful, independent life.





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