Single Americans are redefining the traditional adult lifestyles in this country. More than 40 percent of the nation’s adults—over 87 million people—are divorced, widowed, or have always been single. There are more households comprised of single people living alone than of married parents and their children. Americans now spend more of their adult years single than married.
Many of today's single people have careers, homes that they own, and a network of friends, many of whom are also single. In the twenty-first century, singles can have sex without marrying, and they can raise smart, successful, and happy children. Yet too often single people are still asked to defend their single status by an onslaught of judgmental peers and fretful relatives.
Drawing from decades of scientific research and stacks of stories from real single Americans, Bella DePaulo challenges the myths of singledom that have been proposed by prominent politicians, the popular media, and the intelligentsia—and finds that much of what we hear about the benefits of getting married and the perils of staying single are exaggerated or simply false. Although singles are singled out for unfair treatment by the workplace, the marketplace, and the federal tax structure, Dr. DePaulo says that they are not always victims of this singlism. Successful singledom is possible in America today.