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View from Venus: What's wrong with living single?

Sunday - 2/26/2012, 12:00pm  ET

Randi Martin, View From Venus

WASHINGTON - Why is it that we are obsessed with fixing up our single friends?

"Because we need to justify our own decision to be married," says Dr. Bella DePaulo, a psychology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the author of "Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored and Still Live Happily Ever After."

Many Americans are single -- whether their widowed, divorced or just simply never married. In today's society, more time is spent being single than married.

DePaulo says most singles choose the lifestyle -- having the balance and option of spending time alone or time together, keeping in touch with friends and family more often than married couples.

But Dr. DePaulo has also given voice to the discrimination of being single calling it "Singlism." It includes negative stereotyping of singles and discrimination against singles.

Just think about some of the issues facing singles:

  • Many Social Security benefits and tax benefits favor people who are married.
  • Married people get discounted rates on auto insurance, club memberships, and travel packages, while singles pay full price.

Even with the discrimination and stigma, some people just really like their single lives.

DePaulo calls them "single at heart." They're not unlucky in love, and they don't have issues.

"If you really love living single -- all that stuff doesn't matter."

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)