Posted by: Shar & Mare | February 7, 2011

Single in America: Fact vs. Fiction


Are women needier than men? Are all (or at least most) men hell-bent on keeping their relationship status “single”? If you’re out of a job are you also out of luck in the dating arena? The definitive answers may surprise you….or maybe not.

This week Match.com published “Everything You Think You Know About Singles is Wrong…” Based on a comprehensive study by biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, professor Stephanie Coontz, and University of Binghamton’s Institute of Evolutionary Studies. The study explores the more common myths about single men and women and the results were indicative of how the state of “being single” has evolved over the years.

Were the results a revelation to me? As a single adult – yes I was surprised at some of the results. As one of the collaborators on the “LifeBytes, Real Stories of Online Dating”, anthology…not so much.

One of the myths discussed: Guys don’t want to get married and have kids. Not true, according to Match’s study. What do I think? As a single gal, I’ve had one or two relationships that imploded because the male half of the deal wasn’t ready to commit. On the other hand, we’ve gotten quite a few LifeBytes stories from men – the majority of which were tales of How I Met My Soulmate. This from a call for submissions specifically asking for the full range of dating stories, from funny, to sad to scary to sexy, to weird and so on. Yet the guys all seem to want only to share their love stories. Interesting. I was describing this phenomenon to a male acquaintance and he just shook his head and said, “that’s because we always want it to work out.” Awww, so now the truth is out guys. Under those tough exteriors lies a cute and cuddly puppy who’s just looking for love.

More myths debunked: Younger singles are promiscuous and older singles don’t care about sex. No…and NO, according to Match. And according to LifeBytes too, as a matter of fact. The pull of sex and the enchantment of finding that “perfect” partner is universal, no matter the age, gender or sexual orientation. One of my favorite LifeBytes stories is from a senior woman who found her soul-mate at the age of 62…:). Ain’t love grand?

We have found though that younger singles tend to be far less cautious when forming online “relationships”. Some of the most truly scary stories have come to us from singles in their teens and twenties, and these situations arose not from casual sex, but from searches for lasting love. Caution and wisdom do come with age in so many ways.

One of my favorite myths is: Single parents have no social life. According the the Match study, single parents date much more than their childless counterparts. As a single parent myself, I say to this…”Well, DUH”. I have a full and amazing social life, and not just dating, I have friends and hobbies. I have worked hard to build this single life for myself. So, I will offer Match.com a why for this non-myth. As parents we understand the need to have a many-faceted life. We understand that this is what keeps us sane and grounded…and we work hard at it.

Which leads me to another myth debunked by Match: Women are needy and clingy in relationships. Well…no…actually we’re more likely to need “space” to enjoy our friends, hobbies, work and more. The jury of one (me) agrees and I will refer you, dear reader, to the above paragraph on single parents. Women understand the necessity of having a multi-facted life. C’mon guys, admit it, that’s why you find us so utterly fascinating…LOL.

There are a few more singles myths debunked in the study, but I will leave you to read through those and comment below on them yourselves. I’m interested to hear your take on them, and on the ones I’ve waxed poetic about here too!

What I’ve mainly come away from the Match.com article with is a renewed sense of awe. The LifeBytes, Real Stories project never ceases to amaze and enthrall me, giving me a peek through the keyhole at the varied experiences that single men and women have in their search for companionship and love. Puck in a “Midsummer’s Night Dream” says, “What fools these mortals be”. Fools? No, personally I think the line should be: “How fascinating these mortals be”.

Happy Dating,
Sharon


Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharon & Mariann and Sharon & Mariann, Sharon & Mariann. Sharon & Mariann said: Single in America: Fact vs. Fiction http://wp.me/pqGcb-uw […]

  2. My favorite myth of the article:

    “Myth: Women are needy and clingy in relationships.

    Fact: Women need more independence in relationships than men do. In a relationship, women are more likely than men – across every age group – to want their own interest, have personal space, their own bank account, regular nights out with their girlfriends and vacations on their own.”

    This is great. How did us women get a rep like this? I don’t understand. We must just speak our thoughts loud and more often than the male species.

    Glad to see this study gave this rumor a rest. Nice read.

    Are you on Match.com by chance?

    • Yes, I’m as happy as you are to see this rumor given the burial it deserves! I wonder myself how it ever started. My personal guess is the media way back in the 50’s and 60’s, depicting us as wanting nothing but our “MRS” degree and the chance to cook and clean til the end of time….LOL. So not true.

      Yes, Mariann and I are both Match veterans. So this survey was especially interesting to us.

      Sharon

  3. […] http://lifebytesrealstories.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/single-in-america-fact-vs-fiction/ […]

  4. I (a woman) am definitely the person who needs more space in a relationship. I’ve realized that my neediness and clingyness (when and if it appears) is a sign that there is something essentially wrong with the relationship and I am feeling insecure. But most of the time, YES, I want to maintain my friendships and hobbies. I actually have a hard time letting go of extra activities in order to spend more time with a partner — although sometimes, there is a natural gradual change.

    AND, I have had relationships implode because the man wants to settle down and have kids. I think that most men want to settle down and have kids — in part because they didn’t babysit when they were young and they think having kids is a walk in the park. They also don’t have to address issues of pregnancy and career disruption and other body concerns.

    As a woman who isn’t sure about having children, a lot of men are eliminated right away because that is their goal: to find a wife and mother for their children.


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