For Bella DePaulo, Marriage Optional isn’t just one of our Top 10 Trends for 2012, it’s a way of life. The visiting professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, calls herself, and millions of other men and women, “single at heart.” A prolific commentator and writer, DePaulo has authored three books on singles, including her latest, Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Stop It. She is also a frequent contributor to Psychology Today. She talked to us about why more women are choosing singlehood over the married life and why it should matter to marketers.
Kate Bolick’s recent article in The Atlantic, “All the Single Ladies,” got a lot of press. She emphasizes shifting economics and the shrinking pool of marriageable men. What other drivers are at work here?
Some people just really like their single lives. I call them “single at heart.” They’re not unlucky in love, they don’t have issues, they are not too picky. And if you’re single at heart as I am, it doesn’t matter whether there enough men who are taller than you or making more money. If you really love living single, all that stuff doesn’t matter.