About Bella DePaulo

The Myth that Married People Are Superior: Challenge It at Your Peril

The belief that marriage makes people happier and healthier and better off in all sorts of other ways, too, is entrenched in our thinking. It is not just any old belief, it is an ideology in which Americans (and others) have become deeply invested.

Taxing Singles More Than Couples: It Is Hard to Find a Country with a Bigger Disparity than the U.S.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released the 2016 income-tax rates for all 35 member countries. Rates were reported separately for two different categories: (1) single people with no children and (2) couples with one earner and two children. MarketWatch described the results under the headline, “Childless, single Americans pay more in […]

Comprehensive Unmarried Equality Must Include Parental Rights for Friends

Unmarried cohabiting couples have often been at the center of the quest for unmarried equality. Legal rights and protections were especially significant before same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, but the issues are still important even now. No one should have to marry in order to be accorded basic benefits and protections. The matter of unmarried […]

A Victory for Unmarried Cohabiting Couples in a Time of Horrifyingly Discriminatory Proposals

These are frightening times for people who are not married and their children, and even for people who are married but no longer want to be. Lawmakers and political leaders in the US and elsewhere are busy proposing puritanical laws that penalize people for the sin of living single.

Will Same-Sex Marriage Undermine One of the Best Things the LGBT Community Gave to the World?

When Americans think about the people who mean the most to them, the people they can really count on when they need someone, they don’t come up with the same list of names that they once did. For a long time, immediate family members filled those roles. Grown-ups expected to look to their spouse first, […]

Banning Adults without Children from Playgrounds: Disturbing Implications about the Place of Single People in America

 If you are an adult and you don’t have a kid with you, a Los Angeles city councilman wants to ban you from entering playgrounds. Los Angeles is not the sole offender; in some other major cities, including New York, the ban is already in effect, with the result that people have been ticketed “for […]

How to Make Things Better for Unmarried Americans – with No Help Forthcoming from the Federal Government

In my last column, “What unmarried Americans want,” I shared people’s answers to the question, “If you could change just one law or policy to make things better for unmarried/single Americans, what would it be?” What a difference a month makes. Changes in laws in policies at the federal level – at least the sorts […]

What Unmarried Americans Want

Recently, I posted this question at the Facebook pages for Unmarried Equality and the Community of Single People: “If you could change just one law or policy to make things better for unmarried/single Americans, what would it be?” I would like to say that the question is particularly important because of election season, but unfortunately, […]

How Unmarried Americans Fare as Home Buyers: Single Women, Single Men, and Unmarried Couples

To many Americans, home ownership is an essential component of the American dream. But how often do unmarried Americans get to (or choose to) share in that dream? What do they want when they look for a home, and what do they actually get? Thanks to 35 years of survey data collected by the National […]

How the Important People in the Lives of Unmarried Americans Are Shortchanged

The stereotyping, stigmatizing, and marginalizing of unmarried Americans is not just about us. It also extends to all of the important people in our lives, especially if they are not romantic partners. The people we care about the most have unequal rights in laws and policies, and they are often devalued or ignored in everyday […]