What is the story of singleness? Is it a story of relationships, and if so, how do you tell it? “We often use stories to help people to get to know us and to explain ourselves. It's a way of telling people what sort of person we are, and these stories help build up and perform our identity..." suggests Dr. Jill Reynolds in our current Featured Article, Single Stories.
Dr. Jill Reynolds draws on her book, The Single Woman: A Discursive Investigation, to discuss the challenges for women in telling a story that may not be a straightforward one of romance fulfilled and family life. Are our stories ones of sadness, justification, or apology, ones of neutral explanation, or ones that can inspire ourselves and our listeners? Dr. Reynolds asks us to join her in examining the stories about ourselves we tell, to whom and when.
In A New Mental Health Diagnosis for Single Women: Self Blame, Dr. Karen Gail Lewis cautions us about a very common malady- that often stories of single women, as they talk about relationships, focus on “what’s wrong with me” that I am single? She invites us to look at how much “self blame” we carry, often without even recognizing it.
Dr. Beth Jacobs’ new writing exercise in Journaler’s Clearinghouse, Journals as Companions, suggest the many ways a journal can act asa trusted friend, confidant, and witness to our lives and stories.
Finally, we have linked to two different offerings that challenge the deficit stories of singleness.
Dr. Bella DePaulo wonders if the reason that ever single adults actually fare well in research studies of happiness, health and longevity may be due to being single- the result of skills, strengths, and learning that comes from being responsible for oneself and one’s own life.
And at last there is a fairy tale for all age groups that celebrates the possibilities in being single. Princess Bubble is a modern fairy tale, written by two single flight attendants, Susan Johnstone and Kimberly Webb. Their tale suggests that “”happily ever after’ can occur even before Prince Charming arrives…or even if he never does.’”