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Bella DePaulo
Bella DePaulo is the author of Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After (St. Martin’s Press, 2006) and other books. She also writes the Living Single blog for Psychology Today and the Single at Heart blog for PsychCentral. Atlantic magazine described her as "America's foremost thinker and writer on the single experience." In contributions to Alternet and Truthout, and to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, and other publications, DePaulo has written about the place of singles in contemporary American society. She is a social psychologist (Ph.D., Harvard, 1979) who has published scientific papers on singlehood in professional journals. Bella DePaulo is also an expert on the social psychology of deceiving and detecting deceit. She discussed her deception research on the Today show and on Anderson Cooper 360, and in previous years, on other programs such as NBC Nightly News, and the ABC and CBS morning shows. DePaulo lives in Summerland, CA. For more information, visit her website at

Entries by Bella DePaulo

Do You, Married Person, Take These Unearned Privileges, For Better or for Better?

(28) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 10:02 AM

Copyright, Reprinted with permission.
This post was co-authored with Rachel Buddeberg.

Women's studies scholar Peggy McIntosh was hardly the first to write about "privilege," the notion that "some people benefit from unearned, and largely unacknowledged, advantages, even when those advantages are not...

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What About Unmarried Equality?

(9) Comments | Posted June 30, 2013 | 10:54 PM

When I saw the Prop 8 plaintiffs huddled around the cell phone, hearing the President of the United States personally congratulating them on their role in the historical day for gay rights, a day on which the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down, too, I smiled. Their...

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8 Ways Singles Pay More on Tax Day -- And Every Other Day, Too

(21) Comments | Posted April 14, 2013 | 11:12 AM

There is no marriage penalty. There is only a singles penalty.

That's what I discovered when I was researching Singled Out. (I also wrote about it here). To be sure, I have no expertise on taxes. So I felt reassured that I got...

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The Crisis in Squishy Science: Trouble for Scientists and for Journalists

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 12:25 PM

I should be embarrassed. I'm a social psychologist and my field seems to be in a heap of trouble these days. All of the squishy sciences are getting battered.

"Squishy" isn't an insult. To me, it is more of a term of endearment. I use it to refer to...

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The True Meaning of Singlism

(7) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 11:43 AM

A recent essay published here at The Huffington Post is titled, "It's complicated: The psychology of 'singlism.'" Author Wray Herbert discussed some intriguing research in his post but his description of singlism -- a concept I introduced -- is inaccurate.

Herbert begins by saying that he...

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How to Respond to People Who Ask Why You Are Not Married

(12) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 2:02 PM

The hand-wringing, advice-dispensing screeds aimed at people who are "still" single are, well, a bit dopey. In contemporary society, there are few ways of living more ordinary than living single. In the U.S., we are closing in on the point when married people will be in the minority....

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Et Tu, Touré? A Critic of White Privilege Is Oblivious to Marital Privilege

(8) Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 11:15 AM

Suppose I challenged you to write the most cliché-drenched ode to marriage you could possibly imagine. Don't do any critical thinking. Don't worry about whether what you have to say is true, or logically consistent, or whether it could be potentially offensive to millions, or whether it might serve as...

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Happily Ever After? You Must Be Talking About Single People

(5) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 7:40 AM

A just-published study followed the lives of more than 2,700 Americans, all of whom who started out single and not cohabiting. By the time the study ended six years later, some of them had cohabited, others got married and still others stayed single.

In some ways,...

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Top 7 Lies That Big-Time Liars Tell Themselves

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2011 | 1:31 PM

What were they thinking? Did Herman Cain really think he could keep his 13-year friends-with-financial-benefits arrangement with Ginger White a secret? Did Ginger White think that she would never have to tell her (now grown) children about the alleged affair? What about the plagiarists, fraudulent memoirists, fake warriors, and all...

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Liar, Liar .. What Personality Types Lie The Most?

(200) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 12:36 PM

Who lies? My best guess is that everyone does. That's what my research, and other work, too, suggests. For example, in one of the sets of studies that my colleagues and I conducted, two groups of people -- 77 college students and 70 people from the community --...

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Dating Could Be Leading Our Teenagers to Depression

(32) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 8:30 AM

If you are an adolescent or a young adult, what could you do that could put you at risk for becoming more depressed, more sexist, and more likely to have problems with drinking and delinquency? If you are a young woman, what related experience might turn you off to science,...

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Reports of Singles' Early Demise are Greatly Exaggerated (or Just Plain Wrong)

(6) Comments | Posted August 19, 2011 | 12:44 PM

A just-published article claims that people who stay single are headed straight to the grave -- and fast. Faster than people who are currently married. The media is already on it, as with today's MSNBC headline, "Single people may die younger, new study finds""and the many...

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Getting Duped

(2) Comments | Posted July 6, 2011 | 9:00 AM

Credibility is a fraught issue these days. Playing out in one courtroom is the debacle of the discredited accuser in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. In another is the Casey Anthony trial with its holiday parade of potential liars. Maybe you are confident that you are a terrific lie detector --...

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Don't Want to Divorce? Indulge Your Polyamory or Asexuality, Have Your Affairs, Live Apart

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2011 | 4:13 AM

No, that title is not my advice. It is my riff on Pamela Haag's provocative new book, Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules. The 21st century, she argues, is a post-romantic age of melancholy...

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Why Getting Married Will Not Necessarily Make You Happier

(56) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 8:45 AM

Christine Carter's recent post asked, "Does Marriage Make Us Happier?" Her answer is yes, and she refers to a published study to make her case. I'll explain why that study does not show that getting married makes you happier.

An Analogy

First, let's set aside the matrimania and...

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Taking on Singlism: 28 Writers Help Me Display and Slay the Beast

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2011 | 5:06 AM

"DePaulo says that 'singlism' -- a term she coined and for which we are prepared to forgive her -- is not just aimed at unmarried women." -Gail Collins, New York Times, December 4, 2008

That quote sums up what it has been like to be the...

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The Top 10 Myths About Single People

(448) Comments | Posted April 12, 2011 | 8:56 AM

Stop telling single people why they are not married. If you are so sure that becoming unsingle is the ultimate and tyrannically powerful life goal of most single people, you probably believe a lot of other things about singles that just aren't true. It's time for some debunking.


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Latest Survey of Singles: This Is How Stereotypes Are Perpetuated

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 4:33 AM

Have you heard about the latest survey of single people? It is based on a nationally-representative sample of more than 5,000 Americans, ages 21 to 65+, who are divorced, widowed, or have always been single. It has been all over the media, and I've gotten numerous emails about it from...

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Does Piers Morgan Ask Why Condi Rice Is Single? Let Me Count the Ways

(3) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 5:10 PM

Larry King was absolutely obsessed with marriage. Not only did he marry time and time again, but he peppered just about all of his guests with a barrage of questions about their marital status and aspirations -- especially if they were single.

Now Piers Morgan has taken...

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Singles Bonding Over Food and Friendship: Cooking Club, Year 39

(1) Comments | Posted January 6, 2011 | 4:34 AM

If you love food, friends, and camaraderie, and if you would like to hear the story of a club for singles that has nothing to do with dating and has lasted nearly four decades (and is still going strong), you are going to love this guest essay. It was contributed...

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