"They’re either in the wings waiting or they’re past their prime and are no longer allowed to be part of this central way people not only organize their intimate lives but attain social legitimacy."
"I feel like a lot of that bad effect is just projected onto single people, and that condition is rendered pathetic and sad and depressing. This is why it doesn’t have a language of its own because the language of singleness is really the language of couples who are pitying single people.
Funny, I never thought of that. It’s true. We really do use the word “single” really just as a shorthand for someone who’s looking to date someone.
Exactly, or they’re tragic and sad, like old maids or widows. They’re people who just couldn’t make it into that very special status. Part of why that narrative persists is that there’s this overarching disquiet about how you create a narrative for yourself [if you're not in a relationship]. And there’s this sense that this anxiety can be alleviated if you just fall in love."
Yup. And also...
"People get very angry when I say things like this. When I was in college most of my friends weren’t going to get married or take their partners’ names or have children; they weren’t going to take the typical route to mature adulthood that requires marriage and a baby. And all of them — all of them — have done that except for one, my friend Kate Bolick, who recently wrote this big piece on singleness for the Atlantic."
"When it comes to our attitudes toward singleness and dating, I think the touchstone for a generation of people, especially women, is still “Sex and the City.” What effect do you think it had on our culture?
It was very similar to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” It showed off that you can be single and interesting and buy expensive clothing and go to great parties in New York for a little while but eventually you are going to grow up. Eventually, you’re going to wisen up, put a ring on it and go forward and be coupled and move to Connecticut. We aren’t going to pathologize you for playing around for a protracted amount of time, but eventually you’re going to have to settle. And the marker of success, the end of the romantic story, is riding off into the sunset with that person. But you don’t get to see the next 30 years of boredom, or anxiety, or terror or concern."
"I have this moment in my book where I talk about how I started attaching “S” to “LGBTQ” partly because being single does feel like a sexual minority category."