September 21, 2011

Are Singles and Marrieds Treated Differently?

With the buzz of National Singles Week, there's been a bit of talk over the last few days about whether single people are treated differently than married people.
What do you think??

I'd agree that they are. Not so much for the reasons that are listed here in this story....

I mostly noticed that singles and their married counterparts were treated differently in the workplace. There are liberties married people get - especially those with kids at home. I felt as if there were higher expectations from me. I needed to work more, to work harder, and to pick up the slack where my married counterparts couldn't. I can remember thinking that I would always get the late night phone calls from the newsroom when they needed a last-minute replacement.

But here's the thing. Even though I knew there was a difference and it frustrated me, I also totally supported it. You know that old saying that "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well I saw myself as part of that village. By taking the burden off of the dads in the newsroom, I was helping them with their kids. And I also believe in karma. So someday, maybe I'll reep the same sort of help when I have kids who need to be picked up from soccer and the only person to bail me out is one of my single friends.

Plus, I think married people would also argue that they're treated differently. I mean, for some reason I feel like people might think I'm less likely to stay out late on a weeknight just because I'm married. Or that I've somehow become boring and less adventurous. But I beg to differ, because I feel like marriage has been one of the more crazy/fun/exciting adventures I've taken on.

What do you think? Is there such thing as "single-ism?" Is there a difference in the way people are treated? Should there be?

1 comment:

Ruthie said...


I just read "Singled Out" by Bella dePaulo. It gave me a lot to think about; especially some ideas on how to view statistics and research results differently.

I do think singlism does exist. I'm lucky that I haven't experienced it at work that much. I've experienced it more by getting unsolicited advice or consolation about being single from married people -- when I haven't even hinted at being depressed about being single! I also have noticed it when people seem so shock that I went somewhere or did something by myself. I find that more amusing than anything. It makes me wonder what a person would actually do in a life where they didn't want to go anywhere alone -- they'd spend a lot of time waiting for someone to share their same interest and I'm not a wait-around type of person!

My feelings about being single vs married are no longer really about married being better than single. It's more about are the individual people happy with their life decisions? If they are happy being married to who they are with or if they are happy on their own -- than that is really what matters most.

So I think we should have a week or a year that celebrates and honors people being genuine and true to themselves -- no matter what that looks like! Single or married or partnered --- just be who you are! And let's celebrate the people who decide they want to change and do something proactive to bring that change into their lives! Those stories are the inspiring ones -- of courage, honesty, and the willingness to listen to their hearts!

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