Yes, it’s happened again. An expert has proclaimed that single women, despite their protestations to the contrary, are completely miserable. According to Pam Spurr, an author and psychologist, single women who assert they are happy with their lives despite “their crushing loneliness and desperation” are not merely deluded, but outright lying. How does she know? Body language.
Upon talking with a woman at a party, who had every semblance of confidence, maturity and fulfillment (every semblance, that is, except for a ring on the all-important finger), the subject of sex and marriage came up. The sex therapist recounts:
“She immediately described herself as happily single. And yet her body language told another story: Chloe crossed her arms defensively over her chest until I just wanted to shout: ‘Yes my dear, now try pulling another one.’”
Hmm. You don’t suppose her body language seemed defensive because she realized she was talking to a hostile busybody eager to make snap judgments about her life on the spot and write disparagingly about her in an international newspaper, do you?
No matter. Spurr goes on to describe the single women she sees in her practice, and quotes at length on their feelings of loneliness and desperation.
Let’s focus on the source: Spurr is basing her despondent-women thesis on a) a woman she made uncomfortable at a party and b) women she sees in therapy. I would never go so far as to say that all people who go to counseling are unhappy, but generally they have something about themselves they are trying to work on — and some of the women Spurr sees think they would happier with a partner. That’s fine; it may even be true. But what about the millions of single women who don’t seek therapy — because they are perfectly satisfied with their lives?
And let’s not forget the men: Study after study has found that married men are happier, are healthier and live longer than their unmarried counterparts — so where are the articles bemoaning the plight of sad male singletons, huddled over pints with their buddies, ordering takeout in dingy apartments and haunted by generalized feelings of loneliness and despair?
Or does that just not sell?