Back in 2016, when I was first discovering the world of Singles Studies, I conducted an April Fool’s experiment on Facebook where I changed my relationship status to “In a Relationship.” It received 90 likes, most of whom I hadn’t tipped off about my plan to use this as an April Fool’s joke, so I assumed most of them were genuine. I then compared them with the 40 I received for an article I published in an academic journal, 40 I obtained when I found out I was recruited to teach an SAT Prep course in Malaysia for a week and a half, and 113 for when received my Ph.D., which was 23 more likes than the relationship status change, but when you consider it, only 1% of the United States population has received a Ph.D, while being in a relationship the majority of the world has done, so 23 extra likes is fairly small. Ultimately, it proved my hypothesis, which is the world values romance more so than professional accomplishments.
In the last six years, I’ve met a lot of new people, so I thought it would be fun to replicate this experiment. This time, the reactions were markedly different. This time I got 25 “laughs,” 14 “likes”, and 1 “love,” and that “love” came from a person who commented with a GIF that read “April Fool’s.” Four comments referred to my cat/son Chester, one had a GIF of a cat winking, and another even said, “Cats don’t count!” to which I disagree.
In short, the experiment failed. But Sylvia, one of my fellow CoSPers, that I’ve become more vocal about my single status and love of it over the past six years, so people know better than to come at it with singlist or matrimaniacal comments (even if they’re thinking them).
And that leads me to a point. Confidence is key when you live an unconventional lifestyle. And it applies everywhere. Dating “gurus” will tell you that if you approach someone with confidence, they’re more likely to be attracted to you. Interview experts recommend confidence in an interview, because that attracts an employer. The simple principle applies to be single, whether you’re single by choice, by circumstance, or some measure of both. It comes naturally to a lot of people, and others have to learn it. In some cases, we have to deprogram ourselves from the conditioning that marriage is the path to happiness. And while government, the media, and everyday life continues to give us that message, this skill will be needed.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.