Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

The Top 21 Myths about Couples

While I’m spending some time with baby Jackson, I’ll be posting an occasional re-run column. This one originally ran on April 13, 2011.

The Huffington Post published a particularly whiny article called “The Top 10 Myths About Single People,” written by a woman who blogs about the single life. Well, she’s got a word or two — or 1,000 — for those of us who basically dare to act happy if we happen to not be single, because obviously all we’re really trying to do is rub our single friends’ noses in it. How dare we! Well, we coupled people have a few myths about us we aren’t all that pleased about and it’s time we shed some light on them and set the record straight once and for all. So, after the jump, twenty-one myths about couples that simply are not true.


1. We feel sorry for people who eat alone in restaurants.

2. We all shop at Pottery Barn.

3. We are obsessed with setting up all our single friends with each other.

4. We love sticking our hands in the back pockets of our partners when we’re walking down the street.

5. We all secretly wish we could sleep with someone else.

6. We all want to have babies. Lots and lots of babies!

7. We love planning our weddings. We love everything wedding-related because it reminds us how lucky we are to be a COUPLE!

8. We love listening to Sade and drinking wine by a fire.

9. We think little B&Bs upstate make the best weekend getaways!

10. Everything we do together in public is to annoy everyone who’s single! Annoying single people is one of our greatest thrills.

11. One of our other greatest thrills is taking photos of ourselves on vacation and posting them on Facebook. It’s even better than the actual vacations because it makes people jealous, and making people jealous IS FUN.

12. If we’re married, we never have sex.

13. If we’re living together in sin, we have sex all the time.

14. We think it’s really adorable when we share our food in public.

15. We hated being single.

16. In hetero relationships, the man always drinks too much beer and the woman always worries about her weight, and they always fight over money.

17. In gay relationships, there’s always a “man” and a “woman” and they always fight over who’s wearing whose shirt.

18. We like playing board games. With other couples!

19. We think going to the bars is something only single people should do.

20. We think we’re entitled to a “happily ever after” and you’re not.

21. The toilet seat is always an issue. Always.

120 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JK April 13, 2011, 9:08 am

    Ouch….

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  • avatar

    NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 9:28 am

    I love 21. The toilet seat is never an issue with my hubby – but when other men come over to visit or relatives it’s ALWAYS a problem. I never thought I’d get cranky about it – but I think having to deal with either a) overspray or b) always dealing with the toilet seat would be deal breakers!

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    • avatar

      MissDre April 13, 2011, 9:41 am

      We’re so lucky, I never have toilet seat issues with my guy either!

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    • avatar

      TheGirl April 13, 2011, 11:24 am

      Same here! My hubby and I are both strict LID DOWN kinda people (as opposed to just seat down), but single guy friends come over and half of them can’t even remember to FLUSH, let alone put the seat or lid down. Leave it the way you found it, people!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 November 3, 2011, 4:14 pm

        That’s the thing, you’ve been spoiled so now when other guys come over you are just not use to it anymore! Haha

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    • avatar

      lemongrass April 13, 2011, 11:27 am

      same!

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    • avatar

      Maracuya April 13, 2011, 12:17 pm

      I always put the lid down, but nobody else I know does. Anyway, I thought #21 related to the seat. 🙂 My boyfriend is always perfect in that regard.

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      • avatar

        NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 12:21 pm

        well you’ve clearly found some lid-down friends on DearWendy!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 13, 2011, 12:26 pm

        This makes me happy. Lid down all the way. It’s good feng-shui!

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      • avatar

        sarita_f April 13, 2011, 1:40 pm

        TOTALLY LID DOWN!!!!!!!!!! It’s only fair that we BOTH have to open and close something on the toilet. Also, I have a small bathroom so there’s counter space near the toilet – I don’t want to have to fish stuff out of there.

        Oh, and is this actually addressed in Feng-Shui?

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      • avatar

        Maracuya April 13, 2011, 1:52 pm

        I don’t remember where I read it, but it actually is supposed to be. Google proof?: http://www.lucky-feng-shui-for-life-and-love.com/Feng-shui-bathroom.html

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      • avatar

        Britannia November 3, 2011, 3:41 pm

        It is, because according to Feng-Shui, leaving a toilet lid up will let your metaphorical positive energy “go down the drain”.

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      • avatar

        oppositeofzen November 3, 2011, 4:29 pm

        Bad pun! 🙂

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      • avatar

        Britannia November 3, 2011, 5:21 pm

        Seriously, I read that somewhere. DID NOT make it up on my own!

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      • avatar

        oppositeofzen November 4, 2011, 1:45 pm

        I saw that, but I don’t think that makes it any less bad. 🙂

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      • avatar

        LSS86 November 3, 2011, 5:27 pm

        I’m totally a lid-down person. It started when I first got kittens because I was afraid they’d manage to get in and not be able to get out. But it’s great, because I’m so clumsy and would drop things in the toilet waaaaaaay too often.

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      • avatar

        TheGirl April 13, 2011, 1:48 pm

        Putting the lid down is just good hygiene.

        Per Dr. Charles Gerba at the University of Arizona:
        “If you flush with the lid up, a polluted plume of bacteria and water vapour erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl. The polluted water particles float for a few hours around your bathroom before they all land. Some of them will land on your tooth brush.”

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      • avatar

        Amy April 13, 2011, 1:56 pm

        Oooh – Gross.

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      • avatar

        NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 1:59 pm

        yeah it always gives me the willies when I think about toilets. I also get grossed out at the toilet paper in public bathrooms. Since obvs there is back spray there. I just try not to think about it when I am in a public bathroom. haha.

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      • avatar

        Britannia November 3, 2011, 3:42 pm

        It’s true. I hate leaving the lid up anywhere… and in public restrooms, I literally hit the flusher and then RUN out of the stall. Icky.

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    • avatar

      Meaghan November 3, 2011, 3:36 pm

      My husband does it to irritate me every once in a while. Sometimes he even couples it with the “not replacing the toilet paper” trick.

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      • avatar

        Britannia November 3, 2011, 3:42 pm

        I respond to the “not replacing the toilet paper” trick with the “put the empty tubes inside his shoes” trick.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl November 3, 2011, 3:46 pm

        *takes notes*

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie November 3, 2011, 11:41 pm

      I thank my lucky stars that in our 23 years together the lid has never been an issue. We just just put it up or down as required. There are many other things that are far more important.

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans April 13, 2011, 9:35 am

    hahahaha. nicely done.

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  • avatar

    honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 9:38 am

    Haha I love this list 🙂 My favorite is #10. We have actually had someone tell us that our “behavior” was annoying them. We were walking down the street and happened to be holding hands.
    And I don’t think I’ve EVER shopped at Pottery Barn.

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    • avatar

      honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 9:41 am

      Oh and to add a #22 (in response to the Myths About Single People article)
      #22 – We all give up our passions when we become “coupled”
      (The author says “We love pursuing our passions.” like its something married people/”coupled” people don’t love or do).

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com April 13, 2011, 11:29 am

        Yes, that was one of the lines that irritated me the most too!

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      • avatar

        Samantha November 3, 2011, 3:28 pm

        Bella DePaolo, the “Singles Myths” article writer, doesn’t seem to understand that what she values is independence, not the single life. Her writing is just as discriminatory to those who choose coupling as she claims the world is toward single people. The only legitimate claim she ever makes is regarding the lack of benefits and tax breaks geared toward singles, and the problem with social security. But she proposes no viable solutions, and she often fails to make her point. I follow her blog on Psychology Today pretty regularly, and I think she has a really unhealthy, bordering on unbalanced, view of the value of romantic relationships.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey April 13, 2011, 9:39 am

    Haha! Let’s be honest…I kind of WISH I could shop at Pottery Barn 24/7, but my boyfriend would die before setting foot in one.

    Also am kind of guilty of #3, but only once! I recently orchestrated a set up of my best friend with one of my boyfriend’s close friends because I had a feeling they’d hit it off, and they absolutely did! I like to think Patti Stanger would have been proud…

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy April 13, 2011, 9:45 am

      A lot of us are guilty of some of these, but I’d say it safe to say that not all couples are guilty of all of them!

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey April 13, 2011, 9:54 am

        Agreed! I definitely think there’s a misconception that if we do something like set up a friend or show a little PDA once in a while, it means we’re *obsessed* with those things and do it all the time, just to annoy the single population. When I was single, I didn’t take offense to coupledom… I LOVED being single!

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      • rawkmys0cks

        SarahB November 4, 2011, 10:02 am

        Hey, I’m single and I recently set up two of my friends 🙂 They are in love and I’m so happy for them!

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  • avatar

    callmehobo April 13, 2011, 9:54 am

    I have a single friend that is like the writer of the Huffington Post piece. Everytime we hang out in a group and me and my bf happen to be sitting next to each other or holding hands, she’ll announce how “nauseating” it is. I mean, we’re not making out- we’re SITTING next to each other. Lighten up. I swear we aren’t together just to make you miserable….

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    • avatar

      Maracuya April 13, 2011, 10:26 am

      Your friend obviously just read this post and gave it the purple thumb. It seems a tad rude to call your friends nauseating.

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    • avatar

      DebMoore November 4, 2011, 5:13 pm

      Or we get told to “get a room” (when we are sitting next to each other holding hands) but people stopped doing that to us when we’d reply “Ok” and then leave the room!

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary April 13, 2011, 9:55 am

    I love this list! Especially number 15. Sometimes my single friends can be really snarky about me being happy and in love, and then I remind them that although I love my relationship, I had so much fun being single and they should enjoy it!! And yeh, number 5 is definitely not true. If you wish you could sleep with someone else then you break up…

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    • avatar

      Jess April 13, 2011, 11:49 am

      “If you wish you could sleep with someone else then you break up…”

      not always! i hvae a crush on a man in one of my classes, however, i limit this crush to just the *occassional* fantasy. When I’m not in the class I totally forget about him, but you know, sometimes i *do* wish I could sleep with him!

      I love my boyfriend though so that is a crush where nothing will ever ever happen!

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    • avatar

      Allie April 13, 2011, 2:02 pm

      There’s a big difference between having a work/school crush and a little bit of fantasy versus wanting to cheat. I think Wendy meant actively wanting to sleep with someone else, as if they are sexually bored of the person they are with.

      Every man and woman in a relationship will see attractive people who they wouldn’t mind sleeping with and will probably think about it. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s human nature. The problem comes in when people start to let that consume them.

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    • avatar

      Britannia November 3, 2011, 3:46 pm

      There really is a bunch of things to enjoy about being single!

      My house is always clean… I can experiment while cooking and not have to worry about him bitching about using exotic ingredients (he was a picky eater)… I have the whole bed to myself… I don’t have to wash my sheets every 2 days because there’s no one sweating through them all the damn time… I don’t have to coordinate my schedule with his… I don’t have to share the TV… I have tons more closet space now… I have more money to spend on ME time… I can do “private grooming” without interruption…

      etc etc etc!

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph November 3, 2011, 4:38 pm

        I guess there’s also a difference between cohabitating and being in a relationship. My bf and I don’t live together, and we dont spend every night together at one of our houses. So sometimes I do get the bed to myself, or get to cook random stuff he wouldn’t eat (usually I do vegetarian meals when hes not around because to my bf dinner = meaty), we watch shows we both watch when together and I get to watch my trash (hello Sister Wives) when he’s at his own house.
        When/if we do live together, we’ll still own 2 TVs so we can still watch our crap, and I think we will still have nights where I’m working late or he’s out with his buddies so we both get to eat our own stuff, watch our own crap, etc. I think the things you list are more prevalent in couples that never take time off for themselves and live entirely inside their relationship. Relationships can be smothery, but you don’t need to swing to the “must always be single” to have these things, you just need to back it off a little bit.

        On another note, brittania I remember your letter to Wendy a few months ago about your bf. Sorry to hear you broke up (unless you’re not sorry, then I’m not either! ;-)), hopefully you’re doing alright!

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        Britannia November 3, 2011, 5:25 pm

        Oh yeah, there is. I forgot about that! A relationship without cohabitation is what sounds the best to me — you get all the love and companionship of a Sig.O without giving up your freedom and perfectly clean house 🙂 Your set-up sounds perfect!

        I haven’t been truly single in upwards of 5 years, so I’m really, really enjoying being single right now. Yeah there’s emotions and some really awful drama going on with the now-ex because he’s being a SERIOUS jackass about some very serious things, but it’ll get figured out somehow I guess and I’m very glad that it’s finally over. He tried to take over my life and manipulate me to be the woman he wanted, versus who I was. He was also kinda a gold digger, and he socially isolated me from all my friends. I’m better off without him!

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph November 3, 2011, 5:44 pm

        Sounds like it! Good for you for recognizing that. I had a boyfriend who did the same (alot of which falls into the abusive category) and I just let him keep at it for a long time, far longer than I should have.

        Congrats on your clean house and experimental cooking. My bf and I sometimes have more alone time than most couples because of my shift working- for the next 8 days I’ll be sleeping during the day and staying up all night at work (11pm to 8am) while he works regular office hours. We’ll meet occasionally for my breakfast/his dinner but I will definitely have the bed to myself. Tonight after he goes to bed, I’m staying up so I’m gonna make a meatless Spinach and cheese casserole and watch some Sister Wives!

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      • avatar

        SweetPea November 4, 2011, 9:03 am

        Meatless spinach and cheese casserole sounds awesome! I’m going to have to find a recipe for that!

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph November 5, 2011, 12:42 am

        Made it last night but haven’t tried it yet, so no promises. But it looks delicious.

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      • avatar

        Kerrycontrary November 3, 2011, 6:35 pm

        I hate the interruptions in grooming. My boyfriend and I don’t live with each other but spend weekends together. I hate when he comes in the bathroom when I’m like plucking my eyebrows or popping a pimple. I need some privacy sometimes!!

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  • avatar

    Christy April 13, 2011, 10:04 am

    Wow, that other article must have struck a nerve! I really like #15, even though it seems like there are some people who really hate(d) being single. I think a lot of these are true for me, even though I’m single. (I practically have dreams about Pottery Barn.) And I *wish* my coupled friends would set me up with someone–the work/school lesbian dating pool is quite shallow.

    And as a btw, Wendy, in #17, it should be “who’s wearing whose shirt,” not “whose wearing whose shirt.”

    Update: I just read the other article and it was definitely snippy and pretentious. She needs to get over herself! Scientific studies don’t let me know I’m happy, I do.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy April 13, 2011, 10:48 am

      Oops, thanks.

      And, yes, the article did strike a nerve. I get really tired of people asserting that there’s this deep chasm between single people and those in relationships and the reason for that chasm is couples thinking they’re better than everyone else. I’m sure some couples think that, but I’d say the overwhelming number of people who happen to be in relationships really don’t give it a second thought and certainly don’t think their lives are somehow “better” than people who aren’t in relationships.

      Besides, everyone who is currently in a relationship was single at one point – and a lot of singles were coupled at some point. I’d like to think we’re far more understanding of each other, and empathetic to whatever challenges each status poses, than that article in HuffPo suggests.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com April 13, 2011, 11:43 am

        Well said Wendy. I think there are two groups that seem to be the “problem couples” (and they’re the minority). One, the couples that met in high school and have been married so long that they literally have no concept of what it is to live on your own or navigate the dating jungle. And two, those singletons that were so insecure and so desperate to be coupled that they advertise their relationship in every possible form and manner to make sure that EVERYONE knows they aren’t single.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 13, 2011, 11:47 am

        Big YES to this.

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      • avatar

        thyme April 13, 2011, 5:36 pm

        I know people in both of those groups, and I totally agree!

        When I started dating someone new, I shared my news with a family member of mine who married his very first girlfriend at a very young age. He said, “Are you sure that’s a good idea? I mean, you’ve already had two relationships that didn’t work out, and I’d hate to see you get hurt again.” I’m such a failure! LOL

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      • avatar

        Quakergirl April 13, 2011, 6:53 pm

        “One, the couples that met in high school and have been married so long that they literally have no concept of what it is to live on your own or navigate the dating jungle.”

        Ouch…as someone in that group (not married to my h.s. sweetheart, but we have been dating since high school, through college, and now living together for a long time), I’ve gotta say that one hurt. Not all couples who happened to have met in high school are so absorbed in their own lives that they don’t have any single friends. In fact, all but one of my girlfriends are single. Just because I haven’t personally experienced the dating jungle in a long time doesn’t mean I have zero ability to conceive of their lives as single people. Actually, seeing as I’m not one of those obnoxious women who can’t be without her S.O. for more than a second, I tend to spend almost as much time with my friends as I do with my boyfriend. While I can’t say I know *exactly* how they feel, I think living through some of their dating traumas and triumphs with them at least gives me some concept of what it’s like out there these days.

        I also really resent the idea that all people in this group have no idea what it’s like to live on their own. I did, in fact, live on my own for quite some time. I was responsible for my entire existence, just like– *gasp*– a real adult! I happened to be in a relationship at the time, but it’s not like I was his child and he came over to cut up my hot dogs and fold my spiderman sheets. We saw each other some evenings and on weekends just like every other couple does. Obviously now we live together, but we have separate careers, hobbies, and friends just like we always have and just like other couples do. We’re not glued at the hip, but I do kinda like the guy, and occasionally that means you’ll see us in public together. Every once in a while, we might even say “we.” Perhaps that puts us in the problem couple camp to you, but honestly, I find the people who try to pigeonhole me as some naive, solipsistic child to be infinitely more annoying.

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR April 13, 2011, 9:45 pm

        Save me a spot by the campfire, because I’m in that “problem couple camp” with you, Quakergirl. I agree with everything you said, and just because we haven’t navigated the dating jungle doesn’t mean that our emotional development and maturity have been stunted. Just because some of us married at a relatively young age doesn’t automatically mean we started popping out babies nine months later. And just because we started dating someone before we were legally adults doesn’t mean that we are not independent, balanced individuals without an opinion of our own.

        I think what bothers me the most when people make comments like this is that they assume we are simpletons and/or that our relationships have never navigated through hard times like other couples. There are many ways to live one’s life, and to make generalizations about someone based solely on some trivial aspect is unfair.

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        SpyGlassez April 14, 2011, 1:36 am

        I think the point that was being made originally was not about people who have dated/been married since high school (I have a couple friends like that, and while they were hitched five or six years before I even started dating seriously, I never felt they pitied me or thought they should set me up with anyone). I think Jess was getting at the kind of couples who lose their identities once they are coupled up. That doesn’t sound like it was a problem for either of you, and I haven’t seen it as a problem for my friends. However, SOME people do think that couple-hood means not having separate interests; I have seen that also among friends.

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        belongsomewhere April 13, 2011, 12:32 pm

        “I’d say the overwhelming number of people who happen to be in relationships really don’t give it a second thought and certainly don’t think their lives are somehow ‘better’ than people who aren’t in relationships.”

        YES. I just happen to be in a serious relationship. It is simply a fact about my life. I am very happy to be with my SO, and he’s a big part of my life because we are in a relationship and living together, but being paired up hasn’t changed anything about the person I am, my attitude toward single people, or the way I interact with my friends (single or otherwise).

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        Bethany April 13, 2011, 3:54 pm

        I 100% agree with you!!! I’ve been with my fiance for 4 years, and I don’t think it’s changed me into one of those obnoxious “couple” people. I don’t automatically assume that he’s invitied to every single social event with me (I hate it when people just assume their bf is always invited to everything they are invited to), I don’t start every sentance with “We”.
        If you met me out at a bar or at yoga class you’d never know I was engaged unless the topic came up or you saw my ring. I am still me, except I’ve made the choice to share my life with him.

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  • avatar

    Lee April 13, 2011, 10:19 am

    Myths are just like stereotypes: they help perpetuate generalizations that distract us from who people really are individually. That said, myths and stereotypes survive because they are often based on a kernel of truth. Lots of couples DO shop at Pottery Barn, lots of couples DO feel sorry for single people, lots of couples DO want children, and quite a few people DO enjoy making others jealous.

    I recognize that a lot of myths and stereotypes are truly harmful. But they lose their power when we stop being offended by them and worry about living our lives consistent with who we are as individuals/couples/families, etc.

    As far as these myths about couples/singles go…who the heck cares if someone thinks you like B&Bs or have lots of sex? We all have better things to worry about.

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    • avatar

      cdj0815 April 13, 2011, 11:57 am

      Tell’em Lee! I hardly ever read these articles because even if some parts of the article may be true, it does not mean this always true. Anyway, whether we are in a relationship or not, at some point in life, we will or have been alone. Either way I look at it as a “learnging period” or “growth” to becoming better people. Depending on the mindset.

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  • avatar

    Meaghan Self April 13, 2011, 10:27 am

    I love putting my hand in my bf’s pocket. His tush is too good to pass up 😛

    Not saying I’m trying to burrow my hand in his rear, but I do love a good squeeze especially if he gives me one back! Let’s me know we both can’t wait to get home to each other. Not at funerals though. Totally not grope friendly.

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    kamsgirl April 13, 2011, 10:27 am

    Wow, how disappointing. Your post today strikes me as really unnecessary. I just read the Huffington Post article and I don’t see where that woman is putting down couples who “dare to act happy.” She is a social scientist and seems to be trying to “unspin” the “spin” that she believes is put on the research that gets published in the mainstream media. And as we all know, once something hits CNN or FOX or Google News or any other outlet it is taken by the majority of uninformed individuals as the god-honest truth whether it is or not, especially if it is based on “research.” Her list is reflective of the many advice articles and self-help stuff you see aimed at single people that liberally quote from the “research” results. No where did I interpret anything as a put-down to married people or couples. And, honestly, as a long-time single person I have to agree with many of her points, esp. with #10 on her list about the inequities of benefits between married vs. single people.

    That is just my opinion but flame away and hit that purple thumbs down everyone…

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      Kerrycontrary April 13, 2011, 10:37 am

      I don’t think Wendy’s post is unnecessary, but I do agree that the other woman’s article is a nice addition to other articles which spin “research” results for their own benefit. Much scientific research is used liberally, especially on the internet, and I appreciated how the other article(the one Wendy is responding to) actually interprets these results in a scientific manner. On the other hand…I think that Wendy’s article is supposed to be fun and you are taking it a little too seriously.

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      • avatar

        NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 10:51 am

        I think a lot of folks are taking it too seriously. I’m surprised at all the thumbs downs at seemingly innocent comments! And apparently some ladies must like toilet seats being up b/c I got thumbed downed too! 😉

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        MissDre April 13, 2011, 11:05 am

        To all you females out there who like looking at a gaping toilet bowl, no judgment! NolaGirl and I just like to keep a lid on things 😛

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        NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 11:20 am

        LOL, Miss Dre – my husband started it because he didn’t like his dog drinking out of the toilet. He was the first man I officially lived with so I don’t really know any better! He and his dog came pre-trained!

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        maynard April 13, 2011, 11:22 am

        ha- my ex had to train ME to but the toilet LID down when I moved in with him to keep his dog out. So the only “fighting about the toilet seat” we did was initated by him

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        NolaGirl April 13, 2011, 11:27 am

        same here! I only realized I like it that way when we’d have company over and men would leave the toilet seat AND lid up and I’d go in and it’d be a shock! I find it pretty funny all in all. And no, I have never fallen in a toilet, though I did have a roommate in college who did, and got stuck. No lie. It was hilarious.

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        MissDre April 13, 2011, 2:10 pm

        My bf leaves the lid/seat up in his own house, but I think that’s because it’s 2 men living there. He always puts the seat down in my place. I asked him once if he could please put the lid down too, since it looks much nicer. And ever since then, he always does!

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        Kate April 13, 2011, 10:55 am

        There is also the aspect of how “scientific” any social science research really is…

        I agree that unless you are reading a peer reviewed paper, proceed with caution on someone else’s interpretation. Especially on the Huffington Post. Or FoxNews, et al.

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      baby.blanka April 13, 2011, 10:37 am

      I think #10 on the original list just depends on your situation. In my family, the single cousins generally get more because they can still live at home with their parents since it is only one person versus two, and if they need help with bills, or shopping, or whatever, it’s given to them more frequently as you are only helping one person, not two. I think that point is totally dependent on the family situation you already have.

      I’d also like to say that I don’t think the “family values” myth and the point she actually makes about money and gifts are exactly in line with each other. Family values is something that you have or do not have regardless of your relationship status – and you’d probably be looking for someone with similar values. You do get gifts when you get married but you may also get them on your birthday (single people have those!) or at a housewarming (I hear they let singles buy their own houses these days as well) or just as a pick me up from a friend. Discounts are available at gyms if you are a healthcare worker or a police officer, and if you’re a good driver you can receive discounts on insurance. None of these things are exclusive to couples minus the wedding gifts.

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      Samantha November 3, 2011, 3:32 pm

      I think part of it comes from looking at Bella DePaolo’s whole body of work. You’re right on – she does a really good job interpreting results more factually than Fox News or CNN, but she also does a really good job of skewing them in favor of proving discrimination as well. Not necessarily just in this article, but in general through her work fighting what she perceives as discrimination. I think Wendy’s post is funny, not necessarily a serious rebuttal, and should probably just be taken with a grain of salt and a smile.

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      CG November 3, 2011, 3:16 pm

      ITA! I think Wendy was going for funny and just came off as defensive. Although part of me is cynical and thinks she just threw this up because she knew it would get a ton of comments and needs to increase traffic to her site for payment and stuff. Which makes me part of the problem since I’m commenting on it. 🙂

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    spaceboy761 April 13, 2011, 10:55 am

    @#18

    Single or not, anybody who f’s with my Scrabble night gets a crack in the mouth.

    >>>QZJX 4 LIFE<<<

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      Woman of Words April 13, 2011, 11:00 am

      My kinda guy… 😉

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  • Heather

    Heather April 13, 2011, 11:03 am

    How is Wendy’s list any more unnecessary than Bella DePaulo’s list?
    I never assumed, like, any of these myths about single people. If you’re single, you either don’t want to be or haven’t found the right person. End of story.

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    • Heather

      Heather April 13, 2011, 3:06 pm

      I meant to say that if you’re single, you either WANT TO BE or haven’t found the right person yet. my bad!

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    maynard April 13, 2011, 11:14 am

    Wow. No clue why people are so worked up over this.

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    Elle April 13, 2011, 11:18 am

    #3 is so not true for my coupled friends!!! They’re completely oblivious to my plight :).
    Guess they’re so happy together and I’m not complaining enough.
    One of my married friends is actually giving me advice on how to date. How about you set me up, sister? I so wouldn’t mind haha

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    RMM0278 April 13, 2011, 11:23 am

    I won’t lie. Dating sucks. It just does. That said, there are a lot of things I liked about being single, but most times it wasn’t totally amazing. (NOTE: I did not say that being single sucks. It, like coupledom, is what you make of it — good OR bad.)

    I agree with both Wendy and the original HuffPost writer though. When I was single, I do remember feeling left out of certain things. I always hated sitting on the end of the table because all the couples sat together. I hated that I never had a date to bring to a wedding. I hated that no one would dance with me at said wedding. I also remember trying to sit next to my friends who would automatically get up and go sit next to their SO somewhere else when the SO arrived at the event — leaving me with the impression I was gross.

    I also remember trying to be ambitious and vacationing in a tour group only to find out it was six couples and me! That was a hilarious disaster. I hated that because we were at some tropical island, but all the couples just interacted with each other. I remember staring at my dinner plate that first night. (We were supposed to change partners during activities but no one ever did — leaving me the odd girl out. THAT sucked.)

    Granted none of these things were malicious (which is where the HuffPo person gets it wrong) but they weren’t a walk in the park either.

    Now that I’m coupled I do try to be sensitive to certain things about it. I don’t bring my bf everywhere. I don’t use the pronoun “we” when I express a personal opinion. I only set up people when I asked, and I’ve yet to do it anyway. I do maintain my own independence when I can, etc.

    I firmly believe, though, that there doesn’t need to be this divide between singles and couples, especially if we stop judging each other and cease accusing everyone else of smug, malicious intentions. That’s where we all get it wrong.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com April 13, 2011, 11:45 am

      Great points, RMM0278

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      Elle April 13, 2011, 2:00 pm

      RMM0278, at least you were invited!!!
      I introduced my two guy BFFs to a couple of girls that I knew, they hit it off, and they’re still together, about a year and a half later.
      I started to see less and less of my BFFs, but I never complained. They were trying to built a relationship, and they wanted to spend as much time together as possible.

      What stung the most was that they would all go on double dates and would hide it from me. They would plan weekend getaways together, and tell me the day before… because I wanted to go out Friday night, and they couldn’t. But life goes on, I guess.

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        oppositeofzen November 4, 2011, 1:56 pm

        That’s just rude.

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    baby.blanka April 13, 2011, 10:26 am

    I think the large take away message here is that couples don’t do things just to piss off people. I have never sat with my BF trying to scheme up something to make my single friends angry, or jealous. If you do that, then being in a couple isn’t really the issue… you being a jerk is the issue.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com April 13, 2011, 11:27 am

    Wow, the original article was really disappointing. I was single for the last few years and am now happily committed in a 9 month relationship so I feel like I have a really solid grip on both sides of the fence. I think there IS a great article to be written on the myths of single women but her take was overly defensive, paranoid, and just off the mark, in my opinion.

    Wendy, your list is good although I am guilty of some. My man and I honestly love board games and play with other couples (ditto for dinner parties, video game challenges, beer/wine tastings!).

    To your list I would add:

    22. We’ve never lived on our own or had to support ourselves. And we couldn’t hack it if we tried.

    23. We don’t remember what it’s like to be single.

    24. Our female friendships aren’t as valuable or meaningful as they used to be because we put our spouse first.

    25. We share an identity with our partner (it’s not what “I” like or dislike, it’s what “we” like)

    26. We have no alone time.

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      honeybeenicki April 13, 2011, 11:47 am

      Definitely agree with your #25. While there are some things that my husband and I share, our identities are completely different. We are almost polar opposites in most things.

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        BoomChakaLaka April 13, 2011, 1:47 pm

        Yes to 25! I’m couple’d up, but it absolutely irks me when someone else who is coupled up says “we.” I knew a girl that started saying “we” after 2 weeks!

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        jena April 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

        Haha, I often say “we” when referring to my roommate(s) and I and it makes me feel super weird, just because we hang out pretty much constantly… like “What are you doing tomorrow night?” “Oh, we’re going to ….” rather than “I’m going with ….” whoops!

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        Quakergirl April 13, 2011, 7:08 pm

        I do this, but only in we-appropriate situations. For instance: “did you guys see Inception?” “Yes, we rented it this weekend.” Technically *I* went to the store and got it, but I think “we” is the better-fitting response. Or if I’ve established who I’m talking about first, then I’ll say we. E.g. if my co-worker asks how my weekend was, I’d say, “It was great. Quakerboy and I went to a new wine store to look around. We’ve been taking some wine classes recently.” Some people get find it obnoxious, I guess, but I just see it as a more stylistically preferable way to say things in English. “We” refers to two or more people, and once you’ve established who those people are, it just makes things easier. “Quakerboy and I went to a new wine store to look around. Quakerboy and I have been taking wine classes recently” just sounds awkward.

        Sometimes I’ll do it unprompted, but usually only with my mom or another couple in a context in which it’s obvious that I’m talking about my boyfriend of five and a half years, with whom I’ve lived for several. E.g. if my mom says “We tried a great bottle of wine this weekend” (clearly referring to herself and my dad), I might say “Oh, cool, we’ve been taking some wine classes recently, so send me the details and we’ll check it out. We probably should get some kind of wine rack now that we’re actually buying more than one bottle at a time.” (clearly referring to my boyfriend and I). With people who don’t actually know him, though, never. That’s just weird.

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        SpyGlassez April 14, 2011, 1:43 am

        See, I do basically everything with my roommate and best friend of 10 years (we’ve been living together since college; when my BF and I got together I made it clear to him that she and I were a package deal; she’s my sister in all but blood and the relationship with her is longer-lasting than any other in my life). So I almost ALWAYS speak in the plural (“We’ve been wanting to see that movie.”) Of course, my parents have teased me about using “the royal we” when I was talking about myself in the past, so part of it IS just me.

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    Cherry April 13, 2011, 11:39 am

    Bottom line, don’t worry about others and live your life doing what makes you happy whether you are single or not. Appreciate your singleness while you have it, enjoy your friends and freedom so when you do find that awesome person you want to settle down with you will have no regrets. Life is all about stages, and finding a healthy long term relationship and *gasp* settling down is one of them. Just enjoy it and know that no matter what you do there will be those that try to dissect the reasons of your actions, but that is their issue not yours. If you live your life and dictate your actions on what you think others are thinking or their assumptions, you are focusing on the wrong thing. Word up.

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    jottino April 13, 2011, 11:44 am

    I think another big couple myth is “Couples have to do everything together.”

    I have single friends who are surprised when I do something without my boyfriend. And I have coupled friends who can’t function without their other half. Terrible on both ends.

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    HmC April 13, 2011, 12:15 pm

    I think that people who are smug and pretentious single are going to be smug and pretentious in a couple, but most couples who come off annoying aren’t *trying* to be that way. They’re just wrapped up in each other to the expense of those around them. And if you happen to be a single person that is looking for a partner, or has recently been dumped, then seeing two people fawn all over each other is understandably gross.

    I appreciate articles like this because it opens the eyes of people who may not realize how their behavior is affecting others. It opens up a dialogue that reminds you that, if you’re in a couple, you weren’t always, and maybe you should remember how tough it was sometimes to be searching. And also remember that not everyone wants what you want! I absolutely can’t stand when people in a couple assume that all single people are miserable and try to condescendingly give dating advice or what have you. Part of finding a great partner is definitely luck, so get off your high horse! Just because you got lucky and maybe discovered something that works for you, doesn’t make you an authority on anyone else’s happiness. Enjoy what you have when you have it, whether that be a happy single life or a happy coupled life. The tables could turn at any moment and you know it.

    All that said, I don’t think Wendy (or the commenters on this site, that I’ve seen) come across as smug couples at all. That’s part of why I like this site. I’m in a relationship, and most of my friends are nowadays, but I recall how it felt to be single and looking. It wasn’t always easy, and it was sometimes lonely, but it was also exciting and enabled me to discover things about myself that helped me lay a foundation for lifelong happiness.

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  • avatar

    Andrea April 13, 2011, 1:21 pm

    HaHaHa! 🙂 I will admit that my husband and I do love us some board games, though….

    Also, soon to come: Top 10 myths about people with kids! 😉

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  • avatar

    MAC2011 April 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I tried to read “The top 10 myths about being single” and I couldn’t get through the first 3…verbal diarrhea is what i say!

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    Sarah Brown April 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

    When I was single, I spent a lot of my time hanging out with my coupled friends, sometimes even just the three of us on vacations, and I don’t recall ever feeling weird about this. Maybe because my friends didn’t make it weird, but mostly I think because we were all rational adults, and I realized that my happiness didn’t have to come at the cost of theirs. This sort of jealousy issue comes up a lot about a lot of things: blogs, friends’ success, love. Sometimes I think people forget that there’s enough love and success to go around; someone else having it isn’t going to keep you from getting yours eventually.

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  • avatar

    AKchic April 13, 2011, 3:41 pm

    2. We all shop at Pottery Barn. No Pottery Barn in Alaska. I’ve never even been in one.

    3. We are obsessed with setting up all our single friends with each other. Never set a friend up before.

    4. We love sticking our hands in the back pockets of our partners when we’re walking down the street. Seriously, who does that shit?

    5. We all secretly wish we could sleep with someone else. Really? Like who?

    6. We all want to have babies. Lots and lots of babies! I have enough “babies”, thank you!

    7. We love planning our weddings. We love everything wedding-related because it reminds us how lucky we are to be a COUPLE! NO! No weddings!

    8. We love listening to Sade and drinking wine by a fire. Who? Wine? How about a jack’n’coke by the fire.

    9. We think little B&Bs upstate make the best weekend getaways! Never been to a B&B. Alaska doesn’t exactly have an “upstate”, and well yeah… I’d rather go fishing and camp.

    10. Everything we do together in public is to annoy everyone who’s single! Annoying single people is one of our greatest thrills. I like to annoy people in general. Equal opportunity annoyer 🙂

    11. One of our other greatest thrills is taking photos of ourselves on vacation and posting them on Facebook. It’s even better than the actual vacations because it makes people jealous, and making people jealous IS FUN. I have never been on a “vacation”.

    12. If we’re married, we never have sex. Silly idea.

    13. If we’re living together in sin, we have sex all the time. I can prove that theory wrong!

    14. We think it’s really adorable when we share our food in public. I have never understood the point of treating your partner like a child and handfeeding them like a baby bird in public.

    15. We hated being single. I love being single.

    16. In hetero relationships, the man always drinks too much beer and the woman always worries about her weight, and they always fight over money. No, not always and no.

    17. In gay relationships, there’s always a “man” and a “woman” and they always fight over who’s wearing whose shirt. No, and even in some hetero relatonships there’s fights about shirts.

    18. We like playing board games. With other couples! No! Boardgames are to be played with the kids!

    19. We think going to the bars is something only single people should do. Nope. Bars exist so I can watch the drunken idiots make fools of themselves at the kareoke machine 🙂

    20. We think we’re entitled to a “happily ever after” and you’re not. No such thing.

    21. The toilet seat is always an issue. Always. Why is it an issue? I have 5 males in my home. If it’s up, I put it down, sit down and do my business. Why is this a problem? The only problem I have is when one of my kids gets lazy in the middle of the night and decides to pee on the seat or lid (sleepwalking and didn’t lift the lid).

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      Quakergirl April 13, 2011, 7:28 pm

      #17– Haha, guilty as charged. I am a chronic shirt-stealer. I’m an apprentice chocolatier, and when I run out of shirts that can be stained to wear under my chef’s coat, I steal Quakerboy’s white v-neck undershirts because, hey, if I get chocolate on them at least they can be bleached. Plus they’re coooooomfy.

      I should just buy some in the right size for myself, but I’m too lazy, which come to think of it is probably why I run out of shirts in the first place…

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      • avatar

        Meaghan November 3, 2011, 3:46 pm

        I’m a sock stealer. Just this week he dragged me to Walmart and bought me I kid you not sixty pairs of socks that are all sorts of insane colors and patterns so that I’d have no excuse to “accidentally” mistake a pair of his for mine and keep them.

        ….I’ll still steal his anyway. I have the rule that if it’s in my laundry basket it’s mine!

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    WatersEdge April 13, 2011, 4:30 pm

    “Well, I’m a social scientist, and I read those articles in the professional journals. Not what the media claims about the findings; I read the actual reports.”

    One of the big things that annoys me about this woman’s writing is her repeated reference to the fact that she read the actual studies that social scientists conducted, so she KNOWS FOR SURE exactly what she’s talking about. Ugh! BULLY FOR YOU! Maybe it’s because I’m a social scientist myself (despite being married… I guess I found time to pursue my passions somewhere in there, only God knows how, what with having all those Pottery Barn trips to make and singles to intentionally irritate with my bliss), but it’s not a huge deal that she’s read them, and reading them does not single-handedly make her an expert. How offensive. I immediately mistrust any social scientist who places herself in the role of “authority figure who knows more than you”. There’s always a personal agenda behind that stance. As any social scientist worth her salt knows, social science is VERY subjective and it takes a well-trained eye to critically disseminate research (one which, based on her dramatic and biased writing style, I sincerely doubt that she has) She has to mention the fact that she’s a social scientist who reads and conducts research at least 10 times. Whoopadeedoo, you still clearly know nothing.

    The other thing that I really hate about this article is that it appears to put down single women who may want to get married. There’s a notion that it’s shameful, antifeminist, and degrading to want to go through life using the buddy system. I personally find the buddy system to be very enriching, but I do believe that everyone should choose the lifestyle that they want and drop the animosity. All this woman’s defensive anger is bewildering at best, and rage-inducing at worst.

    In short- yuck!

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    • Heather

      Heather April 13, 2011, 6:37 pm

      I thought the exact same thing about her writing. She references all these articles. As if the ones SHE has read are right, and that’s the end all be all. I understand her frustration that some coupled people do honestly assume about single people, and the frustration that couples feel when people assume things about them. But there are a lot of people who don’t.

      I don’t assume things about any couple. I get irritated when they ACTUALLY share their food in public and try to make other people jealous with their cutsie-coupley-goop. Which many couples don’t. 🙂

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        TheGirl April 14, 2011, 11:23 am

        Totally. Offering someone a bite off your plate is one thing, spoon feeding them is another altogether. In fact, I’m actually more likely to share when I go out with my girlfriends than with my husband. Trying to grab a bite off of his plate is a good way to lose a finger…

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      Christy November 3, 2011, 7:57 pm

      You must be some social scientist if you don’t understand the value of reading the original scientific reports.

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        Christy November 3, 2011, 8:14 pm

        Sorry for that snippy comment! Let me explain: Her point with saying she’s read the real reports is that the media reports tend to be biased toward “your life will be wonderful if you’re married and terrible if you’re single!” when the actual studies are more like “married people are happy, and single people are, too.” So yeah, it’s important to get the real facts.

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    Jennifer April 14, 2011, 10:45 am

    I think the point of what Wendy wrote was don’t impose actions onto people: there’s nothing wrong with a couple who does any one of those things but it doesn’t mean all of them do. I don’t think she was judging per se couples who do each of these. It’s a lesson in not judging others.

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    missarissa April 14, 2011, 12:15 pm

    I agree with a lot of what the others said above.

    It might be nice if you also/eventually/maybe? posted a different type of “Top 20 Myths about couples” (and maybe one about singles) that addresses the other myths, the ultra positive myths that just aren’t true a lot of the time — the same corrections to the myths. That original article was crazy defensive and defintely had an Us v. Them vibe. But as someone who just had a huge, possibly relationship ending blowout with my bf of a year and a half, I know I would appreciate a list of “Top 20s Truths about couples” along the lines of — they fight, they don’t always agree about things that they’ve agreed on in the past, they aren’t “head over heels, don’t want to stop kissing IN LOVE!!!!” 100% of the time… the kind of things that make you feel like you’re failing at life if you do feel/experience them. Same thing for singles– not all singles are out there living passionately 100% of the time, having awesome non-promiscious sex at the perfect frequency… or at least I wasn’t and her article would annoyed me rather than empowered me. Maybe I’m not the only one who could use a reminder that sometimes, OTHER (single/coupled?) people sit at home eating mallomars sad that the cat food commercial with the proposal managed to make them feel bad. (I know only YOU can make you feel bad, but you know what I mean). I think that a reality check that other people who look like they have it all (on both sides of the “divide”) really don’t might be nice too. I’m sad today.

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    Red_Lady April 15, 2011, 11:37 pm

    I like this list MUCH better than the myths about single people. I couldn’t even finish reading it – it just seemed like the same whiny crap reiterated over and over. Great job Wendy!

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    bethany November 3, 2011, 3:22 pm

    I love #1. Eating at a restaurant alone is one of my favorite things to do! (and I’m not single)

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      Meaghan November 3, 2011, 3:42 pm

      Same here! You get to actually enjoy the food you’re ordering, but my husband says I’m a tad weird since I do it. Oh well, I guess we all have our little quirks, no?

      Have you ever had strangers talk to you randomly? Seems to happen to me quite often so now I bring stuff with me to look busy.

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        Bethany November 3, 2011, 9:21 pm

        I usually bring a book, or soduku or something, but for some reason that seems to draw the randoms in even more!

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      SpaceySteph November 3, 2011, 4:06 pm

      Aw ok so maybe its mean but I was at a restaurant with the bf and there was a man eating alone at one table playing with his blackberry and a woman eating alone at another table with her book.
      We commented on how we would never eat alone at restaurants and how they should sit together and not be lonely anymore.
      I guess I’m the worst stereotype of a gross single person and for that I apologize.

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    Samantha November 3, 2011, 3:33 pm

    Wendy – I had a good chuckle at #16 – I love beer, and my sig. o. tolerates it because he’s super health and diet conscious. We’re flip-flopped!

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    Meaghan November 3, 2011, 3:40 pm

    We’re doing a ceremony and reception next year since we did the court route officially, and I absolutely HATE planning this wedding. I think what I hate most is everybody putting their two cents in when I don’t even bring up the fact that I’m getting “married”. Now I avoid the topic altogether unless it’s with my husband and he’s in the same boat as me.

    Maybe we’ll just elope again! 😀

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      6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Make sure you do centerpieces that you can see over. And have an open bar; pay is tacky. Oh! and bathroom attendants are absolutely necessary. And don’t choose orange as a flower color; that is so last year.

      🙂

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      Bethany November 3, 2011, 9:22 pm

      I also hated planning my wedding! I was totally into it before I got engaged, but then when it became real, that all changed!

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  • avatar

    rangerchic November 3, 2011, 5:52 pm

    My husband and I love to play games (card games, board games, etc) with other people (couples, singles). Especially with a glass of wine or a few beers!

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    Christy November 3, 2011, 7:56 pm

    “for those of us who basically dare to act happy if we happen to not be single, because obviously all we’re really trying to do is rub our single friends’ noses in it. ”

    Obviously Wendy, you missed the point. I think everyone can recognize that there are a lot of negative stereotypes out there about single people (especially single women), and that is what Bella DePaulo’s writing is trying to stand up against. Single people don’t hate coupled people any more than coupled people hate single people, but single people also aren’t crazy if they want to stay single! Thumbs down!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy November 3, 2011, 8:12 pm

      Christy, I’d like to introduce you to two of my closest friends: Tongue and Cheek.

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        MissDre November 3, 2011, 8:16 pm

        Ha ha ha Go Wendy!

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark November 3, 2011, 8:57 pm

    Wait, other than the apt gay post — this reads more like the Top 20 Truths About Couples… 😉

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  • avatar

    Marie November 3, 2011, 10:21 pm

    How is it physically possible to walk with your hands sticking in the pockets of your S.O?

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark November 4, 2011, 12:05 am

      It’s just one hand of each, in one another’s back pockets. I actually HAVE seen people doing this a lot lately…even in LA. Ah, yes, the universe continues to mock me…

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