Single at Heart: The World’s Most Joyful and Unapologetic Single People

For these people, single life is their best life. Here’s what we know about them.

Bella DePaulo
Fourth Wave
Published in
5 min readDec 17, 2020

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Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

If living single is your first choice, if it is how you live your most authentic and meaningful life, you are probably single at heart. People who are single-at-heart are not single because they have not found The One, because they are unlucky in love, or because they have issues. They are single because single suits them. It is who they really are.

You may be single-at-heart even if you are in a romantic relationship, and even if you are married. Maybe you got into the relationship because it was what you thought you were supposed to do — who ever heard of single-at-heart anyway? — and now you want to honor the commitment you made. Or maybe your relationship is not a very conventional one, and leaves room for your single-at-heart inclinations. People who are single at heart are far more likely to be solo single people than coupled, but I use the term single “at heart” to let in some people who have romantic partners. (I had to be persuaded.)

My wish for the single-at-heart is that you can live your best life, without apology. If living single is not feasible for you, for whatever reason, then I hope you can find ways to nurture your single-at-heart self, whatever your relationship status.

I am currently writing a book about people who are single at heart. In it, I will describe the results based on more than 8,000 people from over 100 nations who completed the online single-at-heart survey. (They are not a representative sample, just those who learned about the survey and decided to log on and answer the questions.)

Previously, at my blog at Psych Central, I reported the findings based on the responses of the first 1,200 people who completed the survey. Because it will be a while before my book is published with the more up-to-date analyses, I want to share my preliminary findings here. Not all single-at-heart types share all of these interests and qualities — and there are a few others I will report in my book as well — but if you are single-at-heart, you will see yourself in at least some of them.

Characteristics of People Who are

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Bella DePaulo
Fourth Wave

“America’s foremost thinker and writer on the single experience,” according to the Atlantic. SINGLE AT HEART book coming on Dec 5, 2023. www.belladepaulo.com