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Happily Unmarried


Q
What is the downside of deciding to stay single?

A:  Single people run into two kinds of problems. The first is a social one: Our culture assumes that marriage is the ideal for all people, so if you're not married, there's sometimes a sense of failure or inadequacy. The other problem is a legal one. Marital status discrimination is still incredibly common. Since our legal system says a family is anyone related by blood, marriage, or adoption, often unmarried people and families are left out in the cold. This affects unmarried people in every area where families come into contact with the law: housing, employment, immigration, insurance, taxes, and more. Even the word "single" causes confusion. "Single" makes it sound like people are alone. In truth, unmarried people are families, too. Many have children, partners, or friends who are "families of choice." Even people who live alone are connected to families. It's a real mistake to think of singles as something separate from family life.

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