Living single

for The Brooklyn Paper
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One is more like a singular sensation than the loneliest number these days.

At least that’s what sociology superstar Eric Klinenberg argues in his new book, “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” Klinenberg will be joined by authors Kate Bolick and Daniel Smith for a booze-fueled discussion of the single life, co-sponsored by N+1 Magazine at powerHouse Arena on March 6, fittingly called, Singles Going Steady.

“Living alone is the biggest social change in the last 50 years that we’ve failed to name or identify,” said Klinenberg. “I came to see the rise of living alone as this incredible social experiment, and one that was far more interesting than we typically believe.”

Klinenberg became interested in the topic of living alone while working on a book about a particularly brutal heat wave in Chicago, and how seniors living on their own fared in the harsh weather. In his research, he discovered that, in fact, living alone is now as much a symbol of agency and economic stability than it is a by-product of so-called spinsterhood.

Similarly, Kate Bolick, who penned a cover story in the Atlantic Monthly last year about living alone as a symbol of changing social mores that include an increasingly older average marrying age, and economic status of women, believes that snagging a one-bedroom apartment is more liberating now than it’s ever been.

“It was an eye-opening process to try and wrap my eye around this large, multi-faceted conversation about our moment,” Bolick said. Bolick attributes the rise of feminism and the knowledge economy, to which women are typically better suited than men, and increasing educational opportunities and higher wages for women in the workforce as driving factors of the vast numbers of women choosing to stay single. “It’s brought us to a place that nobody anticipated.”

Singles Going Steady at powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. between Water and Front streets in DUMBO, (718) 230-4530]. For info, visit

Updated 5:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jacqui from Gowanus says:
Living alone is wonderful for too many reasons to write about.
March 2, 2012, 11:06 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
a narcissist daisychain!
March 2, 2012, 11:30 am
Jinx from bk says:
water your ferns and pet your cats lonely people
March 2, 2012, 12:02 pm
Daniel Power from Dumbo says:
Come to the event and say that! Get out of the house and meet people, see the cityscape, and maybe....
March 2, 2012, 11:29 pm
seen it all from downtown says:
March 3, 2012, 12:22 am
seen it all from downtown says:
Very sad story, as you get older and freinds fade, life becomes a dim lonley room, it will happen ,only your youth wont let you beleive it .
March 3, 2012, 12:24 am
jinx from bk says:
John Griffin "We drink for different reasons as we grow older. Young people drink because they think life is awesome. Old people drink because they know it's not. And because we hate young people" haha
March 3, 2012, 1:44 pm
jinx from bk says:
Nick Griffin actually!
March 3, 2012, 1:47 pm
KimCalvert from Los Angeles says:
In 2008, I launched Singular, a glossy print magazine with an affiliated social networking community at

When we first arrived on the scene, we received hundreds of letters, some handwritten, from people who were overjoyed and grateful to finally have a magazine and website that brought a fresh, realistic view of what it means to be single (rather than the usual negative stereotypes that range from desperate dater, to cat lady eccentric, to wild hedonist).

It's been a long, hard slog because old ideas die hard, but with books like “Going Solo” and the fact that we singles are now half of the population, singles are finally being accepted as normal people who just happen to be doing life as sole proprietors. Hallelujah!
March 3, 2012, 2:23 pm

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