Ask Kate Bolick Anything: Marriage Envy?

In today’s video, Kate explains what effect being a proponent of singlehood has had on her dating life, as well as what she envies about the lives of her married friends and family:

Kate is currently working on her first book, Among the Suitors: On Being a Woman, Alone, to be published next year by Crown/Random House. She is also a contributing editor for The Atlantic and writes regularly for ElleThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Slate. Her 2011 Atlantic cover story, “All the Single Ladies”, addressed why more and more women are choosing, as she has, not to get married. The Dish debated the piece here and here. A reader responds to the first AA video we aired of Kate:

In my experience, Bolick is completely wrong.  The idea that friends will fill in the gaps where a spouse or family used to be is nonsense.

Outside of spouses and children, who are most likely to feel a bond and an obligation, there are very, very few relationships that oblige someone to go through the sorrow and exhaustion of caregiving that often goes on for years, with no end in sight.  And if Kate believes that home healthcare workers and aides work well without constant family supervision, then she’s clearly got no experience related to this topic. Anyone who has put a loved one in a home or been their healthcare proxy while in the hospital knows damn well the system doesn’t work well when no one is watching out for the patient besides those in the system.  It requires constant strategizing and supervision.

The caregiving that is needed isn’t anywhere on its way to materializing for the single people among us. I just went through the wringer as the primary caregiver for my sister who passed away in April. She was 50 and unmarried. If not for me, there would have been no one to look after her and she would have been warehoused in a nursing home until she passed away. Maybe she would have gotten the same level of care without someone looking out for her (which I do doubt), but who would have held her hand and sat by her side?

I am also not married, but I’m terrified about what will happen to me later in life without children to look after me.