Single in a Pandemic: 18 Reflections at the 1-Year Mark

There is no one story of what it means to be single during a pandemic. Here are 18 accounts.

Bella DePaulo
15 min readApr 2, 2021


Amy Martin with her dog, Chloe. Photo by Amy Martin

Some single people have been having a hard time during the pandemic. I get that. But I also became frustrated with the stories in the media that seemed to suggest that all single people have felt devastated during the past year. So I set out to collect other kinds of pandemic stories and write a few of my own (here and here).

When I asked single people to share their stories with me, they were very generous, often responding in great detail. I’m relating just snippets of what 18 people told me — enough, I hope, to give you a sense of their thoughtfulness and of the many ways that single life has been experienced during the pandemic that are not wholly negative.

I’m identifying the contributors in the ways they described themselves. That’s why there is variation in whether their real name or full name is used, whether there is a title or a reference to sexual orientation or gender identity, whether there is a picture, and the specificity of the place where they live. I thank all of them for sharing their experiences.

1. Alice

2. Sonya Ashby

3. Paula Baker

4. Jennifer Breckner

5. Mary L. Calhoun

6. Canada

7. Dr. Ketaki Chowkhani

8. Jennifer Fields

9. Natassia Gopaul

10. Evan Hoppin

11. Crystal Legacy

12. Kris Marsh

13. Amy Martin

14. Elizabeth Silverstein

15. Steve Thomasson

16. Carla Watkins

17. West Coast

18. Craig Wynne


Economist, 37 years old; Australia

“All I can say is, thank God for 2020. It has taught me so many things about myself, my life, my preferences … and for the first time in 37 years, I feel at peace.

“I am single and have never been in a…



Bella DePaulo

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