Taylor Swift Mom Talks sad reason why daughter Might not Marry Boyfriend Travis Kelce

As a behavioral economist and lifelong bachelor, I should no longer be surprised by how comfortable married people are telling single people how to live. Among elsewhere, this unsolicited advice can be found on high-profile opinion pages, with an array of articles advising singles to marry sooner rather than later in order to live a more fulfilling life.

A recent Deseret News op-ed urged 34-year-old Taylor Swift, currently dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, to get married. According to this piece, Swift could then find stability and contentment, diverging from a path of serial monogamy and public heartbreaks (often referenced in her lyrics). And by marrying now, she would improve her chances to have kids, something the pop star has acknowledged as a potential goal.

When I was 34, I threw myself a bachelor party as a new professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Fifteen friends visited my new home for a weekend of hiking, poker, wiffleball, tailgating and the obligatory bar crawl.

There was just one hitch: I wasn’t getting hitched.

Instead, after a recent “near miss,” I began to doubt that matrimony was the right path for me. I thought, Who gets to decide that you need to get married in order to celebrate your singlehood?

And there is a lot of singlehood to be celebrated.

In the United States, 50% of adults are unmarried, 28% live alone, and Pew Research projects that by the time they reach middle age, as many as 25% of millennials WILL never marry. Pew also reports that 50% of single adults in the United States are not actively looking for sex or romance. Their temporary or permanent disinterest in love or lust is varied and revealing. Forty-four percent simply enjoy being single, and 47% have other life priorities taking precedence. Like Swift, they may be making art, building a business or both.

I don’t know Taylor Swift, nor do I know most of the 127 million unmarried adults in the United States. Yet I contend that the former serves as a powerful, positive role model for the latter — especially young women. By all the evidence, Swift is resilient, creative and courageously embracing her wholeheartedness, whether dating or not.

Going Solo
Taylor Swift appears to exemplify a subset of singles that I call “Solos” — distinct from the kind of person who feels incomplete until they someday find “the one.”

Solos are wholehearted and celebrate their autonomy while remaining connected to friends, family and community. They think unconventionally about relationships, and about life in general. These perspectives challenge traditional notions of singlehood, offering an empowering alternative to waiting, sometimes hopelessly, for Mr. or Ms. Right to come along.

Solos may welcome romance — for example, making plans to spend a cozy holiday season together in their beau’s new $6 million Kansas City mansion. Solos, however, do not feel incomplete in the meantime. Swift seems not to be one of those people who drop their friends every time a boy comes along. She is dedicated to her girl gang — as the almost nonstop coverage of her nights out with her female friends shows — and her community of Swifties.