Relationships are fun, but if you want to live your best life, you’re better off being single. Yes, really. Whether you’re happily solo or waiting impatiently for the love of your life, take a look at what science says about people who haven’t found “The One” just yet.
If you’re convinced that you’re going to die alone, good news: it’ll probably be a long while until that happens. A study by the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that women who have never been married are healthier than married women, reporting fewer visits to the doctor’s, fewer bed disability days, and better personally ranked health. Even though weight doesn’t necessarily indicate health status, married women also gained more weight and had a higher BMI than their single counterparts.
They have a better social life.
The stereotype of a single woman holing herself up alone in her apartment with only her cat and her books to keep her company is scientifically inaccurate, according to a study by the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships. Single people are more likely to give and receive help and reach out more to their social networks than married people. If you feel like your coupled-up friends have dropped off the face of the Earth, well, this proves they’re not the only ones.
They’re more giving.
Psychology Today lists multiple studies that seem to show that single people are more generous with time, attention, and money than those who are married. Men who were both forever-single and divorced gave their friends an average of over $1,000 more than married men did. Plus, both single men and single women were more likely to help their parents than married people were.
They’re more financially responsible.
If you’ve got big dreams to travel the world, buy your dream home, or just pamper yourself on a daily basis, you’re better off staying single. Debt.org reports that 27% of married couples without children and 36% of married couples with children had credit card debt. However, only 21% of single people had debt to pay off on their credit cards.
They have better sex lives.
You’d think that being in a committed relationship with someone would mean consistent sex, but a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests otherwise. The study revealed that on average, Americans have having sex nine fewer times per year in the 2010s than we were in the ’90s. However, the sexual frequency among single people stayed the same and went down for married couples.
They’re less materialistic.
Whether they know it’s because money can’t buy happiness or they don’t have to worry about paying off their credit card debt, single people don’t fret about their earnings as much as married people do. Research published by SAGE Journals shows that working married people place more importance on pay and less satisfied with their financial situation than those who’ve never been married. Single people were more likely to prioritize the other options, which included “no danger of being fired,” available free time, opportunities for advancement, and getting a sense of accomplishment from their work. Money is important to everyone, but since single people don’t have to worry about a partner, they can focus on other perks of employment as well.
They’re more (happily) independent.
Whether you end up “forever alone” or happily married is unlikely to have an effect on how happy you are, according to another study published by SAGE Journals. Research showed that there was no difference between married and always-single people in terms of the support they felt from their friends, how self-sufficient they were, and whether they felt they could do anything they put their mind to. However, the subjects who had always been single were more likely to gain satisfaction from self-sufficiency, whereas married subjects were more likely to feel negatively about having to solve their own problems.
They’re more likely to grow as people.
There’s a reason you might’ve felt like you’ve developed more into your true self during your single years. A study published by the Journal of Family Issues reports that although marriage was beneficial to subjects’ autonomy and personal growth, single people were still more likely to perceive learning and new life experiences in a positive light.
They’re in better shape.
If you’ve got big fitness goals that involve running a marathon or just beating your PR, you’re more likely to do it while you’re single. The Journal of Marriage and Family conducted a study to discover who really exercises more, and the results are clearly in favor of singles. Single men worked out for an average of three minutes longer over the course of two weeks than married men, and single women exercised for over a minute more than their married counterparts. It seems as though there’s at least some truth behind the term “settling down.”
They drink less.
Single people have a reputation for going out and getting drunk all the time, but according to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it’s the married people who are more likely to enjoy a few too many. The study (which, to be fair, only included female subjects) found that married women were more likely to consume more alcohol than single women. Whether it’s because they’re drinking away their problems or just enjoying happy hour with their spouses remains to be seen, but it’s a good statistic to keep in mind when you worry that you enjoy brunch mimosas with your BFFs a little too often.
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