Are you tired of going on disastrous dates and watching all your friends pair off while all you can think about is how likely it seems that you’ll die alone? When you’re single and looking, it can be hard to appreciate how good you actually have it. Plenty of people are happily solo by choice and have no intention of changing that—and it turns out they might be onto something. Here are a few science-backed benefits of being single.
Sleeping alone is a wonderful thing.
If you’ve ever shared a bed with someone who snored and thrashed around all night, you understand the toll it can take on your relationship and health. Science has actually confirmed that sleeping with another person is disruptive. A recent study found that compared with human bed partners, dogs who slept in the owner’s bed were perceived to disturb sleep less and were associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security. And that’s just one reason having a dog is better than having a significant other.
Single people are healthier.
People joke about “letting themselves go” once they’re in a committed relationship but it’s a joke based on reality. One study found that while divorced people get more exercise than married people, it’s the people who have always been single that are the most active overall. The bottom line is single people are more motivated and have more time to do things that are just for them, like work out.
You have stronger friendships.
When you don’t have a significant other as your default person to hang out with all the time, it only makes sense that you would make more of an effort to maintain your friendships. Although your friendships will inevitably change and evolve, being single is the perfect time to nurture them and make sure they’re solid. Single people know how to balance their relationships, and they’ll never be the kind of friend that disappears from their social circle if they do happen to fall in love.
Your money is all yours.
Being single means there is no joint account, arguing over who will pay for what or budgeting for things like a wedding, kids, or a family vacation. Managing your money is a lot simpler when it’s just you so it’s no surprise studies have shown that 21% of single Americans have credit card debt compared to 36% of married Americans. Considering money is one of the major things couples fight about, this might be one of the most appealing reasons to stay single for life.
You can focus on your career.
Most of us spend (at least) 40 hours a week working so it makes sense that having a fulfilling job is important. Dr. Bella DePaulo, a social scientist that has devoted her career to studying single people, says singles tend to value meaningful work more because the time they might have devoted to maintaining a relationship can instead be put towards building a rewarding career. You’ll also be open to more opportunities that could involve travel or re-locating because you don’t have another person and their preferences to consider.
You’re more self-sufficient.
One study found that high levels of self-sufficiency was a positive thing for single people but not so much for married people. Interdependency is somewhat expected in a relationship, but when you’re on your own, you learn to take care of yourself in all ways–and that can only be a good thing for your self-esteem and confidence.
You stress way less.
Sure, there are stressful things about being single–especially if you’re single and looking. But overall, people in relationships have more to juggle, including someone else’s baggage. You also don’t have to worry about where your relationship is going, if you’re with the right person or if they’re cheating on you with their ex. Being single is infinitely more relaxing than being in an unstable relationship will ever be.
You know who you are.
Ever notice how some couples who have been together for awhile seem to meld into one person? That’s because they don’t see themselves as in individual anymore–they only exist as one half of a couple. When you’re single for a longer period of time, you start to really figure out what you want and how you feel. There’s no one to compromise with–so you never have to.
You have more time for self-care.
We all need time for ourselves sometimes but when you’re in a relationship, spending time alone tends to take a back seat to doing “couple things.” Nurturing a relationship and integrating into someone else’s life takes a lot of time and it’s easy to feel guilted into going to every single family and friend function with your S.O. When you’re single, you can spend way more time doing exactly what you want—and there’s no one to tell you you’re being selfish for it.
You do less housework.
You may not have someone to divvy up the chores with, but you also don’t have another person around to make a mess. A recent study found that men actually create an average of 7 hours of extra housework a week for women. That’s right, unsurprisingly, men in relationships tend to not pull their weight when it comes to the distribution of labor. At least on your own, you never have to clean up after anyone but yourself.
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