I’m better off single. You might be, too. By B. DePaulo
- …. I decided not just to practice single life but to study it. I was stunned by what I found. Many studies, methodologically, couldn’t support the kinds of claims that were heralded in the media. The (Link): better studies, which follow the same people over time as they stay single or marry, often show that, at best, people who get married enjoy a brief honeymoon effect.
- For example, they might experience an increase in happiness around the time of the wedding, but then they go back to being as happy or as unhappy as they were when they were single.
- …Other research, too, suggests that (Link): single people are the social glue holding us all together. Single people have more friends. They are more connected to neighbors, friends, siblings and parents. When it comes to the sick, disabled, or elderly, single people do more to provide long-term help than married people do — even those who are married without kids.
- Contrary to stereotypes, single people seem to be (Link): less materialistic than married people. They are more likely to (Link): value meaningful work. Wounded warriors who have always been single are more resilient than those who are married.
- Single people also (Link): exercise more than married people do. People who marry typically get (Link): fatter.
- ….People like me who have chosen single life face odd pockets of resistance. Some people (Link): refuse to believe we exist. Some (Link): insist that we are not “really” happy – we just tell ourselves that we are.
- Others react to our choice with anger. In a (Link): study in which Israeli adults evaluated brief biographical sketches of single people who said that they either had or had not chosen to be single, those who wanted to be single were viewed as lonely and miserable. Compared to the involuntary singles, they were more often seen as lacking in warmth and sociability. They elicited more anger from the evaluators. (Though they were also more often seen as independent and self-assured.)
- Happy single people are a threat to a cherished (Link): worldview promising that, if you get married and stay that way, all of your dreams will come true. You will be happier and healthier, and probably morally superior, too. From that perspective, living single is sad.
- But it isn’t. And neither is getting married. What is truly sad is living the life you think you should live, rather than (Link): the one that suits you best.