Living the Better Single Life

Living the Better Single Life

– Stereotypes: Single people are: isolated (social isolates, loners), Self-centred
– The culture seems to suggest that marriage is preferable to being single
But what does the research say?
– Happiness is not contingent upon being married
– That married people are often no happier than when they were single
– Exception is: People are happier when they are first married, & then they return to baseline (except for those who ultimately divorce – apparently the research shows people’s happiness dips before they get married)
– Single people often feel they are treated differently because they are single
– research is overwhelmingly skewed towards married people (19,000 articles compared 500 articles on single people on PsychInfo database in last 5 years)

Research shows:
– 95% of single people (who want to be single) savour their solitude & rarely worry that they will be lonely
[this is contrary to the loneliness myth/stereotype, & the researcher notes people can gain a lot from solitude]
– majority of single people really want their work to be meaningful (rewarding, chance of development)
– in 1956 men got married at 22 years of age on average (compared with today – 29 on average) and women got married at 20 years of age on average (compared with today – 27 years of age on average)
– more people today are remaining to stay single (for reasons of securing education, job security first & this can be more difficult to achieve in the globalised economy); however there are also many choosing to remain single & not wishing to focus upon just one person in their life
– married people in fact tend to become more insular once in a marriage
[contrary to the myth that it is single people]
– single people can achieve more personal growth / improvement than a married person
[again contrary to the myth/stereotype]
– single people however often feel pressured & can feel there is something wrong with their approach to life – perhaps they need to disregard is & live according to their values to achieve the good life
– married people can choose what they wish to do to achieve the good life.

Source: American Psychological Association Speaking of Psychology Podcast | 1 April 2017


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