Bachelors, newly single, all you other unattached people in the universe, unite! Looks like there’s no more reason to be bothered by those “getting hitched” posts on your social media accounts anymore. Single = Sad? Not at all. The American Psychological Association pointed out in a recent study that single people are happier and richer than married people.
It shouldn't surprise you at all, a convinced Bella DePaulo, Phd, a scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says.
"The preoccupation with the perils of loneliness can obscure the profound benefits of solitude,” shares Dr. DePaulo. "It is time for a more accurate portrayal of single people and single life—one that recognizes the real strengths and resilience of people who are single and what makes their lives so meaningful."
In her research, Dr. DePaulo found tens of thousands of studies done on marriage. Yet over the past 30 years, she could only locate 814 studies about "never married" or "single" people. This struck her as particularly odd, especially after learning that U.S. Census Bureau has tallied 47 percent of Americans over 18 as unmarried (107 million people) up from 1970, when just 17 percent of Americans were not married (38 million people).
These studies on unmarried folk had significant findings, according to Dr. DePaulo: "Research comparing people who have stayed single with those who have stayed married shows that single people have a heightened sense of self-determination and they are more likely to experience 'a sense of continued growth and development as a person.'"
DePaulo also cited research that shows single people value meaningful work more than married people. More time for work means more opportunities to earn more money. Another study shows single people are also more connected to parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. "When people marry, they become more insular," she says.
She also expanded on other findings; like how single people are more likely to be happy when they're self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency potentially leads to a happier life in the long term, because at some level, we all have to be independent.
Regardless of the advantages presented, Dr. DePaulo maintains that one side isn't better than the other. "More than ever before, people can pursue the ways of living that work best for them. There is no one blueprint for the good life.
"What matters is not what everyone else is doing or what other people think we should be doing, but whether we can find the places, the spaces and the people that fit who we really are and allow us to live our best lives."