More than half of Americans are single, according to a 2014 report from the Bureau of Labour Statistics, a figure that’s risen 13% since 1976.
And being single might have some surprising benefits. Dr. Bella DePaulo, a social scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, went through more than 800 studies of single and married people and found that singles tended to be more self-reliant and self-motivated than those in a relationship.
The single folks were also more likely to develop and grow as individuals, judging by how many goals they set for themselves and how much they’d learned about their personalities. DePaulo’s research was presented at the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention. On top of all that, singles showed an increased value of connections with parents, siblings, friends, and coworkers. “When people marry, they become more insular,” said DePaulo in a press release.
One benefit DePaulo noted behind being self-sufficient is happier emotions. She found that people who relied on themselves more were less likely to experience times of negative emotions. Interestingly enough, the more married people relied on themselves instead of their partners, the more likely they were to experience negative emotions.
Although DePaulo researches the benefits of a single lifestyle, she doesn’t want married people to think they’re losing out either! Some of the possible benefits of marriage, for example, might include greater financial stability and a potentially longer life.
“More than ever, Americans can pursue the ways of living that work best for them. There is no blueprint for the good life,” DePaulo added.
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