Experts have spoken and it turns out there are some serious scientific benefits to staying single.
“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,” says Bella DePaulo, PhD, a scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara.
During her presentation to the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention, DePaulo concluded that people who welcome singledom are more likely to experience more psychological growth than their married counterparts.
“The preoccupation with the perils of loneliness can obscure the profound benefits of solitude,” DePaulo added.
And, when people marry, they become less aware of happenings outside their own existence. One study produced evidence that concluded single people value more meaningful work than those who are married and also stay more connected to friends and family. This means you can tell everyone who pesters you about having a partner to that science says you totally don’t need it.
Research on single people is lacking, however. Most studies use them to compare to married couples and disregard learning about them as independent people. For instance, those who have been single all their lives develop a “heightened sense of self-determination.” This often means a person is more self-sufficient which means they are also more capable of dealing with negative emotions.
As it stands, 50.2 percent of the adult population identifies as single, which is a 12.8 percent increase from 1976.However, as DePaulo pointed out, “people who marry get access to more than 1,000 federal benefits and protections, many of them financial.” Which, TBH, feels pretty unfair.
Though there might be advantages to remaining single, one status obviously isn’t better than the other. As DePaulo puts it, “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.”
And we are all about living our best lives.