For whatever reason, being a single woman always seems to be attached to the assumption that you're either lonely or living an unfulfilled life. It's as if our entire motivation during the short time we have on earth needs to involve searching for someone to shack up with, or else we are doomed to share our existence with an inordinate amount of cats. I'm here to tell you that certainly isn't true — and even science agrees with me.
While no relationship status is better than the other, there are certainly some benefits to being single that often get overlooked. So the next time you have to endure a painstaking conversation with your relatives or friends about their concern over the fact that you're not dating anyone, just remember that there really are some wonderful things about the single life, both for your health and personal growth.
When you live life single, you have more time to take care of yourself, foster personal relationships that are important to you, and focus on other priorities that will help you grow as a person. So here's the hard evidence the next time you need to shut down the single-shamers. Here's why you may be better off single.
1. You Get Better Sleep
The benefits of sleeping alone go far beyond having more space to stretch out, roll around, and make all the weird noises your heart desires. It turns out that single people actually get better sleep than those who are in relationships and living with someone. According to a Better Sleep Council survey, not having a partner in bed with you to potentially wake you up throughout the night allows you to sleep more, and wake up more rested. And we all know how insanely blissful it is when you get enough sleep.
2. You're Less Likely To Stress About Money Issues
You may be bogged down by student debt way into your 30s, but if you're flying through life solo, chances are you'll actually have less financial woes than those who are shacking up. For instance, Debt.org found that 21 percent of single people report having credit card debt, compared to 27 percent of married couples, and 36 percent of married couples who have children.
To top it off, married people also have the added stress of struggling with financial issues in the context of their partnership. For example, a 2014 study found that one in three adults tend to admit “financial infidelity” or lying to their partner about money issues.
So glad I don't have to deal with that.
3. You Keep Closer Friendships
According to Psychology Today, the “newlywed effect,” a tendency to stray away from friendships within the first few years of marriage in favor of spending more time with your partner, is a common occurrence with committed couples. And when those couples have kids, the effects are exacerbated significantly, meaning that people in relationships are more likely to let important friendships fizzle out over the years.
Welp, that certainly isn't the case when you're single. Psychology Today also found that single people are great at fostering their friendships, as well as giving due attention to familial relationships. And they keep these relationships for many more years compared to married couples.
4. You're More Independent And Resilient
Being self-sufficient, and independent is certainly never a bad thing, and when you're single you become the master of these two characteristics. Sara Eckel, the author of It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single told the Huffington Post that when you're single, it's up to you and you alone to handle all aspects of your life, from your finances, to chores, to taking responsibility for your actions.
And many believe that being single for a while also means you're able to bounce back from difficulties much more quickly. Because being single, especially for women, is highly stigmatized, social scientist and author of the book Singled Out , Bella DePaulo believes that those who can thrive on their own are very resilient in spite of the discrimination.
5. You're More Likely To Find A Job
It's no surprise that single people can prioritize their careers a lot more than those in relationships, and it turns out that single people are also more likely to find work. In a 2012 study, researchers at the University of Chicago found that single people were more likely to find jobs than married couples. During the 2009 financial crisis, single Americans reportedly lost 6 million jobs, but gained 90 percent of them back. Conversely, married couples who also lost 6 million jobs before the recession have only gained 22 percent of those jobs back.
6. If You Do Get Married, It May Be Better To Be Single Now
I've always said that it's important to spend a period of your life alone, so that you can get to know who you are, and what you want without outside influences affecting those decisions. It turns out science seems to back me up on this, finding that women who wait longer to get married are less likely to get divorced than those who get married younger.
Women who get married at 30 or older tend to come into marriage making significantly more money than those who are younger. Though the data didn't conclude this, I would say it's safe to assume that carving out your 20s as a time to focus on your job, and your own growth probably contributes a lot to these statistics. And learning how to be self-sufficient probably doesn't hurt either.
7. You're More Politically Active
Being socially conscious and politically active is extremely important, and we single ladies seem to be doing best. According to a 2006 study, single women were more likely to sign petitions, attend political events, and raise money for political causes than married women. Eric Klineberg, the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone also found that those who live by themselves are more likely to have environmentally sustainable lifestyles.
Single ladies are pretty much ready to take on the world. And they're doing it all on their own.
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