Married People are Happier People

As you know, we are in the midst of cuffing season, aka when you get a significant other so you can have someone to cuddle with through the winter months. If you’re not in a relationship, you could be feeling the pressure to couple up, which I am only going to crank up by casually letting you know that research shows married people are happier than non-married people. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and find yourself a spouse, or die alone and miserable!

I’m kidding about the dying alone and miserable part, but not about the research part—that actually happened. Researchers John F. Helliwell and Shawn Grover used the Gallup World Poll and sent out surveys nationwide in the UK to examine the connection between well-being and marriage. They found that after premarital well-being was controlled for (however the heck you do that), married people reported being more satisfied with their lives than their single counterparts. Even married people in the midst of their midlife crises were shown to be happier overall than those who weren’t married, so you can tell your crazy uncle that dating 20-year-old girls and buying a BMW isn’t going to solve his problems.

The researchers write, "We find that the married have a less deep U-shape in life satisfaction across age groups than do the unmarried, indicating that marriage may help ease the causes of the mid-life dip in life satisfaction and that the benefits of marriage are unlikely to be short-lived." So you're saying 36 cats won't make me as happy as a husband would? What if I married my cats, would that count? Whatever, I'm more of a dog person anyway.

Of these happily married people, the researchers found that those who reported marrying their best friend were the happiest—the well-being effects of marriage were doubled for people who said their spouse is their best friend (as opposed to the rest of them, who just said, "eh, he/she is okay"? Unclear). What’s more, this spike in happiness was also found among partners who lived together but weren’t married. So maybe the old cliché about marrying your best friend really is true? Ugh, I guess my parents were right, once again. Whatever, dad, that still doesn't mean I'm tying the knot anytime soon, so quit bothering me about it. Take that!

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