What happens to singles when it comes to personal growth?
Can single life be beneficial in the long run? Let’s find out!
Usually, people who end up alone for one reason or another, are often criticized, stereotyped, and even victimized by society. It seems like being single is some sort of a curse that makes you stand out from the crowd in the most hideous way possible.
However, as the social psychologist Bella DePaulo highlights, lately, single people defy stereotypes about their supposedly sad, lonely, and empty lives.
In terms of individual growth, it turns out that those who remain single for most of their life enjoy more personal achievements. A study reveals that one of their maxims is: “For me, life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth.”
Contrarily, according to the analysis, the ones who stay married are more likely to say: “I gave up trying to make big improvements or changes in my life a long time ago.”
Moreover, the very same research displays that singles are significantly more self-determined and confident than the ones who have been in committed relationships for a long time.
Women with no children who stay single into their 70s are thriving: True or false?
This might sound bizarre to many, but being a childless, single female in your mid-70s, most probably means you are flourishing.
According to a curious research that surveyed more than 10,000 elderly Australian women, the ones who remained on their own and had no kids were prospering in many areas. Not only were they more optimistic, but they were also less stressed, better educated, more financially stable, and more likely to be active members of various social groups. What is more, these remarkable ladies also appeared to have broader social networks than those who were married.
When it comes to physical health, despite their age, single women in their mid and late seventies ‘fared particularly well.’ The research findings suggested that most of them did not smoke, did not drink alcohol, had the healthiest body mass index, as well as the fewest number of diagnoses of major illnesses.
Is life more or less challenging for lifelong singles?
While comparing lifelong single people to previously married ones, DePaulo discovered that those who stayed on their own experience less strain. In other words, life appeared much more challenging for people in long committed relationships, than for those who chose the single path.
Additionally, the psychologist also found significant differences in these two groups of people in terms of dealing with everyday issues and handling tasks related to their daily routine. People who are in long-term romantic bonds and those who are married seem to have quite an efficient system. They often divide up tasks like household chores, managing finances, and organizing social calendars. The same goes for mental responsibilities, such as remembering birthdays.
However, this system proves to be effective only while their marriage or relationship lasts. It’s only natural that after you have been a part of a couple for ages, you would be confused once you enter the single life again. On the other hand, people who have been dealing with the challenges life brings them on their own have usually figured out how to do all of those things.
Single people are lonelier: Myth or facts?
According to sociologist and author of the book ‘Happy Singlehood’ Elyakim Kislev, at age 65, the lifelong single people were a tiny bit lonelier than the people who had married. He found that “the share of married people feeling lonely is around 50 percent more at age 60 than 30, and that it doubles by the age of 90.”
Nevertheless, the loneliness of lifelong single people increases much less. It turns out that if we focus on the long run, by age 70, it is the people who married who feel more solitary. Moreover, singles also show higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives than those with romantic partners.
While remaining alone may not be the only reason for their prosperity, growth, and happiness, those who are single by heart seem to be more likely to thrive on their own, when compared to those who have just gotten out of a long-lasting relationship. Overall, singles nowadays do defy many stereotypes, but this does not mean married ones don’t do it as well.
Regardless of the path you choose, remember that the most valuable thing is to always seek happiness and to appreciate life in all of its forms.
What’s your opinion based on your personal observations? Do singles feel lonelier or happier than married people? Let us know in the comment section!