Single Vs Married? What do you choose?
There is an increasing number of people who choose to stay single. For they believe that “happily married” is a myth. People who are single “live their best, most authentic and most meaningful life” a psychologist claimed.
How far is it true that marrying someone helps you live longer, happier, and healthier?
Bella DePaulo, social psychologist and professor of the University of California, Santa Barbara, wanted to challenge this “conventional wisdom” and told the same to the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Denver.
She started to investigate the results of being single Vs married and came across 800 different studies (that mentioned single people) conducted in the last three decades.
Some of the study results based on comparing people who stayed single with those married showed that single people demonstrated a higher level of self-determination than their married counterparts. People who stayed single were found highly likely to experience continued growth and development in life.
In another study comprising people who stayed single lifelong, such people were found to value and engage in meaningful work. They were more self-sufficient than married people and were less likely to experience negative behaviors or emotions according to a study published in NCBI. But, in the case of married people, it was just the opposite.
Single Vs Married
Now coming to statistics, Before 2002, UK had 16.2 million single people compared to 23.7 million married people. In 2002, there were 12.5 million single people compared to 23 million married ones as per Office for National Statistics figures.
As per the reports released in 2019, the number of people aged 16 years and above and married living in England and Wales has decreased in 2018 to 50.5%. On the contrary, the number of people aged 16 years and above who are single and never married has increased by 35.0% in 2018. Again, the population of the same age group who live with a partner but never married has increased from 1.3 million people since 2008 to a total of 5.0 million in 2018.
According to this report number of married people who are under age 70 years has decreased but those above 70 years and above and married have increased from 50.3% in 2008 to 55.8% in 2018.
The situation is the same in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2014, more than 50% of Americans over age 16, were single. Whereas in 1976, only 37.4% of the population was unmarried.
Professor DePaulo said to the convention that she is “single, always have been and always will be”. She added that there is an increasing number of people who are single and never married, not only in the UK but in different parts of the world. Yet, people rarely acknowledge the growing popularity of “unmarried life”.
She said an increasing number of people are willingly single and it is the choice they have made consciously. And that is expressed by constructing their self-identity and accepting their new way of life.
Not all single people are depressed or frustrated or lonely. According to a study published in
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, when compared to married people, single people are more connected to parents, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Because when people get married, they become more insular.
The problem with society is that they focus on the loneliness and other negativities associated with not getting married. But what about the beauty and benefit of solitude? How can one ignore that?
The world is in need of an accurate portrayal of the lives of people who stayed single and never married. A realization that single people are strong, independent, and mentally resilient and how they live a meaningful life.
There is also a need to recognize that married people were supported by the “relentless celebration of marriage and coupling and weddings that I call matrimania” she said.