Research proves single women are way happier than people think they are
Almost every single movie and fairytale out there tells us that searching for your true love is all there is to life. And with your grandma asking you every damn Christmas why you don't have "that lovely Martin fellow from your high school" with you again this year, it's hard not to believe that you shouldn't be putting all your life's efforts into courting an appropriate mate.
But alas, that's just what society tells us. In fact, various counts of research show that single women are actually way happier than what people think they are. While the ladies from accounts payable might look across the room at the work Christmas party and titter "oh, poor Suzy, she's come alone again this year", little do they know that Suzy is actually having the time of her life right now and may be well better off than they are. Here's why.
For one, a consumer market research report conducted in the UK this year found that being in a relationship as a heterosexual woman is actually quite laborious as – despite all the progress we've done for equal rights and all that – women are still found to be subject to more emotional labour and domestic labour in relationships than their male counterparts. Being single, therefore, gives them a sense of more freedom.
The same study found that women are better than men at maintaining different circles of friends and social networks, meaning that even if they're single, women can still enjoy healthy friendships and a positive support network to rely on and to satisfy social needs. Being lonely when you're single – says WHO?
What's more is that being single can actually make individuals more independent, more self-determined and less likely to make their relationship their main source of happiness. Single women become more confident in doing things alone and strive to keep growing and learning, according to Harvard psychologist Dr Bella DePaulo. She says people often neglect to think about the "creative, intellectual, and emotional potential of solitude".
"Missing from the stacks of journal articles is any sustained attention to the risks of intensive coupling," she writes, "or to the resilience offered by the networks of friends and family that so many single people maintain."
And while it's not suggested that people in healthy and loving relationships are miserable sods in comparison to these free-spirited and self-confident singletons, Dr DePaulo argues that it's not the relationship that makes a person happy, but the state of the individual themselves.
"If you are not already a happy person, don’t count on marriage to transform you into one. If you are already happy, don’t expect marriage to make you even happier…finally, if you are single and happy, do not fret that you will descend into despair if you dare to stay single. That’s not likely either."
But it shouldn't take all these theories and studies to say that people who are single aren't necessarily unhappy. It's just the way society has taught us to think, and now, it's time to break that stigma. Stick it to your grandma – so what if you never bring a date to Christmas lunch ever again?