For years, sensationalized headlines like "Live Alone, Die Young!" would complicate the connection between our emotional and mental well-being with the desire to be in a relationship to avoid suffering. Not to mention, the single life isn't depicted pleasantly by the continuous Hollywood cliché depicting lonely people eating their feelings, watching The Bachelor and scrolling through social media feed of a hashtagged wedding.
However, flying solo has become more prevalent in the past decade within the U.S., and studies also prove that singlehood reaps a surprising number of health benefits. Go ahead — tell that to grandma while you lounge away in your Snuggie.
Staying in Shape
Relationship weight is totally real. Researchers for Health Psychology discovered married couples tend to gain more weight after tying the knot. Dinner dates and cuddly Netflix sessions unfortunately help pack on the pounds as couples get comfortable and "relax their efforts to maintain weight."
The Journal of Marriage and Family looked at another piece of the puzzle and reported singles get more exercise than those in relationships. By working toward fitness goals like weight and marathon training, singles can complete health-related objectives they've set out for themselves without distraction. And with exercise boasting an array of health benefits from mental to physical well-being, the single status doesn't seem like a bad choice.
For years, we've believed marriage benefits the heart, but researchers discovered bad marriages can make a person feel more isolated, as they experience negative cardiovascular effects —proving marriage quality is crucial to overall health. On the contrary, singles steering clear of romantic heartbreak have the lowest rates of heart disease as their lifestyle helps reduce the risk of long-term heart problems.
A Rich Social Life
Don't believe the lonely cat lady rhetoric. In her New York Times best-seller, Spinster, author Kate Bolick revels in the riches of a single's social life, exploring how, compared to those with partners, unattached women have more time and mental energy when forming strong social networks.
With a constant need to socialize, singletons don't rely on one person for companionship. From forming tighter bonds that lead to a fuller, happier life with parents, friends, and siblings, singles have more time to strengthen relationships than married couples who are short on time due to routinely demands.
Being single early on might be the wisest decision in helping to establish yourself in the working world before committing to a serious relationship. Research shows young, unwed women not only become more confident through their work, but that being unattached gives your application a boost as you're more likely to be attentive and productive. In fact, studies show that single young women in big cities tend to earn an estimated 15% more than their male counterparts.
In Tune with Identity
From analyzing the trend that 50% of marriages in America end in divorce, we can surmise that many singletons avoid settling as they grow more aware of their emotional and mental needs. Steadfast and strongly rooted in independence that sprouts confidence, singles know how to exist on their own and regard this as an important survival skill. Because they have a better sense of self, single women know what they want out of love and many are willing to wait for it, leading them to a future of relationship bliss if they should desire it.
Less Financial Stress
Merging two lives also usually means merging two bank accounts and coming clean about your shopping addiction. In a survey commissioned by Forbes, one in three people admitted to lying to their partners about money problems, with 76% reporting that the lies strained their marriage.
Sure, money doesn't equate to happiness — but when you're single, you can live by your own financial terms which means investing and managing your own debt. Debt.org reports singles have less debt than those who share money woes and clearly, less debt means less pressure on your lifestyle.
Snuggling with a cuddle buddy might feel awesome, but it's even better when you get the whole bed to yourself. CNN reports 23% of married couples sleep alone in order to get a good night's rest. Unfortunately, that choice sometimes leads to long-term marital issues.
Since we know the importance of adequate sleep, when there's no one to wake you up with incessant snoring, you feel less anxiety and are able to nod off easier.