(PhatzNewsRoom / BlackDoctor.org) –– More and more studies show that many people, regardless of race and/or gender, are getting married later in life. And by now, we’ve all heard the statistics about a staggering majority of African American women never marrying at all.
Singledom. It is what is is. But does being single mean that you’re at a disadvantage, inclined to by miserable and unhealthy for the rest of your life? There are many myths (some of them down right insulting) about the quality of life for single people – but thankfully, the actual facts paint a much brighter, happier picture!
Singles Aren’t As Happy As Married People
Many people, even friends and family, sometimes think of single people as being sad, even miserable. But actually, on the average, single people are almost always on the happier end of the scale, according to many major studies. Also, it’s a well known fact that getting married hardly changes someone’s overall happiness – yes, married people experience a great deal of happiness, especially in the beginning (the honeymoon effect), but then they go back to being as happy or as unhappy as they were when they were single. Furthermore, only some married people enjoy the honeymoon effect at all.
Single People Prefer To Be All Alone
Sometimes people believe that single people are “alone,” that they “don’t have anyone.” But this is a myth. Research shows that single people often have many people in their lives who are important to them. Often, they have a whole network of friends and relatives, and they stay connected with them for decades. Perhaps this is because they have the time to forge many diverse relationships — which married people often don’t.
Senior Women Live In Isolation (or with a village of cats)
Older women, in particular, are often painted as isolated spinsters, but in one study of 50 women who had always been single, 49 of them had close friends and usually they were in touch with those friends every single day. Sixteen of their friendships had lasted more than 40 years!
Single People Don’t Live As Long As Married People
In one of the longest-running studies of longevity, which began in 1921 with more than 1,000 11-year-olds, scientists have kept track of these people for as long as they lived. The people who lived the longest were…those who stayed single and those who married and stayed married. People who divorced, or who divorced and remarried, tended to have shorter lives. It was consistency, not marriage, that mattered, and the results were the same for men and women.
Single People Are More Selfish
Married people are supposedly the ones who reach out to other people and keep families and neighborhoods connected. That’s the story we hear, but it is not what’s really true. National surveys show that single people are more likely to visit, support, contact, and advise their siblings and parents than married, or even previously married people. Singles are also more likely to encourage, help, and socialize with their neighbors and friends, as well as participate in volunteer organizations.
Single People Are Wasteful
Any idea how much weddings cost these days? Even after that big event, it’s a popular idea that married people all save, practice being frugal, and are always there to help bail out friends and family who are in financial trouble. As opposed to the stereotypical spendthrift single, who indulge in daily shopping sprees and monthly luxurious vacations and refuse to help out anyone but themselves. Umm, no. Married people are no more generous than single people when it comes to giving financial help to family members. As for helping others out of financial jams, singles may be the ones to help out more. One study showed that men were much more financially generous to their friends when they were single than they were after they married. When married men divorced, they reverted to their more giving selves. If they remarried, then they went back to being less generous to their friends.
Single People Aren’t As Healthy As Married People
Think singletons live an unhealthy life of vice, partying up a storm and eating junk food rather than healthy home-cooked meals? That’s not what the research says. Typically, people who have always been single are very similar in their health to people who are currently married. There is, though, one exception where single people are actually healthier than attached types: married people are more overweight! Also, studies show that married men tend to be healthier because their wives are there to watch out for them and encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices.
As for divorce, some research actually shows that people, particularly women, become healthier after they divorce!
So, the overall lesson should be clear – single or married, the most important thing is to strive to live a healthy and happy life, each and every day.