Bella DePaulo, PhD, a scientist at the University of California, revealed that single people had richer psychological lives than married people at the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention on 4-7 August.
In her longitudinal research she found that, “The preoccupation with the perils of loneliness can obscure the profound benefits of solitude.”
She added, “It is time for a more accurate portrayal of single people and single life- one that recognizes the real strengths and resilience of people who are single, and what makes their lives so meaningful.”
DePaulo stated that not much research exists examining single people. Out of the 814 studies she investigated, most used single people as a comparison group when focusing on married people.
The studies that did center on singles comparing them with those that stayed married found that singles were more likely to experience self-determination and in DePaulo’s words, “a sense of continued growth and development as a person.”
The Benefits of Being Single
According to a Bloomberg report, 50.2 percent of 124.6 million Americans are single
DePaulo found that one study highlighted that singles were more self-sufficient and therefore less likely to experience negative emotions, which was not true for married people.
Although married people had more laws that benefited them, it was surprising that, “single people are doing as well as they are.”
Putting too much investment in The One puts a lot of pressure to find a solution to loneliness.
However, researchers are beginning to acknowledge that there are many other types of relationships, which are just as rewarding as marriage.
These include the bond between friends, parent and child and family members.
New Ways of Living
DePaulo referred to her recent book, How We Live Now: Redefining home and Family in the 21st Century, when she concluded that:
“More than ever before, Americans can pursue the ways of living that work best for them. There is no one blueprint for the good life. We can create our own lifespaces.”
“What matters is not what everyone else is doing or what other people think we should be doing, but whether we can find the places, the spaces, and the people that fit who we really are and allow us to live our best lives.”