Single People Can Be Just As Happy As Couples, Suggests Unsurprising Study

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
The popular line in research is that single people are less happy and healthy than their coupled counterparts. But more and more people — over half of the US population, in fact — are spending an increasing amount of their lives single, whether it’s because they delayed marriage, got divorced or simply didn’t want to couple off. Are these partner-free folks doomed to a life of misery? Obviously no. More and more research is showing that coupledom doesn’t suit everyone — relationships have plenty of perks, but they also come with their own unique conflicts and stresses that single people don’t have to deal with.

A new study out of the University of Auckland in New Zealand provides some insight into how the single life affects different types of people’s well-being. Turns out, having a romantic partner isn’t the be-all and end-all of happiness.

The Setup
Researchers conducted two studies to see the short- and long-term effects of relationship status on well-being. For the first one, they gathered 187 undergraduate students ranging from 19 to 54 years old. Participants indicated whether they were “involved in a romantic relationship” and, if so, how serious that relationship was.

They then completed pre-established measures to see if they were high in avoidance goals (meaning: avoiding negative relationship experiences, like conflict and rejection, motivated them) or high in approach goals (meaning: they were motivated by the possibility of good things happening, so they approached relationships optimistically). Finally, participants rated how much they agreed with the statements —> Read More