Why does it seem like lately everyone is in a couple? It can be a real pain in the ass to constantly hear how happy everyone is, especially if you're currently among the unattached. If you aren't in a couple and are loving it, then there's good news for you. Apparently single is the new attached, because more and more Americans are running from relationships and opting for singlehood.
Recent Census data collected shows that 55 million Americans over the age of 18 weren't married in 2006. This number is huge, especially compared to the 45 million or so Americans who weren't hitched just 10 years ago. Naomi Gerstal, a sociologist from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst says, "We have spent the last decade talking about how great marriage is, but there are also costs." One recent study found that those who are single have a better relationship with their friends and family, while their married peers aren't lucky enough to have the same type of relationship. Another study found that people who aren't married are a greater help to their parents, whereas married offspring are less of a help. And, yet another study shows that marriage can make you feel great, but that feeling will actually only last a short amount of time.
You see, we are always hearing about how marriage is a great way to boost your spirits and people buy into the delusion that it will leave you feeling like you're on cloud nine from the minute you say your vows until the day you die. Well, that's wrong, at least according to Richard Lucas, a psychology professor at Michigan State University. Lucas found that you will eventually go back to feeling the way you did before you married--even after you seal the deal. Surprisingly, he also found that people who have never walked down the aisle actually have a higher rate of happiness. One more reason to stay single.
Believe it or not, many people are actually choosing to stay single to delay their wedding day. A study released last year by the Pew Research Center discovered that a lot of single people aren't looking to be in a relationship. 3,200 adults aged 18 and over were surveyed in 2005 and 55 percent said they weren't interested in being in a relationship. 38 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 weren't actively looking for a partner. "Most people who are single seem to want to eventually be married," stated Michael Rosenfeld, author of the book The Age of Independence. He also added, "But they're putting it off. In the past, there just weren't that many single, young adults supporting themselves. It's a new phenomenon, post-1960, and getting stronger every day."
So, next time someone gives you a hard time about being single, rest assured knowing you are probably happier then they are and you are most likely getting more action.
Being Single, Seeing Double
April 23, 2007