With two days to go until Valentine’s Day, some of us may be feeling a little sorry for ourselves. As our loved-up friends pull on their glad rags and head out for, hopefully, the most romantic night of 2018, some of us might sport a more relaxed, fluid look.
And by ‘relaxed’, I’m referring to pajamas and by ‘fluid’, I’m talking about the relentless stream of tears that will crusade down your cheeks. And that’s only going to take you to 8:30pm…
Well, it is with great pleasure that I can tell you that studies have found that single life can produce stronger, happier individuals.
Turns out it’s not just my dad’s idea of consolation; he sends me a V Day card every year assuring that I’m ‘growing’ from my eternally single life and that ‘my time will come’. Vomit worthy, right? Doesn’t get much sadder than that.
But, my pops might be onto a nugget of truth there. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that single people build stronger relationships with their family and friends and are more likely to keep in touch with those around them.
The study was used by Bella DePaulo’s talk in May 2017 in which she argued that people are taught that happiness can only be found in marriage or romantic relationships.
Opening her talk with I’m 63 and I’ve been single my whole life, we can be sure she knows what she’s taking about. Having devoted her life to searching for single life fairy tales.
DePaulo explains that during her adolesence she was told that marriage was the end goal in which you will live happily ever after and never be lonely again.
Well f*** that.
The study showed that whilst there is a definite rise in happiness around the time of the wedding, people’s happiness levels out to what it was when they were single once the wedding excitement has ebbed away.
The green line represents single people’s expectation of happiness once married, compared to their, apparently, sad single life. How wrong they were! The blue line is the more likely scenario.
Many of us mere singles seem to anticipate the path of happiness to go something like this (from high to low)
-CO-HABITATION WITH A PARTNER
-SINGLE AND DATING
-SINGLE AF. LIKE, YOU COULDN’T BE ANY MORE SINGLE IF YOU TRIED.
Everything seems to say that singles are intrinsically sad.
Again, f**k that.
Whilst married people or those in relationships have ‘the one’, single people have ‘the ones’…LOVELY! Without one person to devote all their time to, single people have more time for their friends, family and their interests, meaning their personal development and growth happens quicker.
The study came to the conclusion that society often undervalues the life of single people, constantly telling stories of romantic love between couples instead of talking about independent people’s achievements.
I’m not saying you can’t feel a little miffed on Valentine’s Day. If it helps, all my housemates are in relationships so I will be sure to be either third wheeling or sobbing over one of my dad’s patronizing Valentine’s Day cards. But whack on 500 Days of Summer to remind yourself that not every relationship ends with true love.