Who else is sick of the romantic comedy stereotype of the single woman? She could be living her best life but there’s always ‘something missing’. And then a man comes down and fills the void she didn’t even know she had, and she realises this is what real happiness was all along.
Well, a new study suggests that stereotype should be rewritten. It turns out relationships don’t make everybody more content with their lives. That’s right. Many singletons are as happy – if not happier – than their coupled-up counterparts. While virtually all previous research suggests that romantic relationships bring joy, stability and better health, a survey of more than 4000 New Zealanders is suggesting something else.
For people who hate conflict and arguments (so, many of us), the single life tends to be the choice that brings more overall contentment. Lead researcher Yuthika Girme said, ‘It’s a well-documented finding that single people tend to be less happy compared to those in a relationship, but that may not be true for everyone.’ Girme also says that the desire to avoid relationship conflicts could create even more problems.
Conversely, people who don’t fear conflict are happier and more successful in relationships.
So next time someone tries to convince you that being in a relationship is the be all and end all of your happiness, you can shut that down. You’re quite happy having fun, playing the field and avoiding all that drama.
This article was written by Lesley Marchant and originally appeared on Cosmopolitan SA.
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