Are single women happier than their married counterparts?
Researchers say yes.
Put on your comfiest Amazon leggings, curl up with a good book, and don’t worry about going out on that blind date tonight. Why? Because Paul Dolan, author of Happy Ever After and behavioral science expert from the London School of Economics believes single women are actually the happiest. He recently lectured at The Hay Festival in Wales, explaining his research. Unlike their peers who have domestic responsibilities to fulfill, single childless women are more likely to be healthier and live longer. Sounds about right to any married mother.
The exception, of course, is divorce and single parenting. Those are known causes of additional stress.
This revelation goes against everything girls and women have been told for years. Traditionally, marriage and motherhood have been the highest measures of success for women. According to Dolan, recent data has revealed that these measures do not necessarily correspond to levels of happiness.
Unlike other researchers who mince their words, Dolan explicitly shared these society-bending ideas:
“The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.
I am going to do a massive disservice to [the] academic science and just say: if you are a man, you should probably get married; if you are a woman, don’t bother.”
He also highlighted on the social stigma that makes the “single women happier” conclusion seem a bit far fetched. He admitted that the stigma did indeed affect the happiness of some single women.
“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’
No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”
Dolan was particularly frank in his talk, and did not reserve his comments to the topic of the happiness of single women. He also took an unorthodox approach when commenting on parenthood.
“It would be categorically awful if anything happened to them, but the experiences we have with children are largely miserable.”
It’s no secret that some people may find Dolan’s statement offensive. However, he was definitely on a path less trodden, and did not shy away from making this statement about marriage.
“Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they are asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: f***ing miserable.”
While Dolan’s statements may be categorically true for some, society may not be comfortable with them (kind of like snake massages, right?). It seems that what makes single women happier — no husband and no children — contradicts what society has always believed is the greatest source of joy for women.
Single women have been the topic of discussion for ages, and Dr. Bob Nicholson shared an 1889 copy of Tit-Bits magazine to highlight that point. The magazine asked its Victorian audience, “Why am I a spinster?”
The responses were absolutely divine.
We’re not shocked though, because science keeps proving wonderful truths like generous people are typically happier, and delicious smoothies may enhance a woman’s fertility.
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