Single People More Fulfilled, Self-Determined

Single People More Fulfilled, Self-DeterminedSingle People More Fulfilled, Self-Determined

Single people are often stereotyped as being sad and lonely. However, it turns out single people have a heightened sense of self-determination and are more likely to experience more psychological growth and development than married people, a study finds.

The research - titled “What no one ever told you about being single” and presented at the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention - challenges the depiction of single life to offer a more accurate portrayal of single people.

“The preoccupation with the perils of loneliness can obscure the profound benefits of solitude,” says Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a scientist at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

“It is time for a more accurate portrayal of single people and single life - one that recognizes the real strengths and resilience of people who are single, and what makes their lives so meaningful,” she adds.

“Increasing numbers of people are single because they want to be. Living single allows them to live their best, most authentic and most meaningful life.”

While DePaulo notes that some studies claim that getting married makes people happier, healthier, and less isolated, she says that these studies methodologically could never support such claims, reported.

Research was cited in the study that shows single people value meaningful work more than married people, and single people are also more connected to parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. “When people marry, they become more insular,” says DePaulo.

The search for research on single people highlighted that of the 814 studies DePaulo found, few focused on single people directly and instead used them as a comparison group to learn about married people and marriage.

Findings from studies that did center on single people, however, showed that single people have a heightened sense of self-determination, and they are more likely to experience a sense of continued growth and development as a person.

A study that concentrated on lifelong single people demonstrated that the more independent a person was, the less likely they were to experience negative emotions.

 The opposite was the case for married people.

In theory, people that are married should be fairing much better than single people due to the cultural advantages and several laws that benefit them.

“We can create our own life spaces. What matters is not what everyone else is doing or what other people think we should be doing, but whether we can find the places, the spaces, and the people that fit who we really are and allow us to live our best lives,” DePaulo concludes.