Experts Are Saying That Women Without A Husband Or Kids Are The Happiest
Who says you need a family to feel fulfilled? Sometimes you can feel fulfilled all on your own. You can come and go as you please, and there’s nobody there who you have to keep alive. Because let’s face it, your husband needs to be fed and taken care of just as much of your kids, if not more. They can’t be left alone, because there’s always the risk of them putting something in their mouth and choking on it. Plus, they can never seem to dress themselves properly. Husbands are just a lot of work!
No, it’s much better to forget about having a husband and kids. If you want something lower maintenance to keep you company, you can pick up a cat or a bonsai tree. That’ll be just as good. And if you want to live the single life, science is staring to say you might be better off.
Happily Ever After
Many women growing up hearing that they need a husband and family to feel fulfilled. It’s been drilled into their heads for centuries
But it turns out, the opposite might actually be true. Women don’t need to get married to find happiness, and in fact, you might actually be happier unmarried.
Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics says that unmarried, childless women are more likely to be happy. And it makes us smile just hearing that.
Tying The Knot
Dolan says that men receive a lot of benefits from getting married. They tend to “calm down” once they tie the knot.
In fact, Dolan recommends that men get married in order to improve their wellbeing.
However, they might not have anyone to get married to. It turns out that women are the opposite of men when it comes to getting hitched. It doesn’t make them “calm down,” and in fact, it might make them miserable.
Killing Me Softly
We always knew men and women were different. Dolan explains exactly what makes men and women so unlike.
“You take less risks, you earn more money at work and you live a little longer. She, on the other hand, has to put up with that and dies sooner than if she never married,” says Dolan.
“The healthiest and happiest population sub-group are women who never married or had children.” We always suspected marriage was killing us.
Dolan spoke a the Hay Festival and put his suggestion based off of his scientific findings bluntly.
“We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother,” said Dolan.
So who are the men going to marry if women don’t marry anyone?
Dolan talks about this issue in his book Happy Ever After. Dolan discusses the American Time Use Survey (ATUS).
The survey compared levels of pleasure and misery in unmarried, married, divorced, separated and widowed individuals.
The study found that people who were married said that they were happier, but this was only stated when their spouse was in the room. When their spouse was not in the room, they said that they were unhappier. Well, which is it?
Happy And Healthy
But this survey wasn’t the only thing to take a look at the correlation between marriage and happiness.
Other studies have found that there are financial and health benefits in getting married for both men and women.
Dolan thinks that this is because marriage can lead to higher incomes and emotional support. Married people can take more risks, and they can also get medical help if they need it. Nobody’s going to let them die in a ditch.
In Your Face
It might be possible that married people just like to rub their happiness in your face.
“Married people are happier than other population sub-groups but only when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: f***ing miserable,” said Dolan.
Either they’re trying to make their spouse think that they love them, or they love their spouse so much they feel sad when they’re not there.
Sick And Tired
Interestingly, being married doesn’t seem to have an impact a woman’s health as much as you think it would.
Middle-aged married women are actually at a higher risk of physical health conditions than middle-aged women who are unmarried.
So your husband might be able to bring you soup in bed when you’r under the weather, but he’s not going to be able to stop you from being sick in the first place, which is a shame.
Even though women who are unmarried tend to be happier and healthier, there is still an stigma on living a single life.
Dolan noted that marriage and children are still considered signs of success for women.
Because your husband and kids are a sort of status symbol, unmarried women might be more unhappy because they feel like they are not as successful as married women, even though this actually could’t be further from the truth.
No More Stigma
Dolan said that there shouldn’t be a stigma for women who chose to remain single.
He also feels that the research on how single women are happier might end up changing things for single women.
If more people understand that single women are happier and can still be successful without a husband or children, they might not feel that the women is doing anything wrong with her life. There’s nothing wrong with being single anymore.
Dolan talked about how people tend to feel sad for women who are single, even though they might actually be happier.
“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children [and you think], ‘That’s a shame isn’t it, maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change,'” said Dolan.
Spoiler alert: Dolan doesn’t think that woman needs to make any changes in her life, because she’s doing just fine, thank you very much.
But Dolan said that there are consequences to getting married that most people don’t think about when they see a single woman.
“No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy… maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner,” continued Dolan.
If you marry someone and he’s awful, you’re going to be miserable. Being married doesn’t mean that you’ve found someone who fulfills you. It just means that you’ve gotten married.
Live Your Own Life
So if you’re single and you’re getting up there in the years, don’t worry about it.
You don’t need to achieve the milestones that people tell you to achieve. It’s more important to make your own milestones.
If you’re living someone else’s life, you’re going to be miserable. And for some people, being married and having kids means living someone else’s life. It’s not worth it one bit. And now science thinks that way, too.
When you’re married and you have kids, you have to put other people’s needs before your own.
And while it can be rewarding to take care of other people, sometimes it’s important to take care of yourself. And indulging in your own interests can make you feel fulfilled in a way a husband and children never could.
If taking off and going skydiving on a whim makes you happy, it’s a lot easier to do when you’re single.
So don’t worry about the stigma of being single when you reach a certain age.
Maybe there should be a stigma on women who are married and have kids, because it seems like they are a lot more unhappy than single women?
But realistically, it doesn’t matter what your marital status is. As long as you are happy, that’s what’s important and you don’t need a ring (or lack of a ring) to make you feel good.