Science has spoken: Being single can be just as fulfilling as being in a relationship. (Because duh.)
I don’t have a problem with being single—I have a problem with everyone else’s problem with it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been much for relationships. The few times I’ve attempted to go down that road always ended in a five-car pileup of alcohol and self-loathing. And not because the relationships ended, but because I kept trying to commit to something that’s not in my nature.
That’s not to say I won’t end up in a relationship eventually, but it’ll be because I sincerely want to, not because the couples in my life are uncomfortable with my perpetual singledom. Luckily, a recent study revealed what we single ladies have known all along: Being single can be just as satisfying as being in a relationship, but it depends on your attitude toward relationships.
The study, called “Happily Single: The Link Between Relationship Status and Well-Being Depends on Avoidance and Approach Social Goals,” was conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. They surveyed 4,000 adults twice, one year apart—and since one-fifth of participants were single at the time of both surveys, researchers were able to get a better glimpse into what being single really feels like.
They wanted to find out how people’s temperaments impact their relationship goals, and found that people who tend to avoid conflict and drama in relationships reported that being single was just as satisfying as being coupled up. On the flipside, people who weren’t bothered by the hormonal rollercoaster relationships can turn into were less happy when they were single. Because avoiding drama isn’t a top priority for them, they’re able to focus on what makes a relationship great.
As for why some people find avoiding relationship stressors more important than others, that’s beyond the scope of this particular study. For me personally, I find the drama distracting, exhausting, and a total waste of time. I attribute these feelings to the fact that I’m naturally a reclusive loner who’s never prioritized the whole human interaction thing, and I also have severe commitment issues due to trapping myself in some pretty undesirable situations in the past.
But I only ended up trapped because I wasn’t trusting my instincts: I was letting other people plant seeds of doubt about who I am and how my life should be. Now, those people can suck it. This study (finally!) proves that there’s no one-size-fits-all way to live your life, and you can’t let other people dictate the terms, no matter how well-intentioned they are. Whether they realize it or not, they’re meddling in your life to make themselves feel better, not you.
You know what you want and need better than anybody—and if that’s being single, own it and enjoy the (millions of) perks while your friends walk around in their proverbial shackles. (Enter evil laugh here.)
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