Single people have ‘better social lives’

Relationships|August 11th 2015

Single people have better social lives than their married friends, new research suggests.

Researchers Natalia Sarkisian and Naomi Gerstel analysed existing data from two different US surveys – the National Survey of Families and Households and the General Social Survey – examining the nature of subjects’ personal relationships.

They concluded that single people typically make a greater effort to socialise with neighbours, friends and members of their family. They were also more likely than their married counterparts to help members of their community and to receive help in return.

The researchers found a noticeable difference between single people who had never married and those who were single because they had separated or divorced, noting:

“These differences between the single and the married are more prominent for the never married than for the previously married, suggesting that marriage extends its reach after it ends.”

The effect held true for both men and women.

The researchers called for a public acknowledgement of the “social constraints associated with marriage”.

Does singlehood isolate or integrate? Examining the link between marital status and ties to kin, friends, and neighbors was published in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Photo by Nicola Corboy via Flickr

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  1. Luke says:

    So, a summary:
    Marriage is **** !
    I was especially amused by the bit that states “marriage extends its reach after it ends” – it’s like a horror movie. 🙂

  2. Andrew says:

    How “better? Hopelessly subjective. And if you’ve never been married you can’t compare.
    More American psychobabble.

    • Luke says:

      In reality I would tend to agree, it is very subjective, like so many of these “studies” these two authors have an agenda, their track record suggests them to be very anti-marriage and wanting to promote “extended families” instead.
      The fact that I also think marriage is a very bad idea (primarily for men) doesn’t mean that I don’t acknowledge that such research as shown here is questionable – in my view they found what they wanted to find.

    • stitchedup says:

      I have to agree with Andrew, there are so many other variables involved. Though never married I was in a long term relationship and my/our social life as a couple was far superior in France than my single social life in the UK or our social life as a couple in the UK. Some countries/cultures simply seem to be more family oriented than others.

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