Single people can be just as happy as those who are in a relationship, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand surveyed 2,461 women and 1,563 men between 18 and 94 years old over the course of a year. Each respondent was asked questions about their overall life satisfaction and wellbeing. Of those who participated in the study, just over 20 per cent were single compared to over 78 per cent who were in a relationship.
The research revealed that those who naturally avoided conflict were happier being single. By contrast, people who were more prone to facing conflicts were happier as part of a couple, the results indicated.
Study author Yuthika Girme is a doctoral candidate at the university’s School of Psychology. She said that those who naturally try to avoid conflict “may feel relieved when they don’t have to manage the inevitable ups-and-downs of being in a relationship”. This could explain the high levels of life satisfaction found among such people who remained single.
This research is “the first evidence that being single doesn’t necessarily undermine life satisfaction or wellbeing”, Ms Girme claimed. Being single may even have benefits such as “protection against being hurt or rejected by relationship partners”, she added.
The full results of the study, ‘Happily Single’, were published in the academic journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.