8 unexpected benefits of being single

If you don’t have a boyfriend, married couples often feel sorry for you. But maybe us single people should feel sorry for them. Because being single can offer unexpected benefits that married people don’t have. Maybe we’ll even save the planet.

1. You experience more personal growth
You already know that you have more time to build your career, learn something new and pursue your passions, but ‘personal growth’ is about more than that. It stands for your growth as a human being in general, so it’s not just about knowledge, but also about life experience, the way you look at things, values and so on. And us single people turn out to have more personal growth than married couples.

That is the conclusion of a study of the American Survey of National Families and Households. The singles that replied to the study indicated that they keep on looking for new experiences and that they want to keep learning, changing and growing. Married people, on the other hand, indicated more often that they ‘gave up trying to make big improvements or changes in my life a long time ago’. Interesting detail: the longer the couples have been married, the more they agree with this.

Vrouw die aan het koken is (Foto: Chris Ford/Flickr)

2. You’re more autonomous and independent
If you’re living alone, you’ll definitely agree that as a single, you have to depend on yourself most of the time. So you’ll learn to thrust your own instincts more and more. You’ll also tend to follow your own ideas instead of letting the opinion of other people influence your actions and your life. You’ll have more confidence in being independent, and this makes you stronger.

While on the other hand, in the study of the Survey of National Families and Households most married people indicated that they often let themselves be influenced by people with strong opinions. And the longer they have been married, the more they agree with that.

Businessvrouw aan het shoppen (Foto: Freestocks.org via Flickr)

3. You have a better network
Us single people tend to put more effort into maintaining social contacts than people who are married. Single people often have stronger connections with their siblings, parents, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Since we’re often more active when it comes to building a career, hobbies, dating and so on, we often have more opportunities to get to know more people.

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4. You probably do more volunteer work
Volunteer work is very important for our society, and since single people often have more time than married people, they tend to do more volunteer work in their spare time. Volunteering is also the perfect way to get to know people. And at the same time, people who don’t have kids of their own, tend to help out their parents more often if they are getting older.

Vrouwen die plantjes planten als vrijwilligerswerk (Foto: Angsbacka/Flickr)

Fitness motivation - Sweat is just fat crying (Foto: Pinterest)

5. You’re probably healthy(er)
Several studies claim that you’ll be healthier if you’re married, but there are also studies that claim the opposite. According to Psychology Today diverse long-term studies show that people who stay single for their entire life turn out to be healthier than people who got married. So don’t worry, being single is not bad for your health.

6. You’re relatively happy – marriage wouldn’t make you happier
Another long-term study proved that people who get married and stay married are not any happier than the people who stayed single. The people who got married and had a divorce even turned out to be less happy than when they were single before they married.

No boyfriend, no problems7. You might be mentally stronger
Bella DePaulo, author of Singled Out, noticed that singles are generally doing very well, even though they often have several disadvantages compared to married couples – for example higher taxes, higher living expenses, loneliness, negative experiences when dating, … DePaulo suspects that single people are mentally stronger. She things that they have a better resilience thanks to their networks of friends and family that they maintain well.

8. You’re helping the environment (if you don’t have kids)
We hate to admit it, but having children is still a must in our society. But in times of global change, it looks like this dream might turn into a nightmare. Since the global population keeps getting bigger, we are all exhausting the Earth and all of its natural sources. We’re facing several big environmental problems, like CO2 levels that keep going up, temperature that keeps on rising, water levels that rise with it and so on. So people who decide not to follow the trend by not having kids, are doing Mother Nature a favor. Us single people are helping to avoid environmental problems from getting even bigger. Who knows, if we keep it up, we might save the planet one day…

Baby pinguïns (Foto: SF Brit/Flickr)

Sources: PsychCentral, Psychology Today and De Morgen.

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