Single people put up with a lot: The endless questions about relationship status. The“pity face.” The double standard wherein single women are desperate or “damaged,”while single men are just “playing the field.” Plus, there are financial downsides to being unmarried.
Fortunately, there are a whole lot of ways in which being single puts you ahead of your married or coupled-up counterparts — though none of them will stop your nosey great-aunt from inquiring about your love life at Thanksgiving dinner. Here are nine of them:
1. Single people exercise more.
A 2004 study found that women who had never been married spent much more time exercising than those who were married or divorced. And regular exercise releases all kinds of endorphins, which keep you feeling as awesome as you are.
2. Single men and women are more likely to find work.
A 2012 report from the University of Chicago suggests that single people are more likely to find employment than married couples. Single Americans lost 6 million jobs after the 2009 financial crisis, and have gained roughly 90 percent of them back. Conversely, married Americans have only gained back 22 percent of the 6 million jobs they held before the recession.
3. Single people get more sleep.
A Better Sleep Council survey found that, when you don’t have someone next to you snoring, hogging the blankets, or kicking you all night, you may in fact rest better. Who’d have thought it?
4. Single women are more engaged with political causes.
A 2006 study found that single women sign more petitions, attend more political events and raise more money for political causes than married women do. And, according to Eric Klinenberg, the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, “people who live alone… have more environmentally sustainable lifestyles.”
5. People who live alone are more independent.
When there’s no division of labor in your household, you learn to manage everything yourself. “You don’t have the luxury of avoiding things,” Sara Eckel, author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single said, “You have to handle every aspect of your life, from your financials to making sure there’s something in the fridge to gifts for your family, so you do develop all those skills.”
6. Single people are more likely to put a partner’s sexual satisfaction first.
In a Feb. 2013 Match.com survey, 97 percent of singles said that it was more important to satisfy their partners sexually than be satisfied themselves. Excellent news for all single people trying to link up with each other.
7. Single people may be more resilient.
In her book Singled Out, social scientist Bella DePaulo lays out the ways in which single people are discriminated against — and suggests that those who thrive in single life are uniquely resilient. In her words, single people are “stereotyped, stigmatized, and ignored, and still live happily ever after.”
8. Single people are less likely to be in debt.
Around 21% of single people have credit card debt, compared to 27 percent of married couples without children and 36 percent of married couples with children. Furthermore, married couples know less about their debt than their single counterparts.
9. The longer someone stays single, the better things are if and when they decide to get married.
People who wait longer to get married are less likely to get divorced. Also, women who wait until they are under 30 or older to get married make significantly more money than women who married young.