I frequently get asked why I’m single, when I’ll settle down, and why I haven’t started thinking about having kids as an adult woman at the age when many other women are getting married and having children.
I don’t always know how to answer these (quite unpleasant) queries, but perhaps I could start quoting this study: Women who are single and childless are happiest.
This study says among all other population sub-groups, single women without children have the tendency to be the happiest.
Of course, there are plenty of contented individuals in every category—single males, married men, married women, and all of the aforementioned with or without children—but these women appear to have hit the nail on the head.
According to Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, there are multiple reasons behind this. The advantages of a partnership for both men and women come first. He claims that men benefit from tying the knot.
Men become less inclined to take risks, earn more money, and live longer. On the other hand, married women are more likely to experience physical and mental health issues in middle age.
“[t]he healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.” he says
Traditional Success Symbols Are Not the Same as Happiness
Many of us grew up in a culture that equated success with having a stable marriage, family, and work. Relationships and having children are the final two things that put women under the most stress.
According to Dolan, the results disprove the conventional paradigm of “success”‘s relationship to happiness and life satisfaction. Relationships and starting a family are frequently more stressful and demanding for women in particular. Women still dominate “domestic” tasks at home such as cooking and cleaning even in 2021. In addition, they frequently exert more emotional effort in a relationship.
There is evidence that women spend longer on domestic activities than men, and according to University of Essex Professor Emily Grundy, “I think they also do more emotional work — so they still do more housework, cooking, and other things as well as more emotional labour.”
Dr. Grundy also notes that women tend to be more involved within social networks as compared to men, who often rely strongly on their wives. In her words: “Women tend to be better at having alternative social networks and other confidantes whereas men tend to rely quite heavily on their wives for that and have fewer other social ties.”
Single women lead independent lives.
Single women are free to concentrate on themselves and what makes them happy as they don’t have to worry about a relationship or raising kids. As they have no one to make compromises for, they don’t compromise on their own happiness. They take action if they wish to go up the corporate ladder. They have the freedom to decide if they want to leave their work and tour the world.
They are free to stay home or go out, watch the programmes they want to watch, attend the activities they want to attend, etc.
According to Grundy, “There’s no doubt that a common finding from many studies is that women without partners tend to engage in more social activities and have more friends than women with partners, whereas with men it’s the opposite — men without a partner tend to engage in much less of that.” (2)
Naturally, these advantages aren’t just for heterosexual single women. The absence of family or other obligations benefits everyone who is single. The distinction for women is that we were not able or permitted to enjoy those benefits for a very long time.
Having said that, everyone has the ability to be happy, regardless of their familial situation or relationship status. You can have a fulfilling relationship with children that is healthy and loving.
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