If you’ve ever been the only single person at a dinner party you probably know what it’s like to be interrogated about your love life. For those involved in long term relationships it may be hard to understand that someone who chooses to live alone may actually be just as satisfied. But now, singletons have some science to backup their claims of “I’m happy living alone...really!”
The Chicago Tribune reports about a new study from the University of Auckland, in New Zealand that suggests there are many people who are happier being unencumbered by the stresses a romantic relationship can bring. Though many past studies have countered the exact opposite (that single people feel less satisfaction in their lives), the new research purports that it depends on your personality whether or not you will be more satisfied in a long term relationship.
Researchers found that if you are the type of person that prefers avoiding the conflict and drama that can come with a romantic relationship than you are probably happier living the single life. But for those that can handle and expect ups and downs in their relationship, they are more satisfied when they are involved in a serious long term relationship.
Senior scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va James Maddux explains what the findings mean. He says, “I think this study underscores the point that you can never say one size fits all.” Maddux adds, “There are many paths to happiness.”
But Maddux is also quick to point out that those who wish to avoid the drama and conflict can sometimes be on the neurotic side and may possibly benefit from a little of both. If a potentially promising romantic involvement presents itself, it may be beneficial to explore the possibility of change. Maddux says, “You can change. You’re not stuck.”
What do you think of the new study that suggests people who are single can be just as happy as those involved in a satisfying relationship?