Contents

Money Crashers

Each year, about two million Americans get married, according to figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. No doubt all those newlyweds, or at least most of them, believe that tying the knot will make them happier. What they might not think about is whether it could also make them wealthier.

A 2005 study at Ohio State University (OSU) found that after getting married, people saw a sharp increase in their level of wealth. After 10 years of marriage, the couples reported an average net worth of around $43,000, compared to $11,000 for people who had stayed single. However, people who had married and then divorced were worse off than any other group. After a divorce, the average man was left with $8,500 in assets, while the average divorced woman had only $3,400.

As this study shows, getting married has risks as well as benefits. Furthermore, there are many factors that play a role in how marriage affects your finances. The benefits of marriage vary based on your income, your living situation, and most of all, whether you have children.

As a result, it’s impossible to say that married people are always financially better off than single people or vice versa. What is possible is to examine the financial pluses and minuses of marriage and figure out how they might affect you, either now or in the future.

Costs and Benefits of Marriage

The OSU study doesn’t explore the reasons why married couples can sock away more money, but the author suggests several possibilities. Married couples, he points out, can save money by sharing household expenses and household duties. In addition, couples enjoy many benefits single people do not when it comes to insurance, retirement, and taxes.

However, being married carries some financial costs as well. For example, weddings are a big expense for many couples. The tax laws that benefit some couples result in a penalty for others. And finally, there’s always the risk that a marriage will end in divorce, which is one of the biggest financial setbacks you can suffer.

Wedding Debt

Many couples start off married life with a huge one-time expense: a big wedding. The 2013 Real Weddings Study conducted by The Knot found that the average wedding in the United States costs nearly $30,000. Of course, this “average” is probably skewed upward by the few couples who had incredibly lavish weddings, as well as by the demographics of The Knot readers. But it’s clear that at least some couples actually spend $30,000 or more for a one-day event.

More troubling still is that many couples go into debt to pay for their big day. According to MarketWatch, about 36% of the couples in The Knot’s survey say they used credit cards to finance their wedding, and 32% say they borrowed money so they could go over their budget.

This is a big problem not just for their finances, but for their future happiness. A 2012 study by the New Economics Foundation shows that people who have credit card debt are generally unhappier, and unmanageable debt can lead to mental problems like anxiety and depression.

The Marriage Penalty

After the honeymoon is over, married couples come home and settle into a new routine together. Getting married changes a lot of things about your living situation, from household chores to leisure time. One of the changes many newlyweds have to adjust to is filing a joint tax return – which, in many cases, means dealing with the marriage penalty.

The marriage penalty exists because tax brackets – the income levels at which tax rates shift – aren’t exactly twice as high for couples as they are for single people. As a result, couples who file their taxes jointly sometimes pay more than they would as two single people. For instance, a couple making $200,000 a year may pay a higher percentage of that income in taxes than a single person making $100,000.

However, not all couples actually pay this penalty. In fact, when one spouse earns all or most of the income, the couple often gets a “marriage bonus,” paying less in taxes for their joint income than they would individually. The penalty usually affects couples in which both spouses earn about the same amount of money – a situation that’s more common among high earners. In general, the more a couple makes, the steeper the penalty they pay.

However, in some cases, the marriage penalty can hit low-income couples hard. That’s because people who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) get less money back when they file a joint return. In 2014, a childless couple with a combined income of $17,000 would get only $230 from the EITC. By contrast, two single people making $8,500 would each get $465, so this low-income couple would pay a penalty of $700 – about 4% of their total income.

Other Tax Issues

Leaving the marriage penalty aside, married couples definitely get some tax perks that aren’t available to single people. These include the following:

  • Extra Deductions. Even if your income doesn’t double after marriage, your income tax deductions can. The standard deduction the IRS allows for couples is exactly twice as high as the deduction for single people. In addition, most couples can deduct a personal exemption for each spouse, which is $4,000 apiece for tax year 2015. These doubled deductions effectively give a bonus to couples with one nonworking spouse who wouldn’t file a tax return otherwise.
  • Estate Taxes. If you leave behind a substantial estate when you die – “substantial” meaning $5,430,000 or more in 2015 – the government skims off an estate tax before the money passes to your heirs. However, any money you leave directly to your legal spouse is exempt from this tax. If you have $10,000,000 and leave it all to your spouse, the government can’t touch a penny of it.
  • Gift Taxes. Some people try to get around the estate tax by giving large sums of cash to relatives before they die. To close this loophole, the IRS charges a “gift tax” on any gifts of $14,000 or more. However, like the estate tax, this tax doesn’t apply to your spouse. You can give your spouse any sum of money – or other valuable items, such as jewelry – without paying tax on it.
  • Home Sales. When you sell your home, you don’t have to pay capital gains tax on the first $250,000 of profit if you’re single. But if you’re married, and you and your spouse have both lived in the house for at least two of the last five years, this exemption doubles. That means you can make $500,000 on the sale of your home and pay no tax at all.

Health Benefits

Married couples often have more choices for health insurance coverage. If employers of both spouses provide health plans, they can each keep their own workplace coverage, or they can both join one spouse’s plan. This gives them more options to choose the doctors they prefer or to save money on premiums.

If one spouse doesn’t have health coverage from work, then health benefits are even more important. Getting married makes it possible for the uninsured spouse to get coverage through the other spouse’s employer. According to Consumer Reports, this is almost always more affordable than paying for an individual policy, since insurers usually charge less for one policy that covers two people than they do for two separate policies.

Retirement Benefits

Married couples have more options when it comes to retirement benefits, as well. These include:

  • IRA Contributions. If you’re single and unemployed, you can’t make contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). However, if you’re a stay-at-home spouse, you can set up a spousal IRA and make contributions out of your joint income.
  • Inherited Benefits. In many cases, if you inherit another person’s traditional or Roth IRA, you must start making withdrawals from it promptly – and if it’s a traditional IRA, you must pay taxes each time. But if you inherit your spouse’s IRA, you have the option to transfer it to an IRA in your own name and make no withdrawals until you retire.
  • Social Security. Married couples have many more options for collecting Social Security benefits. You can either collect your own benefits or take a payment equal to 50% of your spouse’s benefit – even if that’s more than you’d be entitled to on your own. You can also choose to delay your own benefits to increase the payout and take the spousal benefit in the meantime. Even a nonworking spouse who has never contributed to Social Security at all can still collect spousal benefits.

The Risk of Divorce

Perhaps the greatest financial risk of getting married is the possibility of ending up divorced. While being married is generally better for your wallet than being single, getting a divorce cancels that benefit – and then some. The OSU study shows that on average, divorced people have 77% less wealth than single people in the same age group.

Interestingly, the drop in a couple’s fortunes doesn’t happen immediately after the divorce. In fact, the couple’s wealth usually starts to decline about four years before they actually end the marriage. Jay Zagorsky, the author of the study, says this could happen because many couples separate first before they officially divorce, taking on the additional cost of maintaining separate households. Another possibility is that the stress of a failing marriage hurts each spouse’s ability to work and earn money.

The impact of divorce continues long after a couple splits up. The newly single people see their wealth start to creep upward again within a year, but it doesn’t increase very fast. Even 10 years after a divorce, their median wealth is still below $10,000 – less than the $11,000 average for people who stayed single.

The Role of Parenthood

Bringing up children is a huge expense. The annual report “Expenditures on Children by Families,” published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), shows that a family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $245,000 raising that child to adulthood.

Decades ago, this cost was something that seldom affected single people. An analysis by the Pew Research Center shows that in 1960, only 9% of all children lived in single-parent homes. Today, by contrast, more than one-third of all children live with just one parent. In 2011, 41% of all babies were born to single parents.

Having children is a financial game-changer for both single and married people. Childcare and increased housing costs eat up a large share of any parent’s income. However, there’s no doubt that raising kids is easier with two people to share the burden. Not only do couples tend to have higher incomes, they also have more choices for dealing with childcare.

Childcare Costs

A 2015 survey by Care.com finds that for most families, childcare is the single biggest expense in the budget. Keeping just one child in daycare costs an average of $181 a week, more than $9,400 a year. With two children in daycare, that cost jumps to $341 per week, more than $17,700 per year.

However, for many married couples, there are ways of avoiding this cost. Couples have options that aren’t available to most single parents, such as:

  • Stay-at-Home Parenting. Some parents avoid childcare costs by having one spouse quit working – at least for a year or so – to care for the children full-time. Mothers are more likely than fathers to take on this role. A 2014 study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2012, 29% of all mothers were stay-at-home moms, up from a low of 20% in 1999. However, a second Pew study that same year found that stay-at-home dads were also on the rise. In 2012, 16% of all stay-at-home parents were fathers.
  • Work-at-Home Parenting. New technologies, such as email and teleconferencing, make it possible for some parents to work from home, where they can also keep an eye on their kids. Although this job arrangement is sometimes possible for single parents, couples with two jobs have a better chance of converting one of those jobs to a work-at-home position. It’s also easier for one parent to do this when the other has a full-time job, since many work-at-home opportunities are on a freelance basis, and freelance jobs often have unpredictable income and no benefits.
  • Split-Shift Parenting. Some parents choose to adjust their schedules so that one of them is always at home with the kids. For example, news anchor Lisa Scott explains in Working Mother how her husband works the overnight shift as a machinist, returning home just minutes before she has to leave to do the morning and midday news. Split-shift parenting means both parents get to spend time with their children, but it leaves them very little time to spend with each other, which can put a strain on the marriage.

Housing Costs

According to the USDA report, housing costs are the single biggest factor in the cost of raising a child. For middle-income parents, 30% of the money spent on a first child goes toward increased housing costs, while childcare and education account for only 18%.

Part of the reason for this is that a bigger family simply needs more space. A family with two children needs at least two bedrooms, and preferably three, while a single person or a couple with no children can get by with one. However, parents also tend to pay more for housing because they want their kids to be able to go to the best schools, and homes in these school districts tend to be expensive.

In September 2015, CBS News calculated what it cost to live in the 10 top-ranking school districts in the country, as rated by the education-review website Niche. In 7 of the 10 towns, the median home price was over $475,000. In 2 of the 10, it was more than $1 million. By contrast, the median home price for the whole country, as reported in by the National Association of Realtors, was only $221,000.

Fortunately, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, one of the top 10 school districts named in the CBS article is McCandless Township, Pennsylvania, where the median home price is just $206,200. A website called Neighborhood Scout has identified affordable neighborhoods that also have good schools in the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas. Choosing a home in one of these neighborhoods can help parents keep their housing costs in check while still giving their children a great education.

Tax Breaks for Parents

Because raising children is so expensive, the IRS provides an array of tax breaks for parents to help offset the cost. For starters, parents can claim personal exemptions for their kids, as well as for themselves. This knocks $4,000 off their taxable income for each child.

In addition, parents are eligible for a variety of tax credits and perks, including:

  • The Child Tax Credit. This credit reduces parents’ taxes by up to $1,000 per child. Married couples with combined incomes up to $110,000 can take the full amount. So can single parents with incomes up to $75,000, regardless of whether they file as “single,” “head of household,” or “qualifying widow or widower.” Above these income levels, the credit gradually shrinks. This is a case in which single parents actually benefit from their single status. Two single parents, each with one child and a $75,000 income, could each get a $1,000 credit. However, if they got married to each other, this two-income, two-child family would get no Child Tax Credit at all.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Parents who have to pay for childcare can deduct a portion of these costs through the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. This credit provides up to $3,000 for the care of a child under 13, and up to $6,000 for two or more. There’s no income limit for this tax credit, but the percentage of your costs that you get back is lower for higher incomes. It starts at 35% for incomes up to $15,000 and gradually drops down to 20% for incomes of $43,000 or more – no matter what your filing status is. That means that a single parent with a $30,000 income, who pays a typical $9,400 a year for day care, could get back 27% of that amount, or $2,538. By contrast, a married couple with a $60,000 income and the same day care expense would get back only 20% of the cost, or $1,880 – just $940 per person.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts. Parents can also offset their childcare costs by using a flexible spending account (FSA), if their employer offers one. With an FSA, a parent can set aside up to $5,000 in pretax dollars for childcare. In most cases, this is an alternative to taking the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. However, parents who have two or more children and childcare expenses of more than $5,000 per year can do both, setting aside $5,000 in an FSA and claiming a tax credit for any costs over that amount.

Having a child also increases the amount you can get from the EITC. For people with no children, the maximum credit is $503 for tax year 2015. However, this amount jumps to $3,359 for people with one child and maxes out at $6,242 for parents with three kids or more. These numbers are the same for single and married parents.

Having kids makes it easier to qualify for the EITC as well. A single person with no children needs an income of $14,820 or less to qualify for the EITC, but a single person with one child can qualify with up to $39,131 in income. For a married couple, the limits are $20,330 with no kids and $44,651 with one. Additional children increase these limits still more.

The EITC Assistant from the IRS shows how the EITC differs for single parents and married ones. A married couple with two children and an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $40,000 would get $1,929 from the EITC – just $965 per person. By contrast, a single person with two children and an AGI of $20,000, filing as head of household, would get $2,954. So as you can see, this is a case where the marriage penalty deals a big blow to married couples.

Tax Filing Status

All the tax credits listed above are available both for couples who file joint returns and for single parents who file as head of household. Parents who file as head of household have lower tax rates than other single people, and they can also take a higher standard deduction. Compared to married couples, they pay more in taxes for the same amount of income – but they still end up paying less per person.

For instance, a head of household who earns $40,000 per year, after all deductions and credits, pays $5,432.50 in taxes on that income. A married couple with the same $40,000 income between them would pay only $5,077.50. However, a married couple where each spouse earned $40,000, for a combined income of $80,000, would pay $11,587.50 – more than twice as much as the single head of household.

The situation with the standard deduction is the same. A head of household’s standard deduction for tax year 2014 is $9,250. That’s less than the $12,600 a married couple can deduct, but it’s far more than the $6,300 each spouse in that couple gets. So this is another case in which single parents get a much-needed break.

Sharing a Home

Jay Zagorsky, the author of the OSU study, speculated that the reason married couples save more than single people could be that they’re more likely to share a household. By sharing expenses such as rent, food, and utilities, they can spend less than two single people who live alone.

The annual Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports this theory. It shows that the average single person spends $36,585 per year, while the average two-income couple spends $69,785. By combining their expenses, the couple saves $3,385 each year.

However, these benefits aren’t just for married couples. Single people can get them too, by sharing a home with a roommate, a family member, or a significant other. Sharing a household is one of the best ways for single people to close the wealth gap and start saving early for big expenses down the road.

Shared Expenses

According to an old saying, “Two can live as cheaply as one.” That’s not exactly accurate, but it’s definitely true that two people living together, sharing all their expenses, can live more cheaply than two people maintaining separate households.

Housing costs are a good example. Suppose two people are living in separate, identical one-bedroom apartments, paying $1,250 a month for each. If they move in together and share just one of these apartments, they immediately cut their rent in half. Even if they upgrade to a two-bedroom apartment to give themselves more space, they can still cut their total housing bill by a sizable amount. A 2015 survey by the financial site SmartAsset found that in some cities, sharing a two-bedroom apartment costs as much as $800 less than renting a one-bedroom on your own.

People sharing a household can save on all sorts of other expenses as well. It’s easier for them to buy groceries in bulk – for instance, getting a gallon of milk instead of a half-gallon without worrying that it’ll go bad before it’s used up. They can share one landline phone bill, combine their home insurance policies, and share loads at the coin laundry. All these savings can add up to thousands of dollars each year.

Shared Responsibilities

People who live alone not only have to pay all their own household expenses, they also have to do all the work of maintaining the home by themselves. Keeping up with cleaning, cooking, laundry, and all the other household tasks can feel overwhelming. After a while, it becomes tempting to hire someone else to take care of it – and that can get expensive. According to Angie’s List, the average cost of a biweekly house cleaning is between $100 and $150, or $2,600 to $3,900 per year.

By contrast, living with a partner or a roommate can ease the burden on both of you. If one person cooks dinner, the other can do the dishes; if one does the laundry, the other can clean the bathroom. Since cooking or cleaning for two people doesn’t take much longer than doing it for one, this cuts way down on the amount of time these chores take.

People who live alone also pay for services in ways that are less obvious. For instance, when you’re going through a crunch at work, you often get home late and don’t have the time or the energy to cook. If you share your home, you can ask your partner or your roommate to take over the cooking for you until your work crisis is over.

But if you live alone and don’t have this option, you’re more likely to end up eating out at restaurants every night. Eating out costs a lot more than cooking at home – anywhere from $4 for a burger and fries at McDonald’s, to $50 or more at a French bistro. Alternatively, you might turn to convenience foods from the grocery store, such as frozen dinners, to get you through your busy period. These are cheaper than a restaurant meal, but they’re still far more expensive than cooking from scratch.

Savings Tips

Of course, getting married isn’t really a decision you can make, or should make, on the basis of what’s best for your wallet. You’ve probably already decided whether being married or single is best for you, at least for now. So what you really need to know is how to make the best financial choices for whichever situation you are in.

Savings Tips for Couples

As part of a married couple, you get a big financial boost from sharing a household. However, that advantage only helps you if the marriage lasts – so the single most important thing you can do to help your finances is to avoid divorce.

As it happens, this advice also works the other way around. A 2013 survey by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts shows that money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. So anything you can do to keep your marriage financially sound can also help you avoid a costly divorce.

Here are some ways couples can keep their marriage on a strong financial footing:

  • Avoid Wedding Debt. Don’t burden your marriage with debt by having a wedding you can’t afford. A 2014 study at Emory University shows that the more couples spend on their engagement ring and wedding ceremony, the shorter their marriage is likely to be. Women who spent more than $20,000 on their weddings were 3.5 times as likely to divorce as those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000. So having a budget-friendly wedding is a much better way to get your marriage off on the right foot.
  • Maximize Your Benefits. Married couples get lots of perks for taxes and health and retirement benefits, so make the most of them. Compare health plans for both spouses’ workplaces and choose the one (or both) that gives you the most bang for your buck. Get a good tax professional, or a good piece of tax software, to make sure you’re getting all the tax credits you’re entitled to as a couple. And as you near retirement age, look into your options for collecting Social Security to get the most out of your combined benefits.
  • Communicate About Finances. A 2012 study at Kansas State University found that arguments about money are the leading predictor of whether a couple will divorce. So it’s incredibly important to communicate about money with your spouse and make sure you’re on the same page about your financial goals and expectations. Talking regularly and openly about your finances will strengthen not only your bank balance, but your whole marriage.

Savings Tips for Singles

For single people, the easiest way to save money is to find someone to share living expenses with. By sharing a home, you can save on everything from rent, to phone bills, to groceries. You can also share household chores, leaving both of you more time to work and earn money.

Of course, this only works if you actually do your own household chores, including cooking. If you don’t already know how to cook, learning how is one of the best investments you can make. Find a good cookbook, master some simple recipes, and keep your freezer and pantry well stocked so you never end up ordering a pizza because there’s nothing to eat in the house.

Pro tip: Another option for cooking your own meals would be to use a service like HelloFresh. This allows you to cook your own meals, saving on the cost of eating out, but cuts down on the time it takes to shop for ingredients.

One particular expense single people have that married people don’t is the cost of dating. Sure, some married couples make a point of having a monthly “date night” to get away from the kids and reconnect, but that’s not the same as dating on a regular basis. To keep this expense under control, try some inexpensive alternatives to dinner and a movie. Cheap date ideas include art museums, community events, a movie night or game night at home, or just a romantic walk in the moonlight.

A bonus of going on cheap dates is that it helps you weed out potential partners who have expensive tastes. That way, if you eventually decide to get married, you’re more likely to end up with someone who wants to share your frugal lifestyle. Newlyweds interviewed by LearnVest say their partners have a big influence on their approach to spending. People who marry “savers” tend to cut back on their expenses, while those who marry “spenders” start to splurge more.

Final Word

There’s no doubt that being married offers some advantages compared to being single. However, it’s much better, both financially and emotionally, to stay single than to marry the wrong person. Marrying someone who doesn’t share your values and goals is a good recipe for a bumpy marriage and, quite possibly, a painful and expensive divorce.

So if you’re single now, but you plan to marry someday, the most important thing you can do is to choose your partner carefully. Make sure you understand and agree with each other’s financial goals so you’re working together and not against each other. And if you’re married already, it’s not too late to have this conversation. By taking the time to talk about your financial needs and goals, you can keep your marriage, as well as your finances, strong.

Which do you think is easier on your wallet – being married or being single?

There are so many celebrations associated with relationships these days—from engagement bashes, to bridal showers, destination bachelor/ette parties, 14 separate wedding parties (looking at you, Priyanka Chopra Jonas), and all the photo shoots that come with those events—that being single can seem like a sad status.

That actually couldn’t be further from the truth, however. There’s so much value in being single that people often overlook, when we should be embracing and appreciating it instead. When you’re not legally bound to another person, you have the freedom to learn, grow, and explore, without any of the guilt associated with taking time for self-care. And the payoff there is that if you do decide you’d like to pair off with someone, you know exactly who you are and what you want.

The reality is, 110.6 million Americans ages 18 or older (or 45.2 percent) are single, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau—a number that’s been rising since 2015. And people are staying single longer than ever before; in 2018, the highest median ages ever for a first marriage were reported: 30 years for men and 28 years for women.

So even though you’re technically “alone” as a single, you’re far from an anomaly. In this era, you’re actually the norm. Here are the benefits of being single that you can start celebrating:

There’s more time to develop strong friendships.

Single people aren’t exactly sitting at home moping about their relationship status, despite the fact that a 2008 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that other people often think singles are unhappy. For what it’s worth, the happiest demographic might just be single, childless women, according to Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics and author of Happy Ever After.

That happiness isn’t due to their solitary status; in fact, singles actually have super strong relationships. “One of the major benefits of being single is having the space in your life to spend quality time with friends,” says Roxy Zarrabi, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist. And being single actually increases social connections, according to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. That’s because they reach out more to their social networks, and give and receive more help from those contacts compared to their married counterparts.

“It’s important to have strong friendships whether you are single or not, but there is no doubt that when you’re single you are able to spend more time deepening the friendships that you find most valuable.” By the way—the better you are at developing your platonic relationship skills, the better prepared you’ll be for a romantic relationship should you decide to pursue one.

And to focus on health.

Research suggests that unmarried people tend to be healthier than their married counterparts. People who were single and had never married exercised more frequently every week than married folks in a survey of over 13,000 people. Single women were found to have lower BMIs and risks associated with smoking and alcohol than married women, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health. And perennially single men, for their part, were less likely to suffer from heart disease than those with any other marital status, research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found. Of course, take this all with a grain of salt, but it can be suggested that those who are single have more time to focus on exercise, etc.

Which includes having more sex.

Finally, just to throw this out there, single people are having sex more often than married people are, according to an analysis of survey data collected from more than 26,000 people between 1989 and 2014.

You learn about yourself.

“One of the most important relationships you will have is with yourself,” says Zarrabi. “Being single can provide a valuable opportunity to learn about your likes/dislikes, embrace your authentic self, and explore hobbies or activities you’ve been itching to try.”

Maybe your last partner hated running, and you’ve always wanted to try a marathon. Or, perhaps you’ve dreamt of traveling to Hawaii, but you were waiting for a partner to share those romantic massages on the beach with. Instead, embrace your own independence.

Related Stories

“Being single, you’ll learn to value your freedom, make decisions for yourself, and become more accountable for your choices, actions, and goals,” says Russell Thackeray, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the UK. “People who can make their own choices and choose when and how they connect with other people develop their own ‘inner strength,’” he adds. Remember: No partner “completes” you—you need to be a whole, happy person on your own before sharing your life with someone else.

And you’ll have fewer regrets.

“It’s not uncommon for people who didn’t have a chance to explore life on their own terms to experience regret,” says Thackeray. Use your single status as an opportunity to be a little selfish about your desires. The reason is twofold: “The more you spend time with yourself and get clear about what your values are, the more likely you are to attract the type of partner that is the right fit for you,” explains Zarrabi. That is, of course, if that’s of interest to you.

Selfishness is a healthy state to experience, adds Thackeray. “It lets you maintain a sense of self-­identity when interacting with others,” he explains. Many people (often women) can vanish in a relationship as a ‘wife’, ‘partner’, mother’ to the point where who ‘they are’ is lost.”

How do you enjoy being single?

Spoiler alert: There’s no prescription for loving single life. Just live the life you want to live. The best part of not having to share your life with someone is that you can do all the things that fulfill you. And when you’re prioritizing your friendships, making time for new hobbies, and keeping yourself healthy and fit, how can you not enjoy yourself?

That doesn’t mean you’ll be happy 100 percent of the time. “The ability to be on your own without becoming lonely is a skill,” says Thackeray. It takes time and practice. But “it is one of the greatest learnings a single person accomplish.”

Is being single better than being in a relationship?

That’s a trick question, because of course there’s no right answer. “With either choice, there are advantages and drawbacks, so this depends on what your current priorities as well as values are,” says Zarrabi.

“Many people fall into the trap of listening to what society or others think is best for them rather than listening to themselves when it comes to making this choice,” she adds. If you’re happy being single, don’t change that just because you’re experiencing societal (or social media) pressure to be in a relationship. If your current relationship isn’t making you happy, don’t stay because you feel like you have to be paired up. And if you love the idea of being in a committed partnership, by all means, find your person.

But the most important thing, really, is that if you’re hoping to have a happy relationship with a long-term partner in the future, you have to learn how to be happy being single first. As RuPaul says, you have to love yourself before you can let someone else love you.

For more ways to live your best life plus all things Oprah, sign up for our newsletter!

9 Ways Being Single Can Improve Your Life

Being single isn’t always a walk in the park—especially when movies and television shows seem to push the concept that you aren’t truly “complete” until you’ve found a significant other.

People’s single lives are often portrayed as a sort of purgatory they are forced to endure until they find their soul mates. So much so that a 2008 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that single people are often thought to be unhappy by others.

But experts say these stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the 2008 study also found that single people self-reported levels of well-being that was similar to participants in relationships. And there are plenty of benefits that come along with living your life free of a romantic relationship. Here are a few, according to experts:

Your mind is uncluttered

“Believe it or not, relationships are ‘mentally’ expensive,” says relationship expert and bestselling author, Susan Winter. “Intimacy and partnership takes up a lot of space in our heads. Even though much of this is happening unconsciously, there’s simply a lesser capacity for individually focused thought.”

Winter refers to the time people in relationships inevitably spend worrying about their partners and, at times, ruminating on even the smallest quarrels, as “the price of love.” This sort of stress can inhibit people’s happiness by keeping them from living in the now, she says.

“Emotional discord can be all-consuming as it removes us from the present moment and present situation,” Winter says. “This is true whether the internal turmoil is based on a fight with our mate, or a fear for their health and wellbeing.”

Conversely, “being single is an act of purging the clutter and making room for new thoughts (and dreams) to breathe and grow,” she adds.

You’re more open to whatever life throws your way

Being single can make people more willing to roll with the punches, experts say.

“It’s almost like you have no choice,” says Dr. Niloo Dardashti, a New York-based psychologist and relationship expert. “When you’re alone you have to be more self-sufficient.”

Free from the constraints of having a partner, people’s lives suddenly become totally and completely their own, according to Dardashti. There’s nobody hindering you from setting out to chase your ambitions. “You’re more likely to take risks and have adventures and have more novelty within your journey,” she says.

You have time to get in touch with yourself

“People say a lot of times, when they’re in relationships, that they’ve lost themselves,” says Dr. Dardashti. “And that’s largely because we stop doing things independently.”

She says that in relationships, people risk losing touch with themselves because they have less time alone to focus on their own personal development. “When you’re alone, it creates opportunity for being more in touch with something inside of you,” she says.

Dr. Dardashti adds that a common complaint she hears from patients in relationships is that they’re feeling out of touch with their creative sides. When you’re single, she says there’s more room for creativity. “Can you have creativity and be in a relationship? Yes, of course,” she says. “But, for the average person, it’s hard to balance those two.”

You have a chance to figure out what you want out of life

Dr. Jenny Taitz, clinical psychologist and author of How to Be Single and Happy, looks at being single as your chance to figure out your own personal “mission statement.” She says this is the critical time to figure out who you are and what you stand for.

Get our Living Newsletter. Sign up to receive the latest career, relationship and wellness advice to enrich your life.

Thank you!

For your security, we’ve sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don’t get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder.

“When we’re not in a relationship we really have some time to get clear about what matters to us and what we value,” she explains.

And that is the time when you can recalibrate and reflect on lessons learned from past relationships. “Being single is the perfect time to reassess who you are and where you want to be in life,” says Winter. “What changes do you want to make? What classes, associations, or new attitudes would you like to develop? You now have the time and the ability to focus on the one consistent factor that will create the change you’re seeking– yourself.”

Get the latest career, relationship and wellness advice to enrich your life: sign up for TIME’s Living newsletter

It can be the best-case scenario

Being in a relationship isn’t always the optimal choice for everyone. “If we think of three options, one option is to be happy when you’re single, another option is to be unhappy in a relationship, another option is to be unhappily single,” says Dr. Taitz. “Being single and happy seems like the only viable option for someone who’s looking for love and is not finding it.”

In order to truly become happily single, Dr. Taitz suggests practicing mindfulness. “So much of happiness has to do with living in the present moment,” she says. And doing this will enrich enrich other aspects of your life, too.

“You can strengthen your friendships, you can get clear on what’s important to you—you have a lot of freedom. You can design your best day,” Dr. Taitz says. “If you’re spending your single time ruminating about how you’re going to meet someone or what’s wrong with you, you miss that opportunity so you really want to be single with a smart head space.”

It’s a chance to become financially responsible

One of the perks people often attribute to relationships is the ability for both partners to share responsibilities and financial burdens. But experts say that being single can actually incentivize you to be more frugal and financially independent.

“Sometimes when you’re single and don’t share expenses with someone else, you push yourself to advance and to be resourceful because you’re not relying on someone else to cover your expenses,” says Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing). “This can be a great thing for your career and life.”

You can make self-care a priority

“Partnership can be wonderful,” Winter says. “We have someone with whom to share our ups and downs, as they do with us. But when we’re single, we’re required to focus on the areas of our lives that need attention.”

She cautions that these areas — such as working out, socializing with friends, taking time to focus on personal aspirations and spending time alone — often get pushed aside in relationships amid our need to assist others. “While single, there’s no distraction that pulls us away from our own self-care and personal development,” she notes.

You learn to enjoy your own company

Being single doesn’t necessarily need to be synonymous with being lonely. In fact, experts say that you can actually gain an appreciation for time alone.

“It’s liberating to discover that we can enjoy our own company,” says Winter. “Being content in our own company frees us from the need to chase others.”

When we learn to enjoy being alone, we become more selective about the company we choose—spending time with only those who improve our lives and contribute to our wellbeing, according to Winter.

Your confidence level can skyrocket

“When you’re alone, there’s a strength that almost has to be there,” says Dr. Dardashti. “We tend to sometimes rely on our partners for a lot more than what we need to.” As a result, she says that being single provides an opportunity to tap into one’s inner strengths, which in turn can actually manifest in a greater level of confidence.

“Solitude breeds self-reflection, and self-reflection breed’s confidence,” adds Winter. “Absolute solitude is almost impossible when you’re in a partnership. We always have our partner in our thoughts.”

And this confidence cultivated in solitude will eventually trickle into all of your relationships.

“The best relationships occur when you have a good understanding of your needs, wants and values,” says Syrtash. “Being single allows you to focus on these things. Having this confidence and self-awareness will ultimately serve you in all of your relationships, not just romantic ones.”

Most Popular on TIME

Contact us at [email protected]

7 science-backed reasons why you’re better off being single

  • Being single is great.
  • Because there’s a difference between being lonely and being alone.
  • Learning to be comfortable with your solitude can better prepare you for future relationships and being self-sufficient.
  • Single people are also more likely to be fitter and healthier.

While Valentine’s Day is a time for loved up couples to celebrate, some people are choosing to treat themselves instead. In fact, research shows people are staying single for longer and settling down older, and some are choosing to be that way forever.

Singledom isn’t regarded as something to be pitied as much as it used to be. And quite right too, considering there are numerous mental and physical benefits to being on your own.

Here are 7 science-backed reasons being alone is actually better for you.

Read more: How to tell if being single for a long time has made you bad at relationships

1. Being single gives you the space to think

Taking some time to yourself should be seen as an opportunity to get to know who you really are and what you need. Due to something called repetition compulsion, if we’ve been hurt in the past, we can be tempted to rush into new relationships with people who are wrong for us, because we’re trying to subconsciously fix the pain.

If you take time being single, you’ll find time is a great healer and you’ll learn to let go of your past. At the same time, you can explore new places and try new experiences to work out who you are, and what kind of person would be a great match for you.

Studies have shown that single people get more exercise compared to those who are married. Andrew Harnik/AP

2. Single people are healthier

There’s some evidence single people get more exercise than those who are married. According to a study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, divorced people get more exercise than married people, but the ones who are the most active are those who have always been single.

In a blog post for Psychology Today, social psychologist Bella DePaulo discusses how women who have always been single are more healthy overall than currently married women, and also have fewer sick days and fewer doctors’ visits.

Another study, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, showed that single people in nine European countries had a lower BMI than married people, and overall weighed around five pounds less.

3. You’re better at keeping friends

A study published in the journal Contexts found that people who had always been single were more attentive to their friends and family than married people. DePaulo writes about this in another blog post, where she says it’s not just a case of infatuation in the first few years, but being more insular continues for a long time.

According to research published in the journal Information, Communication & Society, single people also have a more diverse range of people they consider close friends. They also apparently put in more effort to keep sibling relationships strong.

Read more: The 10 worst places to live if you’re single

4. You’re better with money

There’s also a financial advantage to being single. According to debt.org, “21% of single people had credit card debt, 27% of married couples without children and 36% of married couples with children.”

So no matter if you have children or not, being part of a couple can be associated with more spending. It could be because single people are less materialistic.

Single folks were more likely to find their work more meaningful. g-stockstudio /

5. Being single can mean doing better at work

Single people are more likely to value meaningful work, according to DePaulo. Not having to worry about maintaining a relationship can mean putting more effort into your career.

And being more able to take trips and travel alone for longer periods of time can also open up more opportunities that you wouldn’t necessarily have if you were tied down in one place.

6. Being alone can be less stressful

Being single can, of course, be stressful. You might be trying to find a relationship or you might be pressured from people around you. But being with a partner can have its issues as well. As well as being concerned about fitting someone else into your life and plans, coupled up people have to consider where the relationship is going and whether they have enough power and autonomy in their partnership.

As Susan Heitler writes in a blog post for Psychology Today, these stresses can be overcome. But it’s a learning curve single people don’t have to worry about.

7. Singles are more self-sufficient

Being alone is not the same thing as being lonely. And learning to appreciate alone time is really important for being self-sufficient. Everyone needs to be self-sufficient at some time in their life, and if you’ve never been alone, you might have a tough time adjusting.

According to studies, the more self-sufficient single people are, the less likely they are to experience negative emotions. But for married people, being self-sufficient is associated with more negative emotions — almost like they resent having to fend for themselves.

  • 13 reasons why you should embrace being single
  • I’m single, but that doesn’t mean I’m lonely — here’s why
  • 20 awesome things to do when you’re single on Valentine’s Day
  • How staying single could actually improve your health

Biggest Advantages of Being Single as Told by Men

Personally, I do not understand why a man having a clear mind and hard penis cannot provide himself with a regular, in his opinion, sex life. Most likely, such a drawback is individual, although a common thing. As for the family, children and the whole community-related society, it is true. Indeed, the main role of men is the continuation of the human race, so the lack of such a fact as fertilization in the life of a man can be considered a real minus. If we talk about everyday life – only some individuals (I’m not one of them) are able to secure their living without wives, so most often a man goes down without the one in all respects except for beer and tobacco consumption, of course. A man often has to make responsible decisions, therefore, the number of erroneous decisions will be higher with the absence of the main adviser – his wife. So it is fine if you are tired of being single.

Women are more scrupulous when picking sexual partners, they can hardly bring a stranger and hook up without even asking his name. Naturally, rare sex for a woman is a serious drawback, which most of women plan to get rid of by means of marriage. Another big disadvantage for a woman is the lack of family relationships, as most of them are craving for family. This one looks even worse if she compares her life with the lives of her married friends. The lack of control can affect females even worse, because they are prone to addictions to a greater extent. In my opinion, nowadays, control is even more required by women.

How To Be Single And Happy

Here are some facts that will help you realize how to be okay with being single:

  • Most of the females are positive in marriage, while most married men are far from being optimistic in marriage.
  • You will hardly meet total bachelors among women. Even though single women are a pretty common phenomenon, total female bachelors are not.
  • There are spouses who enjoy marriage and those who find it burdensome. This is a popular marriage problem, by the way.
  • Marriage changes habits of people dramatically, which you will face sooner or later in the relationship, unless, of course, your marriage is perfect.
  • A happy marriage makes spouses see only benefits, while an unhappy one makes you feel like it is a total disaster.

5 Benefits of Being Single Even If You’re Feeling Lonely

We all know that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, particularly if you happen to be single. You imagine that if you had a boyfriend, you’d be happier, feel settled and more content, whatever. Still, you have to admit: there actually are some great benefits of being single!

I know sometimes it’s hard to feel like there are any benefits of being single when all you want is to be in another (better) relationship, but sometimes you just need a new perspective about where you are in life and what you have. I’m going to give you that perspective.

Your Coach,

P.S. If you’re serious about changing your single status, great though it may be, sign up for my free training. In it, you’ll learn how to get the RIGHT man to pursue you and only you!

Introduction

I’ve been in a relationship for the past four years, and it’s been amazing. But to write this article and create this video on the benefits of being single, I had to go back in time in my mind and in my diaries to reconnect with those emotions I had when I was single.

Yes, I remember the frustration of not having a partner. But I also remember that, for the most part, I was pretty happy during my single years. I had a lot of fun and spent a ton of time with my friends. I went out on a lot of dates. Now, I wouldn’t trade Jess for even a minute of being single, but I just make this point: there are benefits to being single, and if you focus on those instead of how frustrated you are being alone, you’ll actually get some satisfaction out of your status.

Now that I’ve said my piece, let’s look at those benefits of being single.

5 Sneaky Benefits of Being Single That You Never Thought Of

This list is kinda short, but believe me: there are tons of other benefits of being single. You just have to look out for them. They’re different for everyone. For me, it was letting my house get totally messy without it bothering anyone else. Sure, being a slob may not be a perk to you, but you’ll have your own list beyond the benefits of being single listed below.

1. You Have Total Flexibility to Do Anything You Want

A solo vacation in the mountains? Why not? The choice is yours.

If you wanted to (and had the funds), you could hop a flight to Fiji today. If you were in a relationship, you would need to have a discussion about you taking off and spending your collective money. There’s no travel-on-a-whim when you’re in a relationship.

Let’s make a smaller example of this: if you want to eat ice cream and beer for dinner, no one’s around to judge, except maybe your dog. You could read a book in the bathtub without anyone telling you that you’ll get the pages wet. You can go out every night of the week…or stay in every night.

When you’re in a relationship, great as it can be, you have another person who you need to consider before you do things. If you live together, you need to compromise about your space. If you have one bathroom, reading for two hours in the bath may not be feasible, because he might need to use the facilities. If you’re dating a man with a large social circle, you may have fewer quiet nights at home than you’d like. It’s all about compromise — and it’s totally worth it to be in a relationship with the right person, but instead of yearning for the time when you’ll be in that situation, enjoy this time where you don’t have to sacrifice a thing for anyone else.

Rock the Benefit: So take advantage of this time in your life doing whatever you want, whenever you want (it’s not permanent, I promise). Because there will come a day when you’re in a relationship where you’ll look back at this period and be a little envious that you no longer have that level of flexibility.

2. Being Single Tends to Be a More Fun and Exciting Time in Your Life

Look, being in a relationship is amazing and can produce more feelings of contentment and security than when you’re single…but being single, you tend to have more excitement and variety in your life. You’re meeting lots of new people. You’re going out. Trying new things.

You may not have been this active in 20 years if you’ve been married for decades. You may feel 20 years younger because you’re so active!

When you’re in a relationship, you don’t meet as many people or go to as many parties. You’re spending time more at home with the man you love, and you’re completely happy doing so. It’s that case of the grass being greener again!

Rock the Benefit: Acknowledge that one day, your social life will slow down because you will have found love. Enjoy your single status! Go out to restaurants and bars with friends. Try new activities like hiking or salsa dancing. And hey, in addition to having a fantastic time trying new things, you might even meet a guy while doing so!

3. Your Social Life Tends to Flourish

One of the benefits of being single is that you have a fantastic social life!

I know a lot of single women feel like they’re closer to their friends now than they ever were when they were married.

Here’s some interesting research: in a study of 814 single and married people, researcher Bella DePaulo found that the singles valued their connections with parents, siblings, friends, and coworkers more than the married people.

“When people marry, they become more insular,” said DePaulo. It makes sense. Once you’ve found that person that you’re so comfortable with, you don’t need to go out all the time. You’re happy hanging on the couch. Believe me: Jessica and I spend a lot of time at home, and in all honesty, it’s pretty great.

You also learn a lot about who you are by the people you surround yourself with. That’s really cool, in my book.

Rock the Benefit: So being single, you rely on those social connections more. You may feel like your friends become your family, and that’s really awesome. Nurture those relationships and realize that there may come a day when you’ll be less close to these people, and that’s completely normal.

4. You Can Flirt with New People

Surprise, surprise: when you’re in a relationship, you can’t flirt with other people! You can certainly flirt with your partner — but flirting with the cute bartender when you’re out with your girlfriends is a big no-no.

You may not feel confident flirting, especially if you’ve gotten out of a long-term relationship or marriage recently. But this is the ideal time for you to practice! It’s a harmless way to communicate with men, and improving your skills will help you gain confidence.

Rock the Benefit: Whether you love flirting or are completely apprehensive about it, use this time to do it more. Every single day, find some opportunity to flirt with a man. That could mean you wink at your barista when picking up your triple shot maple latte, or you gently tease a man at the library about that cookbook he’s picked up. Have no expectations from your flirting, and you’ll enjoy it more!

5. You Save a Lot of Money!

via GIPHY

If you don’t make a lot of money or you’re in a financial pinch, as a single lady, you can make the decision to scale back any extra spending on social activities (those happy hours can rack up!), whereas when you’re in a relationship, you’re relying on two people to scale back on what you’re spending (which can be challenging to coordinate!).

Also if you’re going on dates and the guy is paying, you get dinner and get to save money!

Interestingly, 89% of people say they spend more money when they’re in a relationship than when they’re single!

Rock the Benefit: Think about what you’d do if you had a lump sum of money. Take a trip? Pay off debt? Save for a house? Set a goal and start saving so that you reap the benefit of being financially more frugal right now.

Conclusion:

So you see? There really are benefits to being single! It’s all a matter of paying attention to that silver lining rather than feeling like you’re missing out on having a great love life.

You will have a great love life. I promise. It just may not happen today. In the meantime, realize that your single status is temporary, and enjoy it to the max. Realize that you may never have so much time to be a good friend, try things you never thought you would, or boost your self-confidence as you do right now!

Leave a comment below: what other benefits of being single do you see? Are you truly making the most of this time in your life?

Ready to change your relationship status from “single” to “in love?” Check out my free training to attract The One! This offer won’t be around long, so make sure you get it now.

7 Health Benefits of Being Single

Corbis Images

For years, research has suggested that tying the knot provides loads of health benefits-everything from greater happiness to better mental health and a lower likelihood of developing chronic disease. The support of a marital partner seems to help couples buffer the storm during times of stress. But for the unattached, there’s no need to worry that a single status will negatively impact your health. (In fact, Science Says Some People Are Meant to Be Single.) Want proof? Here are a few perks you’ll only get while flying solo.

You Might Very Well Be Happier

Don’t believe everything you read. Lonely, single cat lady? Nuh-uh. In a New Zealand study of 4,000 men and women between ages 18 to 94, researchers discovered that those who weren’t too keen on relationship-related conflicts were just as happy single. On top of that, a 2014 study from the Journal of Psychophysiology found that men and women who had long-term, ongoing distress in their marriages are less able to enjoy the happy moments that should trigger a positive emotional response-which researchers say is a risk factor for depression.

You’re Less Likely to Pack on Pounds

“Relationship weight” is very much a thing, especially among recently-married women. According to a 2014 Australian study of 350 brides, researchers found that women tended to gain almost five pounds in the six months after they uttered, “I do.” In addition, 2013 research of 169 newlywed couples in the journal Health Psychology showed that the happily married tend to put on weight in the four years after their wedding, likely because bound couples tend to “relax their efforts to maintain weight” when they’re no longer looking for a life partner. (Find out how else Your Relationship Can Sabotage Your Healthy Lifestyle.)

You’re More Likely to Hit Your Exercise Goals

Single ladies must be opting for extra runs and bike rides instead of dinner dates. According to a survey of Brits, only 27 percent of adults met the recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise (yikes). However, among women who weren’t kicking up their activity enough, 63 percent were married-and just 37 percent were single or divorced. The researchers say this is likely because, with marriage, you have an increase in responsibilities-your plus-one’s work party, fixing up that new house, eventually kids-which cuts into the time you spend on exercise. So if you want to get flatter abs or train for a marathon, staying single isn’t a bad idea.

You’re Tighter with Your Pals

From research performed by Boston College’s Natalia Sarkisian and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Naomi Gerstel, it’s more likely that married women will sacrifice non-marital social connections in favor of their man. Ladies (and guys), who have never been married are far more likely to have tighter bonds with their parents, friends, siblings and community members-relationships that can help you lead a fuller, happier and healthier life. In a 2010 study of 300,000 men and women , researchers found that those without a strong social circle had a 50 percent higher chance of death during the 7.5 year follow-up period. Although the mechanism behind this major immunity bump isn’t fully understood, it’s likely because our friends and family help us laugh, unwind and ward off stress, as well as help us when we’re weathering illness or injury and need shoulders to lean on. (Plus, you get these 12 Ways Your Best Friend Boosts Your Health.)

You Have Fewer $ Woes

When you’re in a relationship, you’re merging two lives… which isn’t exactly sunshine and roses, especially if you’ve got a spender and a saver in the mix. In a 2014 study of 2,000 adults, one in three people copped to lying to their partner about money. Among the fibbers, 76 percent said the little (or big) white lies strained their marriages, while nearly half said the untruths caused a full-blown argument. If you’re single, there’s less stress about where, when and how you spend your money. You decide. (Whoo!) (Which means you can take advantage of these Money-Saving Tips for Getting Fiscally Fit.)

You’re More Likely to Excel in Your Career

Staying single early in your career might be a wise decision if you want to rise to the top of the pack-even higher than the boys. A 2010 study showed that young, childless, unwed women in big cities like New York and LA were earning around 15 percent more than their male counterparts, and that success might lead to an attitude boost later on. Focusing on career over a relationship early in life allows more energy and mental space for climbing the ladder-and that doesn’t mean you’ll never tie the knot. Research shows highly-educated women tend to marry and reproduce later in life. So, take that time to set yourself up in your 20s and early 30s. (And while you’re at it, master these 17 Life Skills You Should Know How to Do by 30.)

You’re Protecting Your Heart

While staying single will definitely keep you from romantic heartbreak, it also might reduce your risk of long-term heart problems. According to 2014 research from Michigan State University, after analyzing data on more than 1,000 married ladies and gents for five years, researchers found that a bad marriage caused more harm to the heart than a good marriage provided a boost. This was especially true among women. Makes sense if you’re stressing less, exercising more, and maintaining a stable BMI, right? (In a happy relationship? No worries, learn How Your Relationship Is Linked to Your Health-in a good way!)

  • By Jenna Birch

Ten Benefits Of Being A Single Man

People often relate being single with being alone. However, these are two totally different states of existence. Here are 10 perks of being single that will remove that association:

1. Fit and Trim

Research shows that most people who are in a happy and contented relationship gain weight. The percentage gets higher for people who are married. Men tend to eat more when eating with their partner rather than when they are eating alone. They also care less about their appearance because they are already “taken”.

On the other hand, single men want to impress the hot chicks. So they have to keep themselves fit and trim to look attractive to the opposite sex.

2. Focus on Career

Unfortunately, one of the biggest hindrances to a successful career is having a relationship. Having a relationship means not being able to accept the out of town job. It also means not being able to spend extra hours at the office unless it is really urgent. A committed man has the difficult task of balancing his career and relationship.

Without a relationship, you can concentrate on your job, make it your priority and skyrocket to the top of the corporate ladder.

3. Command your Finances

Let’s face it: Being in a relationship is costly. You may be too infatuated with your partner that you have lost count of the money you’ve spent. Sum up all the dinners, movies, flowers and gifts and you’ll easily tab a thousand dollars on these items.

If you’re married, you can also add home mortgage, education, utility bills and many more. The list could go on. But if you are not attached, so are your wallet and bank account.

4. Learning to be Independent

If you are single, you do house chores by yourself. There will be no one to cook the food, wash the dishes, do the laundry or clean the house. These are simple tasks that men often leave to their women. Being single forces you to do all the chores you’ve never done before. These experiences will make you a well-rounded individual.

5. Better Social Life

When you are in a relationship, you’ll spend more time hanging out with your significant other rather than your friends and family. You’ll less likely meet new acquaintances and friends because you rarely go to social events and functions. There is an unconscious exclusivity that goes with a committed relationship.

If you’re single however, you are free to mingle and that’s no holds barred.

6. Opportunity for Self-advancement

Just because you are single doesn’t mean you have to play XBox all day long. Get a hobby or try a new sport. Take guitar lessons or work out in the gym. If you have the resources, travel to places you haven’t been to. Do activities that make you a better person. You have all the time in the world to do what you please, so make the most of it by upgrading yourself.

7. A Goodnight Sleep

Being single spares you from adapting to a girlfriend’s sleeping schedule and habits. These differences lead to sleep loss and quarrels. Sleeping alone means your snoring is no longer a disturbance no matter how loud it is. You can roll back and forth and have the sheet all for yourself. The only thing that will wake you up is your alarm clock.

A single man is indeed the king of his king sized bed.

8. Spontaneity

Being in a relationship is as mechanical as a sergeant’s drill. Your lady may not necessarily be a drill sergeant, but your day to day life becomes a repetitive pattern. You have to plan your activities ahead of time, and changing those plans will mean confirming with her first. A relationship involves planning. A single man doesn’t have to plan. He can go on a fishing trip in a snap of a finger. That is the peak of spontaneity.

9. You’re the Boss

When you’re single, there is no one to make a compromise with. At last, you can watch football on TV without the danger of getting the channel changed. You can even go to the strip club with a clean slate because there is no one you are committed and accountable to.

This is the time when you can truly say that you are the captain of your ship, and master of your destiny.

10. Faultless Flirting

The fun in being single starts and ends with flirting. The unattached guy can flirt with any girl he wants. Flirting is the time to catch a lot of hot women. You master the art of attraction by meeting more girls and hanging out with them. It’s time to swim the ocean, meet new fishes and be a fisher of women.

Who says being single is the same as being in solitude? Being single is fun and exciting. You can even drool over sexy women minus the guilt! If you’re still single, you might as well enjoy these benefits while you still can.

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Us in Your Inbox!

Online Dating, Sex, and Relationship Advice Tips in Your Inbox…
Follow @theurbandater

Like Loading… Share This Article

  • Posted in: For Men
  • Tagged in: bachelor, being a bachelor, benefits of being single, Dating, men living alone, men’s lifestyle, single man, Single Men

Posted by Charlene Sampilo

Charlene Sampilo is a passionate writer about dating, relationship and men/women’s lifestyle. You can connect with Charlene through her websites Rauraur.com and MmMGlawBlog.com anytime.

The Serious Advantages Being Single Has Over Being in a Relationship

Though being in a relationship can be great, there are many times when being single beats being in a relationship. Relationships have their downfalls, and even though couples are always smiling, blissful, and happy on social media or in public, every relationship has its more complicated dark side. If you’re single, be glad you can reap these benefits.

1. You don’t have to deal with drama

Sometimes those hardships are too much to deal with. | iStock.com/nd3000

There is nothing worse than the stress that ensues in the wake of any sort of life change. You think it’s hard to figure out your life? Imagine having to balance what you want with what your partner wants. Your partner wants to go to grad school on the east coast, and you want to move back to your small hometown in Montana and settle down. Either both of you compromise and no one fully gets what they want, or one of you wins. Talk about resentment, plus plenty of drama, fighting, and stress.

2. You won’t be unhappy

Dealing with a significant other can be challenging. | oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

Many people stay in an unhappy relationship much longer than they should simply because they’re scared to be alone. When you stay in a bad relationship, you are not only opening up yourself to the stress and guilt that comes along with staying with someone who isn’t right for you, but you’re missing out on other people who could make you happy.

3. You have time for yourself

Being single is the perfect time to get to know yourself better. | iStock.com

Being single allows you to focus on yourself, without the distraction of another person. You can train for a marathon, take up a new hobby, or focus on growing your career. Most importantly, you will have time to get to know yourself. This is important because there will be times in your life when the only person you can rely on and trust is yourself, so take the time and effort to build that relationship.

4. You can focus on your friendships

Spend some time catching up with friends. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

How many of your attached friends stay in on a Friday night, skip out on a friend’s birthday, or blow off their pals for a date night? When you’re in a relationship, your world begins to revolve around your partner. There simply isn’t the time to build and develop strong, stable friendships. Being single affords you the time and energy to build lasting platonic relationships.

5. You have freedom

Do what you want, when you want. | Lzf/iStock/Getty Images

Single people can do what they want, when they want. There isn’t anyone to check-in with or someone to guilt them into doing something else. If you want to stay out late and eat dinner at midnight, then you can. If you want to spend the whole day mountain biking, no one will stop you. Being in a relationship is all about compromise, but when you’re single no compromise is needed.

6. You can have a night with friends, minus the guilt

Take a cue from the ladies of Girlfriends and enjoy a night out with friends. | The CW

Both women and men may write off their partner’s night out with friends as a time to drink too much and get into trouble, but these outings really do a person good. Men’s Health highlights research that says friendship reduces physical ailments and increases contentment later in life. Hanging with friends on a regular basis also reduces your stress levels. When you’re single, you can join in on the camaraderie without the guilt trip from your significant other.

7. There’s no one to be jealous

You won’t have to explain yourself to anyone. | iStock.com

Jealousy in some form or another always pops up in relationships. Whether you have to deal with your partner’s jealousy or you’re the jealous one, it takes a lot of energy to deal with. When you’re single, though, you don’t have to worry about who’s texting who or why your phone calls are going unanswered when your partner is at happy hour with new co-workers. Jealousy requires a lot of time and energy to control, which when you’re single you can funnel that time and energy to other areas of your life.

8. You don’t have to force relationships with other people

Both immediate and extended family can be hard to handle sometimes. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

When you’re dating someone, you get involved in all sorts of forced relationships. You have to spend time with their friends (who you may or may not like), you have to deal with their family, and you may even be expected to build relationships with their pets, co-workers, and exes. Not only does being in a relationship with someone you love take time and energy, but the amount of your life that you have to give to people who you may not even like can be overwhelming.

9. You can travel on a whim

All you have to do is pack your bag and go. | iStock.com/kieferpix

If you get invited to go on a cruise on a whim or decide you want to backpack through Europe, you’ll have a lot easier of a time doing it if you’re single. A significant other may not be able to get the time off work, may not want to travel, or may simply begrudge you going. If you’re a jet-setter at heart, you may want to stay single.

10. You’ll become more self-reliant

Independence is a wonderful quality to develop. | Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

No matter how much we try to remain independent, it’s natural to lean on someone (emotionally and otherwise) when you’re in a serious relationship. Staying single means you’ll learn how to get things done yourself — and you won’t have to deal with crippling breakups that leave you unable to function for weeks.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!

How staying single could actually improve your health

Bella DePaulo is 63 years old and she’s been single her entire life.

“I never wanted to get married. Living single was my happily ever after,” DePaulo, a psychologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and a pioneer for the single life, said at a TEDx Talk this spring.

DePaulo has studied singles like herself for more than a decade, and her findings suggest that being single has a range of benefits, from the psychological to the physical.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

“The beliefs that single people are miserable, lonely, and loveless, and want nothing more than to become unsingle are just myths,” DePaulo wrote on the blog PsychCentral in 2013.

In 2016, she combed through more than 800 studies of single and married people and found that her own work isn’t the only research to suggest that being single could have some tangible health benefits — from stronger social networks to a healthier body. Read on to find out about the other advantages you might reap from singledom.

Singles have a stronger social network than their married counterparts.

Think married people have more friends? Think again.

In 2015, social scientists Natalia Sarkisian and Naomi Gerstel set out to explore how ties to relatives, neighbours, and friends varied among single and married American adults. They found that singles were not only more likely to frequently reach out to their social networks, but also tended to provide and receive help from these people than their married peers. Their results held steady even when they took into account factors like race, gender, and income levels.

Put simply, “being single increases the social connections of both women and men,” Sarkisian and Gerstel wrote in their paper.

(jacoblund/iStock )

Singles may be more physically fit.​

There may be some truth to the idea that people who “settle down” ease into unhealthier habits, at least when it comes to some measures of physical fitness.

After surveying more than 13,000 men and women between ages 18 and 64, researchers found that those who were single and had never been married worked out more frequently each week compared with their married or divorced peers.

And a 2015 study in the journal Social Science and Medicine that compared body mass indexes for about 4,500 people across nine European countries found that single men and women had slightly lower BMIs, on average, than men and women who were married. Overall, the married couples also weighed about five more pounds, on average, than the singles.

(Getty)

Single people could be more likely to develop as individuals.​

An analysis of data from the National Survey of Families and Households that compared more than 1,000 people who had always been single with about 3,000 people who had been continuously married in 1998 found that the single people in the sample were more likely to experience personal growth than the married people — at least when it came to how they answered the following two questions.

As compared to the married people in the sample, the singles were far more likely to say they agreed with the statements:

For me, life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth.

I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how you think about yourself and the world.

Single men may become less generous after marriage.​

Based on a nationally representative survey of thousands of Americans who were questioned in 1987 or 1988 and then again five years later, DePaulo found that the men in the sample who got married sometime during this window gave an average of $1,875 less to friends than they had when they were single. The same findings did not apply to the women in the sample.

Men who had divorced, on the other hand, gave more than they did when they were married — an average of $1,275 more.

Even stranger, men who were divorced but remarried resumed being less generous after recoupling by about $1,050.

“In sum,” wrote DePaulo in the book Singled Out, “men who are single give no less to relatives than men who are married, despite drawing from one (rather than two) incomes and getting paid less to boot. And, they give more to friends than married men do.”

Single people may embrace alone time — and benefit from it — more than married people.​

According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, solitude can have a range of benefits for your mental health. It may also help you be more productive and more creative.

“Time alone doesn’t have to be lonely,” Morin told Business Insider in 2015. “It could be the key to getting to know yourself better.”

Indeed, research by other psychologists has linked solitude (in contrast with loneliness) with everything from an increased sense of freedom to higher levels of creativity and intimacy.

• 13 signs that you’re dating a sociopath
• Seven phrases that could mean it’s time to end a relationship
• The types of people most likely to cheat in relationships

Read the original article on Business Insider UK. © 2017. Follow Business Insider UK on Twitter.

Getty Images

Not married and getting pressure from your wedded friends? Tell them you’re just fine. Not only can an unhappy marriage be harmful to you health, but there’s plenty of good reasons to stay single.

1. You’re more social.
Single people are much more likely to socialize with their friends and neighbors in person and through other mediums (like texting), and they attend social activities more frequently. And guess what? Socializing is not only fun, it’s actually pretty good for you, too. It makes you smarter, improves memory, and can help you fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

2. You consume less alcohol.
Though singles are out on the town more often than their married friends, researchers found that married women drink more alcohol than their unmarried counterparts. And although there are a handful of benefits linked to having one glass of red wine a night — including whiter teeth, a healthier heart, and a sharper brain — excessive drinking can lead to a slew of health issues like weight gain. A separate study also found that married woman often drink more because they are influenced by the drinking habits of their husbands.

3. You’re more likely to be hired.
According to CCN Money, following the 2009 financial crisis, singles have snatched up nearly 90% of the five million new jobs. One thing to note: Although single men and woman are being hired more often, they are more willing to accept lower paying jobs.

4. You get more sleep.
In fact, a survey from BedTimes magazine found that one in four couples said they actually sleep better alone. And, 63% of participants admitted that they get great sleep when they aren’t touching their partner at all.

5. You weigh less.
One UK study surveyed couples and found that most of them gained weight after starting a new relationship. More than 60% reported gaining upwards of 14 pounds. The reason why? Singles work out more than their married or dating counterparts, according to another study.

More on Health and Wellness:
• 6 Friends Every Woman Needs
• 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Stress
• 5 Ways Your Marriage Is Killing You

Photo credit: Getty Images

Benefits of being single woman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *