Regardless of what romantic comedies and your nosy grandmother might tell you, being single isn’t the end of the world. In fact, there are plenty of real benefits to flying solo. Whether you’re single by choice or just in between beaus, here are 11 science-backed reminders that being single can actually be pretty great.
1. SINGLE PEOPLE EXERCISE MORE…
If you’re single, there’s a good chance you’re hitting the gym more often than your married peers: A 2011 study found that men and women who have never been married exercised more than people in any other marital category (including currently married men and women, as well as divorcees and widowers).
2. …AND MAINTAIN A HEALTHIER WEIGHT.
You’re also more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Multiple studies have found that men and women tend to pack on the pounds after they get married. One study found that married men are more likely to be overweight than their single peers, while another found that women who lost weight in preparation for their weddings had a tendency to gain weight in the six months following the ceremony.
3. THEY SLEEP BETTER.
It should come as little surprise that sharing a bed with another human being can affect how much sleep you get. After all, having someone tossing and turning, snoring, and talking in their sleep beside you can affect even the deepest sleepers. Being single cuts down on nighttime disruptions and can help you get a more peaceful night’s sleep.
4. THEY DO LESS HOUSEWORK.
If you hate doing chores, single life might be right for you. A 2008 study found that single men and women spend fewer hours a week doing basic housework than their married counterparts.
5. THEY’RE CLOSER TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
Single people are the glue that keeps families together. According to one study, single siblings are more likely to keep in touch with, and reach out to, their siblings than those who are married. Another study found that single people also spend more time with friends than those in long-term relationships.
6. THEY HAVE LESS DEBT.
Being single doesn’t just benefit your waistline and social life: It also benefits your wallet. Researchers have found that married people have more credit card debt than single people, and people who are married with children have the most debt of all.
7. THEY’RE LESS STRESSED.
Staying single can help you prevent certain kinds of stress and depression. One 2014 study found that marital stress may make couples more prone to depression, while couples who experience severe, ongoing marital stress were less able to enjoy positive experiences.
8. THEY’RE LESS LIKELY TO GET DIVORCED DOWN THE ROAD.
Staying single now can benefit your romantic relationships in the future. In general, people who wait longer to get married have lower rates of divorce.
9. THEY CAN AVOID CONFLICTS.
For people who truly hate conflicts, staying single can have real psychological benefits. According to a 2015 study, people who are conflict-averse (those for whom relationship fights and arguments can cause severe stress) may experience less anxiety when they’re single.
10. THERE ARE SURPRISING HEALTH BENEFITS TO SINGLEDOM.
A wide range of studies have looked at the impact marriage and singledom can have on health. While being single isn’t necessarily healthier across the board, there are plenty of situations where being single seems to be beneficial. Single men, for instance, were found to experience less heart disease, while single women are less likely to take sick days and visited the doctor less frequently than married women. Being single can even help your chances of keeping off weight after surgery: One study found that unmarried men and women were 2.7 times more likely to keep to diet and exercise goals after weight loss surgery.
11. ALONE TIME IS GOOD FOR YOU.
Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. Spending time on your own gives you time to clear your mind, identify your own goals and priorities, and participate in activities that interest you. Research has even found that a bit of alone time can help us become more empathetic, foster creativity, and even improve our relationships.
If being single can actually be good for you, what other myths about love and romance have you been falling for? To get the truth about more misconceptions related to the everyday stuff we take for granted, tune in to an all new episode of Adam Ruins Everything, Tuesday, August 23 at 10/9C on truTV.