Power of one

Seven reasons why being single can be good for you

The power of one
Seven reasons why being single can be good for you

Beyond the obvious reasons, like not having to provide a play-by-play of your life choices to a partner and not waking up shivering to find your bedmate has stolen the covers, being single can be good for the soul.
Social scientists, such as Bella DePaulo, author and visiting professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, point out we spend more of our adult lives single than in relationships. So why not embrace it and enjoy? Turns out, the older we get, the more we clue in to this attitude. Consider sensational lone women such as Diane Keaton, who’s never taken a trip down the aisle. There are rich, meaningful lives awaiting those who learn to say “I do” to being uncoupled.
As DePaulo recommends, don’t squander your single-dom by considering it merely time between relationships or time waiting for Mr. Right. Point is, this is your chance to get to know yourself better, to reflect on your own goals and paths and to enrich the life you already have. So don’t get caught in the trap of waiting for your life to begin when it already has. Here are a few noted perks to the single life to get you started.

Maintenance of the body beautiful
Research has documented the propensity for women to pack on the pounds after they get hitched. A 2002 study reports a significant increase within the first two years of marriage. One estimate pegged it at as much as 6–8 pounds.

A better night’s sleep
Almost 25 percent of people reported that their partner’s sleep problems mess with the quality of their own sleep time. The top culprits for lack of shut-eye include snoring (34 percent), tossing and turning (15 percent), insomnia (14 percent) and hogging the mattress or the covers (14 percent).

Less housework
According to a 1994 study published in the American Sociological Review, solo women did the least amount of housework when compared to those who were married or cohabiting.


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Financial independence
A 2004 survey conducted by SmartMoney and Redbook magazines reveals that 40 percent of women who were married or living together have lied to their partners about the amount they paid for something. Single women have the advantage of spending the money they make themselves—no negotiations with partners required.

More time for friends
Once women get married, it may seem as if they disappear off the face of the earth, pouring their all into the relationship and spending less time with friends, and there’s some truth to that. Studies show that women who have a mate spend less time with friends (21 minutes per day) than single women (one and a quarter hours per day).

Better mental health
A cycle of breakups and make-ups not only leaves tears on your pillow but it takes a toll on your emotional well-being. A 2004 study by the University of London of more than 4,000 men and women found that women were negatively impacted by the transitions that having multiple partnership brings and they took longer to recover from splits. By comparison, the unattached women were seen to enjoy better mental health. (Interestingly, though, the solo guys weren’t as together emotionally as the hooked-up fellas.)

Desperately seeking no one
It seems that as we get older a wave of contentment seems to wash over single women, and they no longer submit to the societal pressure to pair up. Those tidbits come from a 2006 AARP survey (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) titled Lifestyles, Dating & Romance: A Study of Midlife Singles. It found that 32 percent of women dated nonexclusively, 14 percent said they’d date if someone of interest came along and one in 10 had no desire to date at all.


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