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Who is happier, single, or married? A scientific study responds


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The University of Michigan conducted a study to determine who lives most fully.

“People often think they need to be married to be happy,” said one of the researchers.

Researchers from Michigan State University conducted one of the first studies to quantify the happiness of married, divorced, and single people at the end of their lives. This to find out what role love and marriage played in your overall well-being.

The study, published in the journal Journal of Positive Psychology, examined the relationship stories of 7,532 people ages 18-60, married, and single, to determine who was happiest at the end of their lives.

“People often think they need to be married to be happy, so we asked the questions: Do people need to be in a relationship to be happy? Does living a single life translate into unhappiness? What if at some point you got married but it didn’t work? It turns out that betting that your happiness comes from being married is not a safe move, “says William Chopik, one of the study’s authors.

The researchers divided the participants into three groups: 79% were consistently married, spending most of their lives in a single marriage; 8% were consistently single, or people who spent most of their lives unmarried, and 13% had mixed stories of getting in and out of relationships, divorce, remarriage, or widowhood.

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The researchers asked participants to rate overall happiness when they were older adults and compare it to the group they were in. “We were surprised to find that longtime singles and those with varied relationship stories did not differ in how happy they were. This suggests that those who ‘have loved and lost’ are happy towards the end of life as those who ‘have never loved at all’ ”, details another of those responsible for the work, Mariah Purol.

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While married people showed a slight increase in happiness, Purol argues that the margin was not substantial, nor what many can expect. If the consistent married group responded with a 4 out of 5 on how happy they were, the consistent singles responded with 3.82 and those with varied backgrounds responded with 3.7.

“When it comes to happiness, whether or not someone is in a relationship is rarely the whole story. People can certainly be in unhappy relationships, and single people get pleasure from all kinds of other parts of their lives, like their friends, hobbies, and work. In retrospect, if the goal is to find happiness, it seems a bit silly that people put so much effort into being a couple, “they reflect.

If someone longs for a partner for life to start a family and build a happy life together, research by Chopik and Purol suggests that if that individual isn’t completely happy to begin with, getting married won’t dramatically change everything.

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“It seems like it may be less about marriage and more about mindset. If you can find happiness and contentment as a single person, you are likely to hold onto that happiness. Whether you have a ring on your finger or not, “concludes Purol.

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