Single with benefits: the self-fulfilling power of not dating

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  • Forget the sad, pathetic tropes: being single is actually physically, economically and psychologically good for you according to the latest stats. So, with 'smug-couple' season well underway, we’re championing five key reasons to stay firmly unattached

    1. Single people are healthier

    Worried all those Tinder dates are killing your liver? You’re probably right but there’s good news, too. New research from the American Time Use Survey suggests single people are actually more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers. This could be because single people tend to be more active than married people. Research from the Journal of Marriage and Family shows unattached women tend to exercise for around five hours and 25 minutes a fortnight, compared to married women who work out for around four hours. Single people tend to have lower BMIs, too – research from the University of Basel in Switzerland and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany found single people weigh less than married people (around 2kg on average).

     2. …and wealthier

    It’s easy to despair at your finances when you’re single – dating doesn’t exactly come cheap (on average, single people spend £21 a week more than people living as a couple). But there’s reason to celebrate, too: according to, single people have less debt than married couples. Typically, 21 per cent of single people have credit-card debt compared to 27 per cent of married couples without children. And, when children are involved, the debt rises further still – worryingly, 36 per cent of married couples with children are in debt.

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     3. You’re likely to be more resilient

    Been ghosted by your Bumble date(s)? Then you’ll know all about resilience. American studies have found that there’s actually science behind it, too – military soldiers injured in service were less likely to have symptoms of PTSD when they were single, for example. Research indicates that single people are more successful at overcoming injury or illness, and are also less likely to have emotional or physical health problems, compared to those who are married or divorced. So does being single make you resilient? Or do resilient people just stay single longer? That’s anyone’s guess.

    4. You’ll sleep better

    No more noisy bed-mates, hurrah! A study from mattress company Amerisleep suggests single people are snoozing much better, for longer. Single people get around 7.13 hours a night, which is more than people in relationships, as well as those who are divorced or separated. Ready, set, starfish…

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     5. …and you’re probably happier, too

    A study of 1,000 single people and 3,000 married people determined that single people were more likely to report feeling their life has had growth, learning and development. This could be down to more solo time to work out who we are, and what we want, as well as doing things we actually enjoy, compared to married people. The latest research even indicates that unmarried, childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population. So that’s something.

    Feeling a little perkier now? Thought so.

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