Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope that today has treated you well, no matter what your relationship status is–you know, full of heart-shaped chocolate, arbitrary material goods, and, of course, timely, topical Sesame Street-themed Valentine’s day memes.
Now, there tends to be a bit of a divide in terms of how people in relationships vs. single people treat Valentine’s. Those who have baes tend to spend their day as if they are one of those paid-by-the-post Instagram models, putting up five thousand pictures of their most minute activities from the day–with captions like “#blessed” and “love this guy (*emoji heart eyes**emoji heart eyes**emoji heart eyes*).” Single folks, on the other hand, usually approach V-Day as if they were Harry Potter at a dinner party–inside their bedroom, making no noise, and pretending they don’t exist.
Lots Of People In Relationships Wish They Were SingleIn a recent UK-based study of 2,000 people, the online lawyer service first4lawyers found that 34% of people in relationships think that it's actually more fun to be single. Basically? The grass is always greener--if you're wishing that you could have a relationship like your friend Amanda who's in a LTR, chances are good that she's wishing she could be in your shoes, too. Image source:iStock
Many People Stay In Relationships For Fear Of Being AloneOn the flipside, a study done in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2013 found that it's not always a great relationship that keeps people with their SO--rather, for about it's a fear of being single. Essentially, all the people you see in relationships aren't necessarily happy; they're just clinging to each other out of some weird, outdated fear that being single is somehow a bad thing. (And, if you're single, you know that it's not as bad as some people thing--if not better.) Image source:iStock
Relationships Can Be Bad For Your HealthTake this with a grain of salt, since this applies more to very long-term relationships--like, marriage status--but there are numerous ways in which relationships can be detrimental to your health. Stress from a relationship can cause physical damage--on-par with things like smoking and staying sedentary--as well as making the recovery from illness much harder than it is for single people. Image source:iStock
Your Mental Health Can Suffer TooWhile healthy, committed relationships can be good for your mental health, strained relationships (not so shockingly) have the opposite effect. Negative behavior that can come from relationships--like hostility and criticism--can cause mental health issues down the road. In fact, a 2003 study from the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that single people tend to have better mental health than those in stressful relationships. So, it almost goes without saying, but I'll say it again--it's definitely, 100% better to be single and mentally balanced than in a relationship that's literally causing causing you mental distress. Image source:iStock
Breakups Can Be Worse Than Being SingleHere's the thing about relationships--statistically speaking, most of them end at some point or another. While some breakups are fine, mostly-amicable affairs, a lot of them are not so great, which can have a negative impact on your health. A study done in 2004 found that going through a lot of bad breakups (you know, the kind that leaves you prostrate in bed for days, listening to Taylor Swift) can cause worse overall mental health a few years down the road. The solution, clearly, is just to stay single for life. Totally doable, right? Image source:iStock
People In Relationships Are Less Resilient Than Those Who Aren'tWhile more research is needed on this subject, a lot of studies have shown that, while single people are often stigmatized, many of them report feeling happier on average than people in long-term relationships. This means that, despite having societal odds stacked against them, they feel happier overall, meaning that they're tougher and more resilient than people in LTRs. Image source:iStock
People In Relationships Aren't As Good At Having FriendsIf you prize yourself on your stellar friendship skills, this might be because you're single--a 2006 study from the American Sociological Association found that married and long term relationship couples are more attentive to their friends than single people, since relationships can take people away from their preexisting social connections. Image source:iStock
What do you think about these studies? Which one surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!