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New Study Reveals Being Single Doesn’t Equal Being Unhappy

Both historically and today, college is considered the ultimate relationship breeding ground. If you're not currently in a relationship, you've either just exited one or are preparing to enter another (or maybe you prefer more casual encounters to a steady SO). With a good percentage of your school's population (and your friend circle) engaged in some sort of love life, being single is almost a stigmatized condition. Of course, seeing all those engagement announcements on Facebook doesn't help either.

It can be a pretty tough boat to ride in, but a new study out of New Zealand suggests that boat might not be such a gloomy place. 

According to the psychological study, released by researchers at the University of Auckland, in their survey of some 4,000 kiwis (that's lingo for New Zealand natives!) they found that those who were single and trying to avoid conflict-ridden relationships were just as happy as those in secure relationships. As the study puts it, "although prior research suggests that single people experience lower well-being than those involved in romantic relationships, the effect of relationship status is small. Moreover, relationships can be a source of hurt and conflict, which single people can avoid." They also found that single people who "strive to enhance relationship closeness experienced greater life satisfaction/well-being."

So what does this all mean in layman's terms? Essentially the key takeaways are that single people who avoid love life angst are just as happy as those in a relationship. And single people who actively try to be more intimate and close with loved ones tend to be happier, and this only continues once they actually do enter a relationship. In other words, it's okay to be single and drama-free, just as it's okay to be coupled. 

 

These findings are a wakeup call for people in unhappy relationships, who might be staying together out of fear of being single. There's absolutely no reason to fear being single -- if you live your life to the fullest, actively try to make the most out of the relationships you do have and don't mind being spending some alone time once in a while, there's no reason why you should be unhappy. 

 

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Janine Eduljee

Northeastern

Journalism and political science student at Northeastern University. Figure skater, dancer, actress, and passionate lover of music.
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