Why are single women without children so happy?

Single women without children tend to be healthier, and to report higher levels of happiness, than men or married women with children, research suggests. These are the reasons why.

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Some people believe that life is all about finding the one, getting married, and starting a family. But is this the norm? Certainly not. There are also those who find happiness in being single and free, and that’s totally fine.

Many people don’t want to commit, and they are not judged for their decision as they were in the past. At the end of the day, there is no exact definition of what happiness is, because different people find it in different things.

Recent research shows that single women who don’t have children are the happiest people of all. Relationships do make people happy, but according to Professor Paul Dolan from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE, when two people get married the women are the ones who have a higher risk for both mental and physical health problems in middle age.

“[t]he healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.”  he says.

For a number of women, the stress is heavily weighted upon having a relationship and children.

Professor Dolan claims that recent data shows that the “traditional” model of success, which is a marriage and children, isn’t correlated with happiness and satisfaction. Even today, women are the ones who are expected to clean the house and do most of the chores. They also tend to do more of the emotional work in a relationship.

“There’s evidence that women spend longer on domestic tasks than men, and I think they also do more emotional work — so they still do more housework and cooking and things as well as more emotional labor,” says University of Essex Professor Emily Grundy.

In the past, women were more dependent on men. They were not allowed to work and have careers, but as years went by and all this changed drastically, women became independent, and with that, the need to be married by any cost diminished.

“Certainly, there’s a common finding from a lot of studies that women who don’t have a partner tend to do more social activities and more friends compared to women with partners whereas with men it’s the reverse — men without a partner tend to do much less of that,” says Grundy.

The truth is that men can also benefit from the lack of responsibility to another person or family, with the difference that women weren’t allowed to enjoy those benefits for a long period of time.

It is beautiful that every person can choose to do what makes them happy. If that is being in a relationship and having kids, just go for it, but never judge those who decide to stay single and don’t see themselves as a parent material.

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