In 1960, 72% of Americans over the age of 18 were married. In 2017, the U.S. Census showed that number falling to just 50%. Does that mean there are a bunch of sad single people moping around waiting for someone to finally put a ring on it? It would seem that the answer to that question is a resounding “NOPE!”
55% percent of participants in the 2017 Census said that marriage wasn’t an important milestone of adulthood. So 50% of adults aren’t married, and 55% don’t think getting married is that big a deal, which suggests that our priorities and our realities are actually aligning pretty well…statistically, it looks like we’re pretty happy being single!
While of course meeting (and maybe marrying) your soulmate can be a beautiful path for life to take, we’re here to remind you that it’s not the ONLY beautiful path. So if that happens today, great. If it happens in ten years, wonderful. And if it never happens, well, guess what? That’s awesome, too! There are actually a lot of fantastic reasons to stay single. Let’s talk about three big ones.
More time to be kind to yourself
Ideally, couples would encourage each other to practice self-care. And they do…sometimes. But unfortunately, being in a relationship can also get in the way of a good self-care regimen. It’s not necessarily intentional…often, it’s the simple fact that couples want to spend time together, and more time focused on each other means less time focused on yourselves.
While it’s been a longstanding belief that marriage has a positive effect on overall health, more recent studies suggest that it can actually go both ways. Single people tend to exercise more. They tend to sleep better. For women, in particular, being single may have some serious perks at a pivotal stage of life: a 2017 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that single women between ages 50 and 79 had lower BMIs, smaller waist sizes, and less risk associated with smoking and alcohol than their married counterparts.
Bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter points out that while, “Partnership can be wonderful,” being single allows us to “focus on the areas of our lives that need attention.” It makes sense…when you’re not committing your time and energy to a partner, you’re probably more likely to spend that time and energy exercising, meditating, building and nurturing friendships, pursuing your own interests and passions, and simply enjoying the space of being alone.
More freedom to be spontaneous
One of the benefits of being single is that, aside from work and other unavoidable obligations, your schedule is yours. You can make plans, break plans, or change plans without worrying about how it may affect your partner. Of course it can be fun to share experiences with someone you love, but you may not even get around to having some of those experiences if your significant other’s availability and enthusiasm don’t sync up with yours.
While acting impulsively isn’t the best idea in every situation, spontaneity can actually be really healthy in moderation. Spontaneous people tend to be less stressed, more focused, and more accepting of change...and if you ask us, those are pretty useful qualities!
So if you’re single, enjoy the freedom that comes along with it! If you catch a great deal on a last-minute plane ticket to somewhere amazing, take it. If you want to go out with the girls after work instead of going straight home, do it. If an awesome job opportunity pops up in another city, consider moving there. If you want to eat chips and salsa for dinner, go for it…but not too often, because a balanced diet is important no matter what your relationship status may be.
When you don’t have to filter all your decisions through another person’s circumstances, it can build some serious confidence. When you’re not relying on someone else for accountability, guidance, emotional support, financial support, or all of the above, chances are, you’ll get better at relying on yourself.
Single people tend to have less credit card debt. They also tend to report higher levels of autonomy, personal growth, and self-determination. It kind of makes sense, right? The more time you spend by yourself, the more time you’ll (probably) spend on yourself. The better you get to know yourself, the better you’ll (hopefully) like yourself.
And if you do eventually meet someone who totally knocks your socks off, guess what? Independence isn’t just a coping mechanism for being single…it’s also a super valuable asset to bring to a relationship.
Speaking of independence…
One thing a lot of single people often overlook is life insurance. It’s a milestone of adulthood that tends to be associated with getting married or having children, but even if you’re among the growing part of the population that’s choosing not to take that route, it’s important to think about getting life insurance coverage.
One in four American adults are paying off an average of $37,172 in student loans, and the average cost of a traditional funeral is $8,000-10,000. If something were to happen to you tomorrow, someone you love (your parents, your siblings, etc.) could be facing a pretty significant financial burden, and life insurance may help cover some of those expenses.
Our Life Covered℠ is here to help empower women to take charge of their finances and better protect the people they love with life insurance. If you’re ready to take that step, start with a quick, no-obligation quote, then let our life insurance advisors help guide you toward a policy that makes sense for YOU…your budget, your needs, your priorities.
Want to learn more about life insurance and talk more about how to work toward a longer, healthier, more financially secure life? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, or send us a message directly to join the conversation.