You may want to go ahead and ignore all of those studies claiming that married people are happier and healthier than singles. One psychologist's unwavering commitment to the single life has unveiled some fundamental flaws in the way scientists study those without a lifelong partner, as pointed out by Live Science.
According to Bella DePaulo, author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, the single life isn't nearly as bleak as many scientific studies—and society at large—would have you believe. "There are so many false beliefs out there about single people and single life," DePaulo told Live Science at the annual American Psychological Association in Denver. What's worse, those beliefs are "sometimes presented as being based in research."
DePaulo is quick to point out that most of the research regarding married people versus single people lumps groups of dissimilar singles together. A divorced single person most likely has a different perspective on marriage than a single person who has never been married, for example. There are also widows and widowers to take into account, whose experiences are vastly different from the aforementioned groups. Putting all of those 100 million or so people under the "single" umbrella—within scientific studies, no less—paints a somewhat inaccurate picture of single life, especially for the people who choose to be single. Believe it or not, you can be single as well as happy, healthy, and completely fulfilled in life—despite what relationship studies tell you.
"The cultural focus is still firmly on getting married. Everything from romantic comedies to government benefits urge walking the aisle," writes Live Science's Stephanie Pappas, as informed by DePaulo. "But economic opportunities for women and increased focus on forging individual paths to happiness means that there are more opportunities to stay single as a matter of choice." Don't let scientific studies tell you otherwise.
What do you think of DePaulo's theories? Join the discussion below, and pick up her book to learn more about the "unseen singles" theory.