Shout-out to all the single ladies and dance away to Beyoncé’s ‘I’m a single lady’ but without the ‘then you shoulda put a ring on it’ because as we long saw it coming, expert says that a woman is the happiest without children or a husband. This is however not to say that only single women are the privileged ones who are happy, but, if you are one of those in the ‘happy, single life’, there is an even broader news to add to your happy road.
According to a happiness expert, unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers.
Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, speaking at the Hay festival on Saturday said, “Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: fucking miserable,” he said.
“We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.”
Men benefited from marriage because they “calmed down”, he said. “You take less risks, you earn more money at work, and you live a little longer. She, on the other hand, has to put up with that, and dies sooner than if she never married. The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children,” he adds.
Quite the contrary, men gain more health benefits from being married, Dolan adds. He further adds that women, though, happy being single, the existing narrative that marriage and children were signs of success meant that the stigma could lead some single women to feel unhappy.
“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”