If you’re an unmarried woman with no children, there’s some good news for you.
You don’t need to rush toward the altar/motherhood as you’re already one of the happiest and healthiest individuals, according to a behavioral expert.
Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, said “married people are happier than other population subgroups” only “when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are,” The Guardian reported.
“When the spouse is not present: f—ing miserable,” Dolan added. “The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.”
Interestingly, the case was just the opposite for men – who seem to benefit more from their relationships. According to Dolan, it happens because they “calm down” after marriage.
“You take less risks, you earn more money at work and you live a little longer,” the expert said. “She, on the other hand, has to put up with that, and dies sooner than if she never married.”
“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,” he added.
The women who got married later in their life also saw a small increase in their physical ailments and mental health problems, Dolan said.
The behavioral scientist added: “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,” he said. “Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”
Dolan’s comments came shortly after he released his book, Happy Ever After: Escaping the Myths of the Perfect Life.
According to The Guardian, his book compared happiness levels in different groups of people – single, married, divorced, widowed, and separates – using data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS).
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