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Married Life

“Some People are Just Happier in a Relationship”

I know I’m one of those people. Last time I was single, I gave myself a horrible haircut, dyed my hair a different (hideous) colour and promptly stacked on 10 kilos (that’s 20 pound in American-speak) which was quite the feat considering I was training in dance for hours per week… I was the exact opposite of the “single” stereotype – the ones that go getting all hot and sexy and out on the prowl. I just wanted to curl up into a ball and eat donuts forever.

Are you happier in a relationship?

Last week, Leonora Epstein at The Frisky (via CNN) wrote about how she was told by her psychologist that “Some women are just happier in a relationship”. She was affronted:

“Huh? Isn’t the modern woman supposed to be totally amazing on her own? But at the same time, the tension in my heart unclenched as I considered the phrase that potentially answered all of my romantic issues… Was I one of those women? And do they really exist? Looking back, I began to think it might be true. When in committed relationships, I was happier. When single, I was depressed. Perhaps this was chance, but I realized that I took better care of my life with a boyfriend by my side. I kept things cleaner to show respect for his presence in my living space. I bathed more often and took care of my acne-prone skin… When I recently asked my friends about this idea of “being better with a man” or “needing a man,” a good handful of them confirmed this belief. (Definitely not all, mind you.)”

A University of Arizona study has found that men live better and longer lives once they’re married – and cut their risk of health problems considerably (well, duh. Who’s ever known a man that willingly goes to the doctor without considerable nagging!). I’ve found that since I’ve been with Denis, I do look after myself better, I’m back to my natural, healthy weight

I tried to ask Dear Husband about his views but didn’t get much out of him other than a suspicious eyeballing… like I was trying to trap him into telling me he was happier without me or something!

What I do know is that Den was single for 5 or 6 years before he met me, and seemed happy as a pig in mud about it. He definitely looked after himself that entire time, and while he says he did miss being close to people, it clearly wasn’t enough to just jump into a relationship with anyone. He was waiting for someone he could marry and he was more than happy to take his time doing it.

All this said, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a gender-specific thing. I have girlfriends who love being single, and I have guy friends that fall to pieces without a woman around and instantly fill the gap with anyone at all….

What about you? Are you fundamentally happier when you’re paired up? Or love living the single life?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


4 comments for ““Some People are Just Happier in a Relationship””

  1. Posted by april | October 1, 2009, 9:58 am

    happier with someone – function better that way – figure its making up for all my ‘alone’ time as an only child…

  2. Posted by Dustin | Engaged Marriage | October 1, 2009, 3:02 pm

    I am definitely happiest in a relationship, and I cannot imagine a better life than I have now being married. Heck, I even started a website devoted to helping others have an awesome marriage!

  3. Posted by Alan | October 1, 2009, 9:59 pm

    Intriguing question. I think at the end of the day, we can only be comfortable in relationships with people with whom we’re compatible. Sometimes that compatibility is short-lived, which leads to disappointment and heartache. To best predict long-term compatibility, I’ve found Hayden Dane’s brief e-book, “I Have One Question” that’s available at http://www.haydendane.com, to be really helpful in this regard. Dane makes the convincing and unlikely argument that admiration is the key to long-term compatibility. He describes a conversation to have with a prospective or current significant other that will elicit the information you need to reliably conclude on your long-term compatibility. If you’re one who enjoys being in a relationship, even has to be in a relationship, then why not make it one with lasting compatibility?

  4. Posted by Emile Santisteban | September 3, 2014, 6:59 pm

    When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. ~Lolly Daskal

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