Single vs Married: Which Side Should You Choose for a Happy Ever After?
In this day and age where "FOMO" or "fear or missing out" is a side effect of a social media-obessessed culture, it's easy to get lost in the plethora of updates about who got engaged, got married or is expecting.
While singles experience "FOMO," new parents may also experience anxiety about the path they've chosen. It seems that people are now more pressured than ever to make a decision: does one get married and settle down, or choose the career-driven single life filled with exotic getaways and great adventures?
According to CNN, 55.3% American adults aged 18 and above opted to get married in 2014. At the time, the marriage rate was 6.9 per 1,000, an increase from 2013's rate. Meanwhile, there were about 107 million single Americans in that same year. These people were either never married, divorcees, or widows and widowers. They accounted for 45% of the population.
But, what exactly are the pros and cons of being married or being single? Here's a simple breakdown.
The Pros: As a married couple, two people are often tasked to split bills and, for those with families, the father is often seen as the breadwinner. When both parents are working, bills and duties are split into two, depending on one's skills and abilities.
In addition, CNN reports that, when it comes to finances, an Ohio State University claims that married people "experience a per person net worth increase of 77% over singles. Additionally, their combined wealth increases on average by 16% for each year of marriage."
In terms of health, St. Joe Channel reports that a study has proven how married couples have an improved change of surviving cancer. In addition, they also have a lower risk for heart problems.
The Cons: Married couples may gain weight together. In fact, a 2013 study from Southern Methodist University has proven that newlyweds were more likely to put on some pounds post-marriage if they are happy together.
The Pros: Single people are more resilient because they're on their own and they have no one else to depend on. "Single people — again, especially those who have always been single — are also faring far better than social scientists have predicted," said"Still Live Happily Ever After" author Bella DePaulo to Tribune.
Single people are also reportedly better at sustaining relationships with friends, family, and neighbors compared to married couples who prioritize their marriage over other relationships. Moreover, because these singles are not bound by law or any societal structures, they maintain genuine relationships with their peers.
The Cons: Singles -- especially older ladies and even men -- are often barraged with questions on when and if you will settle down. These questions often come from relatives and parents who are concerned that one's biological clock is ticking and that childbirth is one of the most fulfilling experiences in life.
The thing is, some singles are happy on their own and are often criticized for not wanting to get married and start a family. For those who do, of course, there's an additional anxiety about if they will ever find love, as per POPSugar.
However, regardless if one is single or not, keep in mind that attaining happiness in life will always depend on one's goals. Some may find happiness in a lifelong relationship, while some will find true joy in going solo. It's all a matter of perspective.