A common belief is that single people have less happiness in their lives, but is this really true? A recent study showed that this is not always the case, and that individuals who have relationship conflict fears may have just as much if not more happiness if they stay single. University of Auckland in New Zealand psychology doctoral candidate and lead study researcher Yuthika Girme explained the findings, saying “It’s a well-documented finding that single people tend to be less happy compared to those in a relationship, but that may not be true for everyone. Single people also can have satisfying lives. Having greater approach goals tends to have the best outcomes for people when they are in a relationship, but they also experience the most hurt and pain when they are single.”
The study on single people and happiness levels involved more than 4,000 participants, all of whom were residents of New Zealand. Researchers found that those who tended to have high avoidance social goals, in other words individuals who try to avoid any conflict or disagreement in a relationship at all costs, were as happy when they were single as other individuals were when they were in a relationship. For these people the relationship conflict anxiety experienced meant that they may be happier when they are single, and have a decrease in happiness level when in a relationship. When someone with high avoidance social goals is in a relationship they may be more anxious, and try too hard to avoid an conflict or disagreement.