Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

Single Men Have Good Hearts

Over the course of an eight-year study, the risk of heart disease INCREASED for every year participants were married. The study was based on a nationally representative sample of more than 9,000 people in late middle-life. Read More

Great post!

Nice to hear some good news about single men. Or any news at all, given that they're largely ignored.

It's funny, when you think about it. Marraige promoters often present the image of undisciplined single men who need to be tamed by women. However, many of these marriage promoters are often conservative, and conservatives promote the idea of responsbility. Thus, wouldn't it be more consistent for them to push single men to take responsibility for their lives and their health, rather than encourage them to find wives who will do it for them?

on beautiful hearts

Hi Bella!

Thanks for the post. I was on the fence about the porno-mad rapist part ;) Just kidding.

Your question:

"But what about the other sense of a "good heart," the meaning that is more about the kind of person you are than about the condition of your body parts?"

Reminded me of a beautiful poem I recently encountered. I don't mean to switch the topic back to women but being that the Oscars are on tonight and it's written by Audrey Hepburn, it's timely, too..

"What makes a woman beautiful? For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; for a slim figure, share your food with the hungry; for beautiful hair, let a child run their hands through it; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone."
- Audrey Hepburn



Hi - I am interested in hearing people's opinions about WHY the single guys have a lower chance of getting heart disease. What are your guesses? In looking at the results with divorced guys at the highest part of the spectrum, I would guess that stress plays a huge role, and getting divorced is stressful. I'm just curious if single guys eat healthier or exercise more? I don't dispute the data but I would be interested in people's opinions on why the singles are the healthy ones and the divorced guys are walking around with a toe tag.


My guess would have something to do with what Dr. DePaulo has stated in previous posts. Maybe marraige has nothing to do with it. Maybe guys who are at lower risk for heart disease just don't get married as often as their higher risk counterparts.

I doubt they eat better, but maybe they do workout more.
Maybe it has something to do with being a dad. Very few single parents are fathers.

Let's keep in mind also that the difference between always single guys and continuously married guys is very small, at least until a certain point. Getting back to the whole stress-related issue, maybe that's why each consecutive year of marriage raises your risk of heart disease (tongue in cheek):)

My hunch: single men exercise more, and eat only when hungry

As a middle aged married man, who was happily single (and not so sure about the married life...) I think the following are likely:

- when single, you work out. At the gym, long hikes solo or with groups, etc. Once married, time at the gym and with activity groups is regarded as "selfish" and so alas, there's pressure to decrease it.

- when single, you tend to eat when you are hungry. Not according to a schedule (that's married life) but only when you feel hungry. This is KEY. Slow weight gain is a killer, leading to both diabetes and heart disease.

Probably the kids

I would have thought it would be having children, but then again maybe after having sowed your wild oats there is a relief. Or that they bring that special kind of joy only children can bring and relieve stress (pets do). I don't have kids to know. Otherwise I bet it's the whole 'marriage is a lot of work' thing. The psychology of being tied down?

It's simple, marriage kills

It's simple, marriage kills your will to live.


Marriage is evil in every way


I think this is the first health study I've seen that has definitively shown single men coming out on top! I've seen studies in which single men were neck in neck with married men and were unfairly portrayed as faring much worse, but this is the first one I can remember in which the single guys turned out far better off.

I know Sheila offered her explanation tongue-in-cheek, but I think she's onto something. I think marriage and childrearing (perhaps childrearing in particular) can be stressful, and, over the years, it accumulates and takes a physical toll. Also, I believe studies have shown that married men tend to be more obese than singles, and obesity is correlated with heart disease. It could be that the married guys have wives who tend to cook fattening meals and do a lot of the housework themselves so that their husbands sit around and don't burn off the calories, whereas single men are popping lean cuisines in the microwave and, forced to do the laundry and vacuuming themselves, are staying in better shape.

Don't know if there's any truth to that hypothesis. Just a thought.

There is no connection

There is no connection between martial status and heart disease, unless you run a study, and skew the results to get something published. Otherwise, you'll find that everyone is extremely different, and such small groups of martial status doesn't take into account racial background, diet, genetics etc. Some live happy marriages, some don't. Some single people are happy, some are not happy.
Don't hate the married people, and don't hate the single. Just be yourself, don't conform to the so called "real world". The one's who conform to whatever lifestyles, because they feel they should, end up sad, and depressed, and they usually are the ones to point fingers at others.

If you're interested finding

If you're interested finding local single men, check out this new online dating site:

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Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.


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