Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

Study: Got Married Sooner Than You Hoped? That’s Depressing

In a decades-long study, those who married younger than they had hoped were more depressed than those who married around their ideal age. Those who married a lot later than they had hoped were also more depressed. Those who married younger than they had wished and those who married a lot older were no less depressed at age 40 than those who wanted to marry but never did. Read More

Not surprising

I was indifferent to whether or not I got married; I actually kind of hoped not to. Then I married when I was 24, for a bunch of bad reasons. I was depressed and stuck it out much longer than I should have.
Recently my 24-year-old niece turned down a marriage proposal from a man she really loved, but he wanted her to move out of the country and she wasn't ready, and he wouldn't wait. I'm so proud of her. She's met someone new who treats her well and doesn't expect more from her than she's able to give. I think this one's a winner, but I hope they don't get married just because it's expected of them. If they want to, good, if they don't, that's good too.
I've always been fascinated by people who know they want to marry, without having a prospective partner in mind. Marriage as an end in itself just doesn't do anything for me. I always thought of marriage as huge sacrifice and someone would have to be really special in order for me to give up that much autonomy. Wanting to be married, and actively looking for someone to marry, that's just too different from who I am.

Bad Data

The idea of tossing aside all the study participants who either didn't want to be married from the gitgo and all the additional participants who were miserable in their marriages and got divorced is faulty and repugnant. Why does the psychological community tolerate, or even celebrate, grossly bad and biased data collection?

When will somebody call them out?

This is why ALL studies on marriage are automatically suspect.

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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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