Jazmin Kopotsha | Culture Writer | Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Reason Why Some People Are Just As Happy Single As They Are In A Relationship

The Reason Why Some People Are Just As Happy Single As They Are In A Relationship

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It may come as surprise, but shock horror, being in a relationship is NOT the be all and end all. I know I know, the photos in your Facebook feed of smug mates snuggled in the arm of their bae in front of some *insert generic uninteresting scenery here*, might give you a different impression. But it’s okay, you don’t HAVE to want to be that couple. It’s fine, they’re annoying anyway.

In a piece of somewhat encouraging yet, ‘well yeah, duh’ news, it turns out that there are people who are perfectly happy being single. Yes, they exist and science has proved it.

We all know that what tickles one person’s pickle won’t necessarily hump someone else’s camel, especially when it comes to things like of love and relationships. But according to Psychology Today, the reason why people who are actually just as happy out of a relationship as those who are in one, has a lot to do with how they handle conflict.

Researchers looked at two different types of ‘social goals’ – avoidance goals and approach goals – to work out what type of people might be happier in (or out) of a relationship. They found that ‘people with avoidance social goals don’t necessarily avoid relationships with others; they try to maintain relationships by avoiding conflicts.’

They explained that someone with high ‘avoidance goals’ will probably be hurt pretty badly by a minor fall out compared to someone without that particular outlook.  ‘Approach goals’ on the other hand, are more about how people try to ‘maintain their relationships by increasing intimacy’.

In a study of 187 undergrads, the researchers found that it was only people who were low in avoidance goals (the ones who aren’t all that bothered by conflict), who were less satisfied with their single lives.

Similarly, in a second study of a sample of 4024 adults in New Zealand, they also found that people generally associated being in a relationship with greater life satisfaction, that is, all except for people with high avoidance goals. For these guys, being single or coupled up makes them equally as happy.

The good news is, they clarified that we can’t definitively say being in a relationship makes people happier. So if you were panicking about having no interest whatsoever in hooking up with someone to spend the rest of your whole entire life with forever and ever, that’s totally fine.

What we do know though, is that the reason behind it could have something to do with being part of the high avoidance goals crew, and that you’re just not about that drama.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Calling Bullshit On 'Settling Down' And Other Crap Relationship Terms

What's Wrong With Wanting To Get Married In Your 20s

The Inevitable Stages You Go Through When Your Ex Gets Engaged

Follow Jazmin on Twitter @JazKopotsha