Content provided by Sarah Cummings

Falling in love and getting hitched, that’s everyone’s dream, right? Wrong. That’s just the narrative that’s constantly being fed to us. In reality, more and more of us are choosing the single life and are perfectly happy with our choice.

Just saying that we’re happy however doesn’t seem to be enough to stop you getting pitied looks from your coupled up friends at dinner parties and weddings, does it?

Well, the next time you get into the inevitable conversation and you’ve used up all your best lines about enjoying your alone time, why not throw some science back in their smug mugs! Being single is seems is actually good for your health.

Don’t believe me, well you don’t have to. I have science on my side. Below are 4 reasons why being single is better for your health.

Being single means you take better care of yourself

It seems there is quite a lot of truth to the notion that when individuals ‘settle down’, that is find themselves comfortably in a long-term relationship, they fall into unhealthy habits.

For a start people in relationships work out less. A study of over 13,000 Americans aged between 18 and 64 found that individuals who considered themselves to be ‘always single’ did significantly more exercise weekly compared to those in relationships or who were married.

The result of this is that on average single people are in better physical shape, that is have a lower BMI than individuals in relationships.

A study by the Journal of Family Issues in 2015 reported that single Americans, no matter their sexual orientation, had a healthier body weight. The same is true in Europe where a study of 4,500 individuals found that married men and woman were five pounds heavier, on average, than their single counterparts.

So it appears the notion of couples ‘letting themselves go’ does have some science behind it. Sorry lovebirds!

Being single means less credit card debt

Yep, you read that right. Despite there being the potential for two breadwinners to contribute to the finances in a relationship, it turns out that it’s actually couples who end up being in more credit card debt than those those who go it alone.

A study found that only around 21% of single Americans had credit card debt. This compared to a whopping 36% of married couples with children. Aha! I hear you doubters say, that’s because they have children to support, obviously. Yes but how can you explain why 27% of married couples without children also have credit card debt?

Being single, it seems, keeps you on better terms with our credit card provider and healthy finances are good for your general health. Nothing leads to stress like debt. Individuals with financial problems are at a greater risk of high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. Yikes!

Being single helps you sleep

The health benefits of getting more sleep are almost endless. Individuals who sleep well tend to have stronger immune systems, healthier hearts, lower risk of suffering from strokes or diabetes, be slimmer and be less prone to stress and depression.

The benefits of sleep don’t just stop with health either. Better rest has been shown repeatedly by studies to improve concentration, accuracy, decision making, productivity and even creativity. It’s unsurprising then that sleep has been called the best natural performance enhancers known to man. Go sleep!

According to one study, being single is the best way to guarantee a good night’s rest. What’s more, the longer couples are together the worst their sleep becomes, perhaps as a result of external factors such as the arrival of children and the stress of mortgages.

Now that you known this, all you have to decide is whether to keep the big bed for yourself or downsize and use the extra space.  If you’re not sure what bed size you need, the folks at Mattress Insider have put together a pretty thorough guide with lots of mattress size charts.

Being single means better sex

The bad news is that despite our obsession with depicting sex in movies and tv shows, studies show that Americans are having less sex. The one silver lining is that the drop off for lifelong singles is less severe than it is for married couples and divorcees.

The question of who has sex more frequently is also currently up for debate. If married couples remain ahead in the intimacy stakes (and it is not clear that they do), one thing is certain – the gap has reduced a lot in the last twenty years.

Obviously when it comes to some things in life, like getting the good stuff, it isn’t all about quantity – quality is important too!

This is especially true when it comes to the health benefits of sex. Good sex releases a cocktail of hormones into the bloodstream than can have a host of health benefits. Great sex, that is sex that results in everyone involved reached their intended destination, if you know what I mean, does absolute wonders.

When we orgasm the body releases a hormone known as prolactin which not only does amazing things for our sleep, it also does miraculous things for stress relief, positivity and self-confidence.

This is great news for singles. Because a study conducted in Finland, which looked at data produced in 2006 and again in 2013, found that the ‘single’ women experienced a greater increase in orgasms by intercourse between these seven years than those in a relationship. Yay, singles! Or should that be yes, yes yessssss?!

So there you have it, four ways in which being single makes you healthier. As you can see it’s not just your physical health going it alone can improve; it’s also your credit card debt, your sex life and how well you sleep.

That should be enough to shut up your annoying Auntie Pam the next time she asks why you’re not married yet!

[For more about single people’s health, and their mental health, too, click here.]