All of our lives, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we have to go out there and look for the ‘other half’, a ‘better half’ because we are incomplete. And that without somebody to marry, we could never actually be happy. However, a recent study has proven that marriage might have little to do with happiness than we think. 

The researchers studied 75-100 people between the ages of 18 to 60 with varied marriage histories. This group included 3 types of people – those who were single, married, and in and out of relationships. 

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The result? Well apparently, there was not much difference between two specific groups. The long-term happiness of people who were single their entire lives and those who got hitched, was nearly the same. So maybe tying the knot has nothing to do with happiness, unlike what Sima aunty from Indian Matchmaking would like you to believe. 

People often think that they need to be married is to be happy, so we asked the questions, ‘Do people need to be in a relationship to be happy? Does living single your whole life translate to unhappiness? What about if you were married at some point but it didn’t work out? Turns out, staking your happiness on being married isn’t a sure bet.

-William Chopik, MSU assistant professor of psychology, co-author

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This study from Michigan State University also showed that those who had varied relationship histories were close to being as happy as singles. Those who “‘loved and lost’ were just as happy towards the end as those who ‘never loved at all’.” The married group averaged a 4, the single group averaged at 3.82, and those who had varied history averaged 3.7, out of 5. 

It seems like it may be less about the marriage and more about the mindset. If you can find happiness and fulfilment as a single person, you’ll likely hold onto that happiness — whether there’s a ring on your finger or not. 

-Mariah Purol, MSU psychology master’s student, co-author

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Hence, the study proved that marriage or no marriage, being happy is a mindset that people adopt in their own varied ways. Their personal choices lead to happiness, in whichever shape or form they foresee it. BRB, cancelling those rishta meetings.