Married Couples Happier Than ´Midlife´ Singles

British Report Deflates Myth of Carefree Lifestyle

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LONDON, MAR. 4, 2001 ( An increasing number of single people have a lonely life that leaves them less happy than married couples, according to a new report cited by The Telegraph newspaper.

In contrast to the notion that most unattached adults enjoy a carefree way of life similar to that of the television character Ally McBeal, dominated by socializing and romance, the report, by Mintel, warns that the majority of singles lead mundane lives in which drinking, dating and recreation play only a minor part.

This is particularly the case as they become older, with one in four of «midlife» singles, those aged 35 and above, admitting that they have not had a relationship in the past five years. Only 5% of this age group say that they are still able to meet a wide range of new partners.

Emma Besbrode, author of the report which was based on a study of 1,175 single people and nearly 2,000 couples, said the findings showed that the belief that singles could continue to enjoy a fun-filled, carefree existence indefinitely was mistaken.

In fact, most single people behaved more like their peers, with those in their 30s and 40s living lives which differed little from the existence enjoyed by married or co-habiting couples of similar age.

Furthermore, even though single people did not have to cope with the pressures of raising young children, the research found that they were less happy than couples with family commitments.

Only 49% of older singles said that they felt happier than they were five years ago, compared with 61% of couples. Nearly one in three said that they were less happy, compared with just 18% of their peers who were living with a partner.

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