The benefits of being SINGLE: Women steer clear of relationships to avoid fights – while men choose the bachelor life so they have more freedom to FLIRT, study finds

  • A study asked 612 people to rate different benefits of single life by importance
  • Having more time for yourself was seen as the biggest advantage to going solo
  • However, men rated ‘freedom to flirt around’ more highly than women did
  • Women placed more importance on having ‘no tensions and fights’ 

True love’s kiss be damned! New research shows that a fairy tale ending can actually be a quiet night alone, doing whatever you like.

Researchers from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus conducted a study to discover why more people than ever are choosing to stay single.

It found that the top reasons are being able to have more time for yourself, focus on your goals and make your own decisions.

However, men rated ‘freedom to flirt’ more highly, while women saw more benefit from ‘no tension and fights’.

‘Fights between couples may escalate to physical violence to which women are more vulnerable, which, in turn, would motivate them to avoid such situations, with one way to do so being not to be in an intimate relationship,’ the researchers explained.

Researchers from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus conducted a study to discover why more people than ever are choosing to stay single. It found that the top reasons are being able to have more time for yourself, focus on your goals and make your own decisions (stock image)

TOP TEN REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO STAY SINGLE 

Studies have shown that more people are choosing to live the single life voluntarily, which seems to contradict evolutionary theory.

The researchers, led by Menelaos Apostolou, wrote: ‘Children require considerable and prolonged parental investment to survive to sexual maturity.

‘This fact means that people who fail to attract long-term partners face a considerable reduction in their chances to have their genetic material represented in future generations. 

‘In turn, strong selection pressures are generated, giving rise to behavioral mechanisms that motivate individuals to establish long-term intimate relationships.’

To try and determine the primary reasons why people would rather not couple up, the team asked 269 men and women to write down some of the advantages of single life.

Independent researchers then analysed their answers, and categorised them into 84 different benefits.

These benefits were then presented to 612 study participants, who were asked to rate how important they would be to them if they were single.

Finally, the 84 benefits were narrowed down into ten broader categories based on participants’ ratings using statistical analysis.

The results, published this month in Evolutionary Psychological Science, revealed that the three most highly rated factors were ‘more time for myself’, ‘focus on my goals’, and ‘no one dictates my actions’. 

In order of decreasing importance, the other seven factors were: ‘not getting hurt’, ‘peace of mind’, ‘no tensions and fights’, ‘freedom to flirt around’, ‘save resources’, ‘not do things I dislike’ and ‘better control of what I eat’.

However, there were key differences in the priorities of single men and women.

Men rated ‘freedom to flirt around’ as more important than women did, which the researchers predicted as it allows them to engage in more casual relationships.

Men rated ‘freedom to flirt around’ as more important than women did, which the researchers predicted as it allows them to engage in more casual relationships (stock image)

WHAT ARE THE DOS AND DON’TS OF FLIRTING?

Which flirting techniques work?

Women want men to be funny and generous when it comes to flirting, according to researchers in Norway.

However, on the flip side, males prefer the opposite sex to appear sexually available and to laugh at their jokes.

And which don’t?

Last month, sientists from the University of Nicosia in Cyprus revealed the 11 most off-putting flirting tactics, which are ‘dealbreakers’ for many people.

They are:

The researchers wrote: ‘Men’s reproductive output is positively related to the number of women they gain sexual access to. 

‘Thus, for men in particular, having casual intimate relationships with different women can potentially increase their reproductive output.’ 

In contrast, women found the ‘focus on my goals’ and the ‘no tensions and fights’ more important than men.

A difference was also identified between age groups, with older respondents rating ‘more time for myself’ and ‘not do things I dislike’ as more important than younger groups.

‘One possible explanation is that, as people get older, they become more rigid and less willing to make compromises,’ the authors wrote.

As part of the questionnaire, the participants were also asked about how successful they are in flirting and forming relationships, to gauge their ‘mating performance’.

It was found that those who scored low in mating performance found the identified advantages in single life more important than high scorers.

The authors suggest that people who want to be in a relationship, but find it difficult to form one, may find single life more attractive as it is less effort to maintain.

‘On the other hand, in terms of mating effort, it could also be the case that people who see single life as attractive would not put much effort into finding a partner,’ they wrote.

The researchers noted that many of the ten advantages can be grouped by what they provide for a single person.

Many of the top rated ones, like having more time and resources, enable the single person to develop their own attractive qualities. 

These could be a good career, strong social standing and resource provision potential.

Other advantages, like having ‘peace of mind’ and avoiding tension, point to an avoidance of experiencing negative emotions, such as jealousy, anger and sadness.

The ‘freedom to flirt’ advantage also shows an appreciation of the ability to engage in casual relationships while single.

Finally, the factors ‘better control of what I eat’, ‘no one dictates my actions’, and ‘not do things I dislike’ suggest a lack of necessity to compromise as a benefit.

The authors wrote: ‘For instance, people need to discuss their actions and choices with their partners, socialize with their partners’ friends and relatives, even if they do not like them, or adjust their eating habits to the ones of their partners. 

‘Such adjustments can be taxing for individuals, as they would frequently find themselves doing things they do not like or not doing things they like.’

They note that this study was conducted within the Greek cultural context, and further research should be done to see if their findings apply more generally.

However, it was concluded that the advantages highlighted show how ‘being single can beneficial for limited time periods’.

‘Thus, instead of only asking whether mated or single life is better, we can ask when it is better for an individual to be single and for how long,’ the authors wrote.

‘Considerable more research is necessary however, in order to address such questions.’

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