It’s time to debunk the Bridget Jones stereotype once and for all. A new study has found that single women are actually happier than single men – because being in a relationship is much harder work for women, who tend to shoulder more domestic duties as well as more emotional labour, which can be more difficult to quantify but equally exhausting.
Data analysts at Mintel found that 61 percent of single women are content with their relationship status, compared to 49 percent of single men. Their study also discovered that 75 percent of single women have not actively sought out a relationship in the past year, in comparison to 65 percent of single men.
There’s evidence that women spend longer on domestic tasks than men and I think they also do more emotional work – so they still do more housework and cooking and things as well as more emotional labour.
The trend was particularly strong for women over 45. 32 percent of single women aged 45 to 65 said they were ‘very happy’ to be single, while only 19 percent of men in the same age bracket had a similar response.
This might be because women put more work into relationships. According to Professor Emily Grundy from the University of Essex, ‘There’s evidence that women spend longer on domestic tasks than men and I think they also do more emotional work, so they still do more house work and cooking and things as well as more emotional labour.’
Single women are also more likely to have a wider group of close friends and a busier social life, compared to their male equivalents, Grundy told The Telegraph. ‘Women tend to be better at having alternative social networks and other confidantes whereas men tend to rely quite heavily on their wives for that and have fewer other social ties.’
‘Certainly there’s a common finding from a lot of studies that women who don’t have a partner tend to do more social activities and [have] more friends compared to women with partners whereas with men it’s the reverse – men without a partner tend to do much less of that,’ she said.
‘So it may be that women have a wider range of alternatives.'