While the Disney stories of our youth may have led us to believe that we should all be looking for our ‘happy ever after’ with The One, a new study has revealed that more single women are eschewing relationships than single men.
Settling down, finding the one or just having a Friday night date lined up: society’s obsession with pairing up knows no bounds.
However, it turns out most single women are actually perfectly happy being just that. And what’s more, they are more likely to be content flying solo than their male counterparts.
A survey by Mintel, which analysed single lifestyles in the UK, found that 61% of single women are happy being single, versus 49% of single men.
The survey also found that 75% of single women have not actively looked for a relationship in the last year, compared to 65% of single men.
Professor Emily Grundy of the University of Essex believes that the reason for this contentment to stay single is that relationships prove to be too much work for women.
“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,” Grundy told The Telegraph.
In addition to the traditionally more labour-intensive role of women in relationships, the fact that women typically have a stronger social support network outside of a relationship makes the single life far more attractive to women than it does to men, says Grundy.
“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 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.”
On the other hand, Jack Duckett, senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel, believes there is an overarching reason why men and women alike are happy to remain single and it has less to do with relationship woes than it does with ambition.
“Much of this reluctance to look for a partner can be attributed to the young increasingly prioritising their education, careers and financial stability over being in relationships,” he says.
But despite the clear attraction to the single life, the survey also highlighted some drawbacks: Mintel’s report found that just 36% of singles in the UK say they feel financially secure, compared to 52% of those who are in a relationship.
Images: Michael Dam/ REX Features