I love the seductive stage of a relationship… that's why I stay single and am happier than all my married friends08/04/2020
WEDDED bliss is often said to be the key to a happy life.
But with Covid forcing thousands of couples to put off tying the knot, what if marriage is NOT the answer to ever-lasting happiness?
Psychologists at Michigan State University in the US studied 7,532 people over 40 years and found happiness levels are virtually the same for married couples and those who stayed unattached throughout.
Here Kim Lambourne, 44, of Maidenhead, Berks, explains why she is happy to be single…
I HAVE always found it strange, even from an early age, that everyone is so obsessed with finding a partner.
I understand two people can meet and fall in love, and want to be together.
But I don’t understand those who wallow when they are single and spend all their time and effort trying to find The One rather than enjoying the single life.
I am not a man hater. I go on dates and spend time with men I fancy.
But I understand the importance of letting something go once it has run its course, as well as the importance of freedom and of being by yourself.
I ended my last relationship of 18 months more than two years ago.
Before that, I had casual relationships and dated on and off throughout my thirties.
I always enjoy the start of a relationship.
It is exciting to spend time with someone new, to find out all about them and share intimate things with each other.
I am happy being wined and dined but instead of getting serious about the future, I prefer to keep things to the seductive stage of the relationship.
And let’s be honest — the sex at the beginning is always great.
Men make more of an effort in the early days, as they are eager to please and excited by you and your body.
I love the attention and it’s so much more exciting when they will do anything for you between the sheets.
I’m very open about my sex life and share details with friends.
But when I hear stories from my married friends about life in the bedroom, it is depressing.
After the honeymoon phase, sex starts to feel like hard work.
Men change and their effort goes out of the window, though they still expect sex regularly.
Women get so fed up, they stop enjoying it and end up making excuses to avoid it.
No wonder married couples are no happier than us singles.
I look at my married friends now and the idea of trading places with them fills me with horror.
I love being spontaneous.
Life is much more exciting if it is not all planned out in advance.
I have a camper van and if the weather is nice, I can jump in it and travel wherever I fancy for a weekend.
There is none of this, “Where do you want to go darling?” or, “We can’t go this weekend because I’m playing golf”.
I don’t have to discuss it with anyone.
I can just up and go without any worries.
If I had children or a husband, I couldn’t live like this.
It is the same with my career.
In the early days of my job in events management, I would often have to drop everything to sort a disaster or work really late to make sure things were perfect.
I never minded, as I did not have to make sure I was home for a husband and I knew I was not letting anyone down.
I left behind colleagues with commitments who always had to get home to their partners or kids.
I do like children and am godmother to two kids.
But having a family has never been a priority because I see it as a massive tie — and something you can never go back on if you realise it is not for you.
I get to spend Christmas with my family every year.
There are no arguments about which set of in-laws to spend it with.
I never have to worry about hosting or getting everything the kids want. Instead, it is a great time to catch up with friends and really relax.
Over the years, I have watched as friends got married and had children — and became much more involved in their own lives.
I think it has made me a better friend to all my married pals because they know they can call me any time and I will always be game for catching up.
It also makes me really reliable, so I have tons of fantastic friendships.
I love social events but only spend time with people I love, as I don’t have to give up my weekends going to my husband’s friend’s wedding or his latest work do.
Having a family has never been a priority because I see it as a massive tie.
When you are single, people are much more welcoming and love chatting to you at parties, as you do not come as a package.
But when you are single in your thirties and forties, you can not avoid the sympathy from friends.
My eyes roll when they try to set me up with their “sweet” friend.
Sometimes I have gone along with it just to keep them happy — and it is always fun to go on dates. But I have never looked at anyone long-term.
I think these “soul mate” couples you read about are rare. It is not often you see a balanced marriage.
If she is more successful than him, he is jealous.
If one is out with mates, the other is on Instagram checking to see where they are. I could not be doing with that.
I know lots of people would argue it is harder financially when you are single.
But I think it is easier to keep your finances in check when you are on your own.
And when you do not have kids, it is definitely cheaper.
I have a lovely flat, am financially independent and enjoy a great life.
But you can make marriage work too
RELATIONSHIPS expert Kate Taylor says studies show marriage itself won’t boost your happiness levels.
But here she shares some science-backed mood boosts to help you and your other half live happily ever after…
WORK OUT TOGETHER. Start a regular exercise routine with your partner. Studies have found just ten minutes’ exercise a day can lift people’s spirits. Exercise boosts the libido too, and women are said to have stronger climaxes after exercise.
SCHEDULE SEX. The happiest couples aren’t having sex twice a day. Research shows the optimum amount to boost your mood is once a week.
SHOW GRATITUDE. Getting your partner unexpected presents can boost their happiness for months. A study found saying three things you are grateful for – every day for two weeks – made people feel more optimistic.
GRAB A COFFEE. Caffeine helps your brain release the feel-great hormone dopamine, so drinking coffee together gives you a happiness boost. Women who drink coffee have higher sex drives than those who do not.
EXPLORE FANTASIES. The stereotype is that couples who have been married a long time hardly have sex. According to the Journal Of Sex Research, couples who accepted they would have less sex managed to keep the spark alive better. The key is to explore deeper fantasies, more positions and bring in role play or “kinks”.
TIME FOR YOURSELF. Having no privacy or a lack of time to yourself is almost twice as likely to cause misery as a poor sex life, according to a study by “Love Doctor” Dr Terri Orbuch.
AVOID STEREOTYPES. Couples who divide domestic responsibilities fairly are more likely to be happy, according to a study by UCLA. There is no reason why men can’t do laundry, so divvy up the duties.
ASK OPEN QUESTIONS. Happier people had twice as many deep talks as the unhappiest people during a study in journal Psychological Science. The key is to ask open questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or a grunt. The Gottman Institute, which studies marriage, suggests questions like, “What do you find exciting in life?”. Download its free app, Gottman Card Decks, for more ideas.
Being single means I can do what I want, when I want. And I reckon a lot of married couples envy me for that.
I have nothing to hold me back and I do not answer to anyone.
Marriage will never be on the cards for me. I love my spontaneous single life too much.
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