Gal Slonim and Astrid Schütz presented their research at the APS annual conference

The 27th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science was held 21-24/5 in New York City.

In order to understand why some singles are happy with their relationship status and decide to remain single, while others experience lower levels of well-being and keep looking for partners, Slonim and Schützinvestigated possible differences in expectations from romantic relationships between singles by choice and singles by circumstance, and compared the two groups of singles with a group of coupled individuals.

Using data from pairfam, a German panel study on intimate relationships, Slonim and Schütz discovered that singles by choice perceive romantic relationships as less beneficial and more costly than singles by circumstance and coupled individuals. For instance, compared to the two other groups, singles by choice believe to a greater extent that romantic relationships might become boring and stressful.

The findings suggest that singles by choice do not perceive romantic relationships as positively as those who are singles by circumstance or coupled. It could be that singles by choice base their well-being on other domains, such as time spent with friends and family, and career success.