A recent study published in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships examined the relationships with friends, neighbors, and extended family members, and compared the connections that single people had versus married couples.
They found that on average, single people spend more time connecting with friends, neighbors, and relatives than married people.
Single people are more likely to give help to, receive help from, and stay in touch with siblings, friends, parents and neighbors than those who are married.
In fact, even if someone has a divorce, they will still spend less time with friends and neighbors, suggesting that the effects of a less social lifestyle can last beyond marriage.
(And maybe we should all be reaching out to our friends who have just gone through a divorce - they might need the company more than they know!)
The study results were able to rule out other factors, like age, kids, education, and income.
So why are married couples so antisocial?
The authors of the study have a few ideas:
- People believe that their husband/wife is their soulmate, and should fulfill all social needs
- Single people may need to make more effort to fulfill their social needs since there is no one to socialize with at home
- Another theory? Maybe this is another one we can blame on our busy, modern society!
Married people might feel that by the time work/volunteering/the gym/whatever is caught up with (which is never), there is barely time left over to put into a good marriage relationship.
What do you think?
To see the study, check out this link:
If you are married, and worried that you are socializing enough, The Newlywed Handbook (written by the editors of www.thenest.com), has some advice about double dating for married couples:
Turn friendly casual friends into new couple friends
Do you know any cool couples who might be fun to hang out with? These could be friends-of-friends, friends from work, or volunteering, or even neighbors.
See how you all might enjoy hanging out by starting with a fun activity that gives you lots to talk about, like an "Escape Room", or a ghost tour, or a Teppanyaki - style Japanese restaurant.
Make sure both genders enjoy the company
At first, either the girls or the guys will dominate the conversations and planning - likely the person who set up the connection. But with a bit of effort, you can all enjoy good bonds with new friends at the same time.
The group time will be more satisfying if the girls and the guys get along great - so if the husbands know each other through work, the ladies should eventually make an effort to email each other, and meet for lunch or coffee without the guys too.
Expand your group again!
Four people at a dinner party is great! Three couples is even more fun! If you get four couples - eight people - now you can use your full dishes set from your registry!
Make sure to check out our other blog post, "Social tips for Couples"!
Do you think married people are lonelier than single people?