Study Reveals: It's Healthy for Young Men to Be Single for a While

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.29 - 2024 1:45 PM CET

Experiencing a period of singleness before entering a committed relationship can offer considerable benefits.

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A recent study suggests that young people who have lived alone before moving in with their partner find it easier to handle breakups.

This is especially true for young men.

Some young adults move in with their partners right after leaving their childhood homes, while others choose to live independently first, possibly before settling down with someone. But which approach is more beneficial? Does the experience vary between genders?

These questions are explored in a detailed new study of young Germans.

Young, Single and Independent

A team of Dutch researchers tracked over 1,000 young Germans for five years as they moved out of their parents' homes. All participants were under the age of 25 and chose different paths; some moved in immediately with a partner, while others first lived alone or with friends.

The researchers consistently evaluated the participants' life satisfaction two years before and three years after any breakups they experienced.

Prior studies have noted that life satisfaction tends to dip before a breakup and gradually improves afterward.

Interestingly, this study found that young men who had lived alone before entering a relationship experienced less fluctuation in their life satisfaction when the relationship ended, compared to those who had never lived alone.

Survey responses indicated that the longer young men had remained single before a breakup, the less impact the breakup had on their emotional well-being.

Although the effect was also noticeable in young women, it was less pronounced compared to their male counterparts. The reasons for these gender differences are not entirely clear, according to the researchers.

Possible Explanations

They proposed several explanations for these findings.

One theory is that having prior experience of being single may reduce the intimidation associated with singleness post-breakup.

Additionally, individuals who have been single longer might have invested more in other aspects of their lives, such as friendships and careers, which could help buffer the emotional toll of a relationship's end.

While the study provides intriguing insights into the impact of singleness on young adults' ability to cope with breakups, the researchers acknowledge that definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from their data alone.

But the evidence suggests that spending time alone before cohabitation can significantly benefit young adults, especially men, in managing life transitions more smoothly.

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