Even at a young age people are led to believe that the key to happiness is to find the right person to marry. However, nowadays the divorce rate is constantly increasing and it has become absolutely normal to be single for longer period of time.

Single life is associated with freedom and the ability to focus on your own life. People who are single spend more time with their friends and family members and they direct their attention towards their life goals.

However, despite these positive characteristics, these people oftentimes feel pressure from their surroundings to jump into marriage in order to be happy, but unfortunately numerous studies have shown that marriage can’t make us happier in the long run.

Experts have revealed: Marriage is not the key to your happiness

Researchers from the Warwick University in Britain studied 10.000 people during the 1990s and came to conclusion that married people are richer and live longer than singles. However, they couldn’t find any correlation between longevity and happiness.

The University of Amsterdam and Netherlands conducted a study in order to find out the effects of marriage and divorce on life satisfaction and the overall health. The results were surprising.

• Effects of Marriage and Divorce on General Health

Over the course of the study, experts discovered that the honeymoon stage of marriage leads to decline in depressive feelings. However, that decline does not continue during the marriage.

Also, general health condition doesn’t improve over the course of the marriage but it does not deteriorate after divorce.

• Effects of Marriage and Divorce on Life Satisfaction

The study has shown that life satisfaction is higher at the beginning of the marriage but it gradually decreases as the marriage goes on. Interestingly, experts have found out that older people have higher life satisfaction in comparison to the younger ones. (Note that people over 65 were not included in the study).

According to the psychology professor at the University of Illinois, Ed Diener, there are a lot of things that can make us happy, but marriage is just an external factor and it shouldn’t be considered as the only way that leads to happiness.

However, despite these findings, people still believe that marriage will bring positive changes into their lives, thus making them happy.

What is the key to happiness?

According to the psychologist, Dr. David Ludden, there are three factors that can make people happy:

• Sufficient social resources: family members and friends
• Sufficient material resources: health, shelter, clothing, food, etc.
• Stable environment: having a purpose in life, spirituality and faith

Some people have managed to achieve all these aspects but they do not consider themselves happy. This is because these key points are external causes of happiness and in order to be truly happy we should focus on the internal causes instead.

According to Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist and the author of ″Stumbling on Happiness″, people seem happier when their minds are engaged in activities like creating, talking or having sex.

So, keep in mind that relying solely on marriage won’t make you happy, because the honeymoon joy fades over time. In fact, two things will make you happy in the long run: the social interaction and the act of doing something meaningful in life.

Even if you prefer solitary lifestyle or you want a long-lasting marriage, you can be happy either way because happiness comes from within.

Make sure you listen to yourself, grow as a person, be creative and you will certainly be happy.