Back in January, the UK announced they were appointing a Minister of Loneliness to tackle the problem of social isolation and being single became the new smoking.
We’ve long known that relationships (especially for men marrying women) make for healthier folks, so maybe that’s what Valentine’s Day is really about: toasting to the extra 10 years or so you get to live if you are married.
OK yes, being single is empowering and wonderful and there are more of us than ever, blah blah blah, but let’s just have one day where we admit our darkest fears about living and dying alone.
So here are all the reasons being single is bad for you, both because science says so and because we’ve all lived (or continue to live) hard single lives and have the emotional, financial and sexual scars to show for it.
Single people die younger
Many studies have shown that single people die younger than their married counterparts, as much as a decade (!!!) earlier for men, only slightly worse for women.
You drink too much
There’s some mixed data on this...married men apparently drink less than their single counterparts while married women drink more. (Researchers simply suggest this is because because men lower their drinking to meet their (female) partner and vice versa.) But by god, it does feel like you drink a more as a single person, right? You have friends to meet and lousy Tinder dates to suffer through and that bottle of red wine that you might as well finish because it’s Tuesday and you are halfway through the last season of Mindy. I can’t believe she got divorced.
Owning a home in a big city is practically impossible
According to a study by Zoocasa, the home-price-to-income ratio for a single person in central Toronto is a whooping 17 times that of their median income. The rule of thumb is generally your home-to-income level should be roughly three or four times your income. What does this really mean? It means that if you live in a major city, you need to be pulling down well over $100K if you want to own a place on your own.
You will be shamed
In Denmark, you get shamed and covered in spice on your birthday if you’re still single between ages 25-30. Also, your aunt will ask you when you are going to settle down and that is like, totally annoying.
No one says ‘let’s go to bed’
You stay up way later. You try to combat your loneliness by staying up super late playing video games and drinking cheap tallboys, doing the play-by-play commentary of your favourite sports game yourself, then conduct fake interviews with players after it's finished (so I've heard, at least). Then you show up to work on a few hours of sleep feeling like a complete pile of shit, and, of course, just do it all over again the next night.
You go to things you don’t really want to go to because you fear loneliness and death
How many friend of a friend’s lame house parties have you gone to because you thought there was the off-chance you might meet someone cool? A billion? And you never did, right?
It reallllly sucks in your 30s
All your friends are partnered up and you really start to feel the “third wheel” effect at friend meetups before you start noticing you get less and less invites. And god help you when your friend circle starts having kids and only sees you once in a blue moon and they all joke ‘oh, you must have so much time on your hands to have fun and I’m soooo jealous’ and you just think about your empty calendar and the bottle of red you are going to crush this weekend while re-watching Mindy.
You might turn into an internet troll
See every shitty anti-women subreddit. (OK, this one might be a bit self-selective.)
Crappy sleeping arrangements
When you go on a group trip on the cottage, your forced to sleep on the couch because couples ‘need privacy.’ At best you might get to share a couple singles with Matt, who farts loudly all night long.
You spend too much money because you can’t ever split anything — food, groceries, accommodation, etc. Life is just more expensive when single! OH WOE IS ME.
You travel alone
Travelling by yourself can be awesome. When you are young, there’s always a backpacker’s hotel and new friends and new adventures. When you are of a certain age, let’s say twice-divorced from oil money, you can travel in luxury, being pampered in one ‘36 Hours In’ high-end hotel to another. But if you are in that middle range, where you have become the the creepy guy in the hostel, travelling alone can be a bit of drag on your emotions and expenses.
You are responsible for yourself
You don’t have anyone to call you on all your bullshit. So you never really evolve emotionally and end up writing whiney lists about being single.
No one touches you
Ever hear of the term “skin hunger”? Basically, non-sexual touching have have profound healthy emotional and physical consequences.
“There's an immediacy to touch that words don't have. And there are certain health benefits that seem to be more pronounced when affection is expressed through tactile ways,” Kory Floyd of the University of Arizona told Broadly.
You’re more likely to die after major surgery
Yeah, you read that one right—hell, there is even a god-dang peer-reviewed study to back it up. So, long story short, if you ever get heart surgery, or any other major surgery actually, you are more likely to die. In 2012, a bunch of doctors followed patients after they got cardiac surgery for five years and found that single people were nearly twice as likely to kick the can as married ones. Now, before you go and start spouting off shitty “oh, he/she died of a broken heart” cliches, there is a simple, important factor that explains this—a significant other as a caregiver who helps you heal. So, yeah, if you’re recovering from something serious keep in mind that without a loved one watching over your sorry ass as you mend you are way more likely to die. Wheeeeeeee!!!
This article originally appeared on VICE CA.