According to a recent Gallup poll, married adults are reporting much higher levels of happiness compared to those in any other marital status. The poll, conducted between 2009 and 2023, involved more than 2.5 million adults in the United States and asked them to rate their current life and how happy they expected to be in five years.
The survey results showed that married people consistently reported higher levels of happiness compared to their single counterparts, with the gap being between 12% and 24% throughout the years. This difference remained even after adjusting for factors such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, and education.
Even more surprising is that the data showed that married adults who did not attend high school evaluated their lives more favorably than single adults with a graduate degree. This suggests that marriage may indeed play a significant role in determining a person’s overall happiness, independent of other factors.
Ian Kerner, a marriage and family therapist, noted that the concept of marriage may be shifting from a “romantic marriage” to a “companionship marriage,” where people are increasingly choosing spouses who are more like best friends than passionate partners. This shift may result in long-term stability and satisfaction in relationships.
While the data suggests a strong correlation between marriage and happiness, it’s difficult to determine whether marriage directly causes higher levels of happiness. The survey pointed out that people who possess qualities associated with consistent happiness may also be more likely to pursue marriage.
While it’s clear that marriage may contribute to higher levels of happiness, it’s essential to note that the quality of marriages can vary depending on individual circumstances, social changes, and cultural perspectives. Furthermore, being in an unhappy marriage may not necessarily lead to a higher overall level of happiness.
Whether married or dating, the key to optimizing the chances of a happy relationship lies in effective communication about commitment and personal connections.
Overall, the Gallup poll has shed light on the relationship between marriage and happiness, but the complex nature of human relationships and individual circumstances makes it difficult to definitively conclude whether marriage directly causes higher levels of happiness.