Have you ever had one of your best friends tie the knot, and then slowly spent less and less time with them? It turns out, this isn’t just in your head. After couples put a ring on it, they tend to become less involved with their family and friends than single people, according to research.
Whether you’re married and have seen less of your best friends, or you’re single and your married friends are never around anymore, then you’re bearing witness to the concept of “greedy marriage.” Elyakim Kislev, the author of Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living, writes that this phenomenon explains why couples spend most of their time with their spouse, as opposed to single people, who have busier, more active social lives.
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Singles are happier and more socially connected than married couples
A recent longitudinal analysis of the National Survey of Families and Households looked at an initial sample of single people under the age of 50, then again at the end of the sampling to compare the differences in those who had entered relationships. The results showed that the singles spent more time with their friends and partners than their married peers.
Happiness also was tied to staying single, as the research pointed to single people being more attentive to their friendships. This is partly connected to single people having multiple people to confide in versus married people, who have their spouses. This leaves them less isolated than those couples, who are less likely to create a social network for themselves.
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Which single people are thriving socially?
Interestingly, single women are the group with more diverse social networks than others, and they’re also the most fulfilled when it comes to life satisfaction — Siri, play “Single Ladies.”
While there’s no doubt it’s wonderful to lean on your spouse, if you invest the majority of your time into your partner, you might inadvertently be alienating people.
If you’re married and haven’t spent much time with your friends or family lately, it might be time to reach out and reconnect.
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