February 14 is right around the corner, and single people everywhere are growing increasingly unhappy about their relationship status.
Instead of spending the next week desperately swiping left and right in hopes of locking down a V-Day date, consider this: Being single is actually really awesome for your health.
So when Grandma calls asking if you have a Valentine this year because, "tick tock" -- my grandma has done this to me on more than one occasion, and it totally blows -- say these fool-proof words:
Nah, Grandma. I'm flying solo this year because it's way healthier than being in a relationship. I mean, who needs the calories and sugar in a box of chocolates anyway?
I know, you're not yet convinced yet. Doesn't everyone want to be curled up with their special someone stuffing their faces with Pad Thai while staring at two dozen roses?
Well, sure, that sounds nice -- but hear me out. Science has some awesome reasons for why being single is actually really good for your health.
Being single means you're getting more sleep.
Whether you like being big spoon or little spoon, spooning is fun and cozy and makes you feel all the happy feelings.
You know what doesn't make you happy, though? When the person next to you starts snoring. Or kicks you in the middle of the night. Or watches YouTube videos really loudly on his or her iPhone.
One classic study from the 1960s found people who slept alone slept more deeply than those who slept together and were 60 percent less likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
And in case you haven't heard, sleep is really f*cking good for you. In other words, all that time you spend sleeping alone means more quality snooze time.
You're closer with your friends.
According to science, people with strong social networks live longer and get sick less often. And if you're single, research shows you're probably spending more time with your friends.
According to a study conducted out of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, people who have never been married have closer relationships with friends, neighbors and siblings than married people.
So unless you're isolating yourself -- which is really bad for you, by the way -- being single is doing your health some serious favors.
Flying solo means you're getting more exercise.
If you love working out with your SO, more power to you. But if you're single, you may be getting more exercise overall.
One study of 13,000 Americans found people who had never been married got more exercise than people in other relationship categories (such as people who were married, widowed or divorced).
In addition to helping you burn calories and keep your weight under control, exercise is pretty damn good for your overall health. It helps you sleep better, helps you cope with anxiety and makes you better in bed.
Now if that's not a good reason to be single, I don't know what is.
Being single means you weigh less.
Looking to drop a few pounds? Don't even think about getting into a relationship anytime soon.
Think about what you're doing when you're in a new relationship: You're eating, you're lying in bed, you're drinking wine and the only exercise you're really getting is sex (hey, that's awesome though).
According to a survey done in the UK, 62 percent of people gained around 14 pounds after meeting their SO. Oof. That's a rough number.
Do your waistline a favor and stay single, people.
You're just as (if not more) happy than people who are coupled up.
Happiness is great for your health. And although you may be looking on with envy at those guys carrying flowers home for their special someone on February 14, being in a relationship isn't actually all that correlated with happiness. On February 14, whether or not you're in a relationship doesn't actually predict how happy you are.
After all, think about all those bad relationships and marriages you hear about -- it goes without saying those people are definitely not happy.
According to a small study conducted in New Zealand, people who aren't fans of relationship conflict (and come on, who is?) are pretty damn happy being single.
So there you have it: Being in a loving, happy relationship is great, but it's not the be-all, end-all. And it's certainly not better for your health.
Take that, Grandma.