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Is being single bad for your health? © Getty Images

Is being single bad for your health?

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While being in a relationship can benefit your health, it can also bring problems of its own.

Asked by: Paul Evans, Barking


It is sometimes argued that being in a relationship can offer health benefits. The research cited in support of this argument says that those who are married are on average healthier than those who are not.

However, the situation is likely to be much more complex than this. For example, it is not clear whether being in a relationship offers health benefits or whether there are other explanations for this association.

Furthermore, whereas being in a relationship may be linked to certain health advantages, it could bring health risks too. Research suggests, for example, that people who are married are more likely to be overweight than those who are not.

Finally, one size does not fit all. Whereas being in a happy relationship may bring certain advantages, being in a dysfunctional one is unlikely to do so.


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Alice is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths. She has contributed to several diverse research areas, including the longitudinal associations between sleep and psychopathology, behavioural genetics, sleep paralysis and exploding head syndrome. In addition to her scientific contributions she also excels in the public engagement of science. She has published two popular science book (Nodding Off, Bloomsbury, 2018 and Sleepy Pebble, Nobrow, 2019). She regularly contributes articles to the media and has had her work published in outlets including the Guardian, GQ UK, Sud Ouest, Slate Fr, Independent.


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