New research shows that being single is actually better for your social life.
A new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships has found that marriage can act as a constraint on social bonds.
"Single individuals are more likely to frequently stay in touch with, provide help to, and receive help from parents, siblings, neighbours and friends than the married," it found.
Unmarried people, both women and men, tend to take more active roles in engaging with their communities. They are also typically closer to their family and friends, and are more like than married people to receive help from those close to them.
The study indicated that these social differences were more prominent for those who had never married than those who had, "suggesting that marriage extends its reach after it ends".
The positive relationship between a single status and social connections remained even when researchers took structural explanations into account, such as aging and whether or not people have children.
"We conclude that instead of promoting marriage, policy should acknowledge the social constraints associated with marriage and recognize that single individuals have greater involvement with the broader community," the study says.
This research counters common cultural perceptions that single people are lonelier than those who are married.