What no one ever told you about people who are single | Bella DePaulo | TEDxUHasselt

  • Published: 11 May 2017
  • Movies, novels, love songs, and even scientific research all seem to tell us the same stories: Everyone wants to find that special someone. Once you get married, you will live happily ever after and you will never be lonely again. However, more people than ever before are living single – often by choice. A close look at the best scientific studies shows that people who get married do not end up happier or psychologically healthier than they were when they were single. The stories we have so often been told are distracting us from other stories about single people that we have never been told. The untold stories help us understand why so many people choose single life and thrive there, often finding meaning, fulfillment, autonomy, mastery, rich and varied personal relationships, and sweet solitude in their single lives.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx

Comments • 1 858

  • TheyRiseBand
    TheyRiseBand  5 hours back

    In certain periods of history, marriage served a purpose. In today's world, it serves no purpose.

    • Pappy Chulo
      Pappy Chulo  1 days back

      Ended up here after reaching whether single or married women live longer. My hunch was correct, single women, single as in never married, lived longer that married women. There really isn't anything in marriage for some. For women, marriage is basically signing up for lifetime of servitude. When all the services women do in marriage are out sourced, such as laundry, cooking, childcare, providing transportation, and keeping the household running, when you have someone who isn't your wife do all these thing, they are paid directly for their work. And make no mistake about it is work. Here is another myth buster, a lot of men who become widowers usually die within a year after their wives, if the stay single. I don't for a second that it isn't because of a broken heart. It is because they are suddenly stuck with the tasks of doing everything for themselves and their bodies can't take it. Women won't have a hard time understanding or believing this.

      • panos vrionis
        panos vrionis  3 days back

        Is this woman high??
        All the time ha ha ha!!!
        What is so funny???

        • Brenda Bobo
          Brenda Bobo  5 days back

          She's crazy as zy

          • david alford
            david alford  6 days back

            Marriage was NEVER for men... nothing in it but paying for something you don't want...

            • Nathaniel Baynosa
              Nathaniel Baynosa  1 weeks back

              This woman will be the reason why I'm going to die alone happy.....

              • KEVIN BLACK
                KEVIN BLACK  1 weeks back

                Being single has advantages. As an FYI, Jesus was single.

                • Eleven : Eleven
                  Eleven : Eleven  2 weeks back

                  Being single, just like being married, is down to the individual.

                  Many single and married people are unhappy. Unwillingly single, unhappily married.

                  Others, a minority, are happy. Just look at the 50% divorce rate plus probably 25% unhappily married.....

                  Go figure.

                  Sadly, singles either don t procreate or raise badly adjusted children, often on welfare. That's not good for society.

                  NB She mentions the legal benefits of marriage....only women have those. For men marriage is servitude.

                  • Jane Doe
                    Jane Doe  2 weeks back

                    Glad to hear I'm not alone. I am 43, female, and I have been single my whole life.

                    • Luiz Otavio
                      Luiz Otavio  2 weeks back

                      I really needed this Ted Talk! I've never met other people who were relationship virgins, so I was certain there was something wrong with me.

                      • m Johnson
                        m Johnson  1 weeks back

                        Nothing wrong w/you it's "them" society dictating what is normal. Trying to fit everyone into a box is not normal.

                    • Aysiah Examines
                      Aysiah Examines  2 weeks back


                      • Ray Beat.
                        Ray Beat.  2 weeks back

                        Love yourself, saves disappointment.

                        • C. Smith
                          C. Smith  2 weeks back

                          Me too. It's great. I tried it and it's not what it's cracked up to be. There is so much propaganda and pressure for women to live this love story. WAKE UP WONDERFUL WOMEN.

                          • Autumn Armstrong
                            Autumn Armstrong  3 weeks back

                            Spoke to me on a spiritual level.

                            • Rei De Gala
                              Rei De Gala  3 weeks back

                              Indeed. And correct!

                              • scott sanger
                                scott sanger  3 weeks back

                                her hair is shorter than mine..........duh??

                                • Chris Tian
                                  Chris Tian  3 weeks back

                                  There was a time in my life, when I really tried hard to find a girlfriend. I worked out a lot, lost weight, improved my looks, bought books, even consulted a therapist. It really didn't work. Women just didn't care. It was very painful for me. I feel so much better after I accepted being single for the rest of my life. Still, I feel deficient.

                                  • Stella M
                                    Stella M  3 weeks back

                                    Warring TedTalks, I just watched one claiming all the things she's saying aren't true.

                                    • bahrom69
                                      bahrom69  3 weeks back

                                      Those who find God will never be lonely, married or sngle. I know people who are married and are living with their spouses who just don't bother with them either than they are just being there.

                                      • Too Much-Online
                                        Too Much-Online  3 weeks back

                                        Cardinal George Pell found god.
                                        Now he's found himself in an isolation cell in prison found guilty of child molestation.
                                        Praise dog!!

                                    • J Shawn Paul
                                      J Shawn Paul  4 weeks back

                                      All my married guy friends say how lucky I am to not be tided down in a marriage with children.. so they do know it sucks . So why did they do it? I know the answer; it’s because they got a girlfriend pregnant and marrying the woman is the right thing to do. But is it really? People jump into marriage for the wrong reason. But I honestly believe that us 30 somethings that haven’t started a family are actually afraid of commitment and we’re a bit selfish. I’m a catch and could definitely get married if I want to but I’m a free bird baybee, and this bird you cannot change. I’ve been hurt at a young age of 21 and started building walls around me with $100 bills. Women and relationships slow me down and I cannot stand them telling me what to do.

                                      Thanks for this video and all the comments, I’ve learned from it all..

                                      • Gewaltraud
                                        Gewaltraud  4 weeks back

                                        My first relationship was bad, the second, which ended in marriage and ultimately divorce, was worse. I've been a happily single dog-mum for years now and love it. No compromises, just a bed hog of a dogter, who's endlessly understanding and loving.

                                        • Catherine Chen
                                          Catherine Chen  1 months back

                                          I am single, professional, fit and health, with 2 cats. Life is heaven.

                                          • Silvia B.
                                            Silvia B.  1 months back

                                            I can relate. I'm nearly 46 and I've always been single. And I love it.

                                            • ben ong
                                              ben ong  1 months back

                                              This talks are full of nonsense..imagine 10% of adults think like her, what would happen to human kind

                                              • Here Iam
                                                Here Iam  1 months back

                                                Just imagine one day your wife will look like her, single is the way to go for sure, especially for men.

                                                • Scott Reynolds
                                                  Scott Reynolds  1 months back

                                                  Its better to be alone than to wish u were! I read this once and thought that is an awesome and true quote! I use it often!

                                                  • uKnow
                                                    uKnow  1 months back

                                                    She's such a sweat lady. The audience is the most boring and driest audience I have ever seen. Yikes.

                                                    • snowbird
                                                      snowbird  1 months back

                                                      Actually, the great thing about being single, is you don’t have to share anything, you get to sleep in your own bed in your own room. And there’s no one to annoy or argue with.

                                                      • MeNight
                                                        MeNight  1 months back

                                                        Boy i'm glad i'm aro/ace

                                                        • Hamada Ben
                                                          Hamada Ben  1 months back

                                                          I bet all the ones who agree with this bull are not easy on the eyes are you?

                                                          • Hamada Ben
                                                            Hamada Ben  1 months back

                                                            You, miss, are a sad little women who no man is intrested in, n u want tj drag every other happily married women with you.
                                                            And dont u dare tell me that single older women are happier cause that is pure bull.

                                                            • Hamada Ben
                                                              Hamada Ben  2 weeks back

                                                              Men should embrace women....women should embrace men..naturally they will be less problems in the world.
                                                              But ppl like her who make a page n like to drag down all happily married women with her...by glamourising being single...its bull

                                                            • Hamada Ben
                                                              Hamada Ben  2 weeks back

                                                              +Pmakiie alottttt of others can relate, it seems.
                                                              Listening to losers like her will only cause much more of the problem than the solution.

                                                            • Pmakiie
                                                              Pmakiie  2 weeks back

                                                              Hamada Ben Bro, she shared her experience. And others can relate. Get over it.

                                                          • ウザい屋UZAIYA
                                                            ウザい屋UZAIYA  1 months back

                                                            To have a happy relationship, both parties need to be on the same maturity level and be conscious about the other person's needs. A successful marriage with two equally considerate people is probably better than being totally alone. BUT the caveat is most people aren't willing or able to be that considerate partner, and so in that case, those people are probably better off being single.

                                                            • Dixon Lineberger
                                                              Dixon Lineberger  2 months back

                                                              I'd like to see this from a man's point of view.

                                                              • אתגר משה
                                                                אתגר משה  2 months back

                                                                How does YouTube keep knowing I'm single?

                                                                • Truth Seeker
                                                                  Truth Seeker  2 months back

                                                                  Why would any man want to be in a relationship in 2019 ?

                                                                  • Candace Owen Benjamin Shapiro

                                                                    She was popping the audience's Disney bubbles and handing out red pills like candy! I bet she owns shares in Duracell & Rampant Rabbit, Inc.

                                                                    • Haru Haru
                                                                      Haru Haru  2 months back

                                                                      A few years ago I was working in an institution which had a day centre for seniors. The person responsible for the daily activities did a check up on the senior's personal files to see who was taking medication so every time they had an outside activity she would be informed and prepared. What she found was that those who were married had been taking a lot more medication than those who were never married. And also, those who were never married were happier.

                                                                      • justrosy5
                                                                        justrosy5  2 months back

                                                                        I love and enjoy being able to live my best life without interference! I have all I need, socially, through friends both in the real world and online. Marriage and parenthood are choices - they don't just happen to people, where if it doesn't happen to you, then somehow you're "unlucky" or "something's wrong with you." You're not "more blessed" if you're married, with or without kids. You've just taken on a lot more (unpaid) work - a full time job in itself (even without kids). Who needs more unpaid work?! I don't!!!!!!

                                                                        • justrosy5
                                                                          justrosy5  2 months back

                                                                          You can cut that "Stayed Married" pie chart at least in half, if not more, because of religious restrictions surrounding divorce -- and because religious married people are pressured so heavily to claim that they're "happy" that most of them outright LIE about it. They're afraid of getting caught telling the truth, which goes against the grain within their religious circles.

                                                                          • christian Camlin
                                                                            christian Camlin  2 months back

                                                                            This is a matter of personal preference as neither being single or being married are prescriptions for happiness or success. For some being single is freeing and rewarding. But for some others it is a temporary condition to be endured until something better (for them) can be arranged. Marriage adds something that was needed for some while it adds only misery to some others. Her speech here seems well intended and thought out. That said it also seems a lot like rationalization too. I remember many who told me they were glad they were single and yet jumped on the first opportunity to be married they could find Yet I've known others who would have lived much better lives if they had remained single or at least learned more about themselves before marrying. I can only know what is best for me and would hesitate to say the same for anyone else.

                                                                            • Anna Mosiej
                                                                              Anna Mosiej  2 months back

                                                                              I love this woman! Finally, someone talking with sense against the common opinions that society puts upon everyone.

                                                                              • Isca S
                                                                                Isca S  2 months back

                                                                                This is so very true. There is no on more lonely then a married person that is unhappy. There is no where to go and it feels like your in a trap of your own making. The stories, really do make young people dream unrealistic dreams and narrow their outlook on life's expectations. It's really a shame. Being single and lonely is way way better then being married and lonely.

                                                                                • Francesco A
                                                                                  Francesco A  2 months back

                                                                                  One word, extinction...

                                                                                  • neo5kali
                                                                                    neo5kali  2 months back

                                                                                    Stay single to avoid horrible, selfish people of which there are many.

                                                                                    • Vegan Marc
                                                                                      Vegan Marc  2 months back

                                                                                      I have high standards for a prospective partner, and that's the way it should be for everyone. Could have done with someone while alone facing the police while an involuntary client of Mental Health in Australia - being involuntary and friendless is no picnic.

                                                                                      • kevin bobandy
                                                                                        kevin bobandy  2 months back

                                                                                        Bunch of sad people in denial in the comment section.

                                                                                        • Reg S
                                                                                          Reg S  2 months back

                                                                                          That was really helpful!
                                                                                          Since my teen years I've been in relationships (I'm in my 2nd now and I was only 2-3 month single after the breaking up). And I could not imagine my future life without someone living with me (it need not be a partner, but I prefer that), but I will clearly adapt some of this typical single life things into my not-single life! Even if I liked both of my relationships so far and love my boyfriend, I sometimes feel the things described in the talk according to couples. This was what I missed and thank you, for finding the right words for my thoughts!

                                                                                          • Hitsugix
                                                                                            Hitsugix  2 months back

                                                                                            I am 34 years old, female, single, no kids and I love it. I can do whatever the f*** I want whenever the f*** I want and that's the best thing ever. After a couple of relationships in the past I now know that I'm not made for things like this. I am too independant, too much of a free thinker to put myself into the chains of a relationship or - even worse - marriage.