Marriage is the secret to happiness: Tying the knot makes us more content than money, children or having a degree

Getting married makes people happier with their lives than earning big salaries, having children or believing in God, new research shows.

A major study of the nation’s well-being also reveals graduates and high earners are more anxious than people who only have A-levels or have more modest incomes.

But personal health has the biggest impact on life satisfaction, happiness and whether people feel what they do is worthwhile, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

The happiness survey was launched by David Cameron to assess the state of the nation beyond economic factors.

The Office for National Statistics asked 160,000 people to rate their satisfaction with life, feeling that their life is worthwhile, how happy they felt yesterday and how anxious they felt yesterday on a scale of one to 10.

It found living in rural areas, being religious, owning a house outright and being in good health improve happiness, but living alone, in a deprived area and being in a job you do not like can all affect wellbeing negatively.

It revealed that people who have tied the knot are happier than cohabiting couples and singletons.

People living along scored their happiness on average 0.4 per cent lower than those who are married or in a civil partnership.

The scores were even lower for those who are widowed, who rated their happiness 0.6 of a point lower.

The ONS said: ‘Holding all else equal and comparing people according to their relationship status shows that married people and those in civil partnerships rate their ‘life satisfaction’, the sense that their activities are ‘worthwhile’ and ‘happiness yesterday’ significantly higher than cohabiting couples, single, divorced and widowed people.

‘The “anxiety yesterday” ratings of single, divorced and widowed people were also significantly higher than those of married people.

Surprisingly the best-educated are more likely to be stressed. The ONS said:  ‘People with the highest educational attainment have higher ratings of “anxiety yesterday” on average than people with lower educational attainment.’

People in managerial and professional jobs were also more likely to be anxious than those technical roles or low-level supervisory roles.

However people without any qualifications were much less likely to say what they did was worthwhile.

People who live with young children gave higher ratings when asked if they feel that the things they do in life are ‘worthwhile’, compared to people who do not live with children.

However the ONS said there was only a ‘small or very small’ link between having children and overall wellbeing.

The age-old saying that money cannot buy happiness is also borne out by the study.

While people on higher wages reported higher levels  of ‘life satisfaction’ they did not higher levels of ‘happiness yesterday’ or feeling that what we do is ‘worthwhile’.

The level of personal earnings also does not affect levels of anxiety.

The retired report the highest levels of wellbeing – even higher than those in work who enjoy their jobs.

People who are unhappy in their work and would like a different job are more likely to have lower levels of wellbeing.

‘The importance that a sense of choice over and satisfaction with our activities has to personal wellbeing extends beyond contentment with a job,’ the ONS said.

‘People looking after family or home who would like to work but were prevented by their circumstances from seeking work reported lower average levels of life satisfaction and ‘happy yesterday’ than similar people who were content with their situation.’

Personal health has the biggest impact on levels of wellbeing. People who reported very bad health gave much lower ratings of personal well-being than those in good health.

People in very bad health rated their ‘life satisfaction’ 2.4 points lower, their ‘happiness yesterday’ 2.6 points lower, the sense that what they are doing is ‘worthwhile’ 2.0 points lower than people in good health.  People were also more anxious.

 

An ONS spokesman said: ‘Gaining an understanding of what influences personal well-being is an important aspect of national well-being, but is only part of a broader picture that draws on a range of economic, social and environmental statistics to show how the country is doing.’

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Men more likely to have issues with sex and their health when wives make more money, study finds

 

………….And this is news…?????

The insecurity of a woman making more than her husband could drive a man to problems in the bedroom and his overall health, a new study has found.

The research, from Washington University in St Louis’ Olin Business School, found that men are more likely to experience problems with erectile dysfunction and other forms of mental and physical anguish as a result of his female counterpart being the primary breadwinner.

The study, called ‘In Sickness and In Wealth,’ examines the issues that arise in relationships using prescription drug and financial data from Denmark.

Olin Business School professor Lamar Pierce and Michael S. Dahl of Aalborg University in Denmark write: ‘Male sexual desire and behavior is tied to cultural and social factors such as patriarchy and money, potentially causing men to suffer reduced sexual desire or dysfunction when perceiving their traditional role of provider to be usurped.

‘In fact, the medical literature has shown that anger and frustration can lead to serious
sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction (ED), a problem also linked to unemployment and decreasing household income.’

Additionally, Pierce told NBC News: ‘There is a powerful social norm for many men that it’s important to make more than their wives and, essentially, when that social norm is violated, what this does is make them feel emasculated.’

And men do not usually suffer alone, as research found that the female breadwinner also has problems with insomnia and anxiety.

Men in such a relationship have also been found to be more likely to cheat in an effort to regain their bedroom mojo.

A 2010 paper written by Cornell University sociology researcher Christin Munsch found that stay-at-home dads and men who are not the breadwinner of the family will often turn to infidelity.

That study found the complete opposite to be true for women who make less than their husbands or long-term boyfriends.

More American women than ever are now the sole or primary moneymakers, a sign of the rising influence of working mothers.

Moms now keep finances afloat in 40 per cent of households with children, up from just 11 per cent in 1960.

While most of these families are headed by single mothers, a growing number are married mothers who bring in more income than their husbands, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

As the numbers have shifted, however, public attitudes have remained mixed regarding the impact of working mothers on families. People are not at all sure that it’s a good thing.

Demographers say the change is all but irreversible and is likely to bring added attention to child-care policies as well as government safety nets for vulnerable families.

‘This change is just another milestone in the dramatic transformation we have seen in family structure and family dynamics over the past 50 years or so,’ said Kim Parker, associate director with the Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project.

‘Women’s roles have changed, marriage rates have declined – the family looks a lot different than it used to. The rise of breadwinner moms highlights the fact that, not only are more mothers balancing work and family these days, but the economic contributions mothers are making to their households have grown immensely.’

The trend is being driven mostly by long-term demographic changes, including higher rates of education and labor force participation dating back to the 1960s women’s movement.

Today, women are more likely than men to hold bachelor’s degrees, and they make up nearly half – 47 per cent – of the American workforce.

 

But recent changes in the economy, too, have played a part.

Big job losses in manufacturing and construction, fields that used to provide high pay to a mostly male workforce, have lifted the relative earnings of married women, even among those in mid-level positions such as teachers, nurses or administrators.

The jump in working women has been especially prominent among those who are mothers – from 37 per cent in 1968 to 65 per cent in 2011 – reflecting in part increases for those who went looking for jobs to lift sagging family income after the recent recession.

At the same time, marriage rates have fallen to record lows. Forty per cent of births now occur out of wedlock, leading to a rise in single-mother households.

Many of these mothers are low-income with low education, and more likely to be black or Hispanic.

In all, 13.7 million U.S. households with children under age 18 now include mothers who are the main breadwinners.

Of those, 5.1 million, or 37 per cent, are married, while 8.6 million, or 63 percent are single.

The income gap between the families is large – $80,000 in median family income for married couples vs. $23,000 for single mothers.

Both groups of breadwinner moms – married and unmarried – have grown sharply.

Among all U.S. households with children, the share of married breadwinner moms has jumped from 4 per cent in 1960 to 15 per cent in 2011.

For single mothers, the share has increased from 7 per cent to 25 per cent.

How does the general public feel about that?

While roughly 79 per cent of Americans reject the notion that women should return to their traditional roles, only 21 per cent of those polled said the trend of more mothers of young children working outside the home is a good thing for society, according to the Pew survey.

Roughly 3 in 4 adults said the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children.

Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, said that to his surprise public attitudes toward working mothers have changed very little over the years.

He predicts the growing numbers will lead to a growing constituency among women in favor of family-friendly work policies such as paid family leave, as well as safety net policies such as food stamps or child care support for single mothers.

‘Many of our workplaces and schools still follow a male-breadwinner model, assuming that the wives are at home to take care of child care needs,’ he said.

‘Until we realize that the breadwinner-homemaker marriage will never again be the norm, we won’t provide working parents with the support they need.’

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JAMES PREECE’S TOP 5 DATING TIPS

1. Friday afternoon is the best time of the week to message when online dating. People are winding down at work, looking forward to the weekend and are looking for a distraction and possibly a date over the weekend.

2. If you want to attract and date a ’10,’ you’ve got to become a ’10’ yourself. This needs to be in every way – mentally & physically. So always dress to impress and never stop looking at ways to improve and enrich your life.

3. Mint can really enhance a kiss as the cooling sensation when air hits your mouth is a fantastic feeling. This can make it more memorable and give you more chance of getting another!

4. Kissing involves three senses at once – touch, taste and smell. So if you don’t have fresh breath you’ll spoil it for both of you.  Before your date, make sure your breath is fresh by using a mouth rinse so you can be confident you’ll have fresh breath throughout your date and especially for your first kiss!

5. A smile shows empathy and showing your teeth is a primitive display that you are not a threat.   So if a person gives someone a genuine warm smile it shows they are interested and comfortable talking to them. Studies have shown that teeth don’t need to be overly white to be considered attractive, just clean and natural looking. If you have bad teeth or bad breath then it suggests you are lazy and don’t care about your appearance, so definitely work on this if necessary.

TOP DATING WORRIES

  Bad breath

Choice of outfit

Looking fat

Body odour

Bad hair

 Food in my teeth

Untidy/Ungroomed nails

Make-up

TOP DATING TURN-OFFS

  Body odour

Bad breath

Excessive sweating

Bad teeth

Bad skin/spots

Too much make-up

Untidy/ungroomed nails

Too much facial hair

 

Men Want Sex More Than Women? Commonly Assumed, Not Necessarily True

Men always want sex more than women.

That’s one of the pervasive cliches that HuffPost Live host Caitlyn Becker explored in a segment this week. Joining Caitlyn were writers Stephen Dierks and Madison Moore from Thought Catalog, who discussed that site’s recent piece on the most frustrating gender myths, and writer Gloria Roheim McRae, who runs My Kinda Woman, a blog about what it means to be a man or woman today.

We already know that plenty of women crave sex more than the men in their lives. Earlier this month, we published reflections from 13 women who have higher sex drives than their male parters’ — and they aren’t alone.

Dierks suggested that the myth of men constantly wanting sex more is propagated by television and movies, noting that if we see this dynamic over and over again on-screen — men chasing sex, women refusing — we are more likely to expect it in real life.

The conversation also touched on the fact that women with strong sex drives aren’t the only ones disadvantaged by the idea that men want it more. “It’s a lot of pressure on a guy,” McRae said.

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Best (And Worst) Cities to Find Love

In every major city there are massive amounts of single people out there, says Janis Spindel. But it’s tough to find love. She should know: she makes her living from that fact, running a top matchmaking firm.

Forget the romantic notion of destiny. The clinical way to defy the mate-hunting odds, as Spindel can testify, boils down to one thing: location. With Valentine’s Day approaching, The Daily Beast thought it would quantify that part of the love equation, by examining and then ranking the 104 largest American cities, according to which are most conducive to finding, and keeping, a spouse.

We entered every U.S. city with more than 200,000 people into our computers, then dumped in data surrounding five criteria:

  • Singles ratio: The larger the percentage of singles, 18-and-over, according to U.S. Census data, the bigger the relative pool for finding the perfect mate.
  • Social life: Using Citysearch, we determined a social life quotient—how many restaurants and bars there are per over-21 adult, as a proxy for meeting opportunities.
  • Emotional Health: Studies show that happy people are more open to love. So we ranked cities based on the the Gallup-Healthways Emotional Health Index, based on thousands of questionnaires where respondents described how much they smile and laugh, whether they are treated with respect, whether they find enjoyment, get stressed, feel happy, etc. Cities in milder climes tended to fare better here, skewing those cities higher on rankings.
  • Marriage ratio: Is a given city marriage-minded? To determine, we measured the percentage of people who got married in 2008, as a percentage of overall marriage-aged population. Greensboro, North Carolina, for instance, ranked in the top quintile for the percentage of singles, but it ranked toward the bottom for marriages, earning a D.
  • Divorce ratio: It’s one thing to get married. True love means you stay married. So we measured 2008 divorces as a percentage of marriage-aged population. Stockton, California, which received an A grade for marriages, finishing in the top quintile, also received an F for divorces, ranking third from last on our list. Riverside, California, meanwhile, notched an A in both categories, placing it seventh overall.

These rankings are universal, designed to be neutral in relation to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or age.

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