Tuesday, December 13, 2005

But what if I don't draw the same conclusion from this?

"Married People Happier Than Others"

Researchers analyzed information collected from 691 people and found that the stronger the commitment, the greater the sense of happiness and well-being. Married people had the highest sense of well-being, whether they were happily married or not. Next on the scale of happiness and well-being were people who were living together, followed by people in steady relationships and those in casual relationships.... "Some commitment appears to be good, but more commitment appears to be even better..."

But let me give you an alternative interpretation to ponder: Does this really mean that married people are happier?

Or does it mean that we need to do a better job teaching people that they are responsible for their own happiness, and that they don't need a relationship to prove their self-worth?

For that matter, how do we know that it's the committment that is the cause of the sense of well-being? All other things being equal, don't you normally enjoy being around someone who feels good about themselves more than someone who is insecure? That being the case, suppose the results actually come from the fact that the people had the greater sense of well-being first, and that the sense of well-being is what caused someone else to want to marry them, rather than the marriage causing the well-being? Indeed, since it says that being "happily married" isn't a factor, I would suspect that this is the more likely scenario.

Just some thoughts...

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