Whoever says you need to be in a relationship to be happy has been watching one too many John Cusack rom-coms—and now there’s research to prove it. A new study has found that single people can feel equally fulfilled as couples, but there’s a trick to making it happen: It’s all in how you approach your relationships, even the non-romantic ones.
Specifically, the study, published by the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that when those who are single sidestep conflict and drama in relationships, they’re just as happy, and in some cases, arguably happier. (Let’s face it, a clear upside to being unattached is that it eliminates certain sources of stress—from financial arguments to determining who did the dishes last.)
"I think this study underscores the point that you can never say one-size-fits-all," James Maddux, a senior scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. told HealthDay.
Our takeaway from this research? Single or not, happiness is all about your perspective and the people you choose to add—or detract—value to your life. Regardless of your relationship status, what are some ways that you cultivate individual happiness?