Is Being Single Bad for Your Health?

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I’m reaching far out on this one, I know that, but I couldn’t help but think the other day as I followed a couple down the street holding hands — Is being single bad for your health?

It doesn’t take a medical degree to know that human contact is good for you. The benefits of touch on overall health and quality of life are widely documented.  And kids that are not touched, as in the case of many orphanages, are at a higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems.

Cue tearjerker music now Brandy, jeez.

I can count on one hand the occasions I’ve held hands with someone this year. I sleep alone the majority of the time, which means limited spooning and cuddling . . . and sex. Hugs I get more of thanks to some very physical girlfriends. If it were not for them and my gay friends, I’d be hugless and ass smackless, too. (That’s my gay friends, the ass smacking part. No sir, you can not smack my ass.) I get back rubs and foot massages only when I pay for them, and a hand on my knee is likely someone’s else’s guy mistaking me for their girl. (This happened once, it was awkward.)

Yeah, I could use a little more daily human touch in my life. In fact, I can feel my blood pressure rising and my shoulders tightening just writing this. Does Obamacare cover singledom?

And beyond the obvious “daily touch makes you happy,” while watching the happy couple walk along in paw-to-paw joy, I started thinking how being single could have serious detriments to my health.

Like skin cancer.

I can’t see my back half the time unless I’m checking out how the lady’s looking back there. For all I know I could have some interesting shit brewing, like malignant skin cancer. A partner/boyfriend/friend-with-benefits-who-likes-showers would be able to point this out to me.

Or take for instance, the possibility that I might suddenly fall in the shower and bang my head into unconsciousness, honey boo boo would know or eventually find me before I die.

Being single also means I’m going on more dates, going out more, popping corks like I’m still 25. I have about as much structure in my life when I’m single as Lindsey Lohan has talent. Which means I sleep less, exercise less and drink more.

And let’s not graze over the topic that being single puts you you at a higher risk for STD’s.

When you add up all the years of no touch, excessive booze, minimal sleep and late night burritos, you have to wonder, is the life expectancy of a single shorter? Is being single bad for your health?

Let’s look at the other side, shall we. When you’re single:

  • You don’t have anyone to piss you off in your own house. Anyone. You do whatever you want – which includes eating out of the cereal box and playing your music really loud.

  • You can conquer your bed and sleep diagonally if your body chooses this to be the most optimal sleeping position. Added bonus, no one will fart on you in the middle of the night.

  • You can stay up past midnight and not be judged so you have a very active social life, one that your married friends envy.

  • Since you have no one to judge you, you have really low blood pressure and less stress.

  • The last fight you had was probably with the door guy or the Ventra support staff.

  • You can successfully live off of $40 of groceries for the week.

  • You take craps how and when you want them. Sometimes you let the cat watch.

  • You get to laugh at online dating profiles and laughter burns calories, increases blood flow and lowers blood sugar.

  • You actually get to pick your friends

  • You can watch the Food Network all day long, even on Sunday, while the Bears play.

Being single had it’s perks, but sometimes a girl just needs a little loving or maybe just a hand to hold. Bottom line: I obviously need to get a skin cancer screening and a shower mat, pronto.

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  • You put forth an interesting theory here. I can tell you, however, that my medical records disagree with it.

    Just for giggles, I took a look at my medical records from the last six years after reading this post. And I compared the records from times I was single to those from times I was in relationships and getting regular human-to-human contact. Overwhelmingly, medical statistics like blood pressure, cholesterol and weight were better when I’ve been single. I also had far fewer doctor visits (outside of yearly physicals) while single.

    Obviously, I can’t explain WHY that’s the case. But I do wonder if others would find the same thing I did if they looked at their own medical records.

    • Lisa

      I’d have to agree with you! I think people do tend to let themselves go a bit when in relationships. Although, you can’t argue with the fear of having an accident and no one knowing because you’re single 😉

      • That’s a good point. People do tend to let themselves go in relationships. That said, I don’t think that’s the only factor here.

        As far as the fear of having an accident and nobody knowing … well … I figure I’m 28 and have had a good run. If I’m destined to die naked and wet after slipping in the shower and hitting my head, so be it. At the moment, I’m in the best shape of my life, so I’ll look good when I’m eventually found.

      • Carolyn

        I was thinking the same thing! Even when on dates (and not in a relationship), I find myself letting go of healthy eating habits that I’m better about upholding when I’m on my own or with friends. I definitely have friends who say they’ve put on 10-15lbs since being in relationships, just by adopting the eating habits of their partners (and let’s face it, guys are generally more likely to find dino-nuggets and pizza rolls an acceptable dinner than most women).

        • I need to step in and defend my gender for a moment, Carolyn. As a card-carrying guy, I just want to say that I find pizza rolls and dino-nuggets disgusting. They don’t even qualify as food.

  • Spot on. One of the things on my “oh shit I’m single what if this happens” list is falling in the tub. I’m afraid the only ones who will know will be my cats.

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