Claims that if only you get married, you will get happier, are ubiquitous. They are also wrong. There are embarrassing methodological flaws that sully many of the studies used as the basis for those claims. Some of the flaws are so fundamental, that any social scientist who does not recognize them should be run out of the field.

I have been writing about this issue for well over a decade, beginning with my review article with Wendy Morris, “Singles in society and in science,” and, of course, with Singled Out. In this article, I will collect links to some of my previous writings on the topic, in these four sections:

#1 Reviews of many studies of getting married and (not) getting happy

#2 Discussions of individual studies of getting married and (not) getting happy

#3 How to think about, and critique, studies of the implications of getting married

#4 Insights about marital status and happiness, from a social historian and a Nobel Prize winning social scientist

#1 Reviews of many studies of getting married and (not) getting happy

Here’s a review of 18 studies in which people were followed over time and asked repeatedly about their happiness as they changed their marital status:

 Marriage and happiness: 18 long-term studies

 Also relevant: Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

#2 Discussions of individual studies of getting married and (not) getting happy

Here are the results of some individual studies of getting married and (not) getting happier:

       American marriages: Happiness and health decline over time

       Part 2: Getting married will make you happier? No [UPDATED]

Another longitudinal study of satisfaction

Oh, Wonkblog, you blew it on marriage and happiness

The fraudulent $100,000 claim about happiness

#3 How to think about, and critique, studies of the implications of getting married

Everything you think you know about single people is wrong

       Marriage: How we got it so wrong for so long

Cracking the code: How to think critically about reports of the alleged superiority of married people (excerpt from Singled Out)

Is it true that single women and married men do best?

Getting married makes you happier? Again, no

New ways to make married people seem better than they are

TIME magazine can’t help itself — continues to claim that married people are superior

He’s trying but he doesn’t get it; do you?

Ferreting out the whole truth behind the half-truth about happiness – oh yes you did!

Genes and marriage: Their claims, my qualms

Best media debunking of the myth of marital bliss

#4 Insights about marital status and happiness, from a social historian and a Nobel Prize winning social scientist

The American quest for bliss in marriage has a checkered past

#5 More about happiness

What makes single people happy?

Single life gets better with age, and today’s singles are happier than singles decades ago

Beyond happiness: A psychologically rich life is a good life

What’s more important than happiness?

Alone and unhappy: Why your sadness may have nothing to do with your aloneness

Is this the missing piece in the happiness puzzle?

Another bias against singles: People think they exaggerate their happiness more than married people do

Singles value freedom more and get more happiness out of it

Bella DePaulo Marriage Vs Single Life

Marriage vs. Single Life: How Science and the Media Got It So Wrong

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