Does marriage make you happier?

Is it better to be deliriously giddy over a short period of time, are reservedly happy over a long period of time?

Perhaps the answer should determine whether marriage is for you.

A study out today says people are not happier when they get married than when they were single, but over time, married people are happier than if they had stayed single.

Michigan State researcherStevie C.Y. Yap set out to determine whether personality helps people adapt to major life events including marriage, a news release from the university says.


The answer, essentially, was no: Personality traits such as conscientiousness or neuroticism do not help people deal with losing a job or having a baby.

“Past research has suggested that personality is important in how people react to important life events,” Yap said. “But we found that there were no consistent effects of personality in how people react and adapt to these major events.”

In general, similar-aged participants who did not get married showed a gradual decline in happiness as the years passed.

Those who were married, however, largely bucked this trend. It’s not that marriage caused their satisfaction level to spike, Yap noted, but instead kept it, at least, stable.

  • Jim Shapiro

    1) Stevie C.Y.Yap is full of …pap? sap?

    I shudder to think of how many tax dollars went to THAT research.

    2) “Does marriage make you happier?”

    Certainly there ARE those among us who are happier being told what to do, being judged, and perhaps having a periodic, predictable source of carnal interaction.

    But would you recommend it to someone you really cared about? :-)

  • John

    “1) Stevie C.Y.Yap is full of …pap? sap?”

    gap.