They say life is all about exploration and experiences. And many young people in today’s society have started to believe that marriage limits this freedom by adding roles and responsibilities that shackle them. The latest research by the Centre for Sustainable Development seems to support this view. A survey conducted by the Centre across 1800 individuals in Bengaluru found that unmarried people (61.6 percent) in the middle-income group are more likely to be happy when compared to their married counterparts (58.2 percent).
Sharath Tata, 26 year old animation designer in a start-up, believes that married people are more likely to be unhappy. He cites responsibilities as the primary reason for this. “Singletons are not bound by the sort of responsibilities that marrieds are. Managing the expectations of two families, double the expenses and having to attend family functions, etc.
I believe my commitments towards hangouts, travelling, sleepovers and nights out makes me happy. This is the right age for me to enjoy my life. As time passes, unwanted responsibilities may creep in. But for now, young singles like me are happy even with an average income because we do not dream big. I keep my dreams limited and make them come true. My income supports me in this.”
Krishna Prasad, project co-ordinator in a multi-national media conglomeration, says, “With not many additional responsibilities to manage, I always have my freedom of choice and always have time to spend time with my family and friends. My happiness tips are travelling and spending time with family. This is backed by my middle-income as well. My joy lies in the little things.” He reasons, “Those who are married probably have their own levels of satisfaction. But the reason they are not listed in the happy statistics is because they do not have any me-time. Burdened with several commitments and responsibilities, they cannot reach their level of satisfaction.”
Sanjay Kiran emphasises, “Despite the common belief that singles are miserable, my own experience says otherwise. I’m socially active and have time for leisure and me time as well. As I do not have many responsibilities, I’m focusing on my career growth, which is right for me at this stage in life. I can maintain a healthy lifestyle, and get a chance to choose based on my own will. I’m glad that my family or relatives are not badgering me to get married, I’ve time to fulfill my dreams like solo trekking and travelling, holding a well-paying position, and other things on my list. All these things make me content with my single status.”
Sociologist Sudarshana explains, “The present lifestyle of singlehood offers a sense of freedom for the youth. They are able to focus on their career and achieve as well. This fulfillment gives them immense happiness. Also, society is more accepting of the youth’s choices like their preference of a live-in relationship. No wonder then, that they are pushing marriage to after the age of 25. After a certain age, maybe 27 or 30, they start thinking about marriage.
Remarks from their circle and their peers starting to get married gives them pause for thought. But before that stage, the time they have is all theirs, so they make it happy by checking off everything on their wish list.”...