Health of a Single Woman: For Better or Worse?

Health of a Single Woman: For Better or Worse?

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What do you think of when you picture a single woman? Most likely, it's one of the stereotypical images of single women; either a lonely girl singing “Someday My Prince Will Come” to herself, or the Miss Havisham man-hater type with a broken heart they'll never get over. In reality, neither stereotype is necessarily true.

Dr. Karen Gail Lewis, a family therapist and founder of Unique Retreats for Women explained that in her experience, single women were usually better developed personally than married women, and, as an added bonus, they live longer.

“I don’t think it’s healthier to be married or to be single,” Lewis says. Married or single, she explains that women need to be emotionally and physically healthy for themselves. But there are some differences in the factors that effect women’s health.

Married women, she says, have to deal with more interrelationship issues that can wear them down. They constantly work to maintain their relationship with their husband and kids, and worry over their husband’s relationship with the kids and the kids with each other.

You married women, you know it’s true. It’s all about keeping the peace.

"There’s a cycle," Lewis says. "Typically when we get into a relationship, things start out all perfect, we’re completely happy. But little by little, we start to give up small pieces of ourselves. Once the relationship is over, we get depressed, but gradually heal and find ourselves again. Once we get into another serious relationship, the cycle starts again."

Since single women don’t have to manage so many relationships, they have more time to devote to themselves. They can spend more time developing as a person and taking care of themselves.

Want to take a weekend getaway to a spa getting relaxing massages and facials? Not a problem when you’re single. Go to the gym every morning? Sure. But being the mommy-mobile's chief driver complicates things a bit.

Single women can usually maintain their health a little better as well, Lewis says. When you’re married with children you’re being exposed to all kinds of kiddie germs. Many single women do not spend enough time around kids to pick up whatever comes down the pike.

Ultimately though, it’s all about you. There is no magic formula for happiness. Each woman has to look within herself to find what will make her happy. If it’s finding prince charming and settling down, go for it. If it’s staying single and carefree, that’s fine too.

Karen Gail Lewis will be giving a free teleseminar at 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 23 called “Eight Things Single Women Need to Know to Make 2008 the Best Year Ever – With or Without a Man.” Everyone who registers will get a bonus gift: Lewis’s book, Fifteen Golden Rules for Being an Emotionally Healthy Single Woman.

Photo: iStock Photos