Married people are much more likely than their single counterparts to rate themselves “very happy.” According to Princeton Survey Research Associates, 43% of the married people polled claimed to be very happy while only 24% of the unmarried people did.

I was surprised to read that statistic. Married people, I know from reading other studies, are better off financially. But happier too?

It doesn’t seem fair. Where’s the balance? Maybe married people are less healthy. That would even things out a bit. I asked ETR’s health editor, Jon Herring, whether this might be true. This is what he said:

“In my experience, single people tend to want to stay in better shape to attract a mate … but once they get married, they sometimes let themselves go. That said, it is well established that people who are married live longer, healthier lives than those who are single.”

Three for three. Three good reasons to get married. But if you are not married, don’t be alarmed. You can still be among the 24% who rate themselves as “very happy.” In fact, if you develop the right frame of mind, there’s no reason you can’t be among that teensy percentage who think of themselves as ecstatically happy. Why not?

My neighbor Bob (the cigar-smoking, speech-making expert I told you about on Friday) just came by. He had just finished a Dr. Al Sears-inspired interval-training run. He said he was feeling stronger and was enjoying “that buzz” much longer into the day. (Bob and I are always talking about the buzz. The buzz you get from smoking a good cigar, from savoring a fine wine, from getting a good workout, etc.) He asked me what I was working on for ETR, and I told him: Three Reasons to Get Married. He said, “It’s always the married people who seem to think that being single is better. My single friends – most of them want to be married.”

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.