What's going on here? How we treat others may depends upon whether we're married or single, according to a new study in The Journal of Psychological Science. Researchers found that people tend to think that their way of life, whether single or coupled, is best for everyone, especially if they think their relationship-status is not likely to change.
To put this to the test, the researchers asked about 110 adults to imagine how a person of their sex would spend Valentine's evening. People who said their relationship status was stable, meaning likely to continue, imagined that their "character" would have a happier Valentine's Day if he or she was like them.
For example, if the study participant was in a relationship, he or she imagined that their "character" would have a happier evening if they were also in a relationship. The same held true for those who were single. They said the single person would have more fun.
Researchers say people tend to idealize their way of living, whether single or coupled, if they think they're going to stay that way long term. And no matter whether they're happy or feel "stuck" as they are, they tend to treat others who share their status better than those who are different.