What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Science Says You Don't Need to be in a Relationship to be Happy

November 25, 2013, 1:38 PM
Shutterstock_144293947

We grow up in a culture that's very couple-oriented and so people who don't find partners or don't find partners for a long time feel deviant. They feel discriminated against. They're not invited to parties and so it can cause a lot of unhappiness.

Not everyone really can be happy alone, but some of us can.  Yet the culture really pushes us toward coupledom.  I have looked at the research by Bella DePaulo, who's a researcher in this area, about how happy a lot of single people are.

It turns out that there are many life-long singles. In fact, I believe half of the adults in the United States today are single.  There are many life-long singles, especially women who are very happy, who are no less happy than married or partnered people.  They tend to have a lot of friends, a dozen or more really deep friendships.  Can those of you who are married and have children, can you say the same for yourself?  Do you have a dozen really deep friendships, people with whom you keep in touch with on a very regular basis?

Single people tend to be very close to their family members - nieces, nephews, siblings, parents. Their friends are their own.  When you're married and with children a lot of your friends are not really chosen by you. They might be your partner's friends or they might be your kid's friends' parents, but when you're single you tend to choose your friends.

What I like to highlight is that there are a lot of single people who are very happy.  And so if you have not found a partner or if you're not sure if you want to compromise or you want to live with someone else for the rest of your life, there's a lot of hope for you out there from the available science. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Science Says You Don't Need...

Newsletter: Share: