The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Cologne in Germany involved studying data from over 22,000 people around the world.
What the researchers found was that on a scale running from 0 (completely happy) to 7 (completely unhappy), being married made women up to 1 point happier then those who were cohabiting.
Though many couples are happy to cohabit and are doing so out of choice, many individuals in their lives will ‘pity’ them for what they consider to be failure to persuade their man down the aisle.
Further to this, those in society who have more traditional views of marriage often feel that those who cohabit have ‘violated’ normal behaviour and thus give disapproving glances and display other negative subconscious behaviour which breaks down self-esteem.
“In countries where the social norm with respect to female gender roles is defined in more traditional terms as a wife, women who live with their partners before or instead of marriage can be considered to violate this norm and are more likely to be exposed to social disapproval. Consequently, they are more likely to report lower happiness scores.” Said researchers.
In contrast the study found that men did not seem to be affected by their countries traditional gender roles and nor were they affected so dramatically by the opinions of society or their peers.
“We can speculate that in such societies, people tend to believe that a woman lives together with her partner out of wedlock not because she doesn’t want to marry him but because he doesn’t want to marry her.
“The society’s doubts in the commitment of her partner makes a cohabiting woman pitied and looked down upon, which could be detrimental for her self-esteem and psychological wellbeing regardless of her own perception of her partner’s commitment.” Said researchers.