Single people officially outnumber married people today, and the reasons are clear: Where marriage was once a means for security and reproduction, it's a lot more complex these days. "Now, we want our partner to love us, to desire us, to be interested in us," writes world-renowned relationship expert Esther Perel in her new book, The State of Affairs. "We should be best friends, trusted confidants, and passionate lovers, to boot. The human imagination has conjured up a new Olympus: that love will remain unconditional, intimacy enthralling, and sex oh-so-exciting, for the long haul, with one person."
As Perel implies, we hold romantic relationships to a high standard in 2017. As a result of that, finding someone you're excited to commit to isn't easy. Still, many people think that regardless of personal or career-oriented accomplishments, their lives won't be truly complete until they find their "soul mate," or other half.
While research once found that married people were happier across the board, that conversation has shifted recently—and these days, it seems there's actually very little correlation between being happy and coupling up.