Feeling extra single on valentine’s day?

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THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION: Rather than having money, research suggests it might be having more money than the people around you that could possibly affect your happiness.

PRODUCT FEATURE: Studies suggest that people date similar people over time, such that your exes and your current partner may not be that different after all.

PICTURE OF THE DAY: With valentine’s day coming, singleness can feel extra painful. But psychologists point out that single people have good things going on, too, like experiencing greater psychological growth compared to their attached counterparts.

THE MILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION

The Big Idea:
Rather than having money, research suggests it might be having more money than the people around you that could possibly affect your happiness.

Can money buy you happiness? $95,000 kinda can

People always tell us that money can’t buy us happiness — but not having money sure wouldn’t, either. Those bills ain’t gonna pay themselves!

Research has identified a positive correlation between annual income and life satisfaction until a certain point, before it plateaus, then sizzles away. For life satisfaction, that magic number is USD $95,000 annually per person.

Meaning to say, once you go past that, how much income you make wouldn’t correlate strongly with how you feel anymore.

We don’t want to be rich. We want to feel richer than our friends

As Chinese new year draws near, you may dread seeing your rich cousins and feeling dirt poor in comparison.

Funnily, even if you’ve hit $95,000 per year, someone with a $96,000 income may still set you off on a self-loathing, feeling-like-you’re-not-good-enough spree.

This is because being rich is relative. Accordingly, rather than how much money you have, it is how much more (or less) than everyone else you have that will really shake up your happiness.

You can still make each dollar count

But making $95,000 or more money than everyone you know is hard.

And no matter how much we tell you that negatively comparing yourself to others is bad, we know you’re probably gonna do it anyway. Still, it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself that it’s not very meaningful to compare other people’s ups with your downs!

Psychologists have tips to make whatever money you have feel good, though. For example, try buying more experiences (like a vacation) than material goods (like shoes). They tend to provide delight longer — and really stretch each dollar’s worth of happiness.

SNIPPETS

5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣ It’s OK to hide the snacks: Experts recommend against laying out trays of food in the open this Chinese new year as communal eating may increase the spread of Covid-19.

2️⃣ Justice served? A woman who partook in torturing a woman with intellectual disabilities till the point of near-death has been sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail.

3️⃣ Additional Covid-19 testing will be carried out for foreign domestic workers and confinement nannies entering Singapore starting Friday, 5 Feb.

4️⃣ Worst-case scenario only: The parliament has passed a bill restricting the use of TraceTogether data to only seven serious crimes, such as terrorism and murder.

5️⃣ The Minister for Communications and Information assures that the government will use the ‘full force of the law’ to deal with Covid-19 vaccine-related fake news.

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣ MENopause: The male version of menopause, andropause, happens when testosterone levels drop with age and include signs like erectile dysfunction.

2️⃣ #Not_My_Government: Medics and doctors in Myanmar are wearing symbols — and some even quit — to protest against the military takeover of the government.

3️⃣ More than 100 million people in the world have been vaccinated against Covid-19 — but over two-thirds of them went to the richest countries.

4️⃣ Oxygen, please: Some hospitals in Latin America are facing a shortage of oxygen for its Covid-19 patients, exacerbated by steep increases in infection numbers recently.

5️⃣ Turning back time: A team of inspectors from the World Health Organisation is set to visit the lab in Wuhan thought to be where Covid-19 originated.

PRODUCT FEATURE

The Big Idea:
Studies suggest that people date similar people over time, such that your exes and your current partner may not be that different after all.

Admit it. When you date, you have a type

Imagine: There are seven billion people in the world — and we have a type of person that we really like. That sounds like a pity because that’s a lot of diverse sexiness we’re missing out on.

According to research, though, this could be true. The study examined both current and previous partners of people and found that they had pretty consistent personalities.

“Sometimes I can still hear his voice”

But this isn’t to say your type is hard-wired into your brain, and you’ll never feel attracted to anyone else. Some psychologists think the similarity could just be that we tend to go for familiar things — and people.

Or, even, unconsciously, you’re hoping to ‘do-over’ the wrongs from your past relationship, and try to get the needs you hadn’t met there, here. Uhm, okay.

Yet, other research suggests that your type changes over time, to match whoever you’re seeing at the moment. So, maybe you’re not really dating your type, but your type is whoever you’re dating. Whew.

How to make a relationship last

But at the end of the day — ideal type or not — you get in a relationship wanting it to work, right?

The pandemic saw a spike in splits and divorces in many parts of the world. There is no shame in admitting it: relationships can get hard, especially with that much distance during lockdown. So that’s why there’s an app to help (as there always is.)

Lasting, a couple’s therapy app, was created by therapists and is rooted in Attachment Theory. Offering relationship-centric workshops, activities, and reminders, it creates opportunities for you and your partner to have fair, levelled conversation about the tough things — just so you can make the things that really count last.

SHOWER THOUGHTS

Weird & Wonderful

  1. Eating is kinda like “insert here to continue playing”.
  2. An erection is a form of blushing.
  3. Kids have imaginary friends. Adults have imaginary enemies.
  4. “I’ll figure it out” is the battle cry of doing absolutely nothing.
  5. “Don’t stare at the sun” is probably the most universally imposed and followed rule.
PICTURE OF THE DAY

Image of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. By Max Mumby.

The Big Idea:
With valentine’s day coming, singleness can feel extra painful. But psychologists point out that single people have good things going on, too, like experiencing greater psychological growth compared to their attached counterparts.

Third-wheeling can make you feel lonely.

People are never too keen on third wheeling a couple because of how awkward it feels. Not only is it difficult having to wait your turn to play a one-versus-one game on the playstation, it can make you feel so, so lonely, too.

That’s okay. Being there (or not) doesn’t make you a less supportive friend and it often boils down to personal preference. We often feel societal pressure to be dating — or married — so it’s normal that hanging out with lovebirds could egg out such feelings.

Add a pinch of jealousy and voila, you feel like shit

On top of loneliness, we sometimes get jealous of people in relationships. We may feel neglected, replaced by our friends, or even unwanted. 

Jealousy isn’t fun, but it’s not all bad all the time. Research suggests that jealousy is linked to friendship-guarding behaviours — such as when you try to be a better friend to improve your friendship.

Friend guarding can also get controlling and manipulative. Of course, that’s a big no-no. We say you can acknowledge your jealousy, its validity, but keep it in check so you don’t let it hurt your friendship.

In 2021, let’s embrace singleness

Why should being single be a bad thing anyway? Yeah, we don’t know either.

Some psychologists believe that single people have strong social relationships, and could even experience more psychological growth than those who are attached.

So if you’re spending this valentine’s day single, don’t be too bummed. Let yourself do you at your own pace! And third-wheeling your friends is always an option, of course.

Tiffany

Tiffany is a writer who reads Lorde’s lyrics and calls it practice. She likes her pills served with croffles (that’s a croissant waffle, for the unsophisticated.)