Women prefer the single life to men because they put the work in in relationships, new research suggests.
Data from a survey carried out by consumer analysts Mintel shows that 61 per cent of single women are happy with their relationship status compared to 49 per cent of single men.
The study also showed that 75 per cent of single women have not actively looked for a relationship in the past year, compared to 65 per cent of single men.
The trend was particularly strong among women over 45. While 32 per cent of single women aged between 45 and 65 were very happy alone, the same was true of just 19 per cent of men of the same age.
Professor Emily Grundy, of the University of Essex, said that women tend to work harder in relationships than men do.
"There's evidence that women spend longer on domestic tasks than men and I think they also do more emotional work - so they still do more housework and cooking and things as well as more emotional labour," she said.
Women are more likely to try to resolve problems or arguments the couple is dealing with, as well as carry out more physical work such as chores, she said.
She added that women are better at socialising while single.
"Women tend to be better at having alternative social networks and other confidantes whereas men tend to rely quite heavily on their wives for that and have fewer other social ties.
"Certainly there's a common finding from a lot of studies that women who don't have a partner tend to do more social activities and more friends compared to women with partners whereas with men it's the reverse - men without a partner tend to do much less of that.
"So it may be that women have a wider range of alternatives," she said.