By Ryan Derousseau
January 8, 2015

The professional benefits of marriage have long been extolled. Married couples tend to make more money over their professional lifetimes. And tying the knot can come with a number of perks—financially and socially. Senior executives often prefer the stability associated with the coupled, which can lead to promotions. Married people are said to live longer as well.

Recently published research by Washington University’s Joshua Jackson even suggests that you are more likely to rise the ranks fastest with a “conscientious” spouse; one who is reliable, organized, and good at managing chores and finances.

But where does that leave those Americans who simply haven’t found “the one” yet? In many ways, staying single can do wonders for your career. It gives you more flexibility—you are less likely to feel guilty about spending long hours in the office.

In fact, at certain points in a company’s life, it may be better for the top spot to be filled by a lonesome dove. That’s because the unhitched are more willing to take chances on investment in research and development or mergers, according to recent research. Such efforts can turn a small struggling business into a publicly traded gem. In fact, a number of CEOs without a marriage certificate are at the helm of fast-growing companies.

This is certainly the case in the boom and bust world of startups. These four companies have been aided by the attention, dedication, and attentiveness of their unmarried CEOs. At least most of the time. These four executives have found love; it just doesn’t necessarily include a living, breathing partner.

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