After my last breakup and endless dating app convo fails, I know I’m personally about ready to throw in the towel on love for good. It’s easy to start getting comfortable on your own and not have to deal with the headache of making a relationship work. Sometimes I need a reminder of why holding onto hope for marriage might still be a good idea. After combing through research information from the National Institute of Health, MedicineNet, Harvard Health Publishing, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies, I’ve come up with these 9 positive impacts in favor of maintaining a long-term healthy relationship ‘til death do you part.
- The happier you are, the longer you live. According to researchers from Harvard, family support is good for health, morale, and vitality. They concluded long-term marriage can decrease many causes of premature death. I’d say the biggest key to this is an emphasis on the healthy relationship part. It’s probably a good idea to be with someone who doesn’t have you on the verge of landing a starring role on the most prolific future episode of Snapped every other day. I’m pretty sure the researchers were referring to more scientific reasons than personal threats, but functioning well with the person you’re most vulnerable and easily accessible to couldn’t hurt your chances of seeing another day.
- Cheerful husband, more lovin’. Cue Olivia-Newton-John’s “Physical” track. Seriously though, being with someone long-term means a regular partner to get busy with. Sex doesn’t really burn as many calories as you’d think, so I wouldn’t count on it for weight loss, but any level of physical activity (including intercourse) helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re doing it right, it should at least be more fun than other forms of light to moderate exercise.
- It’s good for your heart. Research shows that happily married middle-aged women had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. Meaning healthy love is good for a strong heart. I guess the Valentine’s Day treats you get from your guy are more symbolic of a literal gift to your organs year-round.
- Solid relationships relieve stress. According to science, showing affection regularly releases stress-reducing hormones. So did the previously mentioned act of rumbling in the sack. More reasons to find someone to make kissy faces, be all mushy and gushy, and keep doing the bedroom dance with.
- It turns your frown upside down. Long-term marriage reduces isolation, which lowers the risk of depression. So even if your significant other gets on your nerves, which will definitely still happen regardless of how healthy the relationship is, at least you won’t be in a total cloud of funk with significant mood challenges.
- It gives you someone to answer to. People in healthy long-term relationships are more inclined to social behavior control. This is due to being directly responsible for another. Being linked with someone so closely who matters to you, witnesses you on a regular basis, and is affected by what you do greater influences healthy habits and promotes accountability. This will make you less vulnerable to developing an addiction, indulging in dangerous vices, and engaging in risky behaviors.
- It keeps your blood from boiling. Well, your significant other might and probably will make you mad. If you’re together long-term, more than likely you’ll go through multiple seasons of ups and downs. But what science does say is the overall relationship will be good for reducing your blood pressure, which is a good thing obviously. Your doctor, the Red Cross, and your heart will thank you.
- It’s good for your mental health. Another plus for staying in a healthy long-term relationship is decreased occurrences of mental disorders. Uncontrolled mental issues can lead to disability, which affects income and community engagement. Having a continuing partner means being known well by someone regularly in close contact who can recognize signs and symptoms that need to be treated and be aware of triggers that could throw you off your game. It’s easier to manage a condition like this with someone else because sometimes the person affected by a mental disorder isn’t aware of themselves.
- It benefits your children. I didn’t get this one from scientific research, but the school of life has shown that broken homes can leave lasting wounds on the children involved. How many adults talk about how their childhood changed for the worse once their parents split? Couples tend to have more money due to joint funds, stability since there’s another person to pick up the slack if one partner is temporarily down and can be more hospitable (single parents tend to live in smaller residences less conducive to family gatherings). A healthy long-term marriage also gives children a standard to aim for themselves. When all you’ve seen is the love and making it work despite storms that come your way, it motivates you to measure up with your commitment to another.