Want to live happily ever after? Marry your best friend
According to a recent study, couples who are best friends have the happiest relationships and are truly fulfilled as individuals
Today’s generation have been choosing to get married later on in life. The pressure to walk down the aisle, though still present, is no longer a pressing concern.
According to a new study, marriage makes people happier as opposed to when they are single.
Conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Canada, the study researchers took into account individuals level of happiness prior to marriage as opposed to their post-marital satisfaction.
Marriage is a ‘super friendship’
The study participants perceived the benefits of marriage as that which lasted beyond the “honeymoon phase” of their relationship. This is usually in the the first two years of marriage. But though they credit this period to be the happiest, they shared their level of satisfaction extended beyond that.
During middle age, study participants experienced a lower level of happiness, but those who are married said this burdened was lightened by having a partner who would serve as their buffer from all the pressures of daily life such as work and rearing kids.
“There’s a lot of stress going on in middle age,” Shawn Grover, co-author of the study, told The Huffington Post. “Having someone to talk that out with and having someone to support you in those difficult times can help explain why it’s a bit harder for people without a partner.”
“We do think it’s more about that social relationship than the legal status,” he said. “Marriage, in a sense, is a super friendship.”
Partnership, not romance, rules
Beyond romantic love, it is partnership that causes couples to achieve a true level of satisfaction within marriage.
Those who considered their spouses to be their “best friend” experienced the highest level of happiness and satisfaction. Having this type of relationship proved to play a huge part in the well-being of each individual.
But this is not the only type of close relationship that accounts, says Dr. Bella DePaulo, long-term platonic friendships can contribute greatly to an individual’s level of happiness.
DePaulo told The Huffington Post, “For people like me who are single at heart, getting married may not have the same implications as it does for the kinds of people who want to marry and choose to do so.”
The study took into account participants who were never married; this includes divorced, and widowed single people.
Those who lived under one roof with their partners were almost as happy as those who are legally married, the study also found.
Co-author Grover, however, was quick, to point out that this may not be true for every person, this is just a general finding based on a specific group of participants.
Marriage isn’t for everyone. It’s up to you to define what true joy means.
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