There are plenty of perks to having a lifelong partner-in-crime. They’re your go-to cuddle buddy for Netflix binge-watching, are always up for spontaneous trips, and are your biggest cheerleader, supporting you in everything that you do. And it turns out always having them by your side is pretty great for your health, too.
Researchers found those in happy relationships were 20 percent less likely to die early than those in unhappy relationships.
In a new study published in the journal Health Psychology that looked at 19,000 married couples up to 90 years old, researchers found that those in happy relationships were 20 percent less likely to die early than those in unhappy relationships. That’s because there are a few different (very key) reasons why having a ride-or-die can help you survive and thrive longer, and both your physical and mental wellbeing play an important role.
Here are 3 science-backed health perks to having a lifelong partner.
1. You encourage each other to be healthier
If your partner is hitting the gym, eating a nutritious diet, and making regular appointments with their doctor for check-ups, you undoubtedly will too. Study co-author Mark Whisman told Time that spouses help each other adopt healthy habits that will keep them happy and feeling great for years to come.
2. You keep each other’s mental health in check
Physical health is important to living a long life, but so is your mental health. And according to Whisman, having a strong relationship will make you feel a greater sense of purpose and security—two things, among others, that can help “improve mental health and wellbeing, which we know is associated with physical health,” he says.
3. You’ll have an endless amount of support
When it comes to protecting yourself against the detrimental effects of stress, having someone you can talk to (and fully trust!) about whatever you’re going through is key to good health. Sure, family and friends are great too, but there’s nothing better than your partner having your back—especially because that’s who you spend the majority of your time with. “A high-quality marriage can serve as a buffer against chronic or acute stressors in life,” Whisman says. “There’s something more specific about the marital relationship relative to other social relationships.” BRB as I join Tinder.
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