Being in a Relationship: Good For the Heart, Soul, Mind, and Body

Nothing beats the excitement of a new romance. But I’m slightly old-fashioned and feel that nothing compares to the satisfaction of being in a happy and harmonious relationship. Having a partner by your side – someone from whom you draw the strength to face life itself– is valuable. And that’s just one of the benefits of being in a committed relationship. The others you can discover in this article.

Are You In a Relationship?….Read On…

The advantages of being in a relationship have been debated since time immemorial. Some think it’s integral to the moral fabric of society and others believe its hard coded into the DNA of human beings to seek out and bond with a partner for life.

There’s no denying that being in a relationship can be exhilarating and has a lot to offer both people involved. Some advantages are more noticeable than the others – companionship, physical intimacy, financial stability, increased wealth, and hundreds of pleasant memories. But there are plenty of other benefits that manifest in the long run, and I am going to cover some of them in this article.

Increased Dopamine and Testosterone

When you’re in a new relationship, the romance and thrill surrounding it can trigger the release of dopamine and testosterone – chemicals that contribute towards feelings of happiness and attachment.

If you move from one relationship to the other, your brain chemicals will not be able to sustain the love high for too long. However, if you’re in a long-term relationship, the benefits are significantly higher.

Reduced Stress

I am sure a lot of married couples are reading this and laughing their heads off. I can’t help smiling myself when I think of the number of times I have bickered with my wife.

The truth is this – every relationship has its fair share of stress and headaches. Husbands and wives fight, quarrel, and there are moments when tensions between both partners run so high, we cannot help but wonder why we got into it in the first place.

But there’s empirical evidence to prove that people who are in a relationship are less stressed out than those who are single, because those who’re in a long-term commitment show lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. And having a special someone to share things definitely helps take the edge off the upheavals we experience in life.

Longer Lifespan

Listen up, men. This is particularly good news for all of you. Studies have shown that married men live longer and that’s because once they get hitched, they change their lifestyles for the better.

According to Debra Umberson, Professor of Sociology, University of Texas, “Men are more likely to drink a lot, drive fast, get in fights, and take all kinds of health risks.” However, when they get married, they start acting differently, probably because they care about their partner and think about how their negative lifestyle could affect the both of them. This switch to a healthier way of living is known to promote longevity.

Fewer Mental Health Issues

Studies reveal that single men and women exhibit higher levels of anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and suicidal behavior. On the other hand, people in committed relationships experience fewer mental health issues.

So, even if your spouse is driving you up the wall, you should be thankful for these light-hearted moments of madness, because being in a relationship is keeping you insulated from real psychological distress.

Beats Loneliness

Hey guys, remember all those times when you sniggered at women exchanging gossip and indulging in, what we liked to call, mindless banter? Well, it turns out the joke’s actually on us.

Women tend to have a more active support network, which sees them through times of emotional upheavals and distress. Men, however, are less social in nature and succumb to loneliness over time, which can gradually eat away at them.

Being in a long-term relationship helps men get the emotional support they’re otherwise lacking. Having a confidant they can talk to, share their deepest feelings, and count on in times of trouble is extremely comforting. Over time, it has a positive effect on their psychological health and boosts their state of mind and well-being.

Boosts Self Esteem

I am not trying to say that relationships are a pick-me-up, an ego booster, or a balm to apply over your bruised ego. Neither am I trying to imply that those who get into a relationship suffer from low self esteem.

However, when you’re surrounded by constant love and support, you can’t help but feel good about yourself. When you know your partner’s going to support you through thick and thin, you approach the world with a little more confidence. And when your partner sees all the good in you and thinks you’re capable of achieving greatness, you start believing in yourself too.

Partners Keep Each Other In Check

Being married doesn’t mean your bad habits will disappear overnight. But if you’ve got trouble quitting smoking (tch, tch, tch, boys) or have a tendency of binging on one too many sweets (I am looking at you, ladies!), your partner can help curb those cravings and bring your life back on track.

Remember, this is not a hard and fast rule, but it’s generally been observed that partners tend to make changes for each other. So, if your missus doesn’t like your late evening booze binges, you’re likely to cut down on it significantly. And if your husband frowns upon your sleeping in till 10 o’clock in the morning, you’ll consider waking up earlier and probably even going for a walk with him!

Increased Intimacy

When I use the word ‘intimacy’, I am not talking about sex here, although a healthy sexual appetite never hurt a couple. No, I am talking about that intense bond that couples share with each other, one that transcends physical desire and appeal.

When I speak of intimacy, I am thinking about the comfort you experience when you walk into your house and see your spouse smiling at you. The security you feel knowing that when you wake up from a nightmare, someone is right next to you to quieten your fears. The goofy grin you and your partner share when you complete each other’s sentences. That kind of intimacy only comes when you’re in a happy and fulfilling long-term relationship.

I hope I don’t come across as preachy, but I genuinely believe that relationships do change people for the better. At the same time, I will make a disclaimer and add here that I am talking about happy, healthy, wholesome relationships that are based on love, trust, and respect for each other.

I would also like to mention that when I say ‘relationships’, I am not referring to marriage alone. As times changed, people evolved and their understanding of and demands from a relationship evolved. A lot of people prefer not to get married, but I have known them to cohabit with a person they love and build a beautiful relationship with him / her. Like I mentioned earlier, as long as there is love, trust, respect, and commitment, do we really care what name we give to a relationship?

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