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Does Love Help you Live Longer?

If you’re like me, as you get older, you find yourself with a whole new set of concerns; mortgages, life insurance, leasing a car, starting a family… the list goes on.  The old adage states that money doesn’t buy happiness, and while this may be true, it sure does help those concerns.  But one way to generate happiness and lessen the impact of daily stress factors is to find yourself in a healthy, satisfying romantic relationship.

In 2013, a Duke University study found that individuals who were in stable relationships for their adult life had a two times greater chance of living longer than their unmarried counterparts.  So what’s behind this data? Is there a magical healing power of being in love? Are there secret health benefits to having a life partner?

All You Need Is Love

Well, not all you need. But being in love often changes your lifestyle and can lead to a healthier – both physically and mentally – state of being.  When you’re in a relationship, your social network likely increases, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.  This helps you stave off depression and your newfound social engagement allows you to start to relate to the world in new and exciting ways. By strengthening social ties, you reduce the level of mental stress in your life, which can have positive health benefits on physical factors such as your immune and digestive system.

Another significant benefit of having a partner when it comes to your health is that you have someone who sees you on a regular basis and is able to notice any changes in your personal health.  By having someone close who can identify possible symptoms of a medical issue, the chances of early detection of a significant health issue increase substantially. They’ll encourage you to seek medical treatment or advice if they suspect something is wrong. They’ll also support you through the medical process should any issues arise.  Having this connection with someone is invaluable, as sometimes we ignore factors that could otherwise lead to long-term complications. Studies show the earlier the detection, the better the results.

Your partner can help manage your way through the recovery process.  By offering support and ensuring that you follow the appropriate recovery procedures, your partner can ensure you take the necessary steps to get yourself back to full health. And, admit it, it’s always nice to have someone prepare chicken soup for you when you have a cold.

If It Makes You Happy

No doubt about it, when you’re in love, you’re generally happier. When you’re happier, your body produces more antibodies, which in turn “attack” viruses, bacteria, and other invaders that can be detrimental to your health.  So not only does being in love help your social well-being, it can also boost your immune system and build up defences against illnesses.

You also tend to be more active when you have a partner.  When you’re on your own, you may fall into the traps of a lazier lifestyle. It’s easy to find yourself binging Netflix when you’re home alone, but if you have a partner encouraging you to go outside and go for a walk with them, it’s harder to justify that as a good idea.

And the benefits of exercise are well documented: exercising regularly both increases your body’s production of antibodies and T-cells – the cells that kill invasive bacteria and viruses – and it also increases your endorphin level. Endorphins lead to higher tolerance of pain, and also create a sense of euphoria in individuals, therefore increasing their happiness.

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Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Living a healthy and happy life is the main thing a lot of us strive towards.  When we have stronger social ties and are encouraged to take care of our physical and mental well-being, we tend to be generally happier.  Plus, the healthier we are, the easier it is to motivate ourselves to go out and live richer, fuller lives.  Add to this the fact that a healthier, happier lifestyle can let you find more affordable life insurance quotes and reap the benefits of saving some money, then it almost seems like a no-brainer.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, why not take the time to appreciate the ones we love, the ones that help to enrich our lives and encourage us every day? And if you find yourself being single, then there are plenty of opportunities to go out there and find a companion. From apps to social events at local libraries, there’s no shortage of activities that allow people to connect with others in an up-close and meaningful way.