Without question, there are many benefits to being alone and living the single life. We all begin as singles and can quickly point to the benefits of being a ‘party of one’. But did you know that the benefits of living single are actually less than that of the benefits that come with being in a relationship? Not just any relationship, of course. Below are 10 premium benefits of creating and maintaining a strong relationship (and also a few helpful tips):
1. Live Longer – Having a spouse or loved one close by when health issues arise usually means that the there’s someone in your life when health issues arise. In a strong relationship, a spouse can be there to encourage and support their mates and even invoke a sense of urgency and diligence until resolved.
2. Positive Influence – Having a partner who’s into health and fitness can have an impact on key health decisions like getting your annual checkup, deciding on giving up smoking, or being consistent with hitting the gym. Want someone to help you commit to that New Year’s resolution? Just write out your goals (hint: Make sure that your goals are attainable so that you are sure to hit your mark) and then hand them to ‘bae’! This positive experience can have a lasting impact on your relationship and strengthen your union as a couple.
3. Someone to Confide In – Work-related issues and discrepancies may sometimes be too sophisticated in nature to bring before a close relative and a calmer, more rational partner may provide for a better strategy than advice. And besides, your grandma may not understand why you use ‘the email’ to communicate with people in your own building or what does your boss ‘using all caps’ have to do with him requesting you in his office?
4. They Accept Us For Who We Are – One of the more vital components that help strengthening any relationship is when a person can be accepted for who they really are. To strengthen your relationship, it is important to allow your partner to see who you really are (Helpful hint: Own your flaws without apology). Remember that finding someone who loves you the way you are can only happen when you choose to ‘keep it 100’ and you should expect the same from your partner in return. Your partner’s attraction to the person you really are will only accentuate your personality and may also help with work and career.
5. You Have Someone to Celebrate With – After being asked ‘why aren’t you married yet?’ a thousand times at Christmas dinner, the holidays can sometimes crystallize your relationship status. While being single can be quite liberating, holidays are best when spent with that special someone. I’m not sure which is worse – having nothing to celebrate or having no one to celebrate with. ‘Tis the season to-find-boo-thang!
6. Reduced Stress – Stress has been related to many illnesses and it is important to minimize the amount of stress we take on as individuals. Although some relationships can bring on more stress, normally strong relationships have been known to provide for stress-relief. For example, a former female co-worker once explained that when she was single she would experience anxiety just getting out of her car at the grocery store for fear of being overpowered by some malicious male perpetrator. As a man, I never imagined a women having more things to worry over than guys but it is true. As I paused to contemplate her dilemma, I realized she was only 5’2, about 105lbs and therefore justified in having those anxieties. She stated that since she’s been married her anxieties have gone away and associates her newfound level of comfort with the fact that her husband, (who’s a Navy Seal) is just a phone call away.
7. Healthier Immune System – Aside from the obvious exterior benefits of being in a strong committed relationship, still there are many more. Sleep, diet and exercise are all associated with building a strong immune system and these are all things that people take care of when in strong and healthy relationships. Committing to physical activity, getting sufficient sleep and eating properly are all associated with a strong immune system and can also impact a person’s brain cognition, food digestion, and blood flow (libido).
8. Married Women Have Healthier Hearts – Emotions influence physical health, particularly in the heart and, following a cardiac event, those that are married fare better than their single counterparts. Women in great relationships naturally develop healthier habits to maintain or enhance the relationship. Things like healthy eating habits combined with a supportive spouse can strengthen arteries lowering the chance of heart disease. In contrast, a discontent woman or a woman grieving over the loss of her husband, may be less inclined to take medication regularly (or as prescribed) and develop setbacks related to the heart.
9. Married Men Have Better Physical Health – Most men understand that regular physical exercise will enhance bedroom activities. For men who are married, eating properly becomes a consistent habit when considering dinner for two. Even for men who aren’t married, simply living with someone else decreases the odds of eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and leftover pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner. The Married-life food menu alone should add a few extra years to a man’s life!
10. Avoiding STD – You may think it’s out of context to discuss the STD crisis within an article that lists ‘The Benefits of Creating a Strong Relationship’ but, this benefit is actually very relevant to this discussion. According to the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/std.htm, being sexually active means you are at risk for STDs. Along with regular testing and knowing your own status, the CDC suggests limiting the number of sexual partners to lower risk. Those in committed relationships can worry less about STDs during intercourse and more on other things like birth control. Although we list this benefit as being number 10 on our list, it ranks as the number one reason for being in and creating a strong committed relationship. Cheers to love and marriage!