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9 Ways a Relationship is Good for Your Health

By Amanda Morgan

The media is always portraying the bad sides to being in a relationship. From couples breaking up to one person cheating on the other, it seems like nothing good will ever come out of starting a relationship. With all this negativity, you may never hear about the benefits to staying with a partner. Relationships can actually improve your physical and mental health if they are with the right person and take place in a healthy environment. If you are looking for some reasons to start a relationship or continue your existing one, then check out this article to learn nine ways relationships are good for your health.

1) Self-Confidence

Relationships and self-confidence can be a double edged sword. On one hand your self-esteem plays a role in dictating the success of the relationship and the satisfaction each person has in the partnership. When one person in a relationship has low self-esteem, it can damage the relationship and lead to more problems. On the other hand, a well-balanced relationship can boost your own self-confidence. People who are in long term relationships feel a sense of security from having the constant companionship of another person. This in turn allows them to be assured of themselves and maintain a positive disposition. Maintaining a relationship will give you the benefit of having a support system when things go south. Your self-confidence will never fade when you have someone who is always there when you need words of wisdom or a compliment.

2) Happiness

A recent study conducted by the London School of Economics found that relationships are one of the key factors to having a happy life. This study showed that people were happier when they had a solid relationship as opposed to experiencing other positive events such as having their income double. Relationships that offer constant support and affirmation will be especially useful as you navigate life. Going through life can be challenging, but with someone at your side you are guaranteed to have a partner to stick with you in thick and thin. Ultimately, the support you gain from a relationship will allow you to feel happy and safe. Next time you are angry with your partner, consider the happiness they have brought into your life and the happiness you have brought them.

3) Less Pain

Have you ever found that when you are recovering from an illness or surgery you seem to feel better when surrounded by people who care about you? Well, if you have, you are not alone. Faster recovery from pain is common when a person is taken care of and shown love while trying to heal. Some people have even claimed that they feel less pain after getting injured, when they are with the person they love. It is possible that this phenomenon is caused by positive hormonal changes when you are near your partner. While the reasons for this experience are not fully understood, the effects are well documented through many studies and observations. This is just one benefit that shows you there are many reasons to continue having stable relationships.

4) Healthier Behaviors

You have probably been told once or twice in your life the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. As a child, this is especially reinforced as you tend to copy the actions of your peers and friends. While you may have more self-awareness as you grow older, you still look to others to guide you in your life. People in relationships will spend a significant amount of time with their partner, thus allowing that person to have an impact, positive or negative, on them. If your partner has positive habits such as eating healthier or working out every week, they will inspire you to do the same. Your partner’s healthy behaviors will start to become your own and help your health. While not all of your partner’s habits will be right for you, give them a try and see if they make a positive difference in your life.

5) Increased Dopamine

Hormonal changes constantly occur in your body. Your emotions are particularly ruled by the hormones in your body. When you are happy certain hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, are high in both males and females. Happiness is a wonderful feeling to experience in your life, and having a supportive relationship is one way to ensure that you will be surrounded by it. Although, there are no guarantees that you will be happy one hundred percent of the time in your relationship, having a partner that cares for you will certainly help. With this almost constant state of happiness you can expect an increase in dopamine and a new outlook on life. Dopamine causes people to feel more creative and sleep better at night. You may finally be able to prove that a relationship is good for your health after all.

6) Longer Life

What is better than living a long life? Living a long life with someone you care about. Recent studies have shown that you really can have it all by having a long life and a lasting relationship. Social interactions are an important component of life for all people. It is important that people are able to socialize with other humans and have physical touch. Social interaction allows you to cope with stress from work, friends, and daily life.  People who do not have these interactions will experience cardiovascular issues, a weakened immune system, or depression.  It is these secondary complications that will reduce a person’s life expectancy. By maintaining a relationship, you are ensuring that you always have the chance to engage with someone else and give yourself the chance to live a long healthy life.

7) Emotional Support

Who knew that cuddling was actually great for your health? While most people in relationships often take the time to have some physical contact from holding hands to watching a movie together, rarely do they recognize the benefits of that contact. Even small physical contact like holding hands will help your mind realize that someone is there for you and supporting you. This emotional support is critical to have as you go through your everyday life. It is inevitable that you will face many challenges in your life. These problems will be easier to handle if you know that you have someone to lean on when times get rough. Emotional support, like the kind you can get from a relationship, will make a difference to your health and overall put you in a better mental state.

8) Lower Risk of STDs

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, STDs, are hopefully something you rarely think about in your life. However, with approximately 110 million people in the United States carrying a STD, it is time to sit down with your romantic partner and talk. Statistically, you have a lower risk of getting a STDs if you stay with the same partner. With each additional person you engage sexually with, your risk of contracting a disease increases. When starting a new relationship, it is important that both of you are open about your history and get tested. If you decide to stay with that one person, then you have a lower risk of contracting an STD since you know them and their medical history. While a lower risk of STDs should not be your only reason for getting into a relationship, it is something to considering when contemplating the benefits of a relationship.

9) Less Stress

Although high stress is associated with relationships, you may be shocked to find out that healthy relationships can actually help you experience less stress in your life. It is important to lower the amount of stress you have in your life. Stress can reduce your life expectancy and cause unnecessary health problems. One of the first things that happens when you are stressed for a period of time is your immune system weakens. Ultimately leaving you more prone to illness and infections. A relationship may help you balance your daily stresses and allow you to put your obstacles in perspective. Your partner can analyze situations from an outside perspective and give you the chance to get your worries off your chest. Instead of having to take on the world yourself, you will have someone by your side who can support you in hard times.

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