DATING HAPPY PEOPLE sounds a lot more appealing than dating unhappy people, in general, but according to a study published by the American Psychological Association, dating happy people can actually improve your health. While the study focused on middle-aged heterosexual couples, there’s no reason to think that the results wouldn’t apply to everyone, right?
There’s a general correlation between happy people and healthy ones, but this study found that people with happy spouses were more likely to report better health over time… which went beyond their own happiness.
William Chopik, Ph.D., an investigator of the study, seemed to think that this was a major find.
“This finding significantly broadens assumptions about the relationship between happiness and health, suggesting a unique social link. Simply having a happy partner may enhance health as much as striving to be happy oneself.”
As for why this seemed to be the case, they boiled it down to three different reasons. First of all, happy people tend to provide better support to their spouses than they would if they were unhappy and focused on their own issues. Imagine your most dramatic friend/ex all riled up about their own life and not having the awareness to think that anything might be happening in yours. Not great.
Secondly, the researchers suggested that happy people were more likely to rub off their own healthy habits onto others, like eating well, getting enough sleep, working out, and the like. It certainly seems to be the case that couples adopt some habits from one another, and it’s not hard to see how those healthy habits actually improve people’s lives. So if you’re watching your partner making healthy choices day in and day out, you might start thinking about making positive changes in your own life.
Thirdly, they suggested that being with a happy person could just make life easier, which in turn would support general happiness. After all, happy people are generally better at communicating, more fun, and way less likely to try and manipulate your life or stress you out for no reason.
William added, more specifically, that perhaps having a happy person just helps to keep your own behavior in check.
“Simply knowing that one’s partner is satisfied with his or her individual circumstances may temper a person’s need to seek self-destructive outlets, such as drinking or drugs, and may more generally offer contentment in ways that afford health benefits down the road.”
Good to know. Happy people, healthy life.