Will Getting Married Make Me Happy?
Updated: Mar 17
Many of us have been told that a successful life is one that follows the standard evolution of “education, homeownership, marriage, 2.5 kids, and holding hands on the back porch as the sun sets.” Today, I want to talk about one point of that bell curve, marriage. Does marriage actually make people happier?
Many studies have shown that strong social bonds are a critical component of a happy life. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky says in her book, The How of Happiness, that “one of the most important functions of a social bond is the provision of social support in times of stress, distress, and trauma.” She explains that such social support can be tangible (like a ride to the hospital), emotional (being listened to), and informational (providing advice.)
Additionally, she shows that these social bonds don’t suffer hedonic adaptation; we still want them even after we have obtained them. BUT, and yes that is a big butt! Sonja also states that you don’t need to be married or even have a romantic relationship to be happy. You can build these relationships with others, and studies have shown that those who choose to remain single often build deeper, longer-lasting relationships with friends and family than those who are married.
So, am I telling you not to get married? Absolutely not! I love my husband and our marriage. What I am telling you is to not let your happiness ride on the “I have to get married to be happy” concept.
Legally, marriage is just a ring, a piece of paper, and a tax break. What makes a happy marriage is the commitment you make to each other. It is making Intentional Margins to be appreciative, putting effort into creating happy moments, and cherishing one another through good times and bad. Marriage itself won’t make a happy couple; a dedicated couple makes a happy marriage.
Everyday Happiness – Choose Your Happiness
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