A new study suggests that married couples are happier than single people, especially those who marry their “best friend.”
A recent research published by John F. Helliwell and Shawn Grover from the National Bureau of Economic Research in Canada suggests that there is a causal relationship between marriage and happiness, and the friendship between the partners explains it.
The authors used data from the British Household Panel Survey, the United Kingdom’s Annual Population, and the Gallup World Poll to analyze the link between well-being and marriage and found that for people who regard their partner as their best friend, the well-being effects of marriage are doubled, even when factors like age, gender, income, health, and pre-marriage life satisfaction are controlled.
“We do think it’s more about that social relationship than the legal status,” Grover said. “Marriage, in a sense, is a super friendship,’ he added.The authors state that the protective effect of marriage extends to even the 40s and 50s, a time people usually suffer from mid-life crisis and happiness is at its lowest level.
“We find that the married have a less deep U-shape in life satisfaction across age groups than do the unmarried, indicating that marriage may help ease the causes of the mid-life dip in life satisfaction and that the benefits of marriage are unlikely to be short-lived,” Helliwell and Grover concluded.
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