Do You Call Your Partner Your Best Friend? If So, Your Marriage Could Be Twice as Happy
Saying you married—or can’t wait to marry—your best friend doesn’t just make for a sweet Instagram caption. According to a recently published study, considering your partner your bestie is also an indicator of long-term marital happiness. How awesome is that?
The study’s authors John Helliwell, an economist at the University of British Columbia, and Shawn Grover analyzed data from two different surveys, the British Household Panel Survey and the United Kingdom’s Annual Population Survey. They found that overall, married folks have a higher level of life satisfaction than their unmarried counterparts, and that marriage may help ease the midlife dip in happiness that affects pretty much everyone.
Our favorite finding from the study suggests there’s a direct and positive correlation between friendship within marriage and happiness. After analyzing the long-term levels of happiness of survey takers who named their partner as their best friend with those who didn’t, they discovered: “Those whose spouse or partner is also considered their best friend get almost twice as much additional life satisfaction from marriage or cohabitation as do others,” the study says. By the way, this reigned true even when Helliwell and Grover controlled for income, gender, age and happiness levels before marriage.
Does everyone consider the person they say “I do” to their best friend? Of course not. You may already have a best friend and think of your partner in a separate, special category (apples and oranges, right?). What matters most—the key to fostering marital bliss—is forging a strong bond of friendship with your spouse.
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