While the intensity of the honeymoon phase of a relationship is exciting and fun, the attachment stage, which involves long-term commitment, has unique benefits of its own. In this stage, the nervous system releases oxytocin and vasopressin, chemicals that help create a bond between the individuals, according to the BBC website article, "The Science of Love." In addition to these feel-good chemicals, a long-term relationship can provide value to a couple in the form of physical, emotional and even fiscal rewards.
Contemporary studies indicate that married people are less likely to get cancer, have heart disease, get pneumonia or need surgery, according to an April 2012 article in "The New York Times," titled "Is Marriage Good for Your Health?" The same article notes that other studies reveal that having a long-term partner can help prevent dementia. Also, if you are living with a long-term partner who has healthy habits, you are likely to adopt some of those habits as well, ultimately leading to a longer life. Further, when you are in a long-term committed relationship, you don't have to worry about contracting diseases from casual partners.
There are also psychological benefits to having a long-term partner. Non-intimate touching can reduce stress in men and women, although holding hands is more effective for men, while hugging is more effective for women, notes the National Health Services of the UK website. Moreover, a study conducted at the University of Chicago and published in 2010 in the journal “Stress” indicates that being in a committed relationship reduces the production of cortisol, the "stress hormone."
The financial perks of a long-term relationship can also be manifold. For example, when you’re married, car insurance is less expensive as long as neither of you have a tarnished driving record. Further, when you have two incomes, you can typically obtain larger personal and mortgage loans. Also, if both you and your long-term partner contribute income to your retirements, you’re likely to enjoy a more secure and comfortable retirement than if you had to save for your retirement yourself.
It’s essential to keep in mind that a long-term relationship doesn’t guarantee health or happiness. The key takeaway is that the state of a relationship determines its value. A long-term but unhappy relationship isn’t likely to benefit either partner – and can be a source of stress, illness and overall unhappiness.
- The New York Times: Magazine: Is Marriage Good For Your Health?
- MSN Money: Parenting Guide: 6 Financial Benefits of Marriage
- The University of Chicago: UChicago News: Marriage and Committed Relationships Reduce the Production of Stress Hormones
- NHS Choices: Benefits of Love and Sex
- BBC Science: Human Body and Mind: The Science of Love
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images