Is It Marriage That Makes Us Happier, or Something Else?

It’s likely that you’ve heard the data showing that marriage increases happiness. It appears from multiple research that marriage increases happiness, which is wonderful news for all of those who have tied the knot.

But new study reveals an unexpected turn to this well-known story. In fact, it appears that something else entirely may bring couples greater happiness than marriage.

Does marriage make us happier?

Marrying makes us happy, according to numerous research. Married persons really tend to report higher levels of general happiness, health, and social activity.1.

It makes logic when you consider it. A strong, dependable marriage serves as a rock and a source of love, support, and strength through all that life throws at you. A happy marriage is characterized by a partner that understands you, is there for you no matter what, and always has your back.

Your happiness and well-being will undoubtedly be directly impacted by that kind of assistance.

Moreover, marriage has the power to enhance your social skills. It’s so much more enjoyable to go out when you have company all the time. You don’t need to call anyone to plan anything while your partner is present. Not that there’s any proof that married individuals have better social lives, but being married does offer you access to a certain level of social life.

Marriage doesn’t necessarily equal happiness

Naturally, as is often the case, for every study that supports a particular theory, another will usually support a different theory. Take a look at all the conflicting research on the health benefits or otherwise of milk.

The same holds true for marriage. Many studies appear to suggest that marriage has no positive effect on happiness, despite the numerous studies that claim otherwise. One study from Cornell University, for instance, revealed that cohabiting couples who chose not to get married were happier and even had higher self-esteem than married couples.2.

That side of the debate is also easily understood. Organizing a wedding can be a demanding and expensive affair in and of itself. Even devoted, loving couples frequently experience periods of doubt about whether they were better off seeing someone else or whether being married was the correct decision for them.

Although being married might be amazing, it can also put a lot of strain on a relationship.

Marriage doesn’t have as much to do with happiness as we thought

At this point, you may be asking how marriage can simultaneously be the source of happiness and unhappiness. The National Bureau of Economics Research’s study provides the solution: what matters most is how close a couple is to one another.

The two sections of the study initially appeared to support the idea that married couples are happy. But when researchers looked more closely at the study’s second half, they discovered something unexpected: marriage didn’t have the impact they had anticipated.

According to the study, those who thought of their partner as their best friend were happier than persons who had a best friend they didn’t live with. Researchers looked at married couples as well as single people living together, and they found the same thing for both.

Compared to individuals who have a best friend somewhere else, couples who were also best friends were happier.

Friendship is the key to a happy relationship

It appears that friendship is a more powerful source of happiness than marriage. Happier than those who aren’t are couples who also happen to be best friends.

It also makes logic. Cohabiting with your best buddy is the best thing you could do for your mental and emotional well-being.

Best friend couples have all the advantages of having a best friend, including emotional intimacy, a reliable confidant, and someone who gets them and probably shares their values and sense of humor.

Maybe it’s time to reconsider marriage’s place in partnerships. Whether you agree with this or not, having your best friend also be your spouse is beneficial for your marriage.