As much as you may get your heart broken one too many times or get betrayed by friends and associates, relationships are still good for your health, studies have shown.
It is true that relationships may come with so much pain that quitting altogether sometimes becomes an option.
Although you may choose to focus more of your efforts on your career, hobbies or friends to derive happiness and fulfilment, researchers say relationships are not only important but they also help to keep you healthy physically and psychologically as you age.
Harvard University has been tracking people since 1938, as part of the Harvard Study of Adult Development.
Researchers began looking at 268 sophomores, eventually added 1,300 of their children who are now in their 50s and 60s; looking closely at the health of the subjects’ lives in both their careers and marriages.
They have found that relationships are not just important, but they trump other factors in how much they influence our health.
More than financial riches, career success, or fame, relationships make people happy throughout their lives. Those with strong, healthy relationships also tend to stay mentally sharper and physically stronger as they age.
Whatever your social class, financial success, IQ, or even genetic makeup, it is your social connections that are most strongly associated with a long, happy life.
George Vaillant, one of the leaders of the Harvard study, said, “the key to healthy ageing is relationships, relationships, relationships”.