This may surprise you.
Skipping date night to stick to your diet can be a bad investment in your health.
An eight-decade and study at Harvard* has shown that meaningful relationships are a vital ingredient for better emotional, mental, and physical health.” Specifically, the findings suggest that people who in engage in meaningful relationships live a longer and more healthy life than those who are not in happy relationships or who live in isolation.
Those who chose to live in isolation had shorter lives and suffered from declining health sooner than those who had secure happy relationships. The study specifically showed that those who had the best relationships at age 50, were the healthiest at age 80. Good relationships also appear to protect our brain, as shown by memory assessments.
Here is what you can do to ensure that your most significant relationship can enhance your future health:
Make date night a priority.
Commit to a weekly date night. It doesn’t matter if you are going out for a walk, a cup of coffee, or a steak dinner. Just do something together that you both enjoy, and make it a high priority.
Talk one-on-one every day
…and not just about the responsible stuff like kids, finances or laundry.
Remind your SO regularly how important he/she is to you.
Don’t assume that telling your spouse once is good enough. Relationships need cultivating. Everyone needs regular reassurance that they are important to their “A-number-one” If you stop letting them know, both of you will stop prioritizing each other. Before long you will drift apart.
Send love messages.
Text messages are great for relationships because that sweet or sassy message is a pleasant surprise and can be viewed at a convenient time. It is always nice to get a special message.
Let them know.
Teach your kids and parents that your spouse comes first. Stable couples in content relationships make better parents. Staying in touch with parents is important and special, but not at the expense of ignoring your mate. Families must be taught to respect the relationship between mates.
Take annual honeymoons.
This doesn’t have to break the bank. It can be a weekend a local hotel or a bed & breakfast or your favorite destination. The important part is to reconnect with each other and rekindle your romance. Parents, this means you! Don’t wait until the kids are older. Take turns choosing destinations or farm the kids out and have a romantic stay-cation with the works. Hire a sitter or grandparents or swap weekends with another couple and agree to watch each other’s kids.
Nurturing your significant other relationship give you the best odds for living a longer and more healthy life, but it also ensures that your present life is more enjoyable day by day.
*In 1938, Harvard scientists began tracking 268 male college sophomores**, to learn about factors that lead to a long and happy life. Eighty years later the Harvard Study of Adult Development, stands as one of the longest ongoing studies of adult development.
** Harvard was not yet coed.