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Strong Relationships, Healthier People

Published: February 16, 2011

Couples may marry for love, but experts confirm that long-term committed relationships are also good for mental and physical health—and the benefit increases over time.

Medical students David and John Gallacher from Cardiff University in Wales, UK, say that women in committed relationships have better mental health, while men in healthy relationships have better physical health, concluding that “on balance it probably is worth making the effort.”

Men’s physical health probably improves because of their partner’s positive influence on their lifestyle and “the mental bonus for women may be due to a greater emphasis on the importance of the relationship”, they write in the student BMJ, the international medical journal for students.

But not all relationships are good for you, they point out, referring to evidence that single people have better mental health than those in strained relationships.

The bottom line is no surprise: Don’t shy away from romantic relationships. Just try to avoid the bad ones.

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