3 Secrets for Living a Happy Life

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Almost anyone would tell you that happiness is a crucial part of life, but unfortunately, it’s a concept that is hard to accurately study and measure. Luckily, researchers at Harvard have been trying to tackle that challenge, by exploring data in the Harvard Study of Adult Development for the past 75 years. Last year, Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the director of the study, discussed three crucial findings to the secret of happiness in a new TED talk.

Waldinger begins his presentation by asking, “If you were going to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and your energy?” Although many common goals are to obtain money or fame, according to the study – the longest ever study on human development to date, it is good relationships that keep us happier and healthier.

Overall, the study found three big lessons about relationships.  

Connections are healing, while loneliness is toxic.

People who are connected to family, friends, and their communities lead longer and more healthy lives. In contrast, people who are more isolated than they want to ... Read more »


Is Your Partner the Right Age For You?

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Have you ever been told about the formula for calculating how young of a woman a man can date and marry?  It is simple.  For the man: divide your current age by two and add 7.  If I were 30 years old then this calculation might look something like this: 30/2 = 15 +7 = 22.  That means I should not date or marry any woman younger than 22 years old. But is there anything scientific about this formula?  Does it really matter how old our partner is?

In some ways perhaps it does, although it might have more to do with preferences and less to do with happy relationships.  According to Jane Conway and a team of scholars in The Netherlands, the age of the person we date or marry may have a long history from the days of evolution.  In a recent study, they found evidence for one theory about why we prefer certain ages in our romantic partners.

Men

Men generally prefer women younger than themselves.  Based on Evolutionary Theory, this may be because younger women are more fertile ... Read more »


The Ripe Age for Marriage

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Have you ever been given the advice that you should wait to marry until after 25, or maybe even as late as 30? Would you give that same advice to someone else?

Chances are, most of us have heard at some point in our lives that getting married too young is a recipe for disaster. And when it comes to basic divorce statistics, such wisdom seems to be supported. But what is too young? Is there really something magical about 25 years old?

According to Norval Glenn at the University of Texas at Austin, 25 years does make a significant difference in the success of marriage, but it may not be in the direction you think.

The Best Age

In his study, Glenn argues that one of the main reasons we are seeing a large incline in the average at at first marriage, approaching 30 for men and 28 for women, is consistent findings in research that the risk of divorce continues to drop with age. Teen weddings are clearly not supported. And since 30 year olds show a lower risk of divorce ... Read more »


The Goldilocks Theory of Marriage and Divorce

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I never know what I’m doing when I pick produce at the grocery store. I try to look like I’m a knowledgeable adult by knocking on the watermelons, squeezing the tomatoes, smelling the oranges. Really, I know nothing. All I can do is pick the best I can, and wait until I get home to see how well I did. Sometimes I get duds, but other times I have some really delicious fruits and vegs.

Research suggests that there is a ripe time for marrying, just as there is time when my produce is best for picking (I should probably look at the latter before shopping again). While it is true that people change and every couple will hit hard times throughout their relationship, science can give us a helpful hand to know our prime age for successful marriage.

The Goldilocks Theory of Marriage and Divorce

Researcher Nicholas H. Wolfinger studied the best time to get married in order to lower your risk of divorce. Then, to assure he got it right, he did it again. Both studies indicated that there’s ... Read more »