“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” The biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.
Specifically, the study demonstrates that having someone to rely on helps your nervous system relax, helps your brain stay healthier for longer, and reduces both emotional as well as physical pain. The data is also very clear that those who feel lonely are more likely to see their physical health decline earlier and die younger. “It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”
What that means is this: It doesn’t matter whether you have a huge group of friends and go out every weekend or if you’re in a “perfect” romantic relationship (as if those exist). It’s the quality of the relationships–how much vulnerability and depth exists within them; how safe you feel sharing with one another; the extent to which you can relax and be seen for who you truly are, and truly see another.
Amen! Good to know I’m on the right track, and putting my clients there too. And…letting yourself be truly seen is Erotic Integrity.