Study Says Friends Can Help Your Relationships and Your Health
The relationship bubble is real, ladies and gentleman.
You know, when you meet someone that you really connect with and all you want to do is be with them all day, every day? It’s the mini honeymoon stage we all go through when we start dating someone new. And it’s normal for a couple of weeks, but let’s be realistic—you can’t stay in that ‘perfect’ bubble forever. (The same goes for newlyweds.) Here’s what usually happens:
- Your friends and family start feeling a little neglected.
- You and your partner will grow distant from loved ones.
- Your support system isn’t as strong as it used to be.
Friends play a pivotal role in our lives and according to a 2017 study from The University of Texas at Austin, your circle of friends can save your relationship and your health. Researchers studied the cortisol levels (the stress hormone), in individuals, as well as the consistency of marital conflict. They found that people who had strong relationships outside of their marriages had lower risks of health problems, like insomnia, depression and heart disease.
“We found that having a satisfying social network buffers spouses from the harmful physiological effects of everyday marital conflicts. Maintaining a few good friends is important to weathering the storms of your marriage.” -Lisa Neff, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Having that outside support system helps to alleviate the stress of relationship conflicts, which is good for your health and the overall health of your romantic relationship.
Knowing you’re a good, supportive friend is a quality that builds the trust of people, including your significant other.
But this doesn’t mean your friend is now just a sounding board for your relationship problems. Instead, we should make sure those relationships that existed before your romantic relationships started are still nurtured. Remember to send a text and give them a call, set a time to meet up and ask them how everything is going for them.
The relationship between you and your friends may shift a bit, especially after marriage, but you all should still feel secure in your friendships. You can still show up for your friends, which can make you even more attractive to your partner. Knowing you’re a good, supportive friend is a quality that builds the trust of people, including your significant other.
Another habit that can hurt your relationship and your mental health is overanalyzing. Learn the signs that indicate that you tend to overanalyze in your relationship and how to break this habit.
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