Benefits of Love
So what’s this all about? Why subject yourself, at all, to the challenges of dating, especially after you’ve had any negative experiences with it in the past? Why decide to pursue long term commitment in a monogamous relationship, when you can enjoy fleeting moments with seemingly less risk for heartache? In a word…LOVE.
We drive towards the possibility of this fulfilling exchange with little regard for the obstacles and hazards we may face along the way simply because the reward once we’ve arrived far outweighs any potential risks of not. To give and receive love brings a kind of happiness to life that elicits hope, inspiration, peace, change. The idea of being in a relationship with someone that makes you wonder how you ever lived without them is magnetic. The prospect of being in love is extremely attractive and there’s no shortage of evidence in agreement.
For reasons both scientific and non-, a happy loving relationship has innumerable benefits. It’s a simple equation: People in Love = Happy People. Of course that’s not to say that one can’t be happy unless they’re in love or in a relationship, but it does point to the idea that there are countless positive, feel-good parts of life that occur, often with a heightened sense of purpose and appreciation, as a result. Let’s consider a few supporting equations.
A good relationship fosters a sense of togetherness. In a relationship (thus the definition) you’re not alone. You have someone to come home to after a long day’s work who will listen absorbedly while you ramble on venting your frustrations about everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink. They know all about how your sister and mother just won’t stop nagging about the details of the next family gathering. They are there to congratulate you finally crossing the finish line of your first marathon. They are the first person you call when your hard work finally turns into that big promotion.
Your partner is your ‘round the clock best friend to share life’s challenges, successes, and responsibilities. They encourage you and support you; bring out the best in you. You and your partner are equal parts of a team, with front row seats to and the privilege of witnessing each other’s journey.
Relationships typically provoke a certain amount of self-reflection and discovery that is unique. You assess yourself; your actions, your responses. In many cases you judge yourself to an often unattainable degree. But, when you learn that your partner loves you for who you are, you gain a boost in confidence and self-esteem that eradicates any harsh criticisms you may have unjustly sentenced yourself to.
You learn, as your relationship deepens and becomes more emotionally intimate, to give yourself a permanent pardon for not being the “perfect” person the rest of the world leaves you feeling you should be. You begin to feel good about you, and in turn you create the same environment for your partner. Like any chain reaction, emotional intimacy and self-reflection often lead to broadened perspectives on life’s important matters. Things that weren’t relevant to you had little meaning but now, suddenly, they take on a level of importance and appreciation you never imagined.
A softer side of your world view is opened when you’re in love. Why? Because you’re happy and love is upon you. You find yourself smiling at the sound of their voice, laughing out of the clear blue while reminiscing about a joke you shared. Even your view on saving fruit flies has changed…well maybe not, but you get the hint. The lens through which you are looking now allows you to see the good in the world and the many possibilities for what the two of you can become and accomplish.
Studies suggest that people in love have better overall health than those who are not. Love has been linked to reducing blood pressure levels, decreasing the likelihood of depression and other mental health issues. It’s been said to lessen the risk of diabetes, heart and lung disease, and in some reports, minimize the number of visits to the doctor year over year for general health concerns.
Some experts even believe that love and intimacy have such benefits as boosting the immune system, reducing the appearance of aging, and increasing lifespans. The theories and evidence behind these studies are vast and complex I’m certain, but I believe, even without all of the numbers and data, that it’s easy to equate Love with Happiness and Happiness with Good Health. It just makes sense.
Love is a powerful emotion. It’s an even more powerful action. It has the power to change people’s lives. Love heals and opens hearts. It develops perceptions and overcomes objections. It’s an opportunity and way of life that every person should experience. Sharing the best and worst parts of yourself with another person, having someone to walk beside you along life’s ever-changing road makes the journey a little less intimidating and a lot more fulfilling.
What’s more beautiful than holding hands, making love, understanding, protecting and supporting each other, providing for one another, exploring and enjoying life’s adventures with each other, or creating life and memories together? I don’t know a single individual on the planet who despite their fears would deny the desire to have that. Love…to have it and receive it is one of life’s greatest gifts. I wish that blessing upon you and hope to lend a positive hand on your voyage in its direction.
*This information is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as such. Please consult your licensed medical doctor for advice regarding any medical conditions.