The study followed 268 male undergraduates from Harvard over the course of 75 years. George E. Vaillant, American psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School, led the study. He kept track of the failures and successes in relationships, parenting, jobs and even kept track of substance abuse.
As he analyzed the predictors of happiness, he realized that the strongest predictor of health and happiness was intimacy and love. For example, the men who had commitment phobia and would not allow themselves to be loved by other individuals were the most unhappy.
Many of the men in the study realized that they were not happy in life because they did not have the love of a partner, so they were able to change their patterns and turn around full circle, increasing their happiness to the fullest.
If you want to be on the road to happiness, don't think you need romantic love. Romantic love specifically was not the only predictor of happiness. It was close relationships with children, parents, siblings and friends as well.
How can I get the love that will make me happy?
The answer is different for everyone. Saying that being flirtatious around people, signing up for a dating website, or "putting yourself out there" is going to help you will do you no good. You have probably tried those extremely vague suggestions before. Here is a suggestion that may be more effective: Eliminate the biases.
Seeking out the things that are a bit scary and branching into new territory is a great start to finding someone to love.
Pre-judging a person is far too easy and does not make you happy or put you on the right track to finding someone to love.
Based on the Harvard study, love is one of the biggest ways to achieve true happiness. Why deprive yourself of something so phenomenal?
Now when you hear someone say, "I don't need love to be happy," you can give a punching comeback by saying, "Well, science has proven you wrong."
If you are in love, hold on tight. The ride may be incredibly bumpy at times and seem almost impossible to find your way back, but when you do, you will have true happiness for the rest of your days. It's been proven.
Tana is a student with a passion for words. She believes that written words can touch people in ways unimaginable. In her spare time she enjoys singing, hiking, cuddling in a fuzzy blanket, and spending time with her friends and family.