Turns Out Bad Relationships Really Do Mess Up Your Whole Life
It’s no secret that people are waiting longer to get married, buy houses, and achieve other markers of “adulthood” than previous generations. But just because you're in no hurry to settle down, doesn't mean you should spend your prime years in a relationship that doesn't have long-term potential.
In fact, one new study shows that the LTRs we have during this "transition" period really do matter—especially when it comes to our health. A team of researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York found that bad relationships lead to more depressive symptoms, alcohol problems, and lower scores of self-reported health. Yikes.
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Using the Iowa Youth and Families Project—a sample of all-white young adults coming from two-parent homes in rural Iowa—the researchers measured the participants’ relationship changes, as well as their physical and mental health, over a two-year period. They asked questions about overall relationship satisfaction, criticism, and support in the relationships, affection and commitment, and what the participants’ partners were like outside of the relationship (i.e. were they anti-social or did they engage in deviant behaviors).
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They found that the better the relationships the participants had, the better their overall physical health. And the more long-term, high-quality relationships the participants had in the past, the faster they were able to leave a bad relationship when they found themselves dating a loser.
So, if you're currently contemplating whether to leave or stick out a relationship, this new info might just be a push in the direction of singlehood.