Does Marriage Make People Happier? New Study Reveals The Surprising Answer To This Controversial Question

The topic of marriage can be tricky, simply because there are so many different views on the subject. While some see it as a natural conclusion to a long-term relationship, others believe you don't need to have a legal ceremony to be happy and committed. Now, a new study is tackling the controversial question head on: does marriage make people happier?

Conducted by the Journal of Family Psychology, the study surveyed 8,700 people born between the years of 1980 and 1984. The same group was then re-surveyed every year for 10 years, starting in 2000. The survey essentially asked the participants to state their relationship status and level of emotional distress.

The result? Men and women differed on their feelings toward their first serious relationship — which makes sense, given that everybody's first real love comes with a learning curve. But in second serious relationships (aka after you've both racked up a little more experience), both men and women reported feeling emotionally boosted when moving in together or getting married. In other words, living together provided essentially the same level of satisfaction for both sexes as being married did.

It's a telling conclusion in this day and age, when many are waiting longer to get married, often because they are happy simply opting to live with their significant other instead. Unfortunately, that decision can also sometimes come with some backlash — mainly from older, more traditional parents or relatives who won't stop asking when you're just going to make it "official" already.

With all that nagging, it's easy to feel pressured to make the jump, even before you feel ready to do so. But as this study has just reinforced, whether you get married ASAP or simply choose to live together doesn't really make much of a difference. In the end, it's up to you to do what works best for you (and your partner).

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