Being in a
healthy long-term relationship for a long time may not just change your life, but you may also experience some sort of physical or mental change, too. Your body and mind may be impacted by not just the relationship, but by the person with whom you're in the relationship. Of course, the effects a significant other will have on your mind, body, and soul will depend on how healthy the relationship is.
"Long-term relationships have been found to affect mental and physical health,"
board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Susan Edelman tells Bustle . "The quality of your relationship is a very important part of how it affects your health. People rate their health higher if they're satisfied in their [relationship]."
And, you may not even be totally aware of how your long-term relationship is affecting your body right off the bat. The effects that a long-term relationship body range from a lower blood pressure to a higher self-esteem — and even better physical health overall.
So how does a healthy relationship affecting your physical and mental health? Here are seven fascinating things that happen to your body when you've been in a healthy relationship for a long time, according to experts.
Partners Bodies Can Align And Develop A Pattern
"The body gets into a pattern in a relationship and if it is a healthy wonderful relationship this can be very positive as the couple is in tune with sexual desires and needs of each other," certified clinical sexologist, sexuality counselor and author of
My Husband Wont Have Sex With Me , Dr. Dawn Michael tells Bustle. "There have been studies where people's natural cycles can get in tune with each other, not just sexual, but when they eat, go to the bathroom, sleep, activities." I guess this gives a whole new meaning to a couple becoming "the same person," after being together long enough.
Your Blood Pressure Can Lower
According to Dr. Edelman, being in a long-term relationship can lower your blood pressure, especially if that relationship is without any major issues. Similar to how
petting a dog lowers blood pressure (because you needed another reason to get a dog), if you're in a relationship long enough, you're comfortable and at ease — two components that aid in lowering one's blood pressure.
Stress Levels Can Decrease
Well, if being in a relationship for a long time is going to lower your blood pressure, then it only makes sense that it can help decrease stress levels, according to Dr. Edelman. The combination of that comfort that comes with being with someone long-term and having that person to whom you can vent and talk out your problems, is the perfect combination to
keep stress at a healthy level.
Your Body Might Desire Other People
If you're with someone long enough, your body just might crave other people — but that's not a bad thing! There's
something appealing about what's foreign to what you have at home, and as long as you don't act on those cravings — unless you've discussed opening your relationship — it's normal and healthy.
"You will still
find other people attractive and, even if you stay away from temptation, it can occasionally find you," Jonathan Bennett, Dating/Relationship Coach and Owner of The Popular Man, tells Bustle. "Social media pretty much guarantees you’re going to interact with people from your past and present who might not have the best of intentions. However, being aware of the temptation allows you to keep your guard up and fight it."
Depression Can Become More Manageable
Although depression may never really go away, with the right medication and therapy, it can be manageable. And, if you're in a healthy relationship which "is associated with better satisfaction with life," according to Dr. Edelman, your
depression can become easier to handle and severe bouts of it can decrease.
Women Can Become More In Tune With Their Bodies
Between being with someone for the long-term and maturing, over time people, women especially, become more in tune with their bodies and how their bodies act and respond to their partner.
"Most women as they age are more in tune with their bodies," says Dr. Michael. "They know when they are closer to menstruating, as well as how to deal with it, how long it will go on for, and how to deal with cramping, etc. Also women are more
in touch with themselves sexually, how their body functions, what their likes and dislikes are, and having sex for pleasure more so than just to have sex to please a [partner]."
Overall Better Physical Health
As long as your long-term relationship stays on track, the effects it can have on your body will be positive. According to Dr. Michael, a healthy relationship can affect your self-esteem; the longer someone is in a relationship, the less critical they become of their body, learning to love it more. And, according to Dr. Edelman, life satisfaction increases when you're
in a relationship for a long time, as your body and mind benefit from the relationship.
This isn't to suggest that being single is bad for your body, by any stretch of the imagination, of course. But on those days where you're feeling a bit
bored in your long-term relationship — which is absolutely inevitable at certain points — just remember that being with someone in a healthy relationship for a long time does a body good.