Couples kiss at the base of the flag pole at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico City January 17, 2013.
Couples kiss at the base of the flag pole at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico City January 17, 2013. Reuters

A study showed that married people were happier when compared to their single counterparts. The same study also found that the happiest amongst the married couples were those who married their best friends.

According to the Huffington Post, the study was conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Canada, a non-profit research organisation, the British Household Panel Survey, a multi-purpose society for social and economic research, Annual Population Survey, statistical survey of the households in the UK and the Gallup World Poll, a survey of citizens across 160 countries. The data showed that married people were consistently happier when compared to the singles.

The participants in the study said that there were three reasons behind the happiness levels in marriage that could be strengthened. The first phase is said to be the "honeymoon phase," which is basically the first year or the first two years of marriage. The participants said that they might have been happiest during the honeymoon phase. However, apart from that, they did continuously enjoy the benefits of their married life in the long run as well.

It was found that, during middle age, there was a dip in marriage with regards to the happiness level. But the participants also said that the marriage did provide cushioning for things that would others weigh people down like mid-life crisis, pressure from work or even caring for children and parents. A co-author of the study, Shawn Grover said that in middle age, there was a lot of stress and when there was someone to talk about it with was better when compared to those without a partner, who found it harder to deal with mid-life stress.

The research by Grover and John F. Helliwell, another co-author, showed that when the spouse was a "best friend," the levels of happiness automatically reached a high. It was found that for a long-term well-being, the benefits were doubled for couples when compared to single counterparts and also previous research had showed that close relationships are essential for well-being.

Grover said that long-term partners, who lived in the same house, were almost as happy as those who were legally married and that the happiness was about three quarters of that of married people. He said that happiness had a lot to do with the social relationship than with the legal status and in a sense, marriage was super friendship.

Author of Singled Out, Dr Bella DePaulo, said that there were many studies on marriage and happiness and that the studies did not accurately take into account people who were married and then divorced. With regards to the new study, DePaulo said that people who were married chose it and that people like her who were single at heat, getting married might not have the same implications when compared to those who chose to get married.

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