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Benefits of Unconditional Love

For years, I’ve been railing against studies that indicate married people live longer than single people. Finally, here’s one study I can fully endorse –

Cartoon by Harry Bliss


4 comments for “Benefits of Unconditional Love”

  1. Claire says:

    If my dad didn’t have two dogs he took on a walk each day I’m not sure if he’d leave the house each day or talk to anyone other than my mom.

  2. RS says:

    I actually have a pet hypothesis about this, which is that the operative factor contributing to longer lives is not whether one is single or coupled, but rather whether one is living in harmony with their own nature. This could lead to the *appearance* that coupled people have a lifespan advantage over singles because, statistically, most (?) people seem to be wired to need intimate partners. “Marriage is not primarily about sex,” my dad told me once, “it is about having a companion.” And it is obvious to me that my dad (who is in his 90s) needs the companionship he and his wife give each other. My mom (who also lived to her mid 90s), who was very much an introvert, never remarried after she and my dad divorced, and I never had the feeling she wanted to. I never sensed living alone was a hardship for her. My best friend got divorced after enduring many years of a very unhappy, disharmonious marriage. Within 6 months of his divorce he was dating another woman, to whom he has been happily remarried to now for many years. He used to tell me that he wanted to not be tied down and to be free to wander, but it seems pretty obvious to me that he needed the companionship of a mate and he and his wife give each other a wonderful life. I suspect having a wife does indeed extend the life of my dad and my best friend. I am not so sure it would extend mine. I am more like my mom. I am quite introverted and while I certainly need human relationship (which I get from my friends and family), I thrive on solitude. I think for those of us who are wired to be alone, being single probably extends our lives more than being coupled would. When it comes to all things human, there is no such thing as one size fits all.

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