How important are relationships for a long and joyful life?

Updated: Aug 27, 2021


“There isn't time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.”


Mark Twain





Harvard study, almost 80 years old, has proved that embracing community helps us live longer, and be happier.

“The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health,” said Robert Waldinger, director of the study, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”


"The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80,” said Robert Waldinger with his wife Jennifer Stone



Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed. Those ties protect people from life’s discontents, help to delay mental and physical decline, and are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or even genes. That finding proved true across the board among both the Harvard men and the inner-city participants.


The long-term research has received f