There have always been plenty of benefits associated with the idea of marriage.
Married people are thought to be less stressed, less anxious, and they enjoy longer lives (and lest we forget all the legal perks to getting married).
Truthfully, if you meet someone, fall in love with them, and want to spend the rest of your lives together, there really are a bunch of very logical reasons why you should say, "I do."
For a long time, one huge benefit of getting married was that you would have a healthier life.
According to a new study published in Social Science Quarterly, however, that may no longer be the case.
Researchers compared married people born between the years 1955 and 1984 and found that the effect marriage has on one's health has declined over time, New York Magazine reports.
In other words, older married couples experienced the health benefits of marriage, but younger ones did not.
Also, couples only reaped those health benefits of marriage if they were married for more than 10 years, and the benefits only affected women.
Dmitry Tumin, author of the study and a sociology researcher at the Ohio State University, said these findings “may reflect demographic and cultural trends that have undermined the protective effects of marriage.”
Which, when you think about it, is totally true.
It's more OK now than it has ever been to be a single person -- specifically, a single woman.
People are getting married later than ever, signaling a decrease in the desire to jump to the altar so soon.
The correlation between health and marriage could also be declining, in part, because marriage is no longer the economic security blanket for women that it once may have been, according to New York Magazine.
We're basically reaping the benefits of the ever-closing (but still present) wage gap, which means we are more capable than ever of supporting ourselves without a spouse (and mo' money = less health problems).
In fact, Tumin said, in today's society, getting married may actually prove to be more stressful than being single.
He wrote in the study,
Work-family conflict has increased in the closing decades of the 20th century, and spouses' actual time spent together has decreased over this period. Against a backdrop of greater demands at home and at work, and less time spent together, today's married couples may indeed experience marriage more as a source of conflict and stress than as a resource that safeguards their health.
So, if you're the only person in your group of friends who feels centuries away from marriage, fear not: They are just as likely to die of a heart attack as you are!