If you ask anyone what's the most important thing in their lives, they'll probably tell you their loved ones. Whether that loved one be a significant other, or their friends and family, it is absolutely essential to have close relationships in our lives if we're to be truly happy. Sure, you may have days where you feel the world is completely against you, and it feels better to run in hide, but the reality is that if you didn't have the relationships that you have, you’d probably only be the half the person you are.
In a recent study, scientists found that not only do close relationships make for happier people, but they also contribute to our overall well-being. Those who have intimate relationships are better able to achieve goals and, with the support of their loved ones, they have higher self-esteem, less stress, and feel a greater sense of purpose. It's also these people who, if they have a major setback in life, are able to bounce back faster and stronger, thanks to those relationships. Scientists call this SOS or "source of strength."
As Eli Finkel, a professor of psychology at Northwestern, who was part of the research team explained about the findings, "It adds important insights regarding situations in which people are struggling and look to their loved ones for support. But the even larger contribution of this work is that it provides an insightful and compelling analysis of how loved ones can help us in our pursuit of personal growth." In other words, it's the people in our lives who bring out the best in us and, not to sound dramatic, but without them we're nothing.
Over the past 15 years, Nancy Collins, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara has studied the findings of 400 relationship-based research, and each result came back the same: having relationships is absolutely necessary. Or as Finkel added, "Building strong close relationships is a virtual prerequisite for human flourishing."
While most people go through their lives looking for "the one," or their soulmate, because, let's be honest, society has taught us that if we're not coupled up, we're nothing, we shouldn't take for granted the people we already have in our lives. From our parents to our siblings to our close friends, they are the source of our happiness. They always have our back, they accept you at your worse, and when your world has fallen apart, they're there to remind you that "this too shall pass," even if it feels like, in that moment, you'll never see the light at the end of the tunnel again. I'll say it again, without our loved ones we're nothing.