More research is continuing to show that friendship is the most important quality to have in a romantic relationship. People, who consider their partner as their best friend, are much happier than people who base their relationships on love and passion. The problem with building a relationship on passionate love is that passion fades over time. In most cases, passionate love fades around year two (and people start to look for excitement elsewhere). Relationships based on friendship and compassionate love can last a lifetime. Although putting friendship ahead of passion may not seem all that romantic, doing so, is what makes a romantic relationship work.
Money can buy you happiness, if you know how to spend it wisely. There is an insightful story in the New York Times today, about how accumulating things does not lead to happiness. In fact, it often leaves people feeling empty. A key quote from the article:
“Intuitively, we know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships, experiences and meaningful work are the staples of a happy life.”
New research affirms the idea that buying possessions does not increase one’s overall sense of happiness. The relationship being spending money and happiness is quite clear. Spending money to buy material objects does not make people happy. Although it might create a short-term rush of excitement, it does not make a person happy in the long run. Spending money on experiences that are not shared with others does not make people happier either.
So, what is the best way to buy happiness? Spending money on shared experiences with loved ones greatly increases people’s feelings of satisfaction.
The moral of the story – spend your money doing things with the people you love. Doing so, will add meaning to your life. Happiness involves sharing experiences with others, not purchasing things for yourself.
A new book is coming out on a 70 year longitudinal study of men. The key findings:
“The study, a product of the period in which it was conceived, has its limitations. Its only subjects are white, privileged men. Still, many of its findings seem universal. If they could be boiled down to a single revelation, it would be that the secret to a happy life is relationships, relationships, relationships. The best predictors of adult success and well-being are a childhood in which one feels accepted and nurtured; an empathic coping style at ages 20 through 35; and warm adult relationships.” A link to a review of the book is here.
It is not our careers or financial success that bring happiness to our lives. What matters the most is how we manage our close relationships. Wouldn’t it be nice if people put more time and effort trying to make their relationships work. If people would place more emphasis on taking a partner’s perspective into account and treating each other with kindness and respect, we all might be happier and lead more fulfilling lives as a result.
New research shows how people with “Dark Personalities”, often referred to as the “Dark Triad” of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy put more effort into looking good. Basically, people, who lack empathy, are manipulative or callous, or put themselves first, have to find a way to draw their victims close.
It may be wise to exercise caution when getting to know someone who arrives in a pretty package.