Have you ever turned down being in a romantic relationship because you thought it would require too much of your time? Maybe you felt there were more important things to do and a relationship would just be distracting. Sometimes we feel like dating and relationships will drain our energy and take away from other areas in our life–that a relationship is just one more thing to do. If you have ever felt like that, perhaps some recent research will help you reconsider.
A small team of top relationship researchers at Florida State University found that college students in committed relationships were actually better off in a range of outcomes compared to those who were not.
Good Behavior Leads to Good Health
Those who are in committed romantic relationships are less likely to participate in risky behaviors like drug abuse, binge drinking, and frequent uncommitted sex, which have all been shown to be related to poor mental and physical health. These behaviors are also tied to having trouble holding a job later on, or being able to maintain fulfilling and stable relationships later in life.
Those in committed relationships are more stable in their behavior across the board and often have someone to help them avoid unhealthy activity. They also might find themselves less bored because they will have someone to spend their time with, and introduce them to new hobbies and activities their partner likes.
When we have the sense of belonging that comes with relationships and the extra motivation to take care of ourselves, our mental and physical health improves. Our circle of friends will expand to include the friends of our partners, which can then lead to new perspectives on life and the world. We will find it easier to relate to others and enjoy new experiences, breaking out of our usual routines and finding energy we never knew we had. We will have more reason to be dependable and trustworthy, knowing that someone else depends on us. It comes as no surprise then that being in a committed relationship means we are less likely to be depressed, we feel more physically fit and healthy, and we are less stressed than our single peers. This means having more energy and a better ability to perform well in every role we have.
Why Commitment is For You
So consider again your reasons for not wanting to be in a committed romantic relationship. Are you afraid it will distract you from your education? Do you feel you won’t have as much time to develop your resume? Are you afraid it will cut into your personal time?
Having better mental health will only help you in your education because you will have a clearer mind and better memory as well as better physical health so you can attend all your classes. Being stable and safe in your behavior is attractive to potential employers who want to see someone with stability and dependability. You may also find that you have more energy and desire for fun activities.
There may be no better time to enter into a committed relationship than when you are trying to figure out who you are and what you want from life. With great health and a clear head, you may just find you have a lot more time than you thought.
If you want to see if you have good health and are being wise in your behavior, try taking our READY assessment here.
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