In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history. The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.
In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the Grant Study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.”
If you’re married to your career, if your friends are your family, if you love your pets like children, good for you. Go on with your bad self. But guess what? You’re missing out.
You can truly love a dog. You can truly love a platonic friend. I just find it hard to compare such platonic relationships to the kind of love shared by a couple who created a family and lived together for fifty years. The author talks about having “Warm Relationships,” which, in theory could encompass friendships. But, in truth, I would suspect a majority of happy 75-year-old men have one best friend – a wife – as opposed to a bunch of high school buddies who still talk with him every day.
Full article here. Let me know whether you think that:
a) Friendships are equal to romantic relationships and b) Whether you’re happier when you’re in love. Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.