75-Year Harvard Study Concludes: Happiness is Love.

happy old man kissing his old wife

I’ll admit it. I don’t get the anti-love people. I mean, 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.

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.


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  1. 21

    Love? What’s that?

  2. 22

    How can the study say that love makes humans happier when the N value is based on only one gender? There are several studies showing that marriage is healthier for men than being single, where as being single is healthier for women than marriage. When a man gets married he gains emotional support and has tasks unburdened from him by the woman. When a woman gets married she doesn’t get as much emotional support from her husband, doesn’t talk to her girlfriends as much as she used to; no matter how much she may want to, and she’s burdened with additional tasks because she not only is taking care of herself, but also her husband. Nowadays both are usually working full-time, but then the woman also takes care of extra tasks around the house while the man thinks it is his time to relax and sometimes even be served making sure his needs are met. Stay-at-home moms are expected to do every single thing, and their job doesn’t have a clock out time, while stay-at-home husbands often times leave a lot of, or at least some of the household tasks to their full-time working wife. Women are raised to serve the needs of others and ignore their own needs, men are raised to just get their own needs met. This mindset is reflected in marriage, (and sometimes for some unlucky women, in bed) while the man mostly takes care of himself, and the woman takes care of both the man and herself. This study should say that love makes MEN happier, that would be more accurate. I’m not saying love doesn’t make women happy, but it obviously does not have the same effect on our happiness as it does men, given the unfair roles immediately placed upon us from the time we’re born. I’m sick of so many studies throughout history being referenced as indicative of the entire human race when the N value only reflects the male gender! There are even scientific assumptions on women based on studies that were done on men!

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