Excerpts: Should she be my Valentine?

Should you be my Valentine? Research helps identify good and bad romantic relationships was interesting. Specifically wanted to remember:

Building a better you

Relationships provide a lot of benefits. Someone to share your Netflix account with, to talk with about your day, to take care of you when you’re not feeling well. Our social relationships positively affect our physical health, including buffering against high blood pressure and heart disease, and improving mental health by decreasing depression, anxiety and substance abuse. It all adds up to building a healthy, meaningful life together with someone.

A good relationship also provides a partner who helps you become a better person. Researchers refer to this experience as self-expansion. It’s your relationship’s ability to provide you with opportunities for self-growth. Whether you learn new photography skills, develop a new perspective on politics, gain a new identity such as “organic gardener” or simply feel like a better, more capable person, self-expansion has benefits.

Relationships that include more self-expansion are more satisfying, more committed, have higher levels of passionate love, experience less boredom, and have partners who are less likely to pay attention to other potential partners and less likely to cheat. (If you’re wondering how much of this valuable quality you have in your relationship, check out the self-expansion quiz.)

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