8 Ways A Good Relationship Improves A Woman

You don't need a man — but would being in a good relationship with one make that much of a positive difference in your life? Find out what experts say are the biggest benefits for women here.

By Laura Schaefer

ou don't need a man. You change your own oil, pay the bills, and enjoy Sunday mornings by brunching it up with your girlfriends. Still, a solid romantic relationship would be nice. Most people (including women) feel an inclination to partner up at some point — and that's not a bad thing. "Finding
A good relationship fuels every aspect of a person's life.
the right life-long partner can be one of the smartest moves a man or a woman can make," say Drs. Elizabeth and Charles Schmitz, "America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts" and coauthors of Building a Love that Lasts, "since there are many ways a good relationship can improve a person."

To wit, women can enjoy these eight benefits from being in a good relationship:

It makes you happier
According to Dr. Jamie Turndorf, creator of and the author of Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First): A Step-by-Step Guide for Resolving Relationship Conflict, "A good relationship fuels every aspect of a person's life. Research shows that the chemical cocktail that the brain and body produces when a person is happy in love literally makes you feel drunk, high, and even capable of walking on water. Endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin all combine to trigger pleasure, increased energy, focused attention, and a decreased need for sleep or food." In other words, a good man is almost as fun as a winning lottery ticket.

It helps you balance your abilities better
"Partners are not identical," says Jeremy Nicholson, Ph.D., a social psychologist and dating consultant who blogs for Psychology Today. "Each has strengths and weaknesses distinct from the other. Each 'complements' the other by having strengths that the other lacks and relying on them. For example, a boyfriend who is color-blind may rely on his girlfriend's excellent fashion sense to dress him for dinner. Similarly, she may rely on his excellent sense of direction to get them to the new restaurant." Together, you and the right man will become more than the sum of your parts, and that's incredibly satisfying — especially if you're the kind of woman who wants to get a lot done and still have time for fun afterward.

It encourages you to be more focused in pursuing your professional goals
According to the Drs. Schmitz, "Happy, well-balanced people make better employees, because they are more likely to establish better relationships with their coworkers, work more effectively with customers, and are more likely to focus on their jobs rather than their problems." Your partner can help you strategize about work and talk you through any angst you might have about your career. That way, you can leave the negativity at home and be more professional when you're on the job.

It provides a buffer for family get-togethers
We've all been there. You have to go to Thanksgiving dinner, but you'd really rather not discuss last year's blow-up. Having a supportive partner around to help steer the conversation back into neutral
A good relationship can help both of you live healthier lifestyles.
territory is one of the great benefits of being coupled up. You can even coach your boyfriend ahead of time about when to loudly ask your mom to pass the potatoes.

It makes you a more well-rounded person
"While a good relationship urges a man to open to the softer side of himself, a woman is invited embrace the more masculine aspects of herself in order to have a good relationship, thereby becoming a more whole being," Dr. Turndorf notes. Go ahead then, ladies: pound a burger and beer at the sports bar with your boyfriend. It'll feel good!

It helps you laugh at yourself
Good relationships thrive on humor. The ability to laugh at yourself and your foibles will help keep your love alive while making your entire day better. You might even find yourself becoming more sought-after by old friends and new acquaintances alike when you're settled into a happy relationship, because your easygoing vibe will naturally attract others.

It calms you down during stressful times
"Research indicates that individuals in a long-term relationship feel supported, saying that they always have someone they can trust to confide in and to lean on in times of need," say the Drs. Schmitz. Something as simple as the power of human touch can lower the body's cortisol levels and your heart rate. A good relationship won't solve all your problems (in fact, it'll probably produce some new ones), but it will make them easier to deal with.

It keeps you fit
Sure, you were already schlepping to the gym a couple of days a week — but having a partner in crime when it comes to biking, kayaking, and hiking makes exercise so much more fun, doesn't it? As long as both partners are committed to making the effort and planning fun activities to do as a pair, a good relationship can help both of you live healthier lifestyles.

For the other side of the story, read 8 Ways A Good Relationship Improves A Man.

Laura Schaefer is the author of The Secret Ingredient and Planet Explorers Chicago.
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