While St. Valentine's Day has been celebrated on February 14 since the fifth century, it was only in the 14th century that it became associated with love. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer is said to have linked St. Valentine's Day with romance when composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England’s King Richard II and Anne of Bohemia, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor.
It’s fitting that Valentine’s Day was first associated with a pending marriage, because for many of us, the deepest earthly connection we will find is in marital love.
While it’s not always roses and chocolates, marriage has some unique benefits to offer. As the book of Ecclesiastes says,
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 reasons based on medical and social science studies why, when it comes to marriage, “two are better than one”:
1. Marriage is associated with improved psychological well-being and with reduced levels of depression. (Source)
2. Married men experience less depression and more happiness than bachelors. (Source)
3. For women, marriage appears to offer some protection against cardiovascular disease. (Source)
4. Being married could improve your likelihood of surviving a heart attack and is associated with reduced length of hospital stay. (Source)
5. Marriage lowers the risk that both men and women will become victims of violence, including domestic violence. (Source)
6. Married men find sex more emotionally and physically pleasurable than their unmarried peers. (Source)
7. Married men earn between 10 and 40 percent more than otherwise comparable single men. (Source)
8. Young married men are twice as likely to report being happy as single men and men cohabiting. (Source)
9. Married-couple households have, on average, substantially greater net worth than households with other types of living arrangements. (Source)
10. For both men and women, marriage appears to reduce alcohol abuse. Marriage reduced binge drinking for both men and women, particularly for men, in the first two years surrounding marriage. (Source)
11. Nine out of ten married men who are alive at 48 will make it to age 65, compared with just six in ten comparable single men. Nine out of ten married women alive at age 48 will live to be senior citizens, compared with just eight out of ten divorced and single women. (Source)
12. On average, married couples are less likely than cohabiting couples to be in poverty and Children in married-couple families are less likely to live in poverty than their peers in non-married households. (Source)
13. Children lead healthier, longer lives if parents get and stay married. (Source)
14. Marriage is the only realistic promise of permanence in a romantic relationship: Just one out of ten cohabiting couples are still cohabiting after five years while 80 percent of couples marrying for the first time are still married five years later, and close to 60 percent will marry for life. (Source)