Religion Has A More Positive Effect on Happiness than Education, StudyBy Staff Reporter
Regular churchgoers are more likely to be happy about their love life than their non-regular counterparts, according to a University of Porto in Portugal study.
Researchers said that religiosity was found to have a greater effect on romantic pleasure than other factors like education. The finding supports previous studies that showed that religious people tend to have improved mental health, enhanced fulfilment and healthy sexual and romantic relationships.
"We show that [life satisfaction] is almost entirely about the social aspect of religion, rather than the theological or spiritual aspect of religion," Chaeyoon Lim, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison told LiveScience. "We found that people are more satisfied with their lives when they go to church, because they build a social network within their congregation."
In the current study, Portugal researchers described love as a "desire to enter into, maintain, or expand a close, connected, and ongoing relationship with another person." For the study, researchers surveyed 1,284 Portuguese men and women between the ages of 18 and 90.
The researchers found that a combination of factors such as age, religious involvement, marital status and love style (e.g. manipulative or playful), positively affects a person's love and happiness. Love life satisfaction levels found among 18 to 30 year-olds are comparable to those aged 31 to 59. Less pleasure was observed in people aged 60 and above as romance is perceived as a less important 'agenda' to them.
The researchers also discovered that people who experience higher levels of well-being and harmonious social relationships also tend to be happy with their love lives. The research said that married people and those in current relationships had higher levels of satisfaction when compared to divorcees and those not involved in a romantic relationship.
Men reported higher satisfaction levels with certain love styles than women. Adult men with a Ludus style (game-playing and manipulative love where partner is unsure about relationship) or Mania style (possessive, jealous) rated their love lives as fulfilled.
"In contrast to much past investigation on love, our research used a sample of adults representing a full range of age. Focusing on exploration of age variations in satisfaction with love life, the research displayed a comprehensive view of differences and similarities across the adult life span," the researchers concluded.
The study ''Satisfaction with Love Life Across the Adult Life Span' was published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.