Or studies, I guess I should say, because it’s the various declarations that have been made about marriage—the ironic, amusing bunch of declarations—that are the real story here.
I chuckled through this Slate article today, which discussed the various findings that science has made about marriage and its effect on people’s lives. (There are a lot of studies done about marriage, apparently.)
Those findings can basically be summarized like this: Marriage most definitely makes you live longer, but it also most definitely increases your chances of becoming obese, which most definitely decreases your chances of living a long life. So in short, all you engaged people are basically just rolling some major life dice by getting hitched.
As the piece mentions, a seemingly endless amount of studies have shown that when you are married, you go for regular mammograms and get that funky mole checked out, try to keep the cigarettes and motorcycle rides to a minimum, and in general, have less stress, because you've basically got a life teammate. The sum of all these parts is that married people really do live longer than non-marrieds.
What's the one exception, though, to this? As if eating right and exercising were exclusively about appearance and nabbing a mate and not at all about overall health, you let yourself go and have a much better chance, with that ring on your finger, of becoming obese. (The article mentions several no-duh reasons as to why people gain weight in a relationship that will come as a surprise to no one who has ordered multiple boxes of Santucci's to consume in the horizontal position while binge-watching Breaking Bad with your person.) And guess what? Obesity does not make for longevity.
Luckily, this one exception to the proven overall health benefits of being married is totally and easily within everyone's control: Less pizza-laden TV marathons, more romantic walks along the Schuylkill trail followed by Groothies. See? You're golden.