Researchers have shown that over the course of a lifetime, happiness generally follows a U-shaped curve: Happiness is high when you’re young, dips in middle age, and rises again going into your golden years. This makes some intuitive sense: Middle age tends to be a time when obligations to career and family are at their highest. The stress of juggling childrearing and long hours at the office can take a toll on one’s sense of well-being.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to mitigate that dip in middle-age happiness, flatten out that U a bit? Turns out, there is: You can get married.