Beyond money, retirement, your career, the home you live in, where you’ve been or what you’ve accomplished—Waldinger and his associate researchers are clear about the outcome of the 75-year study of Adult Development:
You need love to live a fulfilled life.
Their conclusions are rooted in the way your nervous system responds to social interaction, friendship, and love—allowing your brain to stay healthier longer and keeping emotional pain and physical pain limited.
In fact, data collected indicated that regardless of social status or wealth, people who feel lonely and lack love in their lives are less healthy and die younger.
According to Waldinger, “the quality of your close relationships” are what matters, “it's not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship."
George Vaillant, a Harvard psychiatrist responsible for the data in this very same study from 1972 to 2004, concluded that there are two clear lessons from the study. He said, "One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away."