"Too many social scientists simply are not going to give up on the claim that getting married makes you happier," De Paulo writes.
For another 2012 study (this one a survey of American couples), researchers found that couples who lived together but were not married had higher self-esteem and were happier overall than their married counterparts.
Rather, they really only give us insight into what happens to people who get married .
But the second part of that finding threw it out the window: It turned out that the couples who were best friends and lived together were just as happy as couples who were best friends and married.
You're probably wondering if — and how — such a big commitment will impact your relationship.
A friend who knows I'm in a long-term relationship recently sent me a New York Times' opinion piece titled "13 Questions To Ask Before Getting Married." What she probably doesn't know is that she sent me on an entirely different research mission: to see what we know about the effect marriage actually has on peoples' happiness.
In other words, marriage didn't appear to matter much at all.
To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers studied three separate data sets that included information about thousands of couples: The United Kingdom's Annual Population Survey, the British Household Panel Survey, and the Gallup World Poll.