Don’t be embarrassed to admit it … because you are definitely not alone. A new study from Southern Methodist University found that people are happier when they’re with their friends than with their spouse or kids. In fact, the research found that people reported the lowest levels of happiness when they were with a significant other. Ouch. But there’s a pretty good reason for this: The study found that when people are with friends, it typically involves fun, social events. The time spent with family tends to involve less fun activities – like doing chores. So basically, it’s not so much who you are with – but what you’re doing.
The lesson in all of this – according to SMU psychology professor Nathan Hudson, is to make an effort to do fun things with family – not just with friends. “It’s important to create opportunities for positive experiences with romantic partners and children – and to really mentally savor those positive times. In contrast, family relationships that involve nothing but chores, housework, and childcare likely won’t predict a lot of happiness.”